Hi. My name is Tim Barber. I’m an Arizona native. I’m a 40 year-old Tempe Police Detective and on June 29th, 2009 I was diagnosed with aggressive, stage 4 Prostate Cancer that had metastasized outside my prostate. Prior to that, I worked out at the gym a couple of times a week and rode my bike to work, 7 miles each way, every day of the week. In hindsight, I guess my only symptom was frequent urination, but I was drinking so much water in order to stay hydrated that it was easily dismissed.
I had a radical prostatectomy surgery using the DaVinci robotic method on July 14th and I continue to recover from that today. My surgeon told me that he had never had a patient in which he had to cut so much out in his career. Instead of a typical 2 hour surgery, mine took 6 1/2 hours. Soon, I’ll be starting Chemotherapy, Hormone Therapy and Radiation to attempt to kill off the cancer that remains inside of me.
I openly share my story with as many people as possible so that others can learn from me. My hope is that every male 35 and above begins to get the simple PSA blood test so that they at least have a baseline for where they are. My surgeon said that most healthy men mid-forties or younger should have a PSA of under 2.0. Mine was a 20.2 when I had it checked in May, 2009. My doctor told me that the cancer had probably been growing inside me for up to five years. The scary part is that there were virtually no symptoms.
I whole heartedly support P.O.P. and their mission on making early detection of Prostate Cancer easily accessible to men statewide. Please get checked so you don’t have to go through what I am currently dealing with.
Sadly, Tim passed away August 27th, 2011 a true hero and advocate of early detection of Prostate Cancer. (1968-2011)