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“We’re in a club that we didn’t ask to be in,” says prostate cancer survivor Sam Murphy. “There’s no age limit in our club. It’s not discriminatory. It doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor. We are not looking for members and we are not collecting dues. The only dues you pay is the last thing you will ever pay.”
Despite being “in the club,” Sam is a cheerful person who likes to joke. In fact, Sam joked with the doctor when he first gave him his prognosis. He admits he knew nothing about the disease when he was diagnosed, so all he could do was poke fun at it and his predicament.
“Thank goodness my wife was there to ask all the important questions. I was willing to face it; I just had no idea what I was facing,” he recalls.
But even now that Sam does know about cancer, he remains a positive person. And he gives all the credit of his survivorship optimism to the caregivers that treated him, the professionals that run survivor retreats like Camp Hope, and to his fellow members of “the club.”
Sam’s choice of treatment led him to radiation for five weeks. “I was dreading it in the beginning, but everyone was so pleasant and I felt so comfortable that it was actually a pleasure to go there,” he said. He was amazed at how easy the caregivers and various support groups made his life – from transportation to and from treatments to food and financial help with bills.
But it was the other members of the club he met that truly changed his outlook. The men talked, they laughed; they shared information and their experiences.
Then he met a 28-year-old man who had only six months to live. “Then I knew it was serious. We are in a club we didn’t ask to be in. And when you pay your dues, you are done.”
Still, Sam says cancer won’t be his downfall. “I fight because I have met so many fellow survivors who are fighting, and so many wonderful people who care for us.”
Sam met survivors at Camp Hope that faced the same cancer multiple times. He thought he was an optimistic person; he said he couldn’t believe their optimism.
“We are optimistic because we have no choice. We have to face it. I never asked God to take cancer away from me. I am just so thankful for all the people that want to help.”
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