I’m Not Dying. I Just Have Cancer.

Death sentence? I think not. Prostate cancer is one of the most curable cancers out there, so don’t count me out!

I was as surprised as you probably are, but from the moment I found out, I felt that everything was going to be alright. My doctor has been tracking my PSA for years, since my father too had prostate cancer. I don’t know what stage he was in when he was diagnosed, but I can remember that he wasn’t do so well with the therapy he was receiving. I didn’t even know chemotherapy and radiation therapy were different until now. I do know that 25 years ago, he was sick enough for me to move back home and help. My mother doesn’t even remember what kind of therapy he was receiving; she was tied up in a conservatorship with her Uncle Lawrence, the man whom I was named after. Distant cousins from all around were trying to get a hold of his estate, which my mom managed to take care of his needs when dementia set in. Every penny went to his care, and he had plenty of nickels and dimes from his many real estate holdings in LA. Nobody offered to help, but everybody wanted to know where the money was going. Needless to say, she had her own worries to nurture, with the specter of her husband’s illness floating before her eyes. Damn the cousins.

Fortunately for me, I was earmarked for screening as cancer tends to be hereditary. No red flags popped up until 6 years ago, when my PSA levels were high during a routine check-up. Aside from my gastrointestinal discrepancies, I’m a healthy guy. I became an herbalist in my freelance journalist days when I was surviving on food stamps and rent parties. I started eating crazy again when I moved back home, simply because I didn’t have the space to store and blend my herbal concoctions, plus it was easier eating food that my momma already cooked.

The protocol for potential prostate cancer patients is to wait and see. That’s right. Wait and see if any changes in the blood or size of the prostate produce positive signs of a prognosis. 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018. A few up and down swings in the PSA, thanks to my knowledge in finding herbal remedies to cure my ails. 2019 I was referred to a urologist who thought I should have a biopsy. I was hesitant. I had to reschedule the procedure a couple of times because I was freelancing in the film industry at the time, and work was more important than health when it came to paying rent and bills.

2020. I couldn’t book an appointment to save my life, but not being able to see a doctor could have saved my life from Covid-19. (I think I had the virus late November 2019 before the pandemic was announced, but that’s another story.) It was a weird year, certainly enough weirdness going on to not think about the health of my prostate. 

January 2021. I couldn’t wait to book an appointment. It was like an alarm went off. Get thine ass to the urologist! That’s where they must check the prostate for lumps and probe you for the biopsy if you didn’t already know. Another reason for my hesitancy in going. I certainly wasn’t excited about it, but like I always tell my sons, sometimes you gotta do what you don’t want to do. A healthy man grows to an age where he gets pricked, prodded, and probed because the body that’s brought him this far starts to show signs of wear and tear. I had a blood panel done on the 9th and it showed that my PSA was way high and that I was overdue for a biopsy. The urologist I was seeing dropped out of my insurance network, so I had to get another referral. After doing my research I found one that had a good Yelp rating and ranked high in Google searches.

July 9, 2021. Six months to the day after the blood test, I had the results of a biopsy I was supposed to get two years ago: cancerous cells found in numerous core samples. I didn’t know what it all meant, so I started reading. From what I could surmise, the disease is still contained in the prostate. There’s no spreading from what I can predict through my six senses, and today’s tests affirmed my prediction. Now, I must decide what action is best suited to delete this disease from my body.

I’m taking this so calmly because a good attitude is the key to surviving tragedy. I have cancer but I’m not dying. I have more fear of dying from a car accident, getting shot, or drowning as the California coastline sinks into the Pacific after The Big One. I can see this death coming, and I’m heading it off at the pass. You shouldn’t think that I haven’t thought about what will happen to my sons should anything take me out, or how much I’d be missed by family and friends. I’ve been doing the best me possible every day of my life. Fifty-something-year-old Black Lives Matter too, ya know!

Be blessed and be a blessing. I’ll keep you posted on my progress…

By Loupy D

Lawrence Evan Dotson was born in Los Angeles, California. He decided early in life that he wanted to tell stories. He was a character who could entertain his two older sisters by staging his own version of a church radio broadcast that they would listen to on Sunday nights. His desire to perform followed him through grade school, and in his senior year of high school, a UCLA professor scouted and urged Lawrence to major in theater. Lawrence felt convicted to follow in the footsteps of his father, so instead of declaring Theater Arts as a freshman, he went in undeclared to sit out for a spot in the highly competitive Engineering Department. It only took one calculus class to convince Lawrence that Theater Arts was his calling and that he was going to achieve his goal of being recognized for his talents. While attending UCLA, he combined his interests in art and music and was one of the founders of the UCLA Jazz and Reggae Festival. He was on the Student Committee for the Arts, which put on the Jazz at the Wadsworth Series in conjunction with KKGO FM. Lawrence became more aware of social justice issues affecting the African American community on campus and became active in organizations that promoted positive change. He collaborated with students from other majors and formed the African Theater Collective, which promoted and produced plays from the African Diaspora. That action inspired a performance protest demanding the hiring of more black professors in the Theater Department, and tenure for longtime Professor, Dr. Beverly J. Robinson. The performance was based upon the subject matter that Dr. Robinson taught: the procession of the Black Theater experience in America as depicted through the development of the African slave from the plantations, to the pulpit, to the stage. Blessed with a wealth of knowledge and a rich experience from the University, Lawrence graduated and landed a job as an actor with University Express, an outreach program managed by a former student of Dr. Robinson. The troupe performed plays at Middle and High Schools that stressed the importance of continuing education. The job allowed him enough time to go on auditions, but after a year Lawrence burnt out on the acting treadmill. He met an editor for an underground Hip Hop magazine called No Sellout in 1991. Lawrence had his first article published in the second issue, an interview with L.A. DJ Michael Mixxin Moor. Lawrence began writing under “Loupy D”, coined from a childhood nickname. He wrote articles, reviews and commentary, and conducted interviews with some of Hip Hop’s top entertainers like The Notorious BIG, Wu Tang Clan, Erykah Badu and many others until 2003. In 2015, he earned an MFA in Creative Writing, after submitting a draft of a memoir based on his experiences growing up in post-Civil Rights Era Los Angeles. He's published an academic article, “Persona in Progression: A Look At Creative Nonfiction Literature In Civil Rights and Rap,” in Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies. He also served a brief stint as the music editor for the online writing journal Drunk Monkeys. In between writing stints, Lawrence has and continues to be an avid amateur photographer and independent film professional. He will be releasing books and videos of his work over time, just as soon as he figures out how to balance work life with the life of single parenting two sons.

5 comments

  1. Hey man,

    Not the best news but I’m glad you’re on top of it and have a positive attitude. Holding space and praying for your healing.

    Please let me know if I can be of any assistance.

    I know if a medical intuitive that has been very successful with these kinds of things. Would you like her info?

    🙏🏾✨💜 Love you man!

    Jordan

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

  2. Loupy, this shall soon pass, as I am confident you will beat this . . . as you have beaten previous challenges you have faced.

    We need to seriously catch up, as a once-a-year phone call does not suffice!

    You. Got. This.

    – B. Butts

    Like

  3. Thank you for sharing your journey with me brotha! This was incredible! I pray that that your life is filled with healing energy and love.

    Like

  4. Hey Brother. Thank you for sharing this with the world. Hopefully it will help others (like me) develop the courage to get themselves tested. Not just for their sake, but for their families and loved ones.

    I’m here for you. You know you can call me anytime…

    Like

  5. Keeping you in prayer, Loup. I beat breast cancer & I know you’ll beat this. Appreciate you sharing your testimony…I truly believe it will save someone. 💕✨🙏🏾💕✨🙏🏾

    Like

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s