ABC7's Hosea Sanders speaks out about his battle with prostate cancer

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and about one in seven men will be diagnosed in their lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society.

One of those men is ABC7 anchor Hosea Sanders, who recently talked about his diagnosis, treatment and why he's not ready to be called a survivor.

"Every time I had a medical exam I would have that prostate test and it's just a blood test," Sanders said.

But it was just this year he decided to face the reality of having surgery. The reason? His father.

"I know what he went through and you know it was a few years ago," Sanders said. "I could see the difference in him. I just saw a big difference and I didn't want that."

But he kept putting it off.

"I kept putting it off and putting it off because I did not want to deal with that which I knew in my mind, I got it. So eventually the medical practice sent me a certified letter saying, and within weeks I was having surgery'" Sanders said.

What he expected to be a short process became more of a challenge than expected.

"I'm talking about after I found out I had to have surgery, 'Oh, I'll be back in a month," he said. "But everything that could go wrong went wrong with me. Everybody's different, everybody's journey's different, everybody's healing's different."

But it was the people who are most familiar to him that helped him through.

"Roz is one of those people that said, 'I'm not asking for permission, I'm coming,'" Sanders said of ABC7 traffic reporter Roz Varon. "She knew me well enough to know that I'm not going to ask for help but she's just going to give it."

Sanders said that his ABC7 colleagues looked out for him better than he looked out for himself.

"People at ABC7 looked out for me better than I looked out for myself. That's what I found, not just with my work family but the people of Chicago that have reached out, have lifted me up in a way I never would have expected," Sanders said.

Even with all the support, a sense of doubt made him second guess his return.

"I was nervous about being that raw and having to expose that much of my real self. I knew I had so many people pulling for me that, to be honest, I didn't want to disappoint them," Sanders said.

In spite of his own fears and challenges there is still one message he wanted to share.

"This is not about me, right now. This is about letting people know that you're not alone in whatever you go through," Sanders said. "You've got to get tested. You've got to know and the only way to know is to take that simple blood test. It doesn't take long," he said.

Sanders is fighting.

"I'm still learning and still healing and trying to figure it all out," he said. "So it's strange to me to hear people say you're a cancer survivor. I haven't survived anything yet. I'm still fighting and fighting hard."
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