John Phillips Talked With A Friend Who Had Fought Prostate Cancer to Get His Take on the Disease

John E. Phillips is known worldwide for his outdoors adventures, articles and books. He can reel in the monsters, and cast the best fishing story you've ever heard.  But he was at a loss for words when he learned he had prostate cancer.

John E. Phillips is known worldwide for his outdoors adventures, articles and books. He can reel in the monsters, and cast the best fishing story you've ever heard. But he was at a loss for words when he learned he had prostate cancer.

Editor’s Note: John E. Phillips is the writer who works behind the scenes every week to share a hero’s story with you.  But today we are sharing his own experience as John battled prostate cancer with the help of his family and physicians.  John not only was successful in his fight against cancer, but he was also able to continue working as a an outdoor sports writer throughout his treatment process. We sincerely hope that what you learn from John’s experience may help you, your friends and/or your family members in the ongoing battle to fight and prevent deaths from prostate cancer.

Last summer I found out that a longtime, close friend of mine, Barry Smith, had prostate cancer. I was very worried and concerned about Barry, because you didn’t often find friends who will help you like he would. I first met Barry when he worked for Alabama’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources as a fisheries biologist and then later headed-up that department at the State of Alabama.

Over the years, I’d interviewed Barry for hundreds of articles on fish and fishing. Barry and another friend of mine, Don Keller, formed their own fish hatchery and research center, American Sportfish.

 Through the research and experimentation that Barry and Don had done, they bred two new strains of largemouth bass. They called the super-aggressive northern strain the Tiger Bass, and the hybrid, a cross between the Tiger Bass and the Florida strain of black bass, the Gorilla Bass. The extremely-aggressive and fast-growing Gorilla Bass at 3- to 5-years old would weigh anywhere from 6- to 10-pounds each and continue to exhibit that aggressive feeding behavior, making these bass easy to catch on artificial lures. Through this achievement, Barry had demonstrated to me his ability to research successfully.

Barry Smith is a research expert in managing wildlife throughout Alabama.

Barry Smith is a research expert in managing wildlife throughout Alabama.

When I found out that Barry had prostate cancer, I was really concerned, but glad to know that Barry was coming to Birmingham where I live, for treatments. Often after his treatments, he’d come by our house to visit. He told me about the radiation treatment he’d had called TomoTherapy, a revolutionary new type of radiation, that combined CT imaging and delivered  radiation treatments with speed and precision, increased accuracy and decreased side effects.

To my amazement, Barry never was mentally or physically down as he battled prostate cancer. “John, I can’t believe how well my radiation has gone. I haven’t gotten sick, I haven’t had any problems, and the only effect I can tell from TomoTherapy is that instead of being able to play three sets of tennis a day, I only could play two sets toward the last couple of weeks of my treatment,” Barry shared.

Of course, when I learned I had prostate cancer, I called Barry to find out what he thought about the type of radiation he’d had and ask him for suggestions about what he thought I could do. I knew Barry already had been through what I was facing and had come out a winner.

Barry told me, “The first thing I recommend, John, is that you don’t panic. You’ve got time to do your research andfigure-out what type of treatment is best for you. From the time I was diagnosed, I spent 6 months researching the different types of treatment available for prostate cancer on the internet, and I talked to many different people who had had prostate cancer.

John took Barry's advice and visited the Kirklin Clinic for more information on TomoTherapy.

John took Barry's advice and visited the Kirklin Clinic for more information on TomoTherapy.

Some of them had incontinence problems and diarrhea and were really sick after their treatments. Others had had little or no problems from their treatments. From the internet and the people I talked with, I found out about TomoTherapy.

At the time, I was considering my treatment there were only three TomoTherapy machines in Alabama, and two of them were in Birmingham. I started researching who was the best doctor to deliver this type of treatment in Alabama and learned about Dr. John Fiveash of the Kirklin Clinic, a part of the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s (UAB) Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of about 2-dozen comprehensive cancer centers in the country.
 
Not only does Dr. Fiveash deliver this type of treatment, he has one of the longest records of follow-up care with the patients he’s treated. He also teaches other doctors how to do this TomoTherapy treatment. I really suggest you talk with him before you make a decision,” Barry recommended.
 
For more information on Dr. John Fiveash, go to www.uabradonc.com; to learn more about UAB’s Comprehensive Cancer Center, visit www3.ccc.uab.edu/; for more information on TomoTherapy, check-out www.tomotherapy.com; to learn more about John’s urologist, Dr. Rodney Dennis, visit www.urologycentersalabama.com.
 
 
About the Author: For the last 12 years, John E. Phillips of Vestavia, Alabama, has been a professional blogger for major companies, corporations and tourism associations throughout the nation. During his 24 years as Outdoor Editor for “The Birmingham Post-Herald” newspaper, he published more than 7,000 newspaper columns and sold more than 100,000 of his photos to newspapers, magazines and internet sites. He also hosted a radio show that was syndicated at 27 radio stations; created, wrote and sold a syndicated newspaper column that ran in 38 newspapers for more than a decade; and wrote and sold more than 30 books. Learn more at http://www.nighthawkpublications.com

About UroMed Catheters
Headquartered in Suwanee, GA [a suburb of Atlanta], UroMed is one of the nation’s leading providers of single-use catheters, urological and disposable medical supplies, including intermittent catheters, closed system catheters, condom catheters, pediatric catheters and continence care products. UroMed is nationally accredited for Medicare reimbursement and most state Medicaid plans, and partners with private health insurance providers and health plans to provide patients with single-use catheters, catheter kits and incontinence products. UroMed also has seven staffed regional offices located in Boston, MA; Columbia, SC; Jacksonville, FL; Dallas, TX; Carlsbad, CA; Knoxville, TN; Richmond, VA; and Baton Rouge, LA; enabling next-day delivery after a customer’s initial medical supply order. For more information, please visit http://www.uromed.com or call 1-800-841-1233.

One Response to John Phillips Talked With A Friend Who Had Fought Prostate Cancer to Get His Take on the Disease

  1. Pingback: Outdoor Writer John E. Phillips Talks about His Prostate Cancer Journey « UroMed Catheter Health Blog

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