I am Mat Swift, a 67-year-old man that lives in Columbus, Georgia; I am blessed to have wonderful wife; three incredible daughters and son in laws; and nine fantastic grandchildren. I never smoked. I eat respectably and exercise routinely. Other than the normal aches and pains of a 67 year old, I am in great shape. So it was with some degree of surprise to learn that I had prostate cancer.
Each year I get an annual physical. During my October 2012 physical, my internal doctor told me that my prostate was a little large but with only a 3.38 PSA score, he was not alarmed. He advised that we should just monitor it by taking another look at it in 6 months. When I returned in April 2013, my PSA had elevated to 5.36! So he referred me to a urologist. Interestingly, the test my urologist performed showed a PSA of 4.82. Again we took a “wait and monitor” approach. Yet, a few months later, the PSA jumped 5.1! So he recommended a biopsy. The biopsy was done on December 1, 2013, and on Friday, December 13th (never been superstitious before, but am now) I got the word I had prostate cancer! That was the bad news. The good news was only one of the twelve “core samples” tested positive for cancer and my Gleason score was only 6. So all indications pointed to a very early stage. My Urologist was almost 100 percent sure the cancer had not metastasized; However he recommended a full body PET scan to be sure. A few days later he confirmed that the PET scan did not show any evidence of cancer in other parts of my body (whew!).
During this time my wife and I researched all of the treatment options; who were the “expert” doctors; where were the best hospitals for each type of treatment etc. We also solicited advice from friends who were prostate cancer survivors. We absorbed a lot of information. We finally decided to go to Dr. Scott Tulley with Urology Centers of Alabama to have a robotic radical prostatectomy to remove the prostate gland. After the pre admission meeting with Dr. Tully and the hospital, I checked into St. Vincent’s hospital on January 20th, 2014; had the surgery that afternoon; spent the night in the hospital; one night in a hotel in Birmingham near the hospital; and returned to Columbus the next day. I got my catheter out 10 days later and continued with my rehabilitation for the next 3 months. In April 2014, I received the good new that my PSA level was now 0.10! Praise the Lord!
I have purposely zoomed through the medical history of my “adventure.” On the internet you will find many stories on “prostate cancer” patients that go into more details of the entire process. However this blog is not about me. It is not about the pros and cons of all the different treatment options; the different doctors and hospital; or the latest innovations in curing prostate cancer. (the section on “Prostate Cancer” from the American Cancer Society is outstanding for information). It is about Jesus and how he can help you!
I am not a preacher! I am not a religious writer! While I am a “born again” Christian; have held leadership positions in my church; have taught Sunday school classes; and have participated in a men’s bible study, I am NOT a biblical scholar. I am just an ordinary guy that loves the Lord!
So why this blog? Stated simply, I just feel called to “do something” to help other prostate cancer patients use the Lord as part of their therapy. Most of my prayers come from materials, ideas, concepts and philosophies articulated in other blogs (In particular I highly recommend www.godandprostate.com. Please see other references. So very little of what I say represents an original thought or idea. It will just be communicated in my “laymen’s” style. My goal is to glorify God; and if this blog succeeds in enhancing one person’s walk with Jesus, then it will be a success!