John Hall has a message to share with you. The 58-year-old father of three is fighting prostate cancer. John is using his story to save the lives of the men he loves. Will you help him spread his important message?
“I have this faith that somebody, somewhere is getting closer and closer to finding treatments.”
As a fit and healthy man, John never thought prostate cancer would affect him. A silent disease in most cases, symptoms of prostate cancer are not always present until the cancer has developed and spread. Sadly, this is what has happened to John.
His battle with prostate cancer began in June last year at the young age of 57-years-old when he began experiencing severe pain in his back. After a visit to the hospital and many tests, a week later John was diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer, meaning it had spread to other parts of his body.
“I had no symptoms that I was aware of. I started developing pain in my back and then one night it just took over me,” John said.
“My PSA (prostate-specific antigen) level was something ridiculous like over 3000. The Oncologist said they had never seen a score like that before.”
Having always lived an active lifestyle John recounts how he never thought he needed to worry about regular PSA tests, which are recommended for men aged over 50 in Australia.
“You get told about the PSA test but you think it’s all alright. I never really went to the doctors even when I was sick. I played sports and kept my health up…I felt I didn’t need to worry,” John said.
“If I had had a blood test to show my PSA levels then I could have nipped this disease in the bud a long time ago. Now I’m paying the price for it. We got onto it a bit too late for me.”
Undergoing chemotherapy last year and now taking various medications, John is still doing all he can to fight the disease invading his body.
“When I was first diagnosed I had six straight sessions of chemotherapy with a three week break. By November 2015 we got my PSA down to 0.9 and I wasn’t feeling too bad,” John said.
“Normally I associate chemotherapy with going bald and losing weight but I didn’t really have any of those side effects. The joke in my family was that two months after I had finished chemo I actually had more hair than what I started with.
“When I went back in a month after chemotherapy my PSA had gone back up, which was a bit disappointing. Now I am on a new drug and also having injections once a month.”
Determined to continue to fight the disease, John is tackling his cancer head on and using his story to encourage family and friends to make sure they keep on top of their own health and have regular checks. Remarkably by doing so he saved the life of his younger brother.
“My brother who is two years younger than me went off and got tested and bang he had prostate cancer. Fortunately for him and our family, it was confined to the prostate and fully treatable,” John said.
“He told me I had saved his life. If my situation hadn’t arisen and I hadn’t alarmed him to it he wouldn’t have had the test and found he had early stage prostate cancer.
“I also sent a message out to all of my mates whose families were shocked to hear the state I was in. It was really amazing the number of my friends who went and got the test done. I thought this was a really positive thing to come from my diagnosis.”
John continues to try and lead a normal active life but finds that the combination of the disease, drugs and treatment do affect his energy levels with lethargy being a major problem.
“I am at peace with it now, I have accepted it. Whether it is misguided or not, I have this faith that somebody, somewhere is getting closer and closer to finding treatments. I’m just holding out that it comes in my time.”
With your help…we can be that somebody, by finding a cure for prostate cancer. If you would like to donate to support research into prostate cancer, click here. Thank you for your support.