This is a blog written by 11Alive reporter and prostate cancer survivor Jerry Carnes in response to last week's announcement that Falcons owner Arthur Blank has cancer.
I say it at the beginning of every NFL season.
The Falcons are going to the Super Bowl.
I say it with conviction. I say it with hope. I’ve said it for the past 36 seasons, since falling in love with the powerful arm of Steve Bartkowski, the Gritz Blitz, and the forceful running of William Andrews. If I repeat it often enough and loud enough, it has to come true.
Hey, I’ve been right once.
So now, I have another pronouncement concerning the Falcons, more specifically the team’s owner.
Arthur Blank will survive prostate cancer.
I say that with far more certainty than the forced confidence that comes with my wishful thinking regarding the Dirty Birds and professional football’s biggest game.
Blank has provided few details about his diagnosis, but as a prostate cancer survivor, it appears Mr. Blank was doing everything right. He has indicated that his treatment will involve surgery. There has been no mention of chemotherapy or radiation. That’s good. Often, chemo means the cancer has moved outside of the prostate. It appears the Falcon’s owner was submitting himself to yearly physicals and regular prostate exams. That’s how you nip this nasty disease in the bud. Grab it before it has a chance to spread. Otherwise, Blank might not so joyfully flap his wings.
“The overall prognosis is good,” says Blank. “I’m looking forward to getting this behind me and continuing a very active lifestyle.”
This is encouraging. Surgery to remove my tainted prostate did not stop me from an active lifestyle. In fact, I never felt bad. Not at all. Not while cancer was lurking in my body, and not after it was evicted by a crafty surgeon.
I will impart this survivor wisdom on the Falcon’s commander. Do your exercises. Prepare for surgery like you’re readying for the Super Bowl (a game that will once again involve the Atlanta Falcons one day…I’m sure). Mr. Blank appears to be in good shape, great shape for a man of 73. Mr. Blank, they may seem silly, but do your Kegel exercises. A strong pelvic floor will bring great benefit in the months after surgery. Trust me. You wouldn’t send your football onto the field without proper protection in that, you know, in that area. Cups. You wouldn’t send players onto the field without cups. Think of the exercises like that.
I prepared for surgery with running. I did my exercises. I listened to my doctor. Nearly eight years after surgery, I feel great. No cancer. No regret.
I will also confess, Mr. Blank, that surgery changes your body. You’ll learn the term “new normal.” I know you’re about to get married. Some of those physical changes involve acts of intimacy. Don’t panic. You’ll be fine. But talk to your doctor. He’ll fill you in. I would but I’m…blushing.
Arthur Blank will be fine.
He will survive.
I’m sure of it.
Arthur Blank will punt prostate cancer. You will see him on the Falcons sidelines for every game next year.
Including the Super Bowl.
Okay, I’m not making any promises about the Super Bowl.
But that would be pretty cool.