Alan's cancer journey
PUBLISHED: 10:42 06 December 2018 | UPDATED: 10:43 06 December 2018
When Alan Pierce came to the end of his treatment for prostate cancer he felt angry and alone.
The 65-year-old retired engineer, from Downham Market, said: “While you are undergoing the physical treatment for cancer you are on a conveyor belt of appointments, scans and treatment. For me, once that was over and I moved on from my medical team I found it very difficult and I had a lot of unanswered questions. The hormone therapy I had been on causes physical changes and can make you more emotional. I was finding it tough to come to terms with it all.”
This was the second time that Mr Pierce had been diagnosed with cancer. He had previously been treated for colon cancer when he was 45.
“When I was diagnosed again it was such a shock,” he said. “At the time, in 2012, I was living in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire and often visited Norfolk to see a close friend who lived in Fakenham who was a long-term survivor of prostate cancer himself. I was having a few problems and on returning home and visiting my GP, I requested a PSA test, a blood test that can help detect prostate problems. Sometimes a higher score can indicate an issue. Unfortunately, this was the case for me and I was later diagnosed with prostate cancer.”
Plans to move to Norfolk were put on hold while Mr Pierce was treated at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading.
He started hormone treatment in January 2013 and went on to undergo a course of brachytherapy. Things were going well so six weeks later, he moved to Downham.
“The Big C Support and Information Centre in King’s Lynn was about to launch, and I attended its grand opening, so you could say I was ‘in from the beginning’.
“I realised that I could not be the only one who had unanswered questions and started to think about setting up a group in Norfolk. After meeting several of the original members at a wellness event in King’s Lynn where I was volunteering for Big C, the Kingsman Group was formed.
“I am now approaching my five-year consultation, where hopefully I will receive the all clear.”