In Honor of Prostate Cancer Awareness Month…
September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and we are honored to share the story of Jerome Davis, an active member of our Prostate Cancer Networking Group. Thanks, Jerome, for sharing your story!
When Jerome Davis was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2005, he had plenty of questions. After a year of struggling on his own with treatment plans he did not feel were right for him, he found answers, and much more, at the Prostate Cancer Networking Group offered by the Cancer Support Community Valley/Ventura/Santa Barbara (CSCVVSB).
The first doctor Jerome visited after his diagnosis suggested an aggressive treatment with the possibility of serious side effects – all without examining him to find out how serious the cancer was and where it was located. “The first thing I said to my wife when we got in the car after that visit was: ‘I’m NOT doing that,’” recalls Jerome.
But Jerome was not sure where to turn next. “I struggled all through 2006 not knowing what to do, but just knowing that I didn’t like what I was hearing,” says Jerome.
When he read in the newspaper about a guest speaker coming to CSCVVSB’s Prostate Cancer Networking Group, he did not hesitate to sign up. “There I found a whole bunch of people who knew a whole lot about prostate cancer, and I was thrilled.”
Jerome has not missed a meeting of the Prostate Cancer Networking Group in four years. With the knowledge and support he found there, he was able to meet with radiologists and oncologists who helped him achieve “active surveillance” – monitoring PSA levels, doing annual imaging of the prostate, and taking medications recommended by his doctors.
“I’m very grateful to my doctors for starting my PSAs [Prostate-Specific Antigen Tests] as early as they did because now I have an extremely good set of records to help guide me through the process of determining whether and what type of treatment I need,” says Jerome.
The Prostate Cancer Networking Group helped Jerome find answers to his questions, but it also gave him emotional support to stay strong during the experience. “I can’t emphasize enough how much the Cancer Support Community has helped me.”
Being a cancer survivor has also inspired Jerome to adopt a healthier lifestyle. He lost 50 pounds after transforming his diet, walks three miles every morning, and works out twice a week. “My energy levels are excellent,” says Jerome.
Jerome and his wife have five children and live in Thousand Oaks. In addition to staying physically active, Jerome, a retired production engineer, enjoys making wood art.