AUGUSTA, Maine — Now semi-retired, Daniel Bois of Fairfield keeps a couple of part-time gigs to stay busy. He helps clean pools in the summer and is a ski instructor at Sugarloaf in the winter, or when the first flakes fly in November, whichever comes first.
Bois has five boys and a wife, who occupies his time at home. He says it keeps his mind off of prostate cancer, a battle he's been fighting for two years.
“They were concerned they can lose their dad prematurely,” Bois said. “Not watch them continue to grow-up. Not watch them get married or have grandchildren. And leaving my wife behind… she would not be too happy with me," he laughed.
Two years ago this past August, Bois' primary care physician found a lump on his prostate during a routine screening. In October 2017, the biopsy results showed he had aggressive cancer and on December 20, he decided to have prostate surgery. Since then Bois has undergone 38 radiation treatments.
A prostate-specific antigen test uses a blood sample to track a protein given off from the prostate. In men with prostate cancer, the level is elevated, according to the National Cancer Institute. After treatments, PSA levels typically drop.
“For me, it was a roller coaster ride. Every time you get your results you become very anxious because you are positive your results are going to be better, that your PSA is going to go down because you are feeling good. But then you have your results come back and it keeps getting worse.”
A friend battling prostate cancer told Bois about the Dempsey Center in Lewiston. He tried out treatments of acupuncture and massage therapy to reduce his anxiety.
“I’ve made a lifestyle change to improve the internal health of my body, the mental spiritual and physical health of my body so that I have a better chance of beating the cancer,” said Bois.
He recommends the Dempsey Center's services to all patients undergoing cancer treatment, calling it "comfort therapy."
“If I can help somebody out there that doesn’t know, that’s why I’m doing this,” said Bois.
Daniel Bois is not done with treatment quite yet. He will be undergoing a round of hormone therapy. He continues to attend monthly prostate cancer meetings held closer to his home at the Harold Alfond Cancer Center in Augusta where he can connect with others going through the same diagnosis.
Bois will be running the 10K during the Dempsey Challenge.