Talking Hope: “You have to live your passion”: Racing legend Bob Alderman on his 21-year survivorship journey with prostate cancer

“You don’t have to be a tough guy, but you can be tough-minded.”

Every time Bob Alderman puts on his racing helmet, the rest of the world fades away. But after two decades of fighting prostate cancer, he wasn’t sure he would ever sit behind the wheel of a sprint car again. “Cancer is scary, and that’s normal and okay, but you are still the person you are at the core,” says Alderman. “I have a lot of confidence knowing City of Hope is with me so I can be exactly who I am.’” Join us as the racing legend discusses how following his passion has been key to his survivorship, his journey back to the racetrack, and why his story starts with Hope First.

When it comes to cancer, it’s Hope First. Call 888-333-HOPE (4673).

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Darrin Godin: Hello, and welcome to Talking Hope. I'm Darrin Godin, and I'm pleased to be speaking with Bob Alderman, a legend in the world of racing. It's been said that Bob has probably forgotten more races than most of us will ever see. You name it. Motorcycles. Dragsters. Land speed racers. Sprint cars. Bob's raced it all, and he's won trophies and sped across salt flats and crashed into walls. But his toughest race and longest race has been with cancer. Bob, your journey spans two decades, and we've got so much to talk about. Thank you so much for being on the podcast with us today.

Bob Alderman: Thank you so much for having me, Darrin. I appreciate the opportunity to spread the word about it.

Darrin Godin: So, Bob, I would imagine you have to be in pretty good health to race cars. So have you always paid attention to your health your whole life and done things to ensure good health and regular checkups and cancer screenings, et cetera?

Bob Alderman: I didn't do all the regular checkups and the cancer screening and stuff, but I've always taken care of myself. I never smoked. I don't drink. When I was younger, I drank a little bit, but we all do what we did in our teens and 20s, and I've managed to live through all that. But as far as being healthy, I've always taken care of myself as far as diet and exercise. I've been racing a long time, and it is physical. Some guys ... They don't need any of that, and other guys do. And I've always just found it better to be in better shape and better health to be able to race at whatever level.

Darrin Godin: And have you always been a pretty competitive person?

Bob Alderman: Absolutely. Yeah.

Darrin Godin: How has that played into your journey with cancer?

Bob Alderman: I never ... And I still don't. I've never thought about losing. I never thought I was going to lose that battle. It's come back several times over the years, clearly, obviously, but the first 15 years or so, 14 years, whatever it was, every time it came back, we just took care of it. It was a little radiation. It was this. It was that. Never any chemo. Nothing that radical. But as it progressed and it got worse, especially when it turned stage four, which will be six years in August, that's when it amped up, and it wasn't ... It amped up on my part. And it came pretty easily to me, to be honest with you. I mean, it's a hard fight. It's a shock. You hear that word. First you have the cancer diagnosis, and then you go through all those years, and you're living with it, you're coexisting with it, and then all of a sudden it gets really aggressive and turns stage four. Then it's a new deal. It becomes a different level of a fight.

But I was honestly surprised that ... The transition, for me ... It's brutal. Sometimes you don't want to do it. Sometimes you don't want to be here. Sometimes you want to give up. But I noticed that it's a very short period of time with me, and I noticed I always go straight to fight. And when it does get me down, I level up a little bit. When I come out of that part of the journey, I'll figure something out or I'll look at something, and then I'll get a little bit smarter about it. I'll get a little bit tougher about it. And I'm not a tough guy at all. I'm tough-minded. I think that goes with any kind of athlete, any kind of competitive person. We're just not tough guys. We're just competitive. We give 150%. And, yes, that's helped me tremendously in this deal.

Darrin Godin: I like what you said. I heard you say you don't have to be a tough guy, but you can be tough-minded, and I think that's really important. To give our listeners context ... So the cancer we're talking about is prostate cancer. Correct? Is that the cancer you've had?

Bob Alderman: Yes. Yes.

Darrin Godin: Okay. And so how are you doing today, Bob?

Bob Alderman: How am I doing today?

Darrin Godin: Yeah.

Bob Alderman: I'm good. I'm off hormone therapy for the first time, and I think I was off of it for a minute a few years ago when we changed hormone therapies. I went from Lupron to something else, and I was off of it for a little while then, and I kind of remember that being a pretty good time, because you're clear. But I've been off of it for, gosh, over two months now, and they call it a hormone therapy vacation. And my oncologist said this would be a three- to six-month deal, and we're almost three months in, and it takes a while for it to actually wear off, and the testosterone starts building back up, but it's a ...

For me, I'll be on hormone therapy the rest of my life, and so will other guys, and a lot of guys will get hormone therapy vacations just like this. But coming out of the other side of the hormone therapy and being clear and being able to look at everything that I've been through, I'm in a really good place today. I don't feel like ... It's hard. It's hard to explain mentally to somebody that's not going through it, and-

Darrin Godin: Well, let's dig into that a little bit. I know you've been very open and acknowledging of the hard parts of the journey, so let's talk about some of those keys that you've used to really get through some of those challenges. So what are some of those keys you think you've really held on to to get past some of the challenging times or to get through the challenging times?

Bob Alderman: You've got to remember who you are. The cancer ... It doesn't fight fair. It's selfish. I mean, it's a bad, bad opponent, I'll tell you. But what it does is it tries to pull you into being all about the cancer, and what happens is is that you take everything in your life and you move it over here, and now the cancer's your whole focus. So you're doing the cancer thing all the time, and then you kind of forget who you are, and when you're in that journey ... And it's hard to recognize it while you're doing it, especially if you're doing chemo and radiation and you're in all kinds of treatment, you've got brain fog and on and on and on. You're not thinking like that. You're just going through the treatment, and you're getting through the day, and you're trying not to be sick and whatever it is you do with it, however people handle it.

But where I'm at today ... And you always feel like there's that guy walking behind you with that gun, and you keep waiting for that shot to go off. And right now is like the first time in a long time where I haven't felt like I've had that guy walking behind me, and it's freeing. And I know part of the reason I'm going through that is because I'm living my life to the best that I can. It's never going to be like it was before. I mean, I was 49 years old when this whole deal started, and I'm 70 now, and I spent a good part of my last 20 years fighting cancer and trying not to be defined by it and moving on with my life. I own a business. I race. I've got three kids. I mean, I had a big life, and when that's put on hold for whatever reason, so many things change.
And then I think that what happens is is while you're in the middle of that and you're in that fight and you're going through the chemo and the radiation and all the drugs and the this and the that and the hormone therapy that you kind of lose who you are and you become this part of this team that you're kind of the ... Nothing's really expected of you other than to get better. And for a man, that's really a hard deal for a man to do and accept, because there becomes so many role reversals in your life. And it happened in my life, and I'm sure it happens in a lot of lives.

Darrin Godin: Yeah. So you feel ... I mean, because you're used to being in control and perhaps in charge or the one that other folks are relying on.

Bob Alderman: Absolutely.

Darrin Godin: And now you're having to be at the center of that and receiving that care.

Bob Alderman: Yeah. Absolutely.

Darrin Godin:
That must be challenging.

Bob Alderman: Yeah. And you feel kind of less than. You get to a point where you just feel like, "Well, I'm not contributing. I'm not helping. I'm not doing this. I'm not doing that." There becomes the intimacy issues with your wife or your relationship or whatever. And then all that stuff kind of piles up, and you got to remember who you are so that you can recognize yourself and bring yourself out of that dark hole that you go into.

Darrin Godin: Yep. We have a saying here at City of Hope Orange County that with cancer, you can't pick your battles, but you can choose your warriors. And I heard you talk about your family. You didn't mention your wife yet, but we got to meet her. The rest of the podcast didn't, but I got to meet her. She was helping you set up for the podcast. So talk about your family and your wife for a moment, about how they were warriors for you.

Bob Alderman: I can't say enough about my wife. My wife was amazing. And we've worked together for years. We've been together almost 40 years, and we've raised a family. We've got grandkids, and we've had all the ups and downs of business and marriage and whatever. We came through it with flying colors. I mean, we did really well. It's always been a beautiful love story. And when the cancer first hit, it was shocking. It wasn't good. It wasn't easy. And we got through that really well. And then when the stage four thing hit, that was brutal. It got real. I mean, it got really real.

And we went through a lot of things with that, and she never ever wavered. She never let her guard down. She never quit fighting with me. And there were times in that whole thing when I was really, really sick and I couldn't mentally or emotionally grasp everything that was going on while she was taking care of everything behind the scenes that I wasn't privy to, I wasn't involved with. When you're sleeping for three days and you're finding you passed out underneath the dining room table or in the bathroom or whatever for 20 months straight, you're out of the loop.

So she was able to keep everything going and take care of me at the same time. I couldn't drive. I mean, she had to take me to the doctors. She had to take me to chemo. She had to ... All of that. And it took me a while to realize how hard it was on her, and I think it was when I was coming out of all the chemo and the radiation and the radiation drip and all the stuff we went through. I was down for, I think, 20 months straight, a long time, and it was continuous treatment throughout that whole time too. It was six months of chemo. It was however many months of radiation, a couple times in between, and then it was the radiation drip, which was six months long, and then and then and then and then.

So it's a huge role reversal for men, and every situation's different. But she has been unbelievable as far as a caregiver, and she didn't open my eyes by telling me or getting mad at me or complaining or whatever. She opened my eyes to what the caregivers go through by the way that she took care of me.

Darrin Godin: Yeah.

Bob Alderman: There was a day that I looked at it and I said, "This has got to be as hard on her, if not harder," and then I really started looking at that whole side of it. And they see us in pain, they see what we're going through, and they ... Parents know what this is like. You want to take the pain away from your children. You want to take the pain away from your loved one. And you can't do it, and you don't know how they really feel. So it's hard to understand sometimes when a cancer patient, especially a stage four cancer patient on all kinds of meds and whatever else they got going at the time, mentally isn't capable of engaging with you on some kind of level that makes any kind of sense. You know?

Darrin Godin: Yeah. You're really hitting on an important aspect of cancer care is that it's not just the patient. The families are going through it as well. They may not be the person with the illness, but they are impacted, they are affected, and they are part of-

Bob Alderman: And not having the illness is what makes it harder for them. I know that a lot of cancer patients probably wouldn't agree with me, because it's a horrible treatment. I mean, I've been there. My fourth chemo treatment, I got put in the hospital. I thought I was going to die, but ... Oh. I lost my thought. Sorry about that.

Darrin Godin: That's okay. That's okay.

Bob Alderman: But not knowing something is ... Oh. I know what I was going to say. Cancer patients would probably disagree with this because of what they go through. I think it's harder on the caregiver. I think it's easier for the patient, and that's a pretty strong statement, talking to a whole bunch of cancer people or cancer patients, but I truly think that at the end of the day the physical side of everything that cancer patients go through ... We get used to it or we don't. People deal with it in different ways.

I exercise. I'm in the gym every single day. I have been for ... Whenever I can, the last however many years, I go to the gym. Well, I've been pretty good the last year or so, a little less than a year, but I'm at the gym every day, and I know that that exercise helps me fight what I'm going through and blah, blah, blah, but I just think it's ... I think that cancer patients ... I don't want to say get used to the treatment, because that's not fair. I'm one of them. I mean, my wife never saw me throw up until I got stage four cancer. I just didn't throw up. And can't tell you. I mean, it was four or five times a day. I don't need to get into details, but it was a lot. And I think that might have been more painful for her than me.

Darrin Godin: Yeah. Well, I hear you, and I think a lot of other patients would probably agree that it is very difficult on those that are around them as well. And, gosh, it really shines light on the need for us to also acknowledge those that are part of your care team and part of your warriors around you that are taking care of you.

Bob Alderman: Well, my son [inaudible 00:18:05].

Darrin Godin: Let's talk about another warrior, Bob. You've had a long-term patient-doctor relationship with your medical oncologist. Tell us about the moment that you knew Dr. Sandy Liu was who you wanted to be for your physician.

Bob Alderman: Dr. Liu. She's been my only oncologist, actually. I had a urologist forever. I got diagnosed with the prostate cancer. I went to a urologist and had my prostate taken out, and then I was back with the ... I mean, an oncologist. And then was right back with the urologist until it went stage four. But he told me I had to get an oncologist, so I made appointments, and my first appointment was with Dr. Liu.

And I don't know how many weeks or days she was out of medical school when I met her, but she was young. She was 34 years old and about this tall. And I met with her, my wife and I, and we sat down with her, and it was a Friday, and I liked her, but I was going to go get my other opinions. I wasn't just going to go to the first one. And when I was leaving, she said, "You're here. Why don't we take some blood work and let's see where you're at today?" I said, "Okay. We can do that," and we did that, and I said my goodbyes and, "We're going to go see someone else, and I'll get back to you."

Monday afternoon, she called me and she said, "I got your blood work back, and I'm concerned." I said, "Okay." I said, "Am I going to be okay?" and she goes, "Well, you're going to be okay, but you have to do this, this, and this," and it was everything that she told me on Friday that I adamantly told her I wasn't going to do. And she was so passionate, and she was so ... Not forceful. She was ...

Darrin Godin: Confident?

Bob Alderman: Pretty confident. But she kind of went on and on and on, and I interrupted her, and I said, "So are you my doctor?" And there was kind of a long pause, and she waited, and then she said, "Yeah. I'm your doctor, but you have to do this, this," and I said, "Okay. No worries," and "When do you need to see me?" "I need to see you tomorrow." And I went in the next day, and I got my Lupron shot that I was never going to get. And we sat down, and we had a long conversation, and I told her flat out. I think I was 62 years old at the time. I said, "I'm in really good shape. I'm strong. Don't worry about hurting me." I said, "Let's aggressively go after this," and she did. I mean, she knocked the crap out of me. And like I said, at the fourth chemo treatment, I was in the hospital.

But she thinks outside the box. She looks at everything. She looks at all the details of everything, and then she puts stuff together that might not be exactly what it would be for everybody else, but everybody's different. Every patient's different. So she's been very aggressive with my cancer from day one, and it's been ... I guess it's been six or seven years I've been with her.

Darrin Godin: Wow. And so she came to City of Hope Orange County. As we've been building out City of Hope here in Orange County, we've recruited some of the best of the best, and Sandy's one of them. And so you followed her here to City of Hope Orange County. Can you tell us some of your experiences about City of Hope Orange County so far?

Bob Alderman: I love City of Hope. It didn't matter. I mean, I told her when she told us that she was leaving ... I said, "I'll get on an airplane once a month and fly to New York if I have to," and I would. And she told me she was going to Orange County, and I'd say, I don't know, sometimes it's an hour and a half. Sometimes it's three hours to get there, depending on traffic. You know how traffic is.

But when I started going down there, it was just me and Sandy. I didn't know anybody. But every time I'd go down, I'd get my blood work done before I see her, and that blood work's done in 20 minutes. Where I was before, it was a day or two sometimes. So the results are there right away, so when you go get your blood work done and then you go upstairs to see your doctor, she has all the information she needs right there, and then you're really on top of it. And I see her once a month, and we just now went to once every two months for the first time in like six years.

But the staff down there ... I walk in the front door, and there's two reception people, and they're different all the time. I think there's like six different ones. I don't know. They all call me by name when I walk in. And I know. Probably the hair and whatever. But they call me by name when I walk in. By first name, at my request. My radiologist, Dr. Percy Lee ... His whole staff is right there at the first floor when I walk in. Dr. Lee's on the third floor. I've done quite a bit of radiation with Dr. Lee, some very specialized radiation that he's doing. So I'll go in, and I talk to them before I go upstairs. I go upstairs, the staff ... It's just comfortable. It feels like ... Well, it feels like where I need to be. If you have to have a home, if you have to have a cancer hospital home, that really feels like home to me, with the way people are.

Darrin Godin: I love that. If you have to have a cancer hospital home, City of Hope is a good home to have, huh?

Bob Alderman: Yeah. It's a good home.

Darrin Godin: So what advice, Bob, do you regularly give to others who are going through cancer, whether it's prostate cancer or something else, who may be struggling physically or emotionally? What is the advice that you like to give to others?

Bob Alderman: Well, I think that it's really important that whatever you're going through, whatever stage you're at or however you discover it ... And I can't push early detection enough. I mean, I was 49. I know that guys younger than that are getting prostate cancer now. And it starts out with a blood test. I know the myths. I know what everybody thinks about prostate exams and whatever. But at the end of the day, after so long, it does not even register. It's not even on your radar anymore, what you went through or what happened.

But I think the most important part of it is education, educating what kind of cancer it is, educating what stage it is, educating what the different treatments are, because there's different treatments for all kinds of different cancer. And I know that you have to be your own advocate sometimes. I've gone toe to toe with Sandy more than once, and I think I almost won one time. I'm not sure. But you have to advocate for yourself, and you have to educate yourself, because if you don't know what you're going into, you can't help yourself, and then you're relying on somebody else. And I don't feel that anything as important as your health or as important as a cancer fight ... You really, really need a team, and you need to put a good team together. You got to be comfortable with your doctor. If you don't love your doctor, then you have absolutely got the wrong doctor, and you've got to go find another one. That's so, so important. It's all of that.

And I hear cancer patients talking about the treatment and the chemo and you got to do this and you got to do that and all this other stuff, and I'm sure all of that is so. I've never really soaked my feet in ice water before chemotherapy, but I guess that's a thing. And there's all these different kinds of things. And I kind of look at that whole battle as a pie, where you take whatever slice of whatever you need at what time during that journey, whether it be spiritual, whether it be ... Whatever. Diet. Exercise. Doctor. Whatever slice of that pie you need, you got to be educated enough to know that, "Okay. Listen. This is what's happening now, so I need to kind of do this." You need to get a DNA test. You need to do all the things beforehand so that you don't trip yourself up in the journey.

People like to take supplements, and people like to tell people with cancer all the different miracle cancer cures, and there's a billion TikTok doctors and on and on and on. But when you start mixing stuff with meds, with cancer meds and this and that, you don't know what's mixing and what's harmful and what's not harmful. So you could be taking a supplement you think's saving your life, and it could be actually hurting you more than anything. So it's education. It's DNA tests. It's a lot of things to prepare to go into the fight. I don't think you can just ... And a lot of people ... They don't get diagnosed early enough, and they're thrown into the fight. I get that. But I think that part of it needs to change too. I think, as a society, we're kind of cancer ignorant, and I think that we need education-

Darrin Godin: Yeah. I agree.

Bob Alderman: ... for cancer patients and non-cancer patients. You know?

Darrin Godin: I think you're right, Bob. One thing I appreciate about City of Hope being a comprehensive cancer center is you're not just getting the treatment. You're not just getting the doctors. You're getting all the wraparound care as well, the supportive care. I hear you talking about the different slices of pie that you might need, and I'm thinking right now of the dieticians that we have and those who provide-

Bob Alderman: You have palliative care going on. They're doing acupuncture. They're looking at CBD. They're ... Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb. I mean, they're doing all of that.

Darrin Godin: Yep. And our psychologists, and our social workers, and everybody that's coming together to take care of that pie, as you called it, I think, is so important. Well, we're coming to the of our time, I know, and I want to be respectful of your time, but tell us about your recent racing comeback.

Bob Alderman: I'm a racer. I'm a hardcore racer. I always have been. I always prioritized my family and my business, and all that always came first, so sometimes racing got put aside or whatever. But when I had to quit racing, it was kind of devastating to me. We were still running well. We were still competitive. I was early 60s and good shape, and I had no intention of stopping. Paul Newman won a sports car championship at 80s years old, so ... You know.

But when I went stage four, my wife and Dr. Liu and people in my circle ... They were all pretty positive I'd never sit in a sprint car again. And sprint cars are what I love. It's a pretty dangerous deal. They're 700, 800 horsepower, 1,100 pounds, open wheel, dirt track on an oval with 19 other maniacs. And they're kind of dangerous. I mean, open wheel. They go over the wheel. They flip. They do all that stuff. Not a lot, but enough. And when they do, it's not always good. So I was kind of told I would never sit in a sprint car again.

And when I started feeling better, I wanted to race again, so I started looking at stuff that was probably ... I catch myself. I say safe, and I don't think that's fair to the things that I was racing, so we're just going to say they're safer. So I went to Bonneville, and I ran for a land speed record at Bonneville in '21. Came out of treatment in March, and I was at Bonneville in August. And that was good. It was fun and all that. And then I started doing a little drag racing, because it's just straight line, whatever. And that was okay, but it wasn't doing it, to be honest with you. No offense to land speed racing or drag racing or whatever. I probably wasn't going fast enough to appreciate it.

But I wanted to get back in a sprint car. And I felt pretty good. And I went to Dr. Liu, and I said, "Hey. I want to go sprint car racing again, and what's that look like?" and she said, "Well, let's do a bone density test, first of all, and then we'll do a PMSA scan. Then we'll do the blood, and we'll do this, and we'll do that," and blah, blah, blah. And I get PMSA scans all the time anyway. So we did all that. My bone density came back average for my age. Blood work came back perfect. Numbers were down. PMSA scan came back good. Nothing really lit up. And she said, "Okay. You can go racing, but you have to be careful." I said, "Okay."

So my wife and I were talking to somebody. We were somewhere, and this person said, "Hey, Bob. I'm thinking of building a land speed car. Do you want to drive it?" and I said, "I'd be honored. I think that'd be awesome." I said, "But I'm kind of going in a different direction than that," and he said, "What are you doing?" and I said, "Well, I haven't cleared it with upper management yet, so I'm not really talking about it," and she was kind of standing there looking at me, and I glanced over, and I said, "I want to get back in a sprint car," and she said, because she was shutting it down immediately, "Oh. Did you clear it with your doctor?" "Yes. I did." So then we had that conversation later privately, and there's conditions, but I'm trying to live up them.

And so anyway, I got together with a guy I used to race with a long time. He's got a team now, and his kid's racing, and they're doing really well. And we talked about me getting back in a race car, and he added a third car to his team. So he has a three-car team now. And we went out. Our practices kept getting rained out. Our first race got rained out. And then we rented the track one day and went out, and I got to do some laps and get back in a car. And I thought it'd been like six years. My wife corrected me. [inaudible 00:34:46] over eight years since I raced a sprint car. And so I had a really good practice day. I didn't even practice that much. I mean, it came back to me pretty quickly. And the following weekend on Saturday night was our first race, and we won the main event first time out. Then we ran again-

Darrin Godin: Congratulations.

Bob Alderman: ... ran again a couple weeks ago, and we ran fourth. So we're holding our own with the racing thing right now. And I didn't expect to win a main event at all, let alone first time out. But it was circumstances. You know?

Darrin Godin: Yeah.

Bob Alderman: It was the track. It was the competition. It was the yellow flags. Everything just kind came together where it just kind of worked out in my favor. So yeah. That was awesome.

Darrin Godin: Got to do the thing you love. So last question. I want to-

Bob Alderman: It's what keeps you going. It's what keeps you going. I can't tell you in this whole journey how important passion is and being able to do something that you want to do. I know I'm long-winded, but my son got married, I don't know, two months ago in Key West. So I told my wife before we left for Key West. I said, "I'm going to take my cancer, and I'm going to leave it here right now, and I'm just going to go have fun," and I had a blast. We had a great time in Key West. So I'm trying to do that with everything in my life, where I put the cancer over here and then I focus on this, and it's a deflection. It tricks your mind into not thinking about the cancer all the time. It gives you something to live for.

Darrin Godin: Yeah. It sounds to me like it also puts you back in control. You can say, "Cancer, you stay here. I'm going to continue to live my life," and that's got to be-

Bob Alderman: A little bit. There's a little control there.

Darrin Godin: Yeah. Well, last question for you, Bob. I want to know what else you're looking forward to, and I'm really specifically ... Talk to us more about your passion for advocacy for others with cancer.

Bob Alderman: I'm a builder. I've been a builder for a long time. I've owned a construction company. I've been in construction for almost all my adult life. When I couldn't work anymore at stage four and I was so sick and I was going through all of that ... When we get sick or we break a bone or whatever, when it heals or the pain goes away or we're not sick anymore, we forget about that. We don't think about that pain or that broken bone or anything like that, and cancer is the same way because it comes back in stages. So when you get your prostate taken out and you're good, you don't think about it. You're done. And then it comes back. Okay. And then it comes back again and blah, blah, blah.

Well, then it comes back and it gets your absolute full attention. I mean, it gets your 1,000% attention. And as you're going through it and you're fighting it and you're coming ... I've met incredible people, from my doctors to the nurses to the pharmaceutical people. I've met people that work in the labs. And, I mean, they're incredible. I never would have met those people had I not gone through this journey. And for that, I will be forever grateful. And that's one part of this cancer thing I would never trade. The people I've met ... Unbelievable. But refresh my memory.

Darrin Godin: Advocacy. Your passion for-

Bob Alderman: Advocacy. So anyway-

Darrin Godin:... [inaudible 00:38:42] with others.

Bob Alderman: Anyway, when I got that, when I figured out that this is actually real and what it was doing and the effects it was having on me and I kept coming through it, I thought, "Well, I have to help. I'd be selfish if I didn't help," and I'm not ... I've lived my whole life pretty much under the radar, so for me to get up and speak and do all that, it's really out of the realm of what I've done in the past.

So anyway, I am now working on a podcast. I have, I don't know, five or six episodes. We're going to start going on social media, TikTok, and YouTube, and all the normal suspects, 20, 30 seconds at a time, just positive messages, going to follow the racing a little bit, and just put out there that there's life after cancer. It's not a death sentence. And even if the quantity's not as good as the quality, I mean, the quality's everything. And I always say, if they give me until next Thursday, I'm going to have a great time until next Wednesday.

Darrin Godin: There you go.

Bob Alderman: But it's important to get the word out there, and it's important to educate people on cancer and how cancer patients really feel. I mean, I can't tell you how emotional it is when your circle gets really small because people don't know what to say to you, they don't know how to talk to you, they don't know how to react. They just don't know, so they ghost you, and it's not their fault. You have to understand that it's not you, but it's not them either. It's that cancer ignorance that we talked about. They just don't know.

So there's just so many things involved with advocacy that ... I thought in the beginning of when I started advocating, I wasn't even anywhere close enough to even think about being an advocate with what I know today, so I think now's the time for me to get out there and do that. I advocate for a big pharm company, and I talk to their global people, and they've got worldwide people everywhere, like 80,000 employees or something. And we do in-house stuff with them, and we talk, and we do this and do that on some other platforms and some other podcasts. And I'm just helping, just trying to do my good.

Darrin Godin: We appreciate it, Bob. And I just want to say thank you.

Bob Alderman: I got my master's. I want to use it.

Darrin Godin: Yeah. Yep. Well, thank you so much, Bob, for sharing your story with us today. It's not only been inspiring to me. I've learned a few things. You've made me consider a few things. I really like what you said at the top about you don't have to be a tough guy. You could be tough-minded. I think that's good for a lot of folks to know that ... Maintain that tough mind. But thank you so much for sharing your story today. We really do appreciate it, and-

Bob Alderman: Thank you.

Darrin Godin:... we're glad that you're finding hope and healing here at City of Hope as well.

Bob Alderman: Yeah. I'm not going anywhere.

Darrin Godin: Well, prostate cancer is highly treatable when caught early and when care is provided by highly trained, specialized experts using the most advanced treatments and technologies that are available. And at City of Hope Orange County Lennar Foundation Cancer Center, the most comprehensive cancer center in Orange County, we use the latest advances in robotic surgery and molecular imaging to ensure that patients with prostate cancer have the best care possible. City of Hope pioneered those procedures and has performed thousands of robotic surgeries for prostate and other urologic cancers, more than any other hospital in the Western United States.

We urge all men to take control of their health and talk to their physician about getting screened for prostate cancer. First in research. First in treatment. First in survival. When it comes to cancer, it's hope first. So we hope that you'll visit to learn more. Or if you need to make an appointment, please call us at 888-333-HOPE. That's 888-333-4673. And thank you all for listening, and please join us next time on Talking Hope.