I was 15 years old when I received the news that my Dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Based on the statistics, he had 5 – 10 years to live if it became metastasized. If I was lucky, I figured he would be on the longer end of the spectrum and live until I was at least 25. My Dad passed away on August 30th, 2019, just 4 days shy of my 26th birthday.
After diagnosis, the cancer spread at a steady rate and eventually metastasized, meaning it spread to his bones. We knew there was going to be a long journey ahead for my Dad but he had the determination to fight for his life and I admired him for exhibiting such strength.
Over a period of almost ten years, he went through surgery to remove his prostate, participated in multiple clinical trials testing out new drugs, spent weeks at a time away from his family receiving treatment, found out he had the BRCA gene which led to alternative treatments, underwent chemotherapy, and spent multiple days a week in the hospital receiving platelet and blood transfusions. Having cancer is a full-time job. His body was trying its hardest to recover and every decision that was made prolonged his life.
We all had hope that there would be a new breakthrough and each week when test results came back, we held our breath that they were going to be better than the last. Some weeks they were, most weeks they weren't. My Dad never gave up hope. He was waiting for the next trial, or the next drug to help save his life. I believe hope is what kept him alive for as long as it did. Because of the toll the chemotherapy took on his body, there came a point where he no longer was able to receive treatment. There was not going to be a cure. The doctors did their best to manage the pain and he went into hospice in August of 2019.
So, there wasn’t a cure in his lifetime. And there may not be a cure in my lifetime. But maybe, just maybe there will be a cure in my one-year old nephew’s lifetime. After all, The Prostate Cancer Foundation funded research which led to the development of new drugs and clinical trials that my Dad went through and with enough funding, they are getting close to the cure.
This journey was the hardest thing that any of my family members have gone through and every day was a new obstacle. I learned strength through my Dad and I will continue to be resilient and determined for him. I want to make my Dad proud. I want other people to spend time with their loved ones going through something similar for as long as they can. I want there to be opportunity for new trials and new drugs to prolong the life of other prostate cancer patients. I want to help find a cure.
In 2020, I will be hosting a series of fundraising events from September until the end of February. Please join me in this fight by donating and check out my website for more information on the monthly fundraising event! www.simplicitee.me