MINNETONKA, Minn. - "I encourage any guy in their mid-40s to get it checked out, because you just never know," urged Dave Nelson.
The Minnetonka High School football head coach found out this January from his doctor that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
"I just stared at the phone," he recalled.
He knew his risks would be higher since his father had prostate cancer before him. Luckily though, doctors detected it early.
They had been monitoring his PSA levels for several years after his wife urged him to get checked out, knowing his family history.
"So you just start researching everything you can about the disease. And I prayed a lot about it too," Nelson said. "But in the end I felt it was the right thing to get treated at the Mayo [Clinic]."
The procedure was a success and Nelson was Coach Nelson again.
One of the main phases of recovery that caught him most off guard was how drained his energy level became.
"They told me to take a month off from work, and I was like, 'a month?' But I did, and I'm glad I did because every day, by the middle of the afternoon, it'd just hit me like a sledgehammer," he remembered.
"I feel good now, though. It's a real blessing," Nelson added. "Football's still important, but this has definitely put things into perspective."
(Copyright 2011 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)