In the lead-up to the holidays, a lot of cancer patients are finding ways to brighten up their days. One inspiring former soap opera star found a way to feel festive, even as he faced a tremendous challenge — his surgery for prostate cancer.
Réal Andrews, 56, who starred on daytime soaps such as “Days of Our Lives” and “All My Children,” checked in to Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Los Angeles for surgery on Dec. 17, according to ABC Soaps in Depth. Before his operation, he put on a Santa Claus sweatsuit and hat and, with his trademark good cheer, gave the thumb’s up with a big smile.Read More
Andrews went public with his diagnosis this past fall, according to Soaphub.com.
His supporters let him know they are there for him, “Good luck today! Your in my prayers! Take care,” “Praying for you,” and “Sending healing vibes [heart] you got this!” were among the comments posted alongside the photo.
Andrews, who trained for the 1984 Olympics team as a sprinter until a hamstring injury kept him from the sport, has also completed two Ironman races, according to Soap.com. It reports he’s been staying as active as he can during cancer. He’s also been updating his supportive fans on his workouts throughout the process.
In a post the day before his surgery, Andrews let his supporters on Instagram know he was still working out up until the treatment.
“Our Last workout for a while.. 24 hours 49 minutes till it is on Let’s go #Bring it #beatcancer #cancersucks. #cancersurvivor #wegotthis,” he wrote in the post alongside a photo of himself flashing his signature three-finger salute during a morning run.
After the surgery, Andrews posted a number of photos with friends and family surrounding him in the hospital to express his gratitude for their support, and let the world know he’s still smiling.
View this post on Instagram
How can you go wrong when you have such amazing prayer warriors that actually come and pray over you at your bedside even if he’s wearing a Pittsburgh Steeler shirt ❤️❤️❤️ Thank you Jim and Zoilita for your prayers @neh8_10 #prayerwarrior #prayerwarriors @highervisionchurch #highervisionchurch #gratitude #gratefulheart
In his most recent update, he shouted out Providence Holy Cross Medical center for the quality of care they provided him during his surgery.
Information about Prostate Cancer Surgery
Removing your prostate is “a big operation,” says Dr. Stephen Freedland, director of the Center for Integrative Research in Cancer and Lifestyle at Cedars-Sinai, told SurvivorNet in a previous interview. The goal of the surgery is to completely remove the cancer.
Dr. Stephen Freedland, Director of the Center for Integrative Research in Cancer and Lifestyle at Cedars-Sinai, gives an overview of surgery prostate cancer.
This can be done with traditional open surgery, laparoscopy or robotic-assisted surgery (which is becoming the norm). “It’s probably a good month or so until you’re getting back to yourself,” says Dr. Freedland.