Carnival UK is passionate about creating a great place to work and keeping all of its people safe and well. It cares about people’s health and wellbeing. So throughout the month of November we are continuing to focus on men’s health.

Today, Richard Dace from IT Strategy and Architecture, shares his story of fighting prostate cancer.

Tell us about your experience?
In December of last year, I self-referred to my GP after deciding I was needing the toilet more frequently than normal. My GP ordered up some blood tests and found that I had an “elevated PSA level”, which is a sign of prostate problems.

In January I was referred to a urology specialist at University Hospital Southampton. This was followed quickly by a CT Scan, an MRI scan, a prostate biopsy and a bone scan.

In March 2018 I was informed I had aggressive prostate cancer and needed an operation to have it removed. This happened in May 2018, where I had to take some weeks off work for the operation and subsequent recovery period. Carnival was very supportive during this time and made sure I did not have to worry about work.

In addition, as a family we had booked a “holiday of a lifetime” on Aurora, to visit the Med and North Africa in the summer of 2018. This coincided with my two daughters graduating from University and A-Levels, and my youngest would have celebrated her 18th Birthday on board in the port of Ceuta, North Africa, so this cruise was intended to be a big family celebration.

Due to my condition we were forced to cancel the holiday, and Carnival very kindly provided a full refund, which was a relief as a lot of money was involved.

Despite the operation I still have the cancer, so I am now due to undergo daily radiotherapy at UHS throughout November to January, although they do give me Christmas Day and Boxing Day off!

Again, Carnival is being very accommodating in allowing me the time off from work to undergo this treatment, without any pressure to complete work at the same time.

What prompted you to seek help/advice in relation to your health?
I was not happy that my body wasn’t behaving “normally” so I decided not to mess around and get it checked out by the GP straight away. It took a few months though, for me to decide it was not a temporary problem that would go away on its own.
Why do you think it is important to encourage men to focus on their health?
There are so many health hazards out there, many of which you never know exist unless someone you know suffers from a condition. So it is important to get GP advice if something does not feel or look right, or there is a prolonged change to normal bodily function. Pretending everything is alright, trying to be “macho”, or thinking you don’t want to bother your GP is just not sensible.
Have you changed your approach to life since your diagnosis?
I have been forced to take it easy. The cancer and the medication which I am now on both increased my levels of fatigue and I need to ensure I get plenty of rest and avoid stress.

There are also physical symptoms which are inconvenient, and they can get in the way of normal operation. Carnival has been really flexible when it comes to my daily arrival or departure times, and I am working from home a little more so that I can save some of the wear and tear of travelling to the office.

Philosophically, I am generally an optimist and have a good sense of humour (believe me, you need it!), so I am quite upbeat about the road ahead. But this has made me realise how important friends and socialising are to keep my spirits up, so I am planning to go out more, energy permitting, to remind myself there is a good life to be had out there.

If you could give a man one piece of advice what would it be?
If something about your health changes and doesn’t go away after a few weeks, go see your GP and get it checked out. Early intervention gives you the best chance of a good outcome if you do have a health issue, and if it turns out you don’t have one, all you’ve done is wasted a bit of time chatting to a Doctor 🙂
Anything else you would like to share/ add?
The hardest part about having cancer so far, for me, is the reaction of other people. It can be something of a challenge to decide who to tell and who not to tell, because managing their uncertainty, concern or distress can become upsetting.

I don’t mind talking to people about my case, I’m not particularly sensitive about it, but I do worry about how they are going to receive it or cope with knowing.


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  1. Wishing you a speedy and full recovery Richard; thank you for being so open about your experiences in order to help others 🙂

  2. Great article and hope a lot of men take note on such an important subject. Richard, I wish you a swift and thank you for sharing your experieince with all