Meet Larry and Don
As men diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer, Larry and Don are going through many of the same things that other diagnosed men are going through. Now, they're sharing their experiences with you.
Larry’s Journey with Advanced Prostate Cancer
Larry opens up about the anxiety he felt after his diagnosis, his positive relationship with his care team, and how his passion for cooking has helped him through it all.
“Hello. My name is Larry. I've been a professional chef for 40 years. One of my greatest passions is my home garden. I cook almost everything that comes out of there. I feel cooking brings me so much joy. It takes my mind off of what’s happening in life.
Two years ago, I was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer. My wife was with me when we went to the urologist, and when he came in – and really just sat down and said, "Hey, I have some bad news. You have stage 4 prostate cancer." After that you don't hear anything else. I didn't really know what he said after that, I was in such shock.
And at that point is when your body kind of shuts down, your mind shuts down, and you start anxiety and worrying. You hear the cancer word…
Both my children were in college and Thanksgiving was coming. We were going to see them at Thanksgiving, so we decided to kind of get more information, process our self, and go through, get all the scans and see what's going on, get everything finalized before we would tell the children.
Right after diagnosis, to me, was the hardest part. You know what you have, but you're not quite sure of what the future is.
So, you start getting anxiety, you start thinking about things. You start thinking about, “am I going to see grandchildren, am I going to see my daughter get married, am I going to see my son get married?” Those are things that you start to get really upset about.
Your emotions are running wild. So, I really think that first three month-period is a hard time because you don't understand the disease, you don't understand the treatment. I was lucky enough that my urologist has an advanced prostate cancer center and there's a nurse navigator there who took the time and actually met with my wife and I.
She met us after hours at the office and she prepared a binder for us, and she went through the binder with my wife and I and explained this is the ADT treatment and this is what you're going to be on.
I've been taking Lupron Depot for my advanced prostate cancer since shortly after my diagnosis.
The doctor talked to me about the side effects of the injection. He laid out the possible things that could happen and what were the most common. I started with the six-month dose. We wanted to test the PSA and the testosterone more often. So, I now get a three-month dose and I also get my testing of my testosterone at that time.
Being a chef, I started looking at healthy recipes. I focus in on creating a meal that tastes great.
I make something, people sit down, they eat it, we share it, they love it, and it makes them feel good. That makes me feel good.”
Don’s Journey with Advanced Prostate Cancer
Don reveals the shock of his diagnosis, his role as a mentor in the prostate cancer community, and how his new-found interest in painting helps him cope with stress.
“My name is Don. I have two adult children and one grandchild. I’m married, been married for 35 years. I’m an army veteran of 25 years, and also a Department of the Army Civilian for 10 years.
What makes me really happy is spending time with my family. I also like to do a little golfing and some bowling with my family. When I’m doing those things, I basically forget about cancer and enjoy life.
This is my Thriver Fish. I needed to find a way to have some calmness and insight in my life, so I wanted to get in to painting, and painting is something that brightens me up, and I even got one of my pieces that I had painted in a virtual show. It gets you through to thinking about something else other than all the stuff in life that you’re going through.
My history with prostate cancer begins with my father. He succumbed to prostate cancer in 2018. That was one month before I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. My uncles on my mother’s side, have had prostate cancer, so really prostate cancer is on both sides of my family.
In September 2017, I actually passed out at work, and so I was transported to the local hospital, where they ran many tests, but they couldn’t find out anything. When I went to the urologist, he noticed that the PSA was high. He told me that I had advanced prostate cancer.
I think I was in a state of shock, because I called my wife, I just blurted it out.
It really helps to have a care team that looks at you as a whole person and cares about you and knows your situation. Knowing that, it eased my anxiety. It kind of lifted me up and gave me a reason to want to move forward.
The discussion with my care team surrounded of which LUPRON DEPOT that I would take. Would I take the three-month LUPRON DEPOT or would I take the six-month LUPRON DEPOT? And so, after all the information that my care team gave me, it was decided that I would take the six-month LUPRON DEPOT, and as my treatment got further along, we’ll reassess whether or not to stay at six months or go to a different length of period.
After I started Lupron Depot as my ADT, I’ve been able to keep my PSA and testosterone levels within the goal levels my doctors want.
I’m a mentor to honor my father, because he didn’t have a mentor. He had no one to tell him about prostate cancer. I thought that that would honor him, if I shared with other men the things that he didn’t have the opportunity for someone to share with him.”
Individual results may vary.
About LUPRON DEPOT
LUPRON DEPOT is a hormonal therapy for patients with advanced prostate cancer that lowers testosterone levels. Learn more about what LUPRON DEPOT is and how it works.
Getting started on LUPRON DEPOT
Being informed is a positive first step in your LUPRON DEPOT treatment experience. Find out more about what to expect while taking LUPRON DEPOT for treatment.
Support PLUS Specialists*
Get personalized support throughout your treatment journey with a dedicated LUPRON DEPOT specialist.
*Support PLUS Specialists are provided by AbbVie and do not work under the direction of a healthcare professional (HCP) or give medical advice. They are trained to direct patients to speak with their HCP for treatment-related advice, including further referrals.