I was really not very aware of cancer's reach until a friend contracted prostate cancer about 20 years ago. Soon after that, another friend was diagnosed with the same illness and, shortly thereafter, I awoke from a colonoscopy to learn that I had cancer.
A year of chemotherapy followed that — along with family love, the care of a superb oncologist, Louis Vandermolen, a support group at Hoag Hospital, and a strong will to survive — completely cured me.
All was well for 10 years until I received another grim diagnosis: prostate cancer of a quite virulent type. At this point, one begins to feel a bit like the biblical Job who initially blessed God despite a succession of catastrophes but ultimately began to rage against the Almighty for his afflictions. But once again, I summoned a full-court press, including chemotherapy and radiation, to fight the malady to the point of being progression free.