18 months

Life has certain defining moments.  Marriage, kids, death of my mother were all big events.  I think the major one of my adult life though occurred March 24, 2010 when my urologist told me I had prostate cancer.

The "adventure" started about six weeks earlier at a bathroom in LAX when I noticed some blood; it continued for two days. Went to my doctor, who sent me to the urologist, who told me my PSA was 3.1 (over 2.5 was the baseline for concern). He then did a biopsy and they found cancer.

I was lucky.  It was found very early.  I was Stage 1 and my Gleason score was 6, about as low as that can go.  My prostate was removed April 27, 2010.  I was off work for two weeks and it took another two months to last a full day at work. I was sore for a long time, and there are other lingering side effects.  8 weeks later my PSA was zero, and it has remained there since. I'm effectively cured.

I was lucky.  All in all, I'd rather have not gone through the whole experience. I live with the memory of it every day.  That was why it was such a defining moment.  My life was one way before that trip to the bathroom at LAX, and then it was changed forever.

I'm thankful for all of the support I got from my wife, kids, family, and friends. 

Am I a better person?  I don't know.  I just try every day to be better.

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Joel M. Ungar, CPA is a lifelong resident of the Detroit area and a graduate of The University of Michigan. He is a principal with Silberstein Ungar, PLLC, a Top 15 auditor of SEC public reporting companies. Joel writes observations on different matters and especially on working with and using LinkedIn. He thinks he has a sense of humor.

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