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  • Writer's pictureRobin Masters

Men's Health & Prostate Cancer

Updated: Aug 20, 2021

Recently I was able to have a sit down with one of our participants from the SIRvivor Prostate Cancer Exercise Program at New Westminster's Century House. As November is a month that shines focus on men's health, I thought this might make a good read. RM: Good to see you Lawrence.

LB: Good to see you as well.

RM: Good that you're taking the SIRvivor program now online. We just wanted to sort of chat with you and see how you were feeling about your experience with the SIRvivor program that you took this past Spring in person at Century House. I was just curious as to how you came about to hear of the program in New Westminster?

LB: It was through my support group. The Tri-City Support Group. They sent a memo around to all the members and said if anybody was interested, of course I came forward and enrolled. Simple as that.

RM: I wondered what you enjoyed most about being involved in the group with the people that you met and the comrades that you had?

LB: Yes, well there's two two aspects that I enjoyed. The camaraderie with the other survivors and I also enjoyed that it forced me to exercise in a routine manner. I found that very, very beneficial.

RM: Who would you recommend the program to from your experience?

LB: I'd recommend it certainly. I'd recommend it to somebody who's going through what I'm going through and that could be at different stages, because you can modify the program to meet needs. So for example if somebody is further down the road I still think they can do the exercise but it may not be quite as strenuous.

RM: Where did you feel that you got the most benefit? Was it in the actual exercises, was it the scheduling or was it the camaraderie that you mentioned?

LB: I think it's the exercises, combined with the scheduling, quite frankly. The two go together you know. The fact that you're doing it twice a week it forced you. I found after it finished because COVID hit, it was much harder to exercise on your own.

RM: So you had the consistency with the program that kept you seeing slight improvements and kept you staying the course?

LB: Exactly!

RM: Through better days and the not so good?

LB: Absolutely.

RM: Do you think that it is an easily accessible program to enter into at any stage of dealing with prostate cancer or would you suggest that there's a better time than others?

LB: Well if you just had the surgery for example no that's probably not a good time or if you're going through radiation at the moment that's probably not a good time either you know. You've got enough to think about at that point in time. So typically I would say that with most of my friends it would be going through it post surgery or post radiation. There is a group, an active group involved where they're just watching. They're waiting and watching to see if the exercise would be good for them. Because in two ways it would prepare them so that they're fit enough to do the surgery because that becomes an issue for people who have prostate cancer. The guys sometimes, some of them are not fit enough to have the surgery. Right so you know if they're in a waiting period then it's probably not a bad idea to begin exercising to get yourself into a better condition so you can get yourself through the surgery.

RM: I think that speaks for the state of mind as well and the emotion being confronted with facing that kind of assertion.

LB: Absolutely yes! I mean state of mind is a critical part of this whole process and I probably didn't mention that before but yes the state of mind is a very, very important aspect to it. You feel as if you, when you get prostate cancer or when you get any cancer you feel as if you lose a lot. You lose this sense of being in control of your life and if you can exercise and it gives you an element of control, it brings back that feeling of it so that's a very positive emotional thing to get to go through.

RM: Speaking of exercise, why don't we run through just a couple of things, okay?

We concluded our session with some gentle exercise moves from the program and my guest was on his way. So there you have it from a participant in the New Westminster classes who was a delight to see again and who graciously and candidly shared his experience. This is a men's health issue that all men can be proactive about in their lives with exercise and early diagnosis. My special thanks to LB for his time to speak on behalf of the SIRvivor program and for sharing his personal journey.

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