About the Book
Throughout his extensive career Alfred Samuels was a bodyguard to some the world’s most recognised celebrities. He was a physically active and mentally alert individual who provided the needs of his particular industry over many years. In January 2012 his world came to a sudden and unforeseeable halt when he was diagnosed with advanced metastatic prostate cancer, stage four. Alfred Samuels honest and frank account is one part of his mission to challenge men’s attitudes and the taboo surrounding prostate cancer.
Your book “Invincibility in the face of Prostate Cancer”, tells your tragic true story of your fight against Prostrate Cancer, how you won and now how you would like to change the minds of others about this often ignored but deadly condition that affect men globally. What helped you through your struggles?
a) I truly feel that education is a key factor in helping to change the minds of other men. It is mind boggling to know how many men are uneducated about the disease regardless of the many TV and radio ads.
My mind falls on a gentleman who I recently met, we found ourselves discussing matters relating to Prostate Cancer. During our lengthy conversation it became clear that his interpretation of Prostate Cancer was way off centre. Though on a yearly basis he visited his doctor for a general medical check up, his misguided interpretation of Prostate Cancer was evident. You see he believed that during his medical check that the blood tests that the doctor subjected him to also covered the PSA, Prostate Specific Antigen. It didn’t and the look on his face when I informed him suggested how uneducated he was about the disease. In that moment I had possibly saved another male from a disastrous and painful future.
b) Besides a spiritual entity, my wife Grace, children and siblings were constantly there for me. Most importantly within me there was a desire, will and determination to LIVE. Picture this situation… you are flat out on the floor after collapsing through excruciating cancer related back pain (bearing in mind that the back supports the upper body). There is no one in the immediate vicinity to assist you, you’re all on your own. What do you do?….I managed to support myself against kitchen cupboards and bring myself vertical….however, I collapsed twice more within the space of 3-4 minutes, each time doing the same as before, now that’s what I call determination but also the desire to LIVE.
c) I would like readers to take away the notion that none of us are invincible and we are born to die. Once an individual understands this ideology, then dealing with an illness such as Prostate Cancer will be far easier to comprehend and half your battle is already won.
You are very brave to share your story and promote recognition of this horrible disease. What is this key message that you would like readers to take away?
Thank you for saying that I am Brave however, I do not think I am brave. I am just want to share my story such that I can help others from going the route that I went. I would like readers to take away from my book that they can avoid going through the ultimate nightmare by just keeping on top of medical checks, not ignoring early warning signals as well as making dietary changes to their everyday consumption. Do not try and make major changes over night, gradual changes will work far better than the mad rush.
What was the most difficult time for you during this period of your life, and how would you encourage others to keep fighting?
There were many difficult moments but a few that stand out were the pain that I underwent, the feeling of unworthiness….The physiological strain on myself as I saw my business almost collapse and those that felt that their self-importance was far more important than that of someone with Advance Metastatic Prostate Cancer. It’s either Fight or Flight, your choice. You have to make a decision from very early on in your diagnosis on how you are going to deal with this disease it is a mindset thing which without you will not be able to make it through.
Your book will not only be educational but also an emotional story of your journey. Obviously your life changed completely when you heard word of the Cancer. What were your immediate thoughts, and how did you overcome these?
Before me was one of humanities hardest challenges. This unwarranted, uncertain and unexpected killer disease. And all I could say to myself was Why, Why, Why Me, those were my first initial thoughts….Then ..How am I going to tell my partner, children, and family….The thoughts and words flowed easily into my head, however dealing with them was far from easy. I decided in my mind that, it had to be somebody, so why not me. So shut up and deal with it and that’s what I did. Informing those close to me was not as easy because you knew tears and upset was going to be before you. None the less I chose my words carefully and approached each and everyone with the sad news. But I ensured everyone that I was not going to give up this fight and I needed their help to get through, words, small deeds, unity, they all helped me to get through. And let’s not forget PRAYER that was the biggest and most constant thing that held me and my family together.
For any of our readers who had suffered through cancer, or had loved ones who have been affected, what word of support would you offer?
Just look at the statistics that one in every seven men in the USA and one in every four men in the UK at some point are going to be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. That’s you. That’s your husband. That’s your brother. That’s your best friend.
I did not go through this alone. I had just met my partner Grace Johnson. and together we were committed to fighting this disease. And she had my back through it all – including doing research into available treatment options. For all cancer survivors…Don’t ever give up the fight until you have exhaled your last breath. For loved ones…Please never stop supporting and loving those of us who are fighting for our very lives….
Writing your story must have been an emotional struggle as you revisited difficult moments in your life. What would you say to others out there who have experienced disease, ailments or conditions that can have a serious impact on their own or others, who could write their own stories to share and help others?
I never thought for one moment that I could or would say that something good for me as come out of this vile disease and journey. What I have done is to write a story that will help save lives. Based on this pretext I am not only helping others but also myself. To sit and not do nothing would be nothing short of criminal, if words can help to save just one persons life then I will have achieved much in life.
On a different note, you have been the bodyguard to recognised celebrities, could you name any?
My security career spanned over 30 years, during which I worked with some of the following renowned celebrities…Bob Dylan, Sade, Spandau Ballet, Bros, Seal, Beyonce, Kelly Rowland, Harrison Ford, Patsy Kensitt, Maria Carey, Herbert Gronermyer, Mel and Kim, Oasis, Skunk Annasie. Rod Stewart. These are just a few amongst an array of stars who I travelled extensively through the world with in my protective role.
What do you plan to do next, will you write more, or will you focus your efforts on continuing to promote a change in men’s attitudes towards Prostrate Cancer?
I will spend some time getting around and visiting other cancer patients/survivors and carry out motivational talks and promoting my Mantra – Which is I refuse to leave this planet before completing my mission to change the taboo as relates to Prostate Cancer. I am also half way through my next book which will be available March 2016. This will be another Cancer related book based on “The Thoughts and Blogs of a Cancer Survivor.” Maybe in 2017 I will concentrate on my autobiography and the world of Protecting Celebrities.
Where can people find out more about your work, or contact you?
In reverse order…Find the best doctor/cancer treatment centre that you can: Go where the experts are and where there would be…
There are many web sites out there offering a minefield of information and misinformation so be careful.
Group chat rooms offered on facebook are quite good but again be careful what information and advice you take from other participants. Though in general people look after participants in these rooms there are always scammers and those wanting to take advantage of the sickly. Be aware of dubious cures and medication offered. If you are unsure of anything ask someone with a proven medical background to investigate it for you…..
For further help some of the following sites might be useful: –
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