Our family has suffered many losses attributed to the deadly disease, prostate cancer. Grady, James, Eugene, and Ernest Roberson may no longer be with us physically but their spirits continue to live through us. And in honor of their memory, join the Roberson Rebels in support of the 2018 Zero Prostate Cancer Run/Walk.
Take a look at the personal journey and words of advice from our family's survivor, Robert Roberson:
"My wife had been telling me about one of her bosses who had a meeting with the entire staff to encourage them to have their husbands, brothers, etc., checked for prostate cancer as he had been diagnosed and treated. He said he ignored the signs and wanted to get the word out to anyone who would listen to encourage their loved ones to get checked.
My journey with prostate cancer began in 1996. At the time, I was working at Abington Hospital. It started with me going to the bathroom every two hours or less. It was getting so bad that I couldn’t make it home without having to go to the bathroom. One night after getting home, it seemed like I had to go to the about every hour or less. I thought to myself that something was drastically wrong. At the time, I didn’t have a doctor. I called a neighbor and asked her if she had a doctor to recommend. He happened to be over in the Village Center. I went over; he examined me and thought I had a urinary tract infection. He gave me a shot, suggested I get a CT scan, and to see an urologist.
In the meantime, my wife asked around and a friend of hers recommended a doctor in the next town. Cancer of the prostate had never entered my mind. My PSA’s were low. The doctor also did the digital rectal exams. He said the prostate felt a little rough but thought everything was ok; never really getting full explanation of what was going on (through my own ignorance about Prostate Cancer). After one exam, I mentioned to the doctor that I had a brother who had recently died from Prostate Cancer (Grady). He then suggested I get a biopsy exam. The readings came back January 19, 1998, that I had a tumor on my prostate. That’s when my wife, Deb, went into action. She suggested that I get a second opinion, as my urologist was explaining “watchful waiting” as an option. He also spoke about a new procedure, “seeding,” which he didn’t know how to do, but said it was coming to the area. Deb called her friend who works for a doctor who suggested we go to the University of Pennsylvania. They saw us in one week. Our doctor there was Dr. Keith Van Ardsdalen. He told us more in one visit about Prostate Cancer than I had been told in the one and a half years with the other doctor.
Further tests confirmed that there was a tumor on my prostate, but had not spread to other parts of my body; and that I was a good candidate for the removal of the prostate. Dr. Van Ardsdalen gave us a thorough look into side effects and the prognosis following removal of the prostate. Deb was on board! She wanted it out no matter what the side effects were. The doctor said that was a battle many couples have in discussing removal and side effects. Many men opt not to have the surgery because of what might happen to them in terms of urinary leakage and sexual dysfunction. Following surgery, my family, my village helped with my post-operative recovery; that was March 25, 1998. Deb stays on me and follows me to all my doctor visits. We are happy to say, we are strolling along!
There are a few things we will say:
· Don’t ignore any symptoms,
· Get a urologist,
· Visit your urologist at least yearly, get a baseline PSA,
· If Prostate Cancer runs in your family, make sure the young men start earlier than 50 getting the rectal exam
· Let your partner (wife, girlfriend, significant other) be a part of the process" - Robert Roberson