In his own words, Ron Telpner, my dad, shares his story and experience with prostate cancer. His series, The Four Unwanted Words chronicles his experience from diagnosis to the best health of his life.
The four words "You have prostate cancer" are shocking.
I heard those words over a year ago and it has taken me this long to feel comfortable writing about this journey. When most men hear those four words they rush to eradicate cancer from their bodies. They want surgery or some other form of treatment. They pray they'll be one of the lucky ones who does not experience erectile dysfunction or incontinence. I have chosen a path of active surveillance and hope I will never have to have anything more invasive.
After a lifetime in advertising, I approached my cancer as I would a big campaign. That meant research, planning, assembling the right resources, budgeting and flawless execution.
My real guides in this road to wellness are my family. The moment I got the news, we had 20 books checked out of the library. Of course, we were reading everything we could online, but nothing beats what our local library had to offer.
From our reading, I believed that I could beat this without an invasive procedure and had the books and testimonials to back this up.
My daughter Meghan, who you al know well, was on top of the situation from the beginning. She is an advocate of healing through food and focus. She thought and convinced me that I could beat this by using my own single-minded approach to eradicate the cancer through having me embrace diet, exercise, acupuncture, meditation, yoga, stress reduction, supplements and positive thinking.
Without realizing it, I was assembling a team of professionals that would help me through the ups and downs of this journey. Meghan advised me on my new low-glycemic diet while Josh Gitalis, a nutritionist and educator advised me on supplements. Included in my team is Dr. Ha, a brilliant acupuncturist in Santa Monica; Dr. Larry Goldenberg, Canada's top urologist based in Vancouver; Dr. Sidney Radomski, a urologist at Western General in Toronto; and Dr. Tony Finelli; oncologist and surgeon at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto.
Now, one month later after learning I had prostate cancer, I had a plan and a team to help me execute!
Originally, I was going to call this journal, "Advertising Gave Me Cancer." I thought that it might be a good title after 35 pretty stressful years in the advertising business. That title supplanted an earlier book I was planning, detailing growing up with my two sisters, in an all-American home, in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
That book was to be entitled "Raised on Hot Dogs", reflecting the junk food diet that my mother thought was totally acceptable at the time. Others titles under consideration were "Fish Sticks Forever", "Kraft Dinner Days", and "Are You Related to Gene Telpner?"
Well good readers, I hope that I will be able to adequately cover those golden moments of growing up in the 'Peg, of my adventures in advertising and of how I am overcoming overcome prostate cancer.
Want to know more? Follow my journey right here.
Ron Telpner is Chairman and CEO of The BrainStorm Group, an international ad agency headquartered in Toronto, Canada.