To my esteemed colleagues, patients, friends and my beloved Covington community,
A patient recently shared with me a quote that I absolutely love – “I didn’t know I was a warrior until I was called.” Over the course of my career, I have had an opportunity to work with thousands of amazing patients who have expressed this same sentiment. Well, my friends, now I too have been called to be a warrior.
In June, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer – specifically, Adenocarcinoma, the most common type of cancer in the prostate. Fortunately, my prognosis is good. The cancer was caught at an early stage, so I have a very good chance of successful treatment. Since my diagnosis, I have had a small procedure and, with a team of physicians, have developed a radiation regimen that will begin in the coming weeks.
The feelings I have at this time are numerous and difficult to share: Angry. Sad. Afraid. But, most challenging of all, I feel uncertain about what the future may hold. As so many of my patients have experienced in their own cancer journeys, this process feels surreal.
With all of that said, I want you to know that, most of all, I feel deeply humbled and blessed. I am grateful to be surrounded by so many friends and wonderful people – here at Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center and across our Northshore community. I feel so loved and encouraged by all the messages of support I have received since this news first came out. From the bottom of my heart, thank you!
I write to you today, because I want you to know that I am not going anywhere. I plan to continue working during my treatment without any interruption in patient care. I will continue working full-time in the clinic as well as taking new patients.
In fact, if anything, this experience I am going through has hardened my resolve and made me more committed than ever to Mary Bird Perkins’ mission – to improve survivorship and lessen the burden of cancer for our community. Time and time again I have been awed and inspired by the courage displayed by my patients. They have taught me so much and, more often than not, I feel as though they have helped me more than I’ve helped them.
I will take all of their shared experiences and wisdom they have imparted on me and I’ll apply these to my own battle. I will follow their example. Rest assured, my friends, I will kick cancer’s butt.
I am being treated here in Covington at Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center. Aside from having access to the Cancer Center’s state-of-the-art equipment and unmatched expertise, I am also able to access treatment close to home, surrounded by my family and friends. We cannot take this special place for granted.
I would be remiss if I didn’t take this opportunity to remind you of the importance of regular preventive check-ups and cancer screenings. My cancer was found during a regular health check-up with my primary care provider. I had no advanced symptoms or pain. This check-up likely saved my life.
If you aren’t already connected to a primary care doctor, please make it a point to do so. Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center hosts free cancer screening events throughout the year – please encourage your family members, friends and co-workers to take advantage of these opportunities.
Many of you know me as the “Pirate Oncologist.” It’s safe to say that I’ve come upon rough seas and the sky looks dark ahead, but with the wind at my back and full sails, I know I’ll make it through this storm and I can’t wait to celebrate with you on the other side.
Dr. Jack Saux, “The Pirate Oncologist”