A Survivors Story: Bill Grant

July 19, 2016

Bill Grant recently turned 85. Born in New Haven, he moved to Meriden many years ago to be with his wife and her family. His successful career with Western Electric (now what we know as AT& T) allowed him to travel all over New England before he retired at the spry age of 57. Having lived through the Great Depression and World War II, Bill says he's always felt lucky and blessed to make it through such hardship.

But in 2005, life threw Bill a curveball: a prostate cancer diagnosis. Doctors discovered that his PSA levels were elevated following a routine physical. After more testing, the diagnosis was confirmed. Despite the option to start treatment immediately, Bill decided to wait a few months so he could travel to Florida for the winter as he always did. He was 80 at the time - and he vowed that nothing was going to stop him from living his life - not even cancer.

When he returned from his trip in 2006, he began a series of 41 radiation treatments that brought him to MidState everyday. "I never thought doctors could have such a wonderful staff," said Bill, of MidState's radiation therapy team.

Fast-forward to four years later and Bill's prognosis is positive. He enjoys spending quality time with his wife of 61 years and has two adult children. "I always felt I had a good life," he added. There's no doubt that his upbeat personality and optimistic spirit have helped him along the way.

Sidebar to story: Prostate Cancer Facts

Prostate cancer is the second most common form of cancer diagnosed in males with an estimated 192, 280 new cases expected in 2009. It is important to know that prostate cancer is treatable if detected early.

Beginning at age 50, men with an average risk of prostate cancer should have a digital rectal exam, as well as a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. Elevated PSA levels can signal prostate cancer. Men at a higher risk, such as African Americans and those with a strong family history, should discuss screening options with their healthcare provider at age 45.

When signs and symptoms of prostate cancer do occur, they depend on how advanced the cancer is and how far the cancer has spread. Although symptoms can include urinary problems, they are usually the result of benign prostate problems. Here's what to look for:

  • A need to urinate frequently, especially at night
  • Difficulty starting urination or holding back urine
  • Weak or interrupted flow of urine
  • Painful or burning urination
  • Difficulty in having an erection
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Blood in urine or semen; or
  • Frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs

Talk to your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms.

 

MidState Medical Center