March 02, 2011

The Big Speech

Today I had the honor and privilege of visiting with over three hundred members of the Johnson and  Johnson pharmaceutical team. For about 30 minutes I shared my personal story and some highlights of the challenges, concerns and opportunities of the many men fighting the battle against advanced prostate cancer.
I was more nervous than the previous times that I have discussed this topic publicly, either on local television or the radio. A large room full of people can be intimidating. 

Below is an excerpt of my introduction to my message about living with advanced prostate cancer.
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I really appreciate you providing me the time to tell my story and the personal side of what it's like living with advanced prostate cancer.

Though I will spend this time talking about my journey, at the same time I do so as a representative for all the other men out there fighting this disease. These names (referring to a slide projected on 2 large screens at the front of the room) are just 27 of the hundreds of thousands of men out there fighting this battle every day. Some of the men listed are in remission, others are in a similar situation as me, and still others are struggling more than we know. They all have stories, but just like the disease itself, and humans by nature, every one of their situations is unique.
Art G   Bob E   Brian W   Bruce L   Chuck M   Dan J   Dan Z Dom M   Don T   Eric S   Greg J
Jay D   Joel N   John A   John H John S    Kiwi Brian Ludwick   Mark H   Merle   Mike M
Scott G   Terrance   Terry H   Tom T   Tony C   Walt W
I am not a doctor, an academic, nor an expert, but I do believe I know a little more than the average patient. The primary lesson I have learned during this journey is that prostate cancer is a really, really complex disease and every single patient is different. There are men with low PSA and just a few small tumors that are in such excruciating pain that they can barley function. Then there are men like me with high PSA, extensive mets and are in no pain. It’s crazy at best.
Rik M   Rick S   Aubrey P   Steve B   Wes W
And these 5 are friends of mine that are no longer with us. One of these men fought for over 13 years, another less than two. I share these 5 names only to express that once again I am honored to represent those that have succumb and all the men out there dealing with the advanced stage of this disease.
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I continued by sharing all aspects of my personal journey; the spiritual, the nutrition and physical, the emotional and the medical.  I discussed the blog, our foundation and the fact that people from around the globe have reached out to us, recognizing that prostate cancer has no borders.

I attempted to lighten the subject with a bit of humor.It seemed to be well received.  My hope is that my audience left with a broader perspective of what we, the men with advanced PCa, go through as we battle this horrible disease.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

There's tears in my eyes right now, David...

Terrific job. I wished I coulda been there. And because of you and the way you approached it, I was. And I could not have had a better representative to speak for me...

Love ya buddy!

Tony C

Anonymous said...

David,

I was in the audience and really appreciated you sharing your story. You did a wonderful job and certainly helped us understand how important the flhw mission is. My grandfather survived prostate cancer for many years so this disease is personal to me. Continue to fight the good fight and I will too.

J

George said...

David,

Thank you so much for your courage. Even though giving a speech in front of such a large audience may not have been the most ideal setting, you succeeded in a BIG WAY! I will make sure I include you, your family and all those who have been impacted by this horrible disease in my prayers. I believe God is using you in a mighty way, thank you so much for obeying his call. Be Blessed.

George.

Anonymous said...

David,

Your courage and positive attitude are not only inspiring, but very important words to hear for those fighting cancer, caring for those with cancer and like us, those who work to insure that patients have access to medications and treatments. Thank you for speaking to us, your honesty, humor, and strength

David McD

Anonymous said...

David, thank you so much for sharing with us your courageous battle with prostate cancer. May God bless you and your family and I will keep all of you in my prayers. Best of luck in the upcoming Texas Hold em match.

Anonymous said...

David - thanks for your courage and strength, not only in speaking to us but for your willingness to share your life with all on a daily basis. We will keep you in our thoughts and prayers and will keep you in mind as we do our work daily.

A

Anonymous said...

David,
You are a true inspiration. We are so fortunate to have been able to hear your powerful words and witness your unwavering commitment to end this disease. You made a permanent impression on all of us. God Bless!

Mike said...

David,
I was very touched by your story last week and we all apprecited your courage, focus and humor. Keep fighting the fight. You are impacting peoples lives in a mighty way.

Mike

Anonymous said...

David,

I had the opportunity as well to hear your story and the stories of others last week in Philadelphia. You are a terrific example of courage and inspiration, thanks for spending time with us. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Anonymous said...

David,

I was in the audience in Philadelphia last week and was extremely touched and inspired by your talk. I truly appreciated the time you spent with us. You are an inspiration - keep up the great work as it is clear that you have and will continue to provide inspiration to many people.

Anonymous said...

David,

THANK YOU for taking time to visit with us last week in Philly. I pray that the good Lord would be with you and your family; that the peace that only He can give will guard your heart and mind.
I was once again convicted on how often I am too caught up in our “business” that I lose sight the person. You did bring a much needed perspective.

Thanks
Scott

Anonymous said...

David,

I too was in the audience truly appreciate your courage in sharing your story with us. You touched everyone with your determination and faith based approach to winning the battle against prostate cancer while helping others along the way. You're making a huge difference in peoples lives and you should be very proud of all that you have and will continue to accomplish. God bless you David! May you live a long and fulfilling life.

Anonymous said...

David,
Thank you for your gift of inspiration in your amazing speech in Philly. My admiration for you and your wife is limitless. Your Grace and Faith give us all reason to believe in the hope for a cure. I pray for your continued strength and that you have the opportunity to treasure many, many moments you have with your family and loved ones. I pray that we develop a drug to "Cure" Prostate Cancer soon, as the world is a much more wonderful place with you in it.

God Bless You!
JW

Anonymous said...

David,

Thank you for sharing your story with us last week in Philadelphia. You are a testament to the power of Faith Love & Hope. It takes a lot of courage and grace to fight the disease and also take on the role you have in connecting men diagnosed with advanced PCa (and educating the rest of us at the same time). My thoughts will remain with you, your family, and all the men fighting the disease.

EW

Anonymous said...

David,

Thank you for sharing your story with us last week and for representing others who battle this terrible disease in the manner that you do…you all are truly an inspiration. I thank God for people like you, who in their own time of need, selflessly help others on a grand scale. Thank you for all that you do, and I know that you will continue to be a positive impact on the lives of others.

G

kathy said...

David, Thanks so much to you and your wife for coming to Philly and talking to our group. You are both such an inspiration in the fight against cancer. This disease touches us all through family and friends.
I will continue to follow your progress on your blog. God bless you and your family. Kathy

Anonymous said...

David,

You did an outstanding job of showing what bravery, courage, and humor can do for the human spirit. You are an inspiration and I thank-you for sharing your story with us.

Warm regards,

Michael W

Anonymous said...

I was also in attendance last week. Hearing you speak was truly an inspiration.

Anonymous said...

David,
You were AWESOME last week!! To hear your story was very powerful for everyone in the room. Having gone through my brother-in-law's fight against advanced pancreatic cancer, I have seen true courage up close...and you possess that same courage. We were truly fortunate to hear your speech. Keep up your commitment to the fight. Keep asking questions and pushing for the answers. We will all be there praying for you moving forward! Thanks again for the chance to hear your empowering story. And good luck with the dockers contest. My vote for YOU is in the books.

Respectfully,
Inspired in Philly

Anonymous said...

David,

You demonstrated the power of one in front of hundreds of people in Philadelphia last week!

I lost my Father to Prostate Cancer as have several of my friends.

Power of the mind, empowering the body with the support of loved ones to fight cancer is so much more powerful than people realize and you bronght those ideals to so many people including myself.

You changed the way I think and live my life - Thank you David!
You are an inspiration now to so many.

Thank you - Mark W

Rebecca said...

David,
Thank you so much for having the courage to address our group last week in Philly. I continue to stand in complete amazement of those who can fight this horrific disease with such grace and strength. My prayers are with you, your wife, and your son for many more birthdays, holidays, and everydays, spent together creating more wonderful memories. May God keep you close in his grace.
Respectfully,
RLS

Anonymous said...

David,
You gave me a whole new perspective on prostate cancer and the impact that the disease has on so many. I appreciate the courage it took for you to provide such a personal account of prostate cancer and how the battle has influenced your life. Continue to push for the answers and know that you are having impact! May God bless you and your family.
Ken

Anonymous said...

David,

It has been a while since I read yoru blog and decided to get caught up today. You continue to amaze me and you truly are an ambassador of God and for the many men who face this terrible disease. I do believe you were meant to do what you are doing today. God bless you and yours and continued prayers for a total cure for you and all the others who battle caner in any form.