November 11th, 2019

My father had a great impact on my life. He saved it.

Mo Bro Jeff Morrison on how his father's prostate cancer diagnosis saved his life.
In the Barber Chair

In 2015, at 45-years-old, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Since then, I have been forever impacted by the actions and reactions of people around me. 

My surgeon was outstanding in making me feel comfortable with the diagnosis and the steps I have taken to get to where I am now. He made himself available to answer my sometimes ‘stupid’ questions. He didn’t defer me elsewhere after he performed the surgery to remove the cancer. He connected with me as a person. I could not imagine going through this event without him.  He made an impact on my life.

The nurses at the hospital during my recovery were amazing. They understood what I was going through and made me feel like Jeff, not a patient. They made an impact on my life.

My partner Susan who was by my side the entire time from diagnosis, to appointments, to surgery and recovery. Although I’m sure she went through her own emotional rollercoaster, she never wavered from being my beacon of positivity. She took the time to understand what I was going through and offered both an ear to listen and a shoulder to lean on the entire time. She spent hours staying in close contact with my friends and family to keep them connected during my days in the hospital. Her entire family supported her and in turn supported me. She made an impact on my life.

jeff morrison's father 

Friends from near and afar came to my aid. Buying me groceries, walking my dog or dropping by with food providing company. Neighbours who I barely knew offered their support. Support I received at work. From the time I took off for appointments, to my leave of absence. I received top notch care, commitment and compassion from the organization I’m proud to work for. They all made an impact on my life.

My family, my friends, my company and my caregivers. All made an impact on my life.

I had a willingness to open up and share my experiences with everyone. From talking to people about the diagnosis, to explaining the surgery, to walking them through my recovery. People were interested. Not just listening for me but listening to me. I simply thought I would share the experience with those who asked. But it was my doctor who made me think differently. Prostate cancer is an unknown to many. Going through this life changing experience was my chance to get the word out and talk about it. Thinking if I could positively impact one person, just one, my job would be successful.

My father was diagnosed with prostate cancer himself. Dealing with it and probably going through all the same emotions that I had. I consider my father a strong person. When he was diagnosed, it was a confusing time. I had no idea how prostate cancer impacted a person. I did the research (as anyone would) and found out that if it’s in your family, there’s a strong chance that it will impact direct family members as well. What does one do? They go get checked out of course. The result? My father had a great impact on my life. He saved it.

“Prostate Cancer is an unknown to many. Going through this life changing experience was my chance to get the word out and talk about it.”

In the past, I’ve been a person that doesn’t show a lot of emotion on the outside. But I opened up after this life event. The pain and suffering I went through was unbearable in the beginning and there was a time that I told myself “I quit.” I realized at that point, quit what? Pain and recovery are temporary. But impact is forever. The tears that I shed were not from the pain and suffering but from the emotions I went through. My life was impacted forever.

Time is precious. Trust me, I know. Sometimes, we just don’t know that we are doing it, or how much impact we have. You don’t need to decide how and who to make an impact on. That’s already been decided by the person affected. Sometimes you just don’t know it. You should know by now that while you’re reading this, you’re impacting your life as well.