John Phillips Knows the Best Advice about Cancer Isn’t Always the Best Advice

John E. Phillips is known worldwide for his outdoors adventures, articles and books. He's perfectly capable of hunting down every major animal in the wild, but was thrown for a loop when it came time to take on cancer.

John E. Phillips is known worldwide for his outdoors adventures, articles and books. He's perfectly capable of hunting down every major animal in the wild, but was thrown for a loop when it came time to take on 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. Part 3 of a 5-part series.

One in six men in the United States will have prostate cancer, and more than 65% of all prostate cancers are diagnosed in men over the age of 65. Through John E. Phillips’ 5-month odyssey, he learned that prostate cancer doesn’t have to be a death sentence, and the treatment for it doesn’t have to hurt or have severe side effects. If your prostate cancer is discovered early, treatment doesn’t have to be a major discomfort or interfere with your life. However, all prostate cancer isn’t the same, and the same treatment isn’t recommended for everyone. The more you know about the diagnosis and the treatment of prostate cancer not only can save your life but also offset many of the fears and the concerns you’ll have after your initial diagnosis.

From 5-year-old kindergarten through two degrees in college, I’ve had my daughter Kate in the best private schools I could find. She has a college degree in nursing and a degree in journalism, and I’m convinced that she knows most everything there is to know in the known world.
 
My son-in-law, Joe, is one of the best doctors I’ve ever met. He handles everything from shootings and stabbings to heart attacks and near-death experiences in the emergency room.
John's daughter Kate, her husband Joe and their two sets of amazing twins!

John's daughter Kate, her husband Joe and their two sets of amazing twins!

If I’m sick or hurt, these two are who I go to for advice. I have a huge medical resource at my fingertips. Both of them understand how to study and research anything they don’t know. Once they found out I had prostate cancer, they cranked-up the computer and begin to look for and learn about the best treatment they could find for me.

When it comes to treating cancer, it's easy to understand why a nurse and a doctor wouldn't take the advice of a fisherman like Barry right away. That's why they researched all the options and consulted with John's physicians before making a decision.

When it comes to treating cancer, it's easy to understand why a nurse and a doctor wouldn't take the advice of a fisherman like Barry right away. That's why they researched all the options and consulted with John's physicians before making a decision.

When I mentioned Barry Smith, they gave me the usual, “Yeah, Dad, he’s a good friend, and I know he wants to help, but he’s not a medical person. We need to research the effects of all forms of prostate-cancer treatment and the long-term results. Then we can help you decide on what’s best for you. We really think you should consider the standard 48 days worth of radiation that’s been tried and tested for many years. But we will research TomoTherapy and Dr. Fiveash as well.”

First of all, you can ask almost any child, and he or she will tell you they know more than their Daddy does. However, what Kate and Joe didn’t realize was that Barry Smith was a research scientist, although his research was primarily with fish. But Barry knew how to research and find out what he didn’t know.

I called Barry again, told him what my daughter and son-in-law had suggested, and Barry said, “John, I’ve never really asked you for anything as long as I’ve known you, have I?” I thought for a moment and said, “No, Barry you never have.”

Barry said, “John, I’m asking you now as a friend to make an appointment with Dr. John Fiveash at UAB’s Kirklin Clinic, get a second opinion and talk with him about TomoTherapy. I know your daughter and your son-in-law want what’s best for you, but since they’re both medical people, they should understand that you can’t lose by getting a second opinion. If for no other reason than our friendship, I’m asking you to do this for me.”

I assured Barry that I would meet with Dr. Fiveash for a second opinion, and that I would discuss TomoTherapy with him.

John goes to meet Dr. Fiveash at the Kirklin Clinic.

John goes to meet Dr. Fiveash at the Kirklin Clinic.

When I told my daughter I was going for a second opinion, she agreed that it was a good idea and added, “I’m going with you, Daddy. I know more about medicine than you do, and there are some questions I want to ask Dr. Fiveash.” I’m thankful that I have a daughter, a son-in-law and a son who not only care about my health but intend to be involved and help me make right decisions.

So, we went to the Kirklin Clinic at the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s (UAB) Comprehensive Cancer Center, known nationally as one of the top cancer centers anywhere and on the cutting edge of searching for cures for all types of cancer.
 
Before my daughter and I went to UAB, she did her research on Dr. Fiveash and probably knew as much about him as his mother did. She researched TomoTherapy and agreed that we needed to consider it after she had gone with me to talk with Dr. Fiveash.
 
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.

2 Responses to John Phillips Knows the Best Advice about Cancer Isn’t Always the Best Advice

  1. Pingback: John Phillips Talked With A Friend Who Had Fought Prostate Cancer to Get His Take on the Disease « UroMed Catheter Health Blog

  2. Heather says:

    This particular article, “John Phillips Knows the Best Advice
    about Cancer Isn’t Always the Best Advice – UroMed” shows that u
    really fully understand everything that you are speaking about!
    I really entirely agree with your post. With thanks -Lewis

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