Lex’s Uncle

What follows was submitted by a KTKC supporter, Lex, on the KTKC site.  In gaining her permission to publish her stories, we briefly exchanged emails.  In her last response she said, “This campaign isn’t about me, or my uncle, but if you feel that the story I shared with you last night is one worth sharing, if you feel it can get even one more person to pay attention to this campaign, and to get themselves talking or to their doctor, please share it however you feel appropriate!”

Lex, I disagree.  This campaign is exactly about you and your uncle.  Cancer, in all its insidious forms, effect all of us.  The more awareness we raise, the less that disease can grip our lives.  You’ve just made its grasp more tenuous.

I have two very personal connections to male-specific cancers that I would like to take a moment to share with you.  Just seven days ago, on August 24, I buried my uncle after he lost his battle with the ravages of cancer.  He was a month shy of his fifty-fourth birthday.  Like many men, he was stubborn to the core.  He rarely went to his doctor and when he did, it certainly wasn’t for things like prostate exams.  

Thankfully, the second story I have to share is a much happier one.  A friend, and fellow EMSer, underwent an orchiectomy (surgical removal of a testicle) late last year.  Following a biopsy, it was found that there were indeed cancerous cells present inside of the testicle.  An appointment was scheduled with an oncologist and we all prepared for him to begin chemotherapy or radiation, or some combination thereof.  Imagine our surprise when he returned to inform us that the oncology team had inspected the tumor and determined that the margins were lean and he would have to undergo any additional treatments…at least not for now.  He still has to frequently report back to the oncologist, but it has been nearly a year post-surgery and he is still cancer-free!

What a difference early detection and diagnosis can make!

Hearing and reading the passions with which the two of you discuss this campaign, I can only hope that you will touch the ears and hearts of men, and for that matter women, across our industries and beyond.  Each October, men freely wear pink to support women in our battle against breast cancer and for that I am sure I’m not alone when I say thank you, but now it is time for us women to band together with our men and support you all in any way that we can.  I don’t think women wearing kilts will have quite the same wow factor that our men will, but I’m not going to let that stop me from spreading the word about your campaign in any way I can.  As you said, if even one man get his butt (pun fully intended) in to his doctor, then you have made a difference!

Well done!

***Do you have a story to share?  We want to hear it!  Use the “Contact Us” link and we’ll publish your story of survival or your story of loss.  We want to make an impact and make people aware of the reality (triumphs and tragedies) of cancer.***