Colin Taylor, 53, was diagnosed with prostate cancer five years ago. He tells us why the experiences he had at different stages of treatment showed him that health professionals like you are vital to Men United.
“I was diagnosed with prostate cancer at the age of 49. It was a stage three and I needed to do something quickly. I rang my wife and told her that I had cancer. ‘Okay, we’ll deal with it,’ she said. ‘We’ll put trust in the people that we’re dealing with,’ and that’s what we did.
“I remember being referred to a man named Mr Cross, a surgeon. He explained to me where the cancer was, the different stages, and showed me what he could do. He also said that there were some new breakthroughs in brachytherapy and radiotherapy. He didn’t really recommend anything but gave me the facts about everything and that was superb. He explained it clearly, professionally and sent me away to make the decisions myself.
“I had total trust in him because of the way he explained it and the way he gave me the choices. I could see that there was light at the end of the tunnel.
“At that point he also gave me booklet from Prostate Cancer UK. I found it invaluable, because I really wanted to know more about what the options were, and what the prognosis was of a stage one compared to a stage three. I had no idea of things like that, but it was all there, written in a clear and simple way. I was able to read through it, follow it and understand it a little bit.
The help I received from the nurse afterwards was brilliant.
“I actually originally went and tried to Google all sorts of things. I put loads of different questions in and I would have been better sticking to the simple information that was provided by Prostate Cancer UK because that was what I needed.
“The idea of robotic surgery suited me and that was the angle I decided to take. And the help I received from the nurse afterwards was brilliant. I explained what I’d been through and she checked all my details and organised my incontinence pads. Prior to that I really hadn’t got an idea what incontinence pads were. I might have seen brands in Asda but I needed more than that.
"The nurse discussed the levels of incontinence I might have, and gave me various options of protection that wouldn’t affect my work because the main thing I was focusing on was getting back to work. I listened to her, did my pelvic floor exercises and I got back to work and back to being me. Five years on and I’m now a guy that can go to the gym, play rugby with my son, can go out and fly my toy helicopter with my grandson and run round the park.
You’re at the frontline making things better for men. I think you need more recognition.
”Mr Cross, Prostate Cancer UK and the people at the hospital gave me the confidence and the ability to get through this and that’s why I’m part of Men United and why I do what I can to give back. I’ve volunteered, raised money, you name it. And I’ll keep doing it because if it helps anybody else then that’s a fantastic thing.
“Men United is about people coming together to fight prostate cancer, building a movement for men. So consultants like Mr Cross and health professionals like you are at the heart of Men United to me. You’re at the frontline making things better for men. I think you need more recognition and I’m pleased that I’m here today to be able to thank you for all that you do.
“I think we’ve got superb systems out there, we’ve got an excellent health service, we’ve got an excellent hospital service and I think I had the best treatment that I possibly could have had.
“Of course we can always strive to do better and I know some men aren’t as lucky as me. But I know you’re doing your best for blokes like me around the country. So thank you for everything you’re doing.”
Men United member