Roger's Story | Windsor, Ontario | Windsor Cancer Centre Foundation
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Roger’s Story

Roger

 

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I retired from Windsor Fire and Rescue services after 35 years of service on October 31, 2009. I was approaching 60 years of age and was in great health. I was very active – skiing, golf, boating, and working out at the gym daily.

 

In 2010 my Prostate Cancer screening test showed that my Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) had begun to rise so I was referred to a urologist. In June 2011 I had a prostate biopsy that showed that I was in the early stages of prostate cancer. A follow-up biopsy was done in March 2012, which showed that cancer and had grown and I needed to start treatment.

 

It was the kind of shocking news all cancer patients dread, and I remember feeling like I was doomed. After much consultation and research, I decided to proceed with laparoscopic radical prostatectomy.

 

My surgery was done in Windsor in June 2012 at Hotel Dieu Hospital. My surgery turned out to be very challenging and my pathology report showed that I had a higher risk of cancer returning. I was referred to see a radiation oncologist on the advice of my urologist who thought I should be looking at being treated with radiation. I began external beam radiotherapy over the course of 33 treatments.

 

My past radiation PSA only went down a bit and within months started to rise again indicating that there must be cancer cells elsewhere. I began having bladder issues and in January 2015. I had a cystoscopy and a bladder biopsy because of blood in my urine. Pathology from the biopsy indication radiation cystitis, but treatment was unsuccessful.

 

It was a very depressing time for me. I felt my cancer was spreading and I had this bleeding issue which was having a negative impact on my life. I continued to do research and was impressed with the results hyperbaric oxygen therapy had dealing with radiation cystitis.

 

In November 2015, I began treatment of radiation cystitis at Henry Ford Hospital in Michigan. I completed 60 two-hour sessions and the treatments were largely successful. By September 2016 my PSA has risen again and everything I had done so far to cure me of prostate cancer had failed. I started to look into more clinical trials and discovered P.S.M.A scans that can detect the smallest amount of prostate cancer cells before they can spread to other distant locations in my body.

 

I was accepted into a clinical trial at Princess Margaret Hospital in June 2019, and the P.M.S.A scan found 4-5 lymph nodes with prostate cancer present. After experiencing two clinical trials at Princess Margaret, the results showed too many lymph nodes involved, and I was told to seek treatment in my hometown.

 

In May 2021, I began Hormonal Therapy under the care of my oncologist who also referred me to a medical oncologist at the Windsor Regional Cancer Centre. A drug called Apolutamide was added to my treatment plan and this combination sent my PSA plummeting downward for the first time in 10 years I finally have an undetectable PSA of 0.02! My medical oncologist is closely monitoring my blood work, and I feel I’m handling the side effects of the treatment drug very well. I plan to stay on this treatment plan for years.

 

I was grateful to be able to undergo clinical trials at Princess Margaret, as the P.S.M.A scan is an important tool in diagnosing, re-staging, and monitoring cancer spread before it can become life-threatening. It is only available in clinical trials for now but having a local Cancer Centre means that once approved by Health Canada many of these treatments will be available locally.

 

This is why local fundraising is so important for our community and I am so happy and excited to be a part of it.

 

When I began my treatment some 10 years ago, I thought that I would be cured of my prostate cancer, but over the years and different treatments, I realized I would not be.

 

New treatments and therapies are just around the corner and extending the lives of many cancer patients again showing the importance of fundraising at a local community level.

 

I’m happy to be living a very full life, I’m able to travel and spend great times with my family and close friends.

 

I wake up every morning with the goal of doing everything I can to live a healthy life, with plenty of exercise, maintaining a healthy diet, and a positive attitude. I know there are things that are out of my control, and I try not to worry about them.

 

My motto has become to never ruin a perfectly good day worrying about a bad day somewhere down the road.