About a year and a half ago, my Doctor noticed that my PSA was rising and he said, “Look, I’m not liking this, but let’s kind of do another 3 months, we’ll take another sample and see where it goes,” and then after that 3-month sample, he said “Look, I’m still not liking this. I don’t want to do a biopsy, but we need to do one.” I said, “Doc, listen, whatever is necessary, let’s get it done.”
After the first one, things were normal and then, another 6 months later, another blood sample. The PSA was over 5. I said, “Alright, we need to go in.”
I had some idea about the disparity thing in prostate cancer and because I was in a circle of men, we played basketball on weekends and we talk about all kinds of things. It was more about the camaraderie than us playing.
I was diagnosed in 2013, November. When I received the news, I wasn’t crestfallen. I don’t think I was shocked. I said “Okay, here I am, 50-something male, would ever be prone to prostate cancer?” and I think, that for me was, I had to kind of process that out loud.
It was the immediate inner family circle that needed to know and I have two younger brothers and my dad is still alive. He’s soon to be 85. He has an enlarged prostate, but he has no symptoms and no other issues, but I called my brother’s wife and I said, “Listen, this is what’s happening. You need to get checked out. It’s now part of the family tree.”
I didn’t want to broadcast it, partly because it was a private matter for me and the matter in which I needed to go about the treatment was something I certainly needed to face and for those in my circle of friends who I needed to get to, they understood and they said, “William, whatever it is that we can do to help you along the way, we’re there,” and it was really just a matter of phone call.
I had a lot of stress and the challenges of being a university administrator but I said, I was not going to allow anything else to get in the way of my treatment.
I was still going to the gym, playing basketball with the guys. Alright, fellows, this is what I’m going through at the moment and many of the guys I’ve been playing with in my peer group, some younger, but we needed to let them know. I needed to share with them that “Hey, if you haven’t been checked out, and if you’re not going to a doctor that you’re not bending.
I didn’t change my nutrition. I still eat a lot of greens. I sautéed broccoli, I like cabbage and I’m not a fried food eater by nature. I love desserts though. I still like a bowl of ice cream. If you give me a piece of cake, I’ll have it. That part of me didn’t change.
The challenge to me was to, especially early on, getting up two, maybe three times a night to get to the bathroom and that was a pain, I have to tell you. My sleep pattern was one that wasn’t as regular.
We need men talking about their health. It is an unselfish act. It really is.
As I talk to men and I still know guys who have not been to the doctor in how long, haven’t been to the dentist in how long, like dude, what’s up with that. First of all, your health begins in your mouth, so you have to kind of take of that. You got to know what’s going on with your ticker, you got to know what’s going with your systems.
You look at heart disease, all the silent killers, all the silent killers really, it can be prevented and looking at the news recently of the number of young black men, you had Heavy D, the rapper, you had a couple of comedians under 40, under 50 like going. Wait a minute, how does that happen? Jerome Kersey from the NBA recently. I mean Kareem Abdul-Jabbar just had quadruple bypass. My God. What does it mean?