“ Keep kicking mAss!!! Don’t ever give up or let anyone tell you that you can’t do something because they don’t know how strong we can be!
Lynn Lane is your “Friendly neighborhood mAss Kicker”. Just like Spiderman, he has a dual identity. He is a real-estate executive by day and a documentary filmmaker at night. He is the creator of a very candid and honest blog, Lynn’s Fight Against Prostate Cancer about his journey through life with prostate cancer. He is a regular on the Planet Cancer social networking site and quick to welcome you there with his unique style and friendly demeanor. He is arguably the most popular guy on that site. He was kind enough to answer a few questions we had for him. He is the founders and president of a unique new cancer nonprofit, Voices of Survivors.
mK: What/ when was your diagnosis? What were your symptoms?
LL: My Diagnosis was Prostate Cancer. My symptoms weren’t associated with the cancer per se but more with a secondary problem of BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia AKA enlarged prostate). If I wouldn’t have had that, we would never have caught the cancer because I was too young to begin the tests for Prostate Cancer. I started having problems with my prostate around 9 years ago with difficulty urinating and painful ejaculations. I was tested for everything. Let’s just say if I heard another chronic prostatitis diagnosis I was going to kill someone. Finally 3 years ago they did a biopsy on my prostate because the PSA level kept elevating. It was 3.7 and when they did the biopsy it came back negative. They only took 6 core samples. We continued to watch the PSA level for the next three years and it continued to rise but the doctors felt that it was because of the BPH. I changed doctors and we watched for a year and then it was up to 6.4 and we did a biopsy. This time they took 11 samples and found that I had cancer. That was one hell of a day. To be honest it was the worst day of my life. Six weeks later I was on the surgery table having a Robotic Radical Protatectomy . I ended up having a Focal Positive Margin and I am on a “Wait and Watch” program to see if it comes back. There is a 30% chance it could. My first PSA after the surgery though was a 0.00 which is perfect so I’m hoping that we got it all when we removed the prostate, seminal vesicles, lymph nodes and surrounding tissue.
mK: Do you have any kids now? Did the procedure affect your ability to have children?
LL: I have no children and this procedure completely eliminated my ability to produce them. I had only a few weeks after my diagnosis and before surgery to bank as much sperm as I could. I had 3 weeks and was only able to go every three days. I had a high sperm count and good volume so my boys are frozen and waiting to be born one day.
mK: A lot of guys are nervous about that digital prostate exam. We know it can save your life, but what was it really like? Be honest.
LL: To be honest the Digital Exam is nothing really. The first time you have it done it sucks just because you typically don’t want to have anyone sticking their finger up your butt. With me, I had BPH which made it a bit painful to push on the prostate. A digital exam is far from the final step though. When they did the digital exam on me, they didn’t feel cancer at all. My prostate was spongy like it was supposed to be only it was enlarged because of the BPH. When they completed the surgery though, I had 70% of my prostate was filled with cancer bilaterally. If we would have just gone by the digital exam, I wouldn’t be here in a few years. It is imperative that all males have their PSA tests done beginning at age 40. They are seeing more and more cases of early prostate cancer in men now.
mK: Who is your hero/heroes/ who do you look up to?
LL: My Hero honestly is my mother. She has been such an amazing person in my life. I lost my father at an early age and she has been both a mother, father and best friend. Whenever I needed someone to lean on, she was there for me and still is. She is even a part of a new documentary that I am currently working on in Southern West Virginia on Mountaintop Removal Mining. It has been such a great adventure to be able to so something with her.
mK: Yup, moms can be pretty cool. What motivates you?
LL: The thing that motivates me the most is myself. I cannot stand to be second best so I push myself in everything that I do whether it be professional or personal. Life is a short and beautiful thing and we should strive to enjoy each and every moment of it.
mK: When was the first time you felt like yourself?
LL: After cancer? I’m still working my way back to that place but each and every day gets better and better!
mK: We all gotta push ourselves to get “better” each and every day. Let’s ask you this… What makes you laugh, cry, angry?
LL: Life makes me laugh. Every day I find something in this crazy world that makes me look at myself and my surrounding and literally laugh out loud. I’m rarely without a smile. The things that make me angry are our medical system and how it is so unfair to those who can’t afford proper care. Our medical system and drug industry needs to be seriously revamped along with the insurance industry.
mK: Changing gears… What is your guilty pleasure?
LL: My guilty pleasure is spending way too much time hanging out on Planet Cancer making stupid blog posts to try to bring levity to the lives of those on there dealing with this stupid cancer every day.
mK: OK, besides blogging on Planet Cancer all day long can you describe your perfect day.
LL: A perfect day to me is one filled with joy, lack of stress and forgetting about cancer. To find myself out there on my bike with no pain hitting top speeds. It honestly feels as if you are flying at times.
mK: Ah yeah, the wind rushing on your face is the best. What do you like to do in your spare time?
LL: In my spare time, I am working on my new online documentary project: “Voices of Survivors”. I also love cycling, hanging out at Central Park people watching, surfing/snowboarding when I can and nature.
mK: We heard you are into jiujutsu and muay thai, when was the last time you put someone in a submission hold?
LL: The last time that I put someone in a submission hold was not too long ago at the office when I was showing someone a way to control someone. It was pretty funny actually.
mK: OK, we’re kinda scared of you now… hahaha! What are you doing now?
LL: Right now I am trying to get my head back into my editing. I am getting pressure to wrap up the post-production on my boxing documentary: “Ring Days” and get back shooting “Coal River” a documentary on Mountaintop Removal Mining in Southern Appalachia as well as the previously mentioned “Voices of Survivors”.
mK: Tell us something people probably didn’t know… anything.
LL: Most people probably didn’t know that I used to own a Skateboard Shop in college called “The Barking Spider”. I had a team that produced some amazing people that are out there doing some great stuff. One is a VP at Dreamworks, one is a Photo Editor at Thrasher Magazine, one owns Guapo Skateboards, one just finished his Ph.D. at Harvard and MIT and is now developing some amazing medical devices neurologically related and the others are doing some crazy stuff as well. It was a great time and a great group of guys.
mK: Wow! Pretty cool! Any parting words for all the mAss Kickers?
LL: Keep kicking mAss!!! Don’t ever give up or let anyone tell you that you can’t do something because they don’t know how strong we can be!
Thanks for answering our questions Lynn. Biggest lesson learned “Never mess with a guy named Lynn.” j/k hahaha! Check out Lynn’s Fight Against Prostate Cancer to find an honest account of one man’s battle against prostate cancer