updated 9/5/2006 10:12:34 PM ET 2006-09-06T02:12:34

Sometimes we don't have a say about things that happen to us, but we can choose to adapt and change, like trees bending in a sudden storm.

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In a recent installment of Low Blow, reporter Mike Stuckey wrote about one of the biggest changes prostate cancer inspired him to make — eating better.

We asked readers to share how cancer has changed them. Some, like Mike, have improved their diet, others are determined to remind other men to get their PSA levels tested regularly, one reader started psychotherapy, another bought a BMW and put in a pool.

"I made Tim McGraw's song 'Live Like You're Gonna Die' my theme song," wrote one survivor. "I swim every day, tend my garden, love my wife and say 'hi' to everyone I cross paths with."

Read on for more reader responses:

I've realized that we all have some sort of time bombs in us all, waiting, waiting for the right circumstances to explode. Mine came during a routine PSA test in January 2004, at age 51. My reading of 3.7 raised concerns when only year before it was 1.9. I had a radical prostatectomy by the da Vinci robot on July 8, 2004

What changes have I made? After reading your article I realized that I was already eating a lot like that for years before I was hit with the "C" news. I wasn't as radical though with the organic but eat plenty of vegetables and four to five pieces of fruit everyday. We are what we eat, but as kids in the '50 and '60s we ate what our parents put in front of us: red meat, fried baloney & cheese sandwiches, fried, fried, fried everything. Will changing our diets now help?

(After being diagnosed) I put in a pool and bought a BMW; it made me realize more and more that it all could be over tomorrow. My prostate cancer was not the wait-and-see-what-will-happen kind; it was very fast growing. If it was not removed right away — well, I would not be sitting here telling this story.

Want to do something to fight cancer? Early detection — tell the doctors to poke, prod and run every test the insurance companies will allow, and the earlier the better. Do not wait till you are 50 for your first PSA. I made Tim McGraw's song "Live Like You're Gonna Die" my theme song. I swim every day, tend my garden, love my wife and say "hi" to everyone I cross paths with.
Robert, Virginia Beach, Va.

Since my husband was diagnosed at 43 with prostate cancer, our diets have changed. Red meat was unfortunately a large part of our diet. Now we have it maybe once or twice a month. Ground turkey breast makes a mean taco, add more avocado than cheese. Most, if not all, of the animal products we consume are certified organic — free of pesticides and hormones. We eat berries, berries and more berries, they're great with oatmeal for breakfast. We put the freshest diced tomatoes in all our pastas, we cheat a little with romano cheese. Will this help? We hope.

We do share an occasional romantic dinner out where we indulge. To all our friends in this challenge, keep fighting the good fight. I hope when I pray before each PSA check that God is hearing a prayer for a zero and a cure too. God bless you Mike, and everyone else in this fight.
Jane, Hopedale, Mass.

I also was diagnosed with prostate cancer in April of this year and have totally related to (Mike Stuckey's) experiences and reactions. It has been very helpful to know that I am not alone in these feelings and thoughts that he shared with so many. I am 62 years old and my general practitioner insisted that I have the blood test and followed up that elevated result with a referral to the urologist. Stunned is the only word I have been able to use to describe my reaction, and that somehow is not sufficient.

One thing thing that has changed since my diagnosis, surgery, and recovery is my ability to discuss this with anyone and everyone. I want to tell them how fortunate I am to have found out before it had metastasized and recommend they make sure they get tested and what happens when they do. I opted for cryosurgery and have my follow-up blood work next Tuesday so here I sit wondering again, but strongly feeling that all will be well.
Jim, Annapolis, Md.

I am really in favor of getting a yearly PSA, because that's how my (prostate cancer) was found early. I opted for the seed therapy, which so far has been successful. I still take the Flomax daily, but most of the other symptoms have cleared up now some nine months later. We all need to encourage our male friends to have a yearly physical, including the digital exam and the PSA test and then act on the results.
David, Lake Bluff, Ill.

Great series, Mike. Your experience sounds very familiar. Good for you for diving into some of the more intimate details. I keep to Dr. Ornish's diet plus fish, essentially a low-fat vegan diet plus fish. Soy powder and pomegranate are included. I have kept up daily exercise and started weekly psychotherapy. I'm on hormone ablation which has its own challenges. I sleep more, have gone to emeritus status at work due to memory and cognitive changes which are likely emotional. I was diagnosed with advance cancer and had surgery in 2001. It's a constant concern.
Anonymous, Santa Rosa, Calif.

(I've changed my diet) and am eating right: plenty of vitamin E, fish, chicken and salads. I'm going in for my da Vinci surgery on Tuesday. I had to go get some boxers, sweat pants, etc. for the recovery period. I could not do the seeds and did not like the external beam radiation side effects. This "blog" has helped me deal with the waiting and worrying ... thanks.
Dave, Clarkston, Mich.

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