Today on Snack Chat, we're excited to continue our Movember blog series with a post from guest blogger Tim Fiss, Director - Enterprise SAP Solutions for Frito-Lay. Tim, pictured below with his Day 9 "Mo," is leading the Movember movement at Frito-Lay Headquarters, and has an amazing story about the importance of being proactive with your personal health. Take it away, Tim!
My name is Tim Fiss and I became a "Mo Bro" two years ago. I first heard about Movember through another Mo Bro, Bryan Murphy, who had a desire to help change the face of men's health at PepsiCo. Below are 21 conversations I've had about prostate cancer to help you understand why this movement is so important:
Conversation #1: The first serious conversation I ever had with anyone about prostate cancer was during a surprise phone call with my doctor on a 2007 Fall afternoon. The call came a few days after my annual physical exam, and he informed me that my prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level was elevated. Since an elevated PSA level could be caused by a variety of conditions, he referred me to a urologist for a biopsy to better determine my situation.
Conversation #2: The second conversation was with my brother, Steve, who I called immediately after I spoke with my doctor. I told him I didn't know very much about this cancer and encouraged him to see a physician as soon as possible because it might run in our family. Thank goodness he took my advice.
Conversation #3: Steve called me back and told me his PSA level was elevated two-and-a-half times more than mine.
Conversation #4: My urologist informed me I had prostate cancer, and we discussed options for treatment.
Conversation #5: I asked a co-worker, who had been diagnosed and successfully addressed his prostate cancer situation a few years prior at the early age of 41, to mentor me through the process.
Conversation #6: My brother called and told me his surgery was scheduled two days before mine. We talked every day for six weeks comparing recovery stories.
Conversations #7 - 18: Steve and I compared post-surgery PSA tests for three years. Thankfully, they were all at undetectable levels.
Conversation #19: My brother told me his PSA level was elevating again. Apparently, they didn't get all of his cancer. Last year he had to undergo hormone and radiation treatment. It was his final shot to eliminate the cancer from his body.
Conversation #20: Bryan Murphy, who leads the Movember team for PepsiCo, asked me to support Movember and help raise awareness for cancers that affect men.
Conversation #21: This blog post is the 21st conversation. It's my story to encourage you or a loved one to take action to help increase early detection, diagnosis and effective treatment and ultimately reduce the number of deaths from cancer. It's also so I can tell you my brother and I are both now cancer-free.