Learn about cancer survivor Leon Brown and how LIVESTRONG helped him during his cancer journey. Want to learn more about our programs and services? Visit LIVESTRONG.org/We-Can-Help.
When I was diagnosed with prostate cancer, it seemed as though somebody had turned off a light switch. I was in shock. I knew very little about the disease, and I was overwhelmed with all of the information that I was being bombarded with from doctors. I finally said, “I need somebody who knows about this and who can steer me in the right direction.” That’s when I found the LIVESTRONG Foundation.
They did a great job helping me learn more about my cancer and treatment options and in finding me the emotional support I needed, from my initial diagnosis through my recovery. Here’s how:
- When I called LIVESTRONG, their Cancer Navigation Services matched me up with a social worker, whom I was able to meet with the next day. They also connected me to a nurse practitioner who helped me to make sense of the doctor’s reports, to understand the type of cancer that I had and the options for treating it.
- The LIVESTRONG Guidebook was a very valuable resource to me. It contains a wealth of information about nutrition, how to deal with your emotions and where to seek support if you need it, and it can refer you to different organizations that can help, whatever your needs may be.
- LIVESTRONG connected me with an all-male support group, where I immediately learned I wasn’t alone. Each of us had our own cancer experiences, and we were able to educate and provide support to one another—to laugh together, cry together and grow together. I learned valuable information about cancer, nutrition and exercise, how to have a successful recovery and the important need to maintain a positive attitude. It strengthened me, and I was able to go on with my life because I was surrounded by a bunch of positive people and had positive activities to engage in.
I think that if most men were aware of the treatments that are out there for prostate and other cancers, they would go to the doctor more regularly. I would recommend to all men, especially those with a family history of prostate cancer, that they tell their doctors about their family’s medical history and get regular checkups and PSA screenings. Prostate cancer can be a killer, but it doesn’t have to be.
One thing I learned during this process—once you have a bout with cancer, you are forever a cancer survivor. I can now say that my life is back to normal, but I can also say that it’s back to a new normal because I have gone through experiences that have made me stronger.