A Prostate Cancer Patient Journey - Mark McLain
Mark McLain, a prostate cancer patient has been battling prostate cancer for the last five years. He shares his journey through diagnoses, treatment decisions, the resources he found useful and the importance of educating yourself as a prostate cancer patient. In this intimate interview, he shares how helpful it was for him to share his story with other men with the same commonality, which he found was key in getting on top of his diagnoses.
Mark McLain, prostate cancer patient and advocate
Mark McLain: My name is Mark McLain, and I am here because I've been battling prostate cancer for the last five years.
Well, initially, when I was diagnosed, I was just all wanting to hear what he had to say, and I realized, "Boy, I know nothing about what he's talking about," and I felt I need to learn more about what's going on.
When I did finally look into finding out a little more about it, the group offered me a book about prostate cancer. So, I read the book, and it was very basic, and that really helped, so getting that information. And then they told me about cancer support groups, this prostate cancer support group they have. You know, yeah, that sounds good, so I went to that, and what a boon of information that was. Just sharing my story with all these other men with the same commonality was key in getting on top of things.
My advice for new men diagnosed with prostate cancer would be to listen intently, join a support group is so important, research it, and just remember you're not a statistic in all this. Each man's journey is going to be different, and just education is key.
Where I draw strength is ... There's a couple places, but first of all my faith in the Lord, but my wife has been very supportive. I think of the family members that I have, that is key. Just the family and the relationships are very key for me, and that's where I mainly draw my strength.
I wish I would have known it when I was first diagnosed, just how to go about ... what questions to ask. Look into it, read. I think information is power, and the more I can find out about it and my options, my personality is one that's pretty assertive anyway, I will ask those questions. I think that is key in just getting more confidence and comfortable in where you are in your journey.
If you're a person who doesn't have that more aggressive, or not comfortable asking these questions, I would definitely bring a second person with you, a support person. This has worked so well in my situation, as when the doctor speaks to me, I listen, and I'll answer right away or I'll ask questions while my wife is jotting down notes, and she's taking in, she's absorbing all this. So, as one person is probably speaking, the other person is absorbing some of this, and then she can bring up another question and lets me then discern what was said. And, of course, she's a great note-taker, so afterwards we will discuss and talk about things. What did you learn? What did you see? And we will work with it, with each other to figure out the next step in our journey.
My final thoughts is you're not a statistic. Stay strong. Find core support groups, and whatever gives you strength, work on that. Take care of yourself, and that's my final thought.