Arnie Claeys' Prostate Cancer Journey
Arnie: Hey, my name is Arnie Claeys and I live here in Huron and I've lived here since 1987. The biggest misconception that I had is, you know, it's gonna be a later in life issue and it's real slow growing, you know. You might get it and the doctor might say we're not gonna do anything to treat it. It's a slow growing cancer and you're at such an age that there isn't anything that we need to do. You'll die of something else before you get prostate cancer. Well, I found out in my situation that prostate cancer isn't always slow growing. It can be aggressive and mine was that - it was agressive. And so that was a real misconception that I had had about it, that it's something that you're probably gonna get but it's gonna be later in life so don't worry about it. I said I didn't want to be known as that guy. My neighbor had cancer, my uncle had cancer, my dad had cancer. And so you think about all those things you don't think at the moment you're told about it. You don't think "I'm gonna beat this and get past it." You start with that human reaction of "Why me," and "I don't want to be known as that guy." At that moment you're told it so it's probably the lonliest feeling in the world. Early screening could have prevented probably all of that. It wouldn't have prevented the cancer but it would have prevented probably the spread of the cancer and the follow-up treatments. If you have a chance to write your medical story, write it. Don't let somehting else or someone else write it for you. So if you have a chance to do early sceenings or early detection so if something bad does show up or happen, you've got some options. In my case when they told me what my numbers were it had started to spread. I had no options. The option was we're gonna do surgery and it's gonna be quite invasive and you're probably gonna have to do some treatments after that because we might not get it all. I've told my boys as they were ggrowing up, I said, "You're men. Act like men. Be men." So get your screening done, man up, get it done. I mean you don't want to have to have someone else write your health story because you didn't do the screening and found out early on that there's things that could be done and give yourself some options. I don't know if they ever say that you're really cancer-free but yeah, according to those tests, yeah I'm basically cancer-free.