My name is Porter Freeman. I'm 72 years old. I was obviously born in 1949, and I am a cancer-ongoing survivor. I serve on a local law enforcement agency and we're required every year to have a complete physical. And two years ago, I went for my yearly physical, which I would urge everybody to have, regardless. And my primary care physician said those dreaded words that no guy wants to hear. He said, "Uh-oh." And I said, "Uh-oh, what?" And he said, "This doesn't feel right. We're going to scheduled you for a biopsy." And I was sent to the Augusta University Hospital, part of the Medical College of Georgia, and I had a biopsy done, which is somewhat unpleasant, but necessary. And I got a phone call from the hospital to come back to discuss what was found. And I did, I came back and I met Dr. Clausen, who has just been wonderful. He's been with me every step of the way, and I trust him emphatically.
And he gave me the bad news that it was cancer. And I said, "Well, are you busy the rest of the day? Let's get this taken care of." I wanted it over with. And he said, "We would make an appointment and we would go through some informations. It did concern me. We had originally scheduled the surgery. The prostate had to come out. We originally scheduled it for, I think, eight weeks later, but I got a call in a few days that said pathology expedited this, that on a Gleason scale, it was at nine, I think out of a possible 10. And being in law enforcement, the Gleason scale, a one would be like jaywalking and ten is a double homicide. That's how I explained it at work. We had to get this done quickly.
I didn't say anything to anybody. I made some arrangements finally, and had my sister take me to the hospital that morning. I had to tell my lieutenant that I was going to be out for a while, and we did it. I wanted to do it. I wanted to get the cancer out of me, if possible. And again, everybody was so of supportive. My department, Dr. Klaassen, my parents have passed away, my sister was there. I did tell one or two of my closest friends right before I had the surgery, in case I didn't come out. And I think they were both anxious to get my gun collection, but regardless, I did tell them, and they were there every step of the way, all. I can't put a price on that. My department supporting me, the doctors here at Augusta University, the hospital, and my family, and I've made it two years. After the surgery, there was a chance that it could come back.
There's always that chance that it'll come back. It could be coming back right this minute during this interview. I don't know. And I don't think anybody else does. It did come back and I was urged... It was suggested that I do radiation therapy, and I did 36 radiation therapies. And it was explained to me that radiation is taking a piece of pizza and microwaving it for 15 seconds, 45 times. That's what radiation does for you. And that it would literally stop, kill, any cancer cells in that area. So again, same attitude. I went right for it, "Let's go. Let's do it today. How soon can I get down there?" I also had a couple of shots and injections.
So between the two, it looks like it has cleared it up, and if it comes back, it's very small, and we're just going to keep our eye on it. It's been two years this month, since I had it, my prostate removed, and if it comes back, I'll address it. It's not a nonchalant attitude, it's reality. I can't go inside me and stop it. It's almost like you've swallowed a bumblebee. It's in there, and somebody else has got to help you get it out. And that may be a very elementary explanation, but until you've had cancer, it's in you, and you can't just go over and pull it out. And in law enforcement, we're problem-solving people. I can't solve this problem. I am dependent on other people who are much wiser, know more about this than I do. I have to depend on them, and I do. And so far, they've kept me alive for another two years. It isn't all great, it isn't.
I wouldn't want to tell anybody that, "Go see your doctor, get it out of you and everything's going to be fine." There's depends, and there are downsides, but there really are. I have to tell you that having that catheter taken out had to be one of the worst experiences. I would rather wrestle a bobcat in a phone booth than go through that again. That was bad, but thank God I had it, and I could move on with my life, but it's just so uncomfortable. There are things that are going to happen, but I'm alive and nothing beats being alive. Nothing beats it. I cherish every day, and every minute now. And I am, anything I gave up was worth it because I'm sitting here talking to you, as opposed to not being here talking to anybody. I was 70 years old and had known my fair share of women. I'm single, no children, love girls. That ended, and it's okay because I got a wonderful memory, and it's okay. I wasn't planning on having children at 70, so we're all right. And to be a one more time, alive, or having sex and dying.
I mean, be alive. I won all the other things. I lost so much strength and a prostatectomy. Is that how you say it? It's not perfect. My weight is bad. I'm weak. I told Dr. Clausen, I don't do sit-ups. I do pee-ups. Every time I sit up I pee a little bit, just a little bit, just a little. So what? You're alive and you're breathing, and I can't get over that. God, if I could get that message out that no matter how weak I am in the gym, or no more sex, having to wear diapers. So what, I'm glad I did what I did when I could, because it's over now, but that's okay. There's no more bench pressing 300 pounds. There's no more running like I could, it's just over. But I had done it. I didn't have to do any of that, and I'd probably be dead.
And I'm not shaking hands with the ground hog. We all belong to a club that you don't want to be a member of, but we are. And we survived so far. And I had some, just polo shirts, dress shirts, made with cancer survivor written on it. And blue tag, like breast cancer's pink. And I gave one to each of my friends that shared with me their experience with prostate cancer, and it has really been a conversation starter. People that you don't know come up and say, "What kind of cancer did you have?" Maybe they don't know that light blue means prostate, but they've had some sort of cancer, and I find that there's a common place that we've survived something. And many, many times I've found out we weren't responsible for it. Life happens. It rains on the just and on the unjust.
It rains on everybody and some days are wonderful and others aren't, and I think that people want to talk about that. They want some camaraderie. They want to know how are you doing? And they evaluate that with how they're doing. I was in the grocery store yesterday, and a gentleman I've never seen. He had never seen me. We didn't know each other. But I had that shirt on, and he started asking me about it.
It gives people the opportunity. You just wouldn't go up to somebody that you didn't know that was just dressed normally and say, "Hey, have you ever had cancer?" But when you wear that it's like that. Susan G. Komen, I think is the name of it. There is a tremendous following for that, because a lot of women have experienced breast cancer, and had to have radical mastectomies. And that's just the beginning of it, then you have to go through everything else. And with men, this seems to be the one I've heard more often than any other kind of cancer. I didn't smoke. I didn't chew tobacco. I drank a little liquor, but that didn't cause cancer. I didn't do anything to expedite cancer. It just happened. And with most of the people I've talked to, when they see that symbol on my shirt, they want to talk about it.
And I stop whatever I'm doing and listen, and we give each other hope. I wouldn't do a thing different. I did everything my doctor told me, verbatim. If he had told me to eat a can of beets every day, I'd have done it. My life was in his hands, and the Lord, and I just wasn't looking for loopholes. I did what I was told to do, regardless. I just did it. I was there. I did what they told me. I followed the rules. If it didn't work, it wasn't going to be because I tweaked it, or I changed it. It was going to be because it was fate.
Like I said, they know better than I did. So, I did it. What would I tell myself? Nothing. I really wouldn't. I don't equate everything to law enforcement, but when you get a call, you got to go. You can't say, "Well, I'm not through with this sandwich, or I'm on my break, or I just ordered a cup of coffee. You got to go do it, and face it. Accept it, and do what's right, and I didn't want to waste another minute. I understood the urgency because Dr. Klaassen explained the Gleason scale.
It was stage three cancer, but the Gleason scale really got my attention. I had one more step to go and then I think it would have spread, and I knew we needed to get with it. I would imagine that everybody's different. Everybody reacts differently. I've given some citizens bad news about a wreck, or about an incident, or about something negative, and you get different reactions. My reaction was, "Let's get it on. Let's do this, and then see where we go." And I thank you for this opportunity. And I urge anybody that hears this or sees it, go get that check-up, get it over with, get it done. Come on and live with me.