The previous two Journal entries shared a lot of my personal stuff. I did this knowing that it could end a lot of my work in the film business (sadly, a lot of film people get really spooked and often sever relationships over this kind of news). Knowing this risk, why would I do this?
1) I’m hoping that my male fans and friends will use this as a reminder to get their PSA checked on a regular basis and — this is really important — to have their current PSA score compared to their previous one. As I stated, just because you have a PSA score in the normal range doesn’t mean you don’t have something wrong with your prostate.
2) It will hopefully work as a reminder that early detection increases the possibity for a cure. My father-in-law died from prostate cancer. It was an awful, agonizing, painful death. But he waited until he had blood in his urine for a year or two before he told anyone.
3) I’m hoping that by sharing the details of what I went through, as horrible as some of it was for me, that it will demystify this experience for a lot of guys; and that even as awful as a lot of it was, I was still able to laugh at it later.
4) I want my friends, fans and family to be well informed. Without a PSA check, here are some of the warning signs that something might be wrong with your prostate: not being able to hold your urine; getting up at night to pee; stop-and-start urination; weak urine flow; blood in your urine; hesitancy in starting urination; difficulty in stopping urination; dribbling after urination; and difficulty in urination.
5) This all should be a reminder that there is a lot in life to be thankful for and to look forward to — even when sideswiped along life’s path by some terrible illness or disease or accident. There is life — and a good life — even after something as awful as cancer.
6) Remember that nothing is constant — everything changes. Appreciate the good things — such as family, friends, love, life, art, music, beauty — while they are here. Do not fear change; it is inevitable and it makes what we hold dear in life that much more precious.
So, really, my choice in whether or not to go public with my condition was 1) Don’t do it, keep it secret and protect my hireability or 2) Go public and perhaps save a few lives and lose a few gigs. I opted for the latter.
Go get checked!