For those of you that do not know me (yet), my name is Steve Abbott and I am the Executive Director of the Cincinnati Cancer Foundation. It is the PERFECT job for me, especially at this stage of my life and career. Why, you ask? Because I am an 8+ year prostate cancer survivor and I represent an organization that – as stated by our founder Dr. Bill Barrett - exists to (a) reduce the suffering and mortality that often accompanies a cancer diagnosis and (b) make Cincinnati the best city in the country to live in if one must face the formidable adversary of cancer.
I have decided to start this blog for a few reasons. First off, my wife Diana has been telling me for years that I should “become a writer.” Since that is already crowded space and I prefer not to starve, I have never pursued that in any meaningful way. A second reason is that I am passionate about educating my fellow cancer survivors and helping empower them to make better and more informed decisions about their oncology care. Lastly, my cancer has now metastasized to distant sites – most recently my left lung and neck – which is an ominous development that threatens my long-term survival.
I have decided to name my blog “5 Years; 500 Words at a Time” because only about 30% of prostate cancer patients that have become resistant to hormone therapy are expected to be alive at five years, or roughly 1,800 days. I intend to be alive at five years. Additionally, the next phase of my treatment journey will go right to the heart of what we exist to do here at Cincinnati Cancer Advisors. We exist to improve the outcomes of cancer patients through better, more involved, passionate health care using “all resources that exist on Planet Earth to help in all ways that we can, to improve a patient’s diagnosis and their care by giving them hope they’re not without the potential of a better day tomorrow” (I stole that quote from our Medical Director Dr. Phil Leming).
The “500 Words at a Time” portion of the blog title stems from my goal of keeping each blog post to 500 words or less (this one is 492 words). I hope to be able to use this forum to educate patients and keep the many wonderful people in my life that care about me updated on my cancer journey. Once I get my tissue biopsy results back from Caris Lifesciences and meet with my new medical oncologist, I’ll report on what the next steps are. My understanding is whatever we do next needs to kick off soon, so it won’t be long. In the meantime, I am starting to plan for what I need to get done over the next 4-6 months during a time when I might not be feeling so well, or at full strength.
Until next time,