A father-of-two with prostate cancer has said he will spend his potential last four years alive raising awareness for other men.
Paul Dennington was diagnosed last March and will now push himself in different physical challenges to raise money to Prostate Cancer UK.
The 56-year-old from Hempstead, Gillingham, was caught by surprise while running unrelated blood tests for a groin problem.
The exams showed Paul's prostate-specific antigen, or PSA level, was extremely high.
He explained: "If the score is over 10, you get like a 50/50 chance of it being a cancer, either aggressive or not, but some kind of cancer. My score was 174."
Paul described his reaction to the news as an initial shock and numbness, followed by an intense mix of emotions.
He said: "It all felt really surreal, a bit like Covid did at first, like 'is this really happening?'
"After all I felt and looked fine yet I know I have this thing growing inside that my body had failed to stop.
"Then came the concern over when and how my partner Christine and I would tell the kids. Our daughter Amy was abroad in Spain at the time and we wanted to tell her in person.
"But the Covid travel restrictions gave 12 weeks of mulling over how we’d handle explaining that I was terminally ill.
"The thought of it was so stressful and the reality proved to be worse – it was truly heartbreaking to see their reaction.
"There were also constant reminders on TV or on the radio, it seemed every TV series had a cancer sub plot, and ads kept popping up.
"You see things like weddings and wonder if you’d get to see your own kids get married, would you get to see them have kids, and things like that."
He added: "At times I feel overwhelmed. The support I have had from my family, friends, colleagues in so many ways has been amazing and has caused more tears than anything. It has though been such a source of strength and energy to keep going and do more.
"Lastly, I feel the need to be always present. I don’t think a single waking hour passes without thinking about it in some shape or form, be it the impact on my family, the fundraising, or what else can I do."
However, Paul said that strangely enough, he found himself extremely lucky as he found out by chance without any symptoms, which avoided a much worse prognosis.
He said to have also been lucky to have had his retirement plans under way, as he can now fit so much in the time he has left together with his family.
Paul says the impact goes beyond his mental health, as he now undergoes multiple treatments and takes medication daily.
"I have an implant into the skin of my stomach every 12 weeks which is to block all my testosterone. I'm also on extra tablets, as well every day. I take four every day, which can be quite aggressive to my body.
"I had radiotherapy for six weeks back in November, and in December that was once a week."
The intense treatment has caused him to suffer from side effects such as heavy heat flashes and sweating, as well as a poorer memory.
He said: "I have now a very disrupted sleep pattern. I wake up five to eight times a night over heating, then I'll feel cold a few minutes later.
"My memory and focus can be very poor nowadays. I can completely forget what I'm doing. I know it gets worse with age anyway, but this has definitely accelerated quite dramatically.
"Sometimes I've been in the middle of the conversation. I completely forget where I'm going."
From the first day knowingly living with cancer, Paul has dedicated all of his time to make more men aware of the disease, urging them to get tested before it's too late.
He has now a long schedule of events, walks and challenges to raise money and awareness for prostate cancer.
Tomorrow (Saturday), the Dennington family will be manning a stall at Hempstead Valley shopping centre to raise awareness while Paul walks in a figure of eight around Hempstead and Wigmore.
Later this year, the 56-year-old will walk three back-to-back marathons organised by Prostate Cancer UK.
In the meantime, the Medway father will not be resting, as he is also completing a long-term challenge of walking 25 million steps.
Instead of sitting around lamenting, Paul says he wants to make most of every opportunity life is giving him.
He said: "I've realised how fast time passes. The last year has flown by and when you have this ticking time bomb that you are fighting to hold back and you’re on a time frame, that is the scary bit.
"You also think of things that happened a few years ago and think they seem so recent, and all of a sudden five or eight years seem a very short time. But you know it’s also long enough to do so much, create so many memories and make a difference."