Steve’s Story - Written by Craig Rhodes
Nexia NZ are supporting Mens Health through November. Yesterday, as part of this fund raising campaign, we were fortunate to hear from Steve Benton of Rede Advisers. Steve took the time to share with us his experience of dealing with Prostate Cancer for the last 5 years.
Steve had the audience totally mesmerised for a full forty minutes with his frank, sincere, and at times scary recollection of his life after receiving THAT CALL – ‘you have tested positive for cancer’.
The story starts with Steve describing his symptoms and his belief that reduced urinary flow was just a sign of age. He never thought it was serious. Despite having many friends who are doctors, he stupidly did not share his health problems. Eventually his reduced flow became severe and he had to seek medical help. An operation followed to enlarge the prostate opening (TURP) resulting in Steve having a catheter inserted to assist him in his basic urinary functions. A mechanical malfunction led to several awkward moments, which culminated in his adaption of a rubber band to solve the problem. This rather agricultural remedy became well known in the specialists rooms and hospitals that Steve had to frequent.
And then THAT CALL came advising of his Prostate Cancer. It was an aggressively growing cancer and life became a whole lot more difficult from that time. Within a few months of the call, Steve was in hospital having a second operation to remove his prostate. This operation was performed robotically and it was hoped that all the cancer was removed. For three years this appeared to be the case. Unfortunately, earlier this year his blood test revealed a low PSA reading. A second blood test showed an increase in the PSA reading and he was told the cancer had returned.
A CAT scan followed in an effort to identify where the cancer was growing. Radioactive liquid was injected into his blood stream and he spent 90 minutes inside a tunnel like machine while his body was dissected slice by slice. The results showed the return of the cancer in his lower abdomen below where the prostate used to be.
Steve was advised there was a curable prognosis and elected the most aggressive treatment option. He has endured 6 months of Hormone Treatment and is currently finishing eight weeks of daily Radiation Therapy. The side effects are significant with discomfort, bleeding, fatigue, and urinary and bowel issues, to name a few.
In addition to the physical discomfort, Steve advised that his costs to date are in excess of $150,000.
So, what were Steve’s takeaways?
- Get checked regularly. Cancer is a 21st century disease and is curable if caught early enough. Do not ignore the symptoms, early detection saves lives.
- Share your concerns. Being staunch, and stubborn, and competitive, is fine in business, is even better on the sports field, but dangerous in the doctors waiting room. Share the load, especially with those close to you. All the money in the world is of no value if you do not have your health.
- Get insurance cover now before it is too late. Don’t rely on your employer – it is your health and your body to look after. Take ownership.
We thank Steve for having the courage to share his story with us and raise the general knowledge and awareness of Prostate Cancer.
You are a great person Steve, and we hope this story can help others identify any potential problems early. We wish you all the best for your ongoing fight.
Why wait? Go ahead and make that doctors appointment now.
To learn more about prostate cancer, click here to visit the Movember website.