REAL PATIENT STORIES
LUPRON DEPOT patient stories
Hear from men who take LUPRON DEPOT to treat their advanced prostate cancer
Meet Larry, husband, father, professional chef
Larry was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer in 2018.
“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.”
Like many men, Larry wasn’t expecting his diagnosis of advanced prostate cancer.
“I had no history of prostate cancer in my family. At 52, I was relatively young and in relatively good health.”
But when Larry started feeling sick, he knew he needed to get to the bottom of it. After tests and consultations, Larry and his wife finally had to hear those words from his urologist: “You have stage 4 prostate cancer.”
“Right after the diagnosis was the hardest part. My emotions were running wild. I knew what I had, but I didn’t know what my future would look like.”
Like many men, it took Larry a little while to let the shock of diagnosis sink in. But Larry wasn’t about to let the diagnosis take over his life. He started looking for support communities and found some that fit his needs.
“Men just don’t talk about prostate cancer. But in these support communities, I realized other men are going through the same things I was, and talking about it with them helped.”
Finding the right health care team was also a priority for Larry. He found a urologist with an advanced prostate cancer center.
“That’s where my wife and I met our nurse navigator. She took the time to sit down with us, help us through some difficult times, answer our questions, and make us feel informed.”
Feeling supported and informed helped Larry take a more proactive, hands-on approach to his health and his treatment.
“I thrive on being proactive, and knowing and understanding my testosterone and PSA numbers, among others, makes me feel informed and on-top of my health. With LUPRON DEPOT, keeping my PSA levels under control helps me feel empowered compared to the shock I felt after I was diagnosed.”
Larry also learned about the importance of taking care of his overall health. He started an exercise routine and put his experience as a chef into action creating healthy meals that he and his family could enjoy.
“As a chef for over 40 years, I started looking at healthy recipes and realized they’re not very good! So it became my challenge to take healthy recipes and make them taste great. It’s a passion of mine now.”
Larry knows that everyone is different—his experience is just one out of many. But he hopes that, by telling his story, he can inspire others to turn the fear and shock of diagnosis into taking an active role in their futures.
“Every person and every diagnosis is different, but I think everyone would benefit from knowing that you are part of the process—talking openly with your doctor, participating in your treatment plan, reaching out to support communities, and taking care of your overall health.”
Meet Don, father, grandfather, Army veteran
Don was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer in 2018.
“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.”
Don knew he was at risk for prostate cancer. His father had prostate cancer, and other family members on both sides of his family did, too. And as a Black American man, he was at even higher risk.
Despite knowing all this, nothing could have prepared him for the moment he received his diagnosis of advanced prostate cancer, just 1 month after his father passed away after his own battle with prostate cancer.
“I knew I was at risk, but no one can be fully prepared for the diagnosis. I think I was in a state of shock. It was even harder telling my children because they haven’t had to deal with a parent being sick—I’d been healthy most of my life.”
Don knew right away that he would have to take some control of his approach to life with advanced prostate cancer, and the first step was finding a care team that met his needs.
“My care team focused on me, the person, not just my prostate cancer. And they insisted on answering all of my questions before they’d let me leave. They also gave me a binder full of information, which helped me wrap my head around the diagnosis and how to move forward.”
The next step to moving forward was taking a proactive approach to treatment.
“Being the ‘type A’ person that I am, I got all the scans and tests done early because I wanted to be prepared and take my health into my own hands as much as I could.”
Don also turned to support communities to connect with other men with similar experiences. He quickly realized that, because of his experiences with his father, and his own experiences so far, he had a lot to give back to those communities, so he became a mentor to other men.
“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 wanted to give back and share with other men the things that my father didn’t have the opportunity to hear.”
Don knows how important it is to find relaxing activities that take his mind off of prostate cancer, so he joined a painting class at his treatment center.
“Painting calms my nerves. It lets me think about other things. I chose to paint a thriver fish because they’re so bright and colorful, and because I aspire to thrive as much as possible.”
Don is sharing his story because he wants to set an example for other men who aren’t yet comfortable talking about their prostate cancer.
“My role in helping men open up about prostate cancer is very important to me. Men don’t like to talk about prostate cancer, so sometimes it takes someone like me to share their story and get other men to start talking about it.”