Before Marty Koch was diagnosed with prostate cancer, at the age of 49, he had never needed stitches for anything – much less been in a hospital.
Needless to say, he was scared.
Koch described himself as “being on the edge.” He had fears of “dying on the operating table.”
Now, five years later, at the age of 54, and with his treatment five years behind him, he said, “Although I know it sounds hard to believe, prostate cancer was one of the best things that happened to me.”
He liked his job, but he realized he was in a rut, working 60 plus hours a week.
“ My diagnosis made me think about the things I wanted to do for myself, my family and my friends,” Koch said.
As soon as he got back his pathology report, which indicated the cancer was contained in the prostate, he started making longer-range plans.
He retired in June of this year. In July, he left for a two-month camping and canoe trip in Alaska. In September, he starts a new job managing a fishing resort and canoe outfitting business in Canada. He has sold or given away everything he owned.
It was time to do what I wanted, and the cancer gave me the push I needed.
Thank goodness, the cancer was caught early and treated successfully. I have the energy and the health to do all the fishing, canoeing and camping I ever imagined in my dreams,” Koch said.
Koch was proactive in searching for a doctor.
“ I knew I wanted a doctor who would talk to me, who would address my concerns. And I wanted an experienced surgeon. It took me three months of going to doctors, networking and researching to find Dr. Catalona.
“ He was so kind and so thorough – willing to share his surgical history and to answer all my questions. I went into the operation strong emotionally,” Koch said.
Koch wanted to do something for Dr. Catalona and his retirement became the perfect opportunity. He requested a fundraising roast to benefit the Urological Research Foundation.
And he’s a strong advocate for prostate cancer screening.
“I am like a crusader,” Koch said. “At every chance I get, I tell men to get that PSA test at 40 and keep getting it every year.”