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Edward Robinson: Tackling Triathlons After Prostate Cancer

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“I really couldn’t be happier about my experience, especially since the treatment worked!”

— Edward Robinson

I’m 84 years old and live at Ann’s Choice, a retirement community in Warminster, Pennsylvania, with my wife Mary. I’ve always been a pretty active guy. I’ve been a runner all my life, and between my three daughters, ten grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren, we have a number of athletes in the family. Because of this, it’s meant everything to be able to overcome prostate cancer and get back to being active with them.

An Unexpected Diagnosis

I knew for a while that I had an enlarged prostate. When I was living in Virginia, my physician noticed it and said we should keep an eye on it, so I always got a prostate exam during my annual physical. However, when Mary and I moved to Ann’s Choice in 2015, the on-site doctors didn’t do prostate exams with their physicals, so I didn’t have one for about three years.

Then in 2019, I started having mild symptoms, like waking up at night a lot to urinate and having trouble getting the flow going. I chalked it up to old age, but my wife was concerned and made me an appointment with a local urologist. They ran a biopsy, and that’s how I found out I had stage IV prostate cancer.

Treatment at Fox Chase

Edward Robinson with his family.Edward Robinson with his family.

In addition to seeing TV ads for Fox Chase, several folks we knew at Ann’s Choice had been treated there and highly recommended it. Because of those reasons, we knew Fox Chase was where we wanted to go. After all, it only made sense to go somewhere that specifically treated cancer.

My doctor recommended that we see Dr. Elizabeth Plimack, a medical oncologist at Fox Chase who specializes in prostate cancer, so we got an appointment with her. She consulted with radiation oncologist Dr. Shelly Hayes, and between the two of them, they came up with my treatment plan.

I underwent radiation every day for 30 days at Fox Chase Cancer Center-Buckingham, where Dr. Hayes is based. It was really convenient because it was only a 20-minute drive from Ann’s Choice. Throughout the whole process, Dr. Hayes and Dr. Plimack communicated everything that was going on to me. I really couldn’t be happier about my experience, especially since the treatment worked!

From Cancer to Competition

Edward Robinson with his son and grandson after the race.Edward Robinson with his son and grandson after the race.

I love doing activities with my family. One of my sons-in-law, Darrin, and grandson, Bryan, were doing the Storm the Fort triathlon out where they live in Kingston, Tennessee. When I heard about that, I decided I wanted to do it. However, the race was scheduled for right after I would finish radiation treatment at Fox Chase—ten days later, in fact—and I was a little worried about whether I could actually do the 600-meter swim, 17-mile bike ride, and four-mile run.

But when I asked Dr. Plimack and Dr. Hayes, they not only gave me permission, but they also encouraged me. So I went for it, and successfully finished the race. I even came in first in my age group and got to run to the finish line with Darrin and Bryan!

I wanted to do the race again this year, but it was cancelled due to the pandemic. I’m still getting outside on my bike, which is my favorite part of the triathlon, so hopefully I can rejoin my son-in-law and grandson for next year’s race.

Learn more about prostate cancer treatment at Fox Chase Cancer Center.

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