Man says he was shocked when doctors told him he had breast cancer

(KTXL) -- Jim Bowman looks forward to working on his golf game on the putting green in his backyard every day. He cherishes every moment, even when he misses.

Getting to this point was a battle for Bowman. It was a battle that still isn't easy for him to talk about.

It started back in September of 2015 when he says he knew something wasn't quite right.

"I was having physical issues, a lot of fatigue and it centered around my left breast, my left nipple, a lot of irritation, back and forth with the doctor," he told FOX40.

Nine months later, he got an answer. At the age of 59, Bowman's world was turned upside down by just four words.

"'You have breast cancer,'" Bowman said.

He admits he was shocked by the diagnosis.

RELATED: Man shocked by breast cancer diagnosis

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A California father says he did not even know men could suffer from breast cancer when he was diagnosed just before his 60th birthday.
A California father says he did not even know men could suffer from breast cancer when he was diagnosed just before his 60th birthday.
A California father says he did not even know men could suffer from breast cancer when he was diagnosed just before his 60th birthday.
A California father says he did not even know men could suffer from breast cancer when he was diagnosed just before his 60th birthday.
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"I didn't know guys could get breast cancer, to be frank," he said. "It wasn't something on my radar screen."

Bowman shared the news with his family. Telling his two children, he says, was especially hard.

"It was a very difficult discussion for a father," Bowman said.

The fight would be even harder on Bowman. Doctors described his cancer as aggressive and disorganized, spreading quickly to his lymph nodes. Bowman had a double mastectomy and 20 weeks of high-dose chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

"With all the throwing up and all this terrible nausea crap, it knocked me on my butt pretty good and I ended up going to the ER," Bowman told FOX40. "Emergency surgery and all this stuff."

He recalled a phone conversation with a friend while recovering in the hospital.

"He goes, 'How are you doing?' I said, 'Well, the two of us are doing just fine.' He said, 'The two of you?' and I said, 'Well, yeah. Me and the goat laying here next to me,'" Bowman said.

Bowman said a running joke in his family is saying someone smells like a goat if they haven't bathed in a while. Shortly after that phone call, Bowman got a stuffed goat as a gift.

"The goat is my cancer buddy, has been with me since that day," he said.

Bowman's diagnosis happened just months before his 60th birthday, and he knew exactly how he wanted to celebrate.

"I always thought a roast would be fun," Bowman said. "I have a few friends who love picking on me."

Last November, in the gym at his beloved alma mater Jesuit High School, his friends and family made that wish come true.

"It was two and a half hours long of people roasting me," he said. "I sat next to them in a little chair and I had a great time."

After the jokes and jabs and trip down memory lane, Bowman had another wish granted -- a game of catch.

It's been nearly a year since Bowman's birthday roast, and his tests show no signs of cancer.

But he stops short of saying he's cancer-free.

"Am I cured? Am I in remission? Am I just fighting the good fight? Call it what you will. I'm fighting the good fight," he said.

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