Guard That Goal

By Dan Hennessey

At age 49, happily married and the father of two girls, prostate cancer was the last thing on my mind. My work as a realtor kept me on the go day and night, and I stayed fit playing hockey and golf and running. But some things seem to catch up to you no matter your age or lifestyle. The new doctor in my life, Dr. Andrew Humphrey, noticed that I hadn’t had the dreaded annual rectal exam in a few years. This test saved my life, I believe, but also changed it forever. Dr. Humphrey was quick to refer me to a urologist, Dr. Greg Bailly, who sent me for a biopsy.

All this occurred early in December 2005. But with Christmas approaching, the results would have to wait until January 2006. This holiday was one to remember, with thoughts of what the future might bring always on my mind.

The day I received the call from Dr. Bailly telling me that I had prostate cancer, my wife was away on business and I was at home with our one-year-old. Thoughts spun around in my head: Wasn’t this something that older men got? How fast can we get this thing [...] continue the story

Calm in the face of cancer

By Fernand Gingras December 1, 2011

I wasn’t overly concerned about my health when I decided to respond to an ad published in a Québec newspaper by the Centre hospitalier de l’Université Laval: Dr. Fernand Labrie was looking for men for a study on prostate cancer. Like the rest of the participants, I agreed to have an annual digital rectal exam (DRE) and a prostate-specific antigent (PSA) blood test — that was all there was to it. And for five or six years, nothing came of these tests.

When my PSA started to rise, however, I was advised not to take any chances due to my family history — my father had died from complications of prostate cancer. In fact, as it turned out, I learned that I also had the disease. My doctor went through all the different treatment options with me: prostatectomy, radiation therapy, active surveillance (not recommended in my case), etc. After doing my research and discussing further with my doctor, I settled on brachytherapy (radioactive implants), because it seemed to me that this treatment would be less exacting and the side effects less bothersome.

It was the lead-up to the procedure that I found particularly difficult. I had several biopsies, [...] continue the story