August isn't the same.

August used to be the final stretch of summer. Pools. The beach. Cookouts. The last hurrah.

Now, school starts in August. Early August. No hurrah.

Well, there's one hurrah. My birthday is in August. Always has been. I assume it always will be.

It's also the month I was diagnosed with cancer.

Five years ago.

Presidents come and go in that amount of time. Children are born and go off to kindergarten. Most Hollywood marriages don't last that long. A lot of them don't last five months.

A lot can change in five years.

Since that rather surprising diagnosis, my oldest has earned his graduate degree and secured his first job. My middle child has moved from high school to college, my youngest from junior high to high school.

My wife and I have watched our bank account grow thinner. If only we'd done the same.

Oh, I guess it's important to note that in the last half-decade, I was able to rid my body of that nasty disease

There have been many developments since then. The FDA has approved an immunotherapy called Provenge, that basically trains your body's white blood cells to attack the prostate cancer cells. There are new drugs like Zytiga and Xtandi that block blood flow to prostate cancer cells, starving them, in essence.

Oddly, the safety information for Zytiga warns that you shouldn't take the drug "if you are pregnant or may become pregnant." Prostate cancer. Pregnancy. Fellas, help me with that one.

Some matters related to prostate cancer haven't changed at all.

Men are still stubborn. There are a lot of them over the age of 40 who still refuse to submit to yearly check ups and prostate cancer screening. You know who you are. I've pleaded with you before. Aren't you sick of hearing from me? Just go to the doctor, for goodness sake.

There are still medical experts who continue to discourage men from having their prostate checked. I mean, you might actually discover a problem. You might even be inclined to have that problem removed. For shame. No, it's much much better not to know what's going on inside of your body, good or bad. I hope you can hear the drip of sarcasm.

Some things never change. I'm still a smart aleck.

Another August has arrived, and I'm still prattling on about this cancer thing. This year, I've got something a little different planned.

Stay tuned.

And happy August.

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