Monday, November 26, 2018

My Advice: Monitor Your Health

Permit me to share a bit of unsolicited advice. There are two parts to it. First, get an annual physical from a health professional. Second, if you sense an unusual change in your health, seek a physician’s advice.

Getting an annual checkup, with the accompanying tests (physical examination, blood work) permits you to establish baseline measurements about your health, which can be useful in identifying trends that may require additional follow-up. Seeking help when you experience an unexpected change (increased pain, odd swelling, etc.) can potentially identify a problem while it is still in an early stage.

I give this advice because I have seen family and friends skip annual checkups (“I’m very healthy. I don’t need to see a doctor” or “I hate going to the doctor”), or ignore warning signs. In one heartbreaking case for me, this lead to the untimely, and completely avoidable death of a wonderful individual, depriving us all, permanently, of the joy of their presence.

Consider my situation. I get annual checkups, and during a recent examination my PSA (prostate specific antigen) blood test showed an increase in PSA. A subsequent test confirmed this, and I had a biopsy to determine the cause. It was cancer. Due to the type of cancer, and my age, I had two options: Radiation and surgery. I opted for surgery, and the operation was performed at the end of February this year.

Based on the post-surgical lab work on the removed tissue, and the first three post-op PSA tests, it looked like I was cancer-free. This changed earlier this month, as I now have a detectable PSA reading, which means that the cancer is still present. Importantly, we reacted quickly to the original diagnosis, and we are moving aggressively to address this new information. By doing so, we are giving me to best opportunity to overcome this ailment.

I’m sharing my story, and offering my advice, in hope that you monitor your health, providing you with the opportunity to address and overcome any obstacles before they get out of control, to the benefit of you and your loved ones.

So, please, if at all possible, adopt a regime of annual physicals. And if you notice something wrong, or out of the ordinary, get it checked out.


  1. Cary, my best wishes for you with the cancer; your mental attitude toward the situation is an important part of the arsenal. I fully agree with you on the importance of regular checkups. I also do annual tests and "debug" the results myself. Your advise and story are both appreciated.

  2. Cary, i know from attending the seminars with you that as I believe all of my fellow Delphi developers feel the same way I do is that we love you and want you to win the most important battle of your life. I agree with everything you wrote and follow that to the letter. Prostate cancer is beatable and you will beat it. Until we meet again, god bless you and Loy!

  3. Cary, you are doing the main part, which is taking the right decisions for your health and encouraging others with your invaluable testimony.

    The people that we known you a little bit sincerely esteem you and we hope and trust that your winning spirit will definitely overcome this adversity.

    And the people who love you will be there to see it and celebrate that triumph.

    Your friend, Al Gonzalez.

  4. Cary, the same thing happened to me 6 years ago. My doctor added a PSA test to other blood work just because I hadn't had one in a while. I had the surgery too, and have been blessed with undetectable PSA for 6 years. Best wishes to you and Loy as you continue the battle! You will beat this and look back on it as the bump in the road that it is.

  5. Good to see advice like this in an unusual place. I play golf a lot and we have 6 monthly visits at the club just for the more aged of us to check PSA levels. So far 3 of our men have had the cancer detected in early stages and are in recovery.

    1. I am very pleased to hear about the PSA tests at the golf club. Early detection is the key to successful treatment. And with older folks, the treatment is often just a "wait and see" approach. But in those cases, at least the individuals know they have an issue and can monitor its progress.