My name is Richard (Rick) Rowe and I am a retired software engineer living in Simpsonville, SC. I have many blessing in my life; at the top of the list is my wonderful wife Karen. Karen is an OR nurse at Hillcrest Hospital and has been with Prisma Health in its various forms for 28 years. Karen and I are avid cyclists. I have been a lifelong athlete who fell in love with the bike in my late teens. I am surrounded at home by my four-legged family that I love dearly and I am lucky that they love me back.
Despite my active lifestyle I have encountered several health challenges in my life which includes a ruptured brain aneurysm in 2012 while at a cycling event and double bypass surgery in 2014 at the age of 56. Even after these health road bumps it never occurred to me that my life would be affected by the “C” word. But as John Lennon wrote: “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”.
I always got an annual PSA test and December of 2019 was no different. But this result came back roughly double the previous year and it was suggested that I visit a urologist. My urology visit a few weeks later revealed an abnormal prostate so an MRI of the prostate was recommended. The MRI in January of 2020 further reinforced the probability of cancer. A biopsy was performed in February of 2020 which solidified the results of the previous testing. I scheduled consultations with a radiology oncologist and a surgical oncologist for March and received information about the pros and cons of both paths of treatment. We have a good friend who is a urologist who I consulted with and he told me that everyone’s path is unique and that when I made a decision to not second guess myself.
After briefly considering postponing surgery until the fall of 2020 I decided that I needed to move forward with surgery at the earliest possible date. Surgery was scheduled for June 2020. My prostate and five lymph nodes were removed on June 2. Cancer was found in two lymph nodes. Quarterly PSA testing has revealed that the cancer has not spread past my lymph nodes. For that I am extremely grateful.
For now I am cancer free. I choose to live each day as it comes and to be grateful for all the wonderful blessings in my life. Life is not defined by the obstacles you encounter but how you handle them.