Real Stories
31 Jul 2019

The recurring anxiety of cancer coming back

When David Frederick was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2016, he was surprisingly calm. Only when he started telling friends and family, did he realise just how much a cancer diagnosis can send your world spinning. Three years on, he’s still not out of the woods.

My diagnosis was in October 2016, after I’d noticed there was blood in my urine. I went to see my GP, who did some tests, and I thought it would be months before I heard anything. But, surprisingly, eight days later, I got a letter to go see the consultant.

Even then, I wasn’t too worried. I’d had a heart attack a few years ago, and I’d survived that. So, I thought, how bad can it be? Then, on 18 October, the consultant said to me, “We’ve looked at the results, and you have prostate cancer and advised me that we need to start treatment straight away”

I began treatment the next day. But the seriousness of the situation didn’t really sink in until I started to tell my friends and family.
David Frederick

I told my best mate within a couple days, and when I did, I thought he was going to pass out. I’d forgotten his father had died of prostate cancer, within just six months of his diagnosis. So, he said to me, “you’re not gonna go too, are you?”.  I said, “no, I’m not”. And I remember I had to buy him two coffees to steady his nerves. 

It wasn’t any easier telling my family. I arranged for my kids, my son and two daughters, to come over for a chat. When I told them, my son who was 27, he just broke down in tears. I wanted to cry as well, but I knew I couldn’t. My daughters seemed unable to say a word. I remember thinking, wow. This isn’t just going to affect me, but everyone around me.

Thankfully, I was able to treat my cancer, as it was still contained within the prostate. I hated the hormone therapy. I felt like it did things to my mind. It made me tearful at times, and like I didn’t want to keep going.

But I got through it, and I’ve had the all clear now. Well, as clear as it can be. Because of the nature of my cancer, there’s always a risk it could come back. I have tests every six months to monitor my PSA. The thought of the cancer coming back is always in the back of my mind, but as the tests approach I get especially anxious. I try to manage my stress, but the problem is there’s nothing you can really do. Prostate cancer has a mind of its own.

I know if the cancer does come back, I’ll just have to tackle it like I did last time, and go through more treatments with a brave face.

But what worries me is how it could affect my friends and family. You quickly learn when you’re diagnosed, it’s not just about you, but everyone in your life. I don’t want to put my loved ones through that again.  

We’re funding research to put the minds of people like David and his family at ease

We’re dedicated to making sure men like David, and his loved ones, won’t have to go through prostate cancer again. And that the all clear from prostate cancer, means an all clear for life.

We’re asking the questions and funding the research that will tackle prostate cancer recurrence head-on, by finding out who is at risk of their prostate cancer returning, and what we can do to make sure it doesn’t.

You can learn more about our research into recurrent prostate cancer, or support our appeal.