CARMEL, N.Y. -- During Men's Health Month, cancer survivor Peter Chisick of Carmel, wants to remind all men to receive regular health check-ups.
Chisick was diagnosed with prostate cancer in January 2013. Following prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood tests that were elevated, Chisick had 13 biopsies taken from his prostate that confirmed the disease.
Chisick was lucky in that the cancer had not spread and was treatable with radiation and hormone therapy. He had 44 radiation treatments at Putnam Hospital Center over the course of two months and hormone shots administered every three months for two years that he completed six months ago.
Through it all, Chisick, a U.S. Navy submarine veteran, continued to work as a prep cook for the Putnam County William Koehler Memorial Senior Center.
The cancer, he explained, didn’t transform him, but rather the doctors, nurses and hospital staff who helped him beat the disease.
“The people changed me. I saw how good they are,” Chisick said. “Everyone at the hospital was so nice and helpful. They explained things to me. They were just so caring and considerate. I would come back, no doubt about it.”
Chisick is monitored more closely following heart bypass surgery in 2010. His wife, Sarena Chisick, a longtime nurse at Putnam Hospital Center, also keeps a watchful eye over his healthcare
“I did exactly what my doctor said. I didn’t hem and haw,” said Chisick, 77. “The secret is to get a good doctor and just listen to what they have to say.”
Since his diagnosis, Chisick said he tells his friends, co-workers and, most importantly, his younger brothers and sons to get regular health screenings.
“Guys don’t go to the doctor unless they’re half-dead. I’ve got two boys in their 20s. I gave them everything. I did the best for my kids. It’s not about me,” Chisick said. “I tell my sons, ‘Make sure you go to your doctor and get checked.’ ”