Tuesday, December 30, 2008

6 Month Update: Happy New Year!

I cannot believe its been six months since my surgery. It seems so long ago. Even though it was one of the darkest moments of my life when I found out about the cancer, it has really changed my life in such a positive way. First, I wouldn't have started this blog and met people from all over the world. I truly appreciate all the emails/posts of encouragement that I have received and also continue to pray for those who have just been diagnosed. You all have helped in my recovery along with great family support. I know I sound repetitive but I really do appreciate everyone. Second, I wouldn't have met the great folks at Athletes for a Cure (Prostate Cancer Foundation). Scott (Executive Director), Greta, Ryan and Bobbi have been so supportive in my efforts to do my first Triathlon. I was so inspired when we volunteered at the 1st annual Athletes for a Cure Triathlon at Walt Disney World in September that it changed my life and now I can run 3 miles now without a problem. Also, Santa brought me my new road bike so I could train for my first Triathlon in April. In fact the day after Christmas I ran 2.5 miles then biked for 4 miles. Before now, I had never ran more than 50 feet without passing out.

I will be registering my Triathlon to raise money for the Athletes for a Cure (Prostate Cancer Foundation) and post that information in the coming weeks. I would appreciate your support and look forward to completing my first Triathlon and raising money for the cause.

As far as my progress in 6 months, I am feeling great (as you can tell). I have minimal issues with incontinence which means I am 99.5% back to normal. My male functions continue to show signs of improvement which is good at the 6 month mark. I have so much more energy now and feel great about life! I really appreciate all my blessings. I am really looking forward to 2009 and continuing to raise awareness and money for Prostate Cancer and Prostate Cancer research.

Please keep those emails and posts coming!

Happy New Year!
Darren

6 comments:

cat dancer said...

Thank you more than I can say for this post. My husband is 55 and we just found out that he has prostate cancer. I think I was much more scared than he. This blog is a big help. Best wishes to you.

Bruce said...

Darren: My turn, I guess. On 12/15 I was (also) diagnosed. I'm 57 and have gone through the same rough times you did - disbelief then having to decide what I wanted to do. Thanks so much for your insights. I'll keep watching for your great updates.

Christian David said...

Darren, I found your blog on Chuck Gallagher's website today after a Google search for Prostate Cancer blogs. Your posts have been incredibly helpful to me. I live in Orlando but work in Ocala, and your link to the Ocala Magazine article is what drew me to your blog.
As part of my annual physical exam, my PSA test came in with a count of 8.0 in Sept. 2008. My family doctor recommended that I see a Urologist, but I was in denial. I searched the Internet for articles about the PSA test and found some that talked about the various things that can cause an elevated PSA. I was sure I must have experienced one of those anomalies, so I decided to wait three months and do the test again.
During the wait and see period, the thought that I might have prostate cancer weighed more and more on my mind. I celebrated my 60th birthday in December with family and friends -- a joyous surprise party arranged by my wife, but in the back of my mind lurked the follow up PSA.
In early January the second reading of my PSA showed it was now 13.6, telling me that I should have listened to my doctor's initial advice. I immediately made an appointment with the Urology Center in Ocala. Their DRE indicated that my prostate gland was moderately enlarged on one side with some firmness detected on that side. We have scheduled a biopsy for early in February.
My wife is an RN and a breast cancer survivor for nearly 20 years. I have many clients who are physicians, and my largest customer is MRMC, so I'm no stranger to chemo therapy and other medical procedures. Your detailed descriptions of your journey with prostate cancer gave me so much more information of a practical nature about what I'm about to experience. If the biopsy results are negative, I at least have some knowledge about what lies ahead thanks to your blog. Thank you, and God bless you.

Darren Ritch said...

Cat Dancer,

Thanks for your post, my God bless you and your husband during this time, if he wanted to email with any questions please feel free to email me at jamesdarrenritch@gmail.com.

Bruce,

Thanks for sharing your experience, its a big decision and I pray that Go will give you guidance on what to do. Please keep me posted on your progress, I will add you to my prayer list.

Christian David,

What a coincidence that you live in Orlando and work in Ocala. Its truly a small world. Also, Happy 60the birthday, that is a great milestone. You are still very young. Thanks for sharing your story, there are so many great doctors in Ocala. I am sorry that your PSA went up and wish you the best of luck with your biopsy. Please keep me posted on your progress, use the email address above. I will also add you to the prayer list, I am running my 1st 5k next Sunday and am dedicated it to everyone who has sent me an email and posted on my blog. So I will be thinking of you while I am running on Sunday along with Bruce and everyone who has contacted me in the past 7 months. God Bless!

federica said...

hi darren, my fiancee and I discovered he has PC last month and yesterday we had a negative result for bone scan...gleason 3+3 and located on the left lobe of prostate. of course we are scared but taking a lot of info to make the right decision...I forgot to tell you Andy is 41 ...we are getting married on the 11th of march...we have positive attitude and you are giving me some hope too...thank you for you blog...che dio ti benedica!
Federica and Andy (madrid)

Darren Ritch said...

Federica,

Thank you for your post. That was great the bons scan came back negative! Its hard to believe how many youngs guys are being diagnosed. I wish Andy the best and wish both of you a wonderful married and a long happy life together! Get me posted on Andy's progress.

Darren