Prostate cancer survivor David – ‘Some people don’t know what to say to you’
“My cancer was very manageable – but if I had discovered it four years later it would have been a very different story.”
The words of David Simons’ consultant still ring in his years four years on from the fateful moment of his prostate cancer diagnosis in 2017.
Tests had picked up an issue with David’s prostate during routine check-ups with his GP. He was initially told it may have been nothing, but after further monitoring was eventually referred to a specialist.
By the end of August 2017 David had gone through an MRI which discovered two tumours in the area and a subsequent biopsy, the results from which he was expecting to hear back on the following month.
The Killiney native, then aged 59, was just about to set off on his holidays when he got a surprise call from his doctor asking him to come in.
After hearing that surgery would be necessary, he was brought in the following month and the rest is history as David sees it, but he was thankful that the problem was dealt with so early.
It was very early stages. I wasn’t overly-worried.
"When I told my wife that I wanted to put together a bucket list after getting my diagnosis, she told me to start by painting the two bedrooms in the house because I wasn’t going to die!” jokes David, who says his association with the Irish Cancer Society goes back over two decades after a brochure from then-named Conquer Cancer helped him to quit smoking.
Looking back, David is keen to share advice that may be of assistance to others from his own experience.
He describes his mind as having “gone AWAL” when receiving the news, and counts himself fortunate to have had his wife by his side during appointments to help take in information.
Now retired, the former golf club chef manager was careful not to rush back to work early while recovering after an initial bad experience soon after his biopsy, and he says people may find that some relationships change over the course of a cancer journey.
“Some people were great, with cards and flowers and staying in touch. Others didn’t know what to say or do, and so said and did nothing.
“I was out walking one day when a neighbour told me they hadn’t seen me in a while. I explained what had happened, and they mentioned that Noel up the road had the same thing. Sure enough, Noel came over after and the two of us had a good chat about our experiences, which was very helpful.
David finishes with one last piece of advice: “My motto now is definitely: if in doubt, get it checked out.”
Contact the Irish Cancer Society Support Line
If you have worries or concerns about cancer, you can speak confidentially to an Irish Cancer Society Cancer Nurse through the Freephone Support Line on 1800 200 700.
Monday to Friday, 9.00am - 5.00pm
For more information