By wc@@@ - January 1, 2014

Proton BOB Quote

Dear Members:

This is the time of year many of us make resolutions to improve our lives in different ways. For some, the focus is on physical health with new goals for diet and exercise. For others, it may be a spiritual awakening. And for some, the focus might be on financial matters, such as reducing spending, improving investments, or finding a better-paying job. The sad part is that for most of us, as the year rolls on, these goals are soon forgotten and we slide back into our previous ways, some of which are harmful to us and our families.

If you are a member of The Brotherhood of the Balloon, you have already taken a huge step toward improving your life. You chose the most advanced, most effective, and most "patient-friendly" form of prostate cancer treatment available in the world today.

My treatment at Loma Linda University Medical Center, more than 13 years ago, came with a bonus. In doing my due diligence, I learned that the motto of that Seventh-day Adventist organization is, "To Make Man Whole." As such, they treat the whole person … body, mind, and spirit.

I felt I was already doing a good job with diet and exercise; and, as a Catholic, I attended church and prayed regularly. Nevertheless, I still thought there was room for improvement in all these areas. In retrospect, I learned there was a lot of room for improvement. One of the things that struck me while in treatment was learning"through various patient support programs"that destroying my prostate cancer wouldn't extend my life if some other health issue was destined to end it prematurely.

I learned how important daily exercise was; that my diet, though not bad, was not conducive to long-term good health; and there was much more I could do to strengthen my relationship with God.

As a result of my experience during the two months of my treatment, I ramped up my exercise regimen, changed my diet, and grew stronger in my faith. My wife did the same. These changes continue to this day.

We dedicate a good part of our monthly newsletter to health and nutrition, and this month is no exception. The beginning of the year is a good time to push the reset button and focus on what's important in life. I hope this month's BOB Tales helps move you in that direction.

Remember, "Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin."

Bob Marckini

As always, we invite feedback, constructive criticism, and suggestions for improving our newsletter. Just send an e-mail to Deb Hickey at .

To print the BOB Tales newsletter or view the newsletter with a larger font size, click here for the PDF file.

  • Whole person care focuses on treating people, not just diseases
  • Proton therapy's fight against lung cancer
  • Early hair loss may signal heightened risk of prostate cancer in black men
  • New screening procedure helps detect prostate cancer
  • Featured member says there was "never a dull moment" during treatment
  • Proton patient skydives at 79
  • School teachers, Harley riders, hunters: A member and his spouse give back

proton therapy bob members

We ended 2013 with 6,813 members, having added 112 new members in December, the largest monthly increase in our history. We now have members from all US states and 35 countries representing all operating proton centers in the US as well as three proton centers in Europe and Asia.

Whole Person Care Focuses on
Treating People, Not Just Diseases

Proton Therapy Loma Linda University Health

When patients arrive at the James M. Slater, MD Proton Treatment and Research Center at Loma Linda University Medical Center, they discover an unexpected bonus"the organization's signature focus on whole person care.

A recent press release explains Loma Linda's philosophy: To focus on whole person care and not just focus on the disease itself. In addition to medicine, whole person care addresses the physical, social, psychological, and spiritual needs of people with cancer. These extra dimensions of care significantly enhance the healing process and elevate patient satisfaction.

Since individual responses to cancer range from fairly positive to high levels of anxiety, stress, and depression, the LLUMC program accommodates the specific needs and preferences of each individual.

"Most patients who are beginning treatment are frightened about what to expect," notes Dr. J. Lynn Martell, DMin, director of special services. "It's natural for them to worry about potentially succumbing to the disease. But by the time we complete their orientation, many of their fears are greatly eased because we emphasize how they're going to live. Treatment takes place in the proton gantries, but healing is a process."

All aspects of healthy living are offered to LLUMC patients. Since many of them must leave home throughout the six to nine weeks of treatment, a local support network is an important priority. Weekly social activities"potluck dinners, local restaurant tours, educational seminars, and disease-specific support groups"help them find comfort in sharing common experiences and feelings. Nutrition classes and a complimentary membership at the Drayson Center recreation complex integrate healthy living into their daily routines.

To ensure that healing continues after patients graduate, LLUMC is developing a progressive, comprehensive cancer survivor program. According to Carol Davis, PsyD, DrPH, RTT, education director, "The program will help patients get back to normal as quickly as possible, while at the same time improving their quality of life."

"Most of our patients literally undergo a life-transforming experience here at LLUMC," Martell adds. "Since we are a Seventh-day Adventist-founded hospital, we strongly emphasize the importance of a spiritual connection to the healing process and encourage our patients to seek spiritual support in their own denomination or religious support system." To that end, patients are provided a list of local religious resources.

"The comprehensive approach we take with patients by focusing on each of them as a whole person, physically, mentally and spiritually, sets LLUMC's proton treatment center apart," Martell concludes.

For more information, visit the center online or call 800-776-8667.

Proton Therapy's Fight Against Lung Cancer

Proton Therapy - Fight Against Lung Cancer

Here's one more reason to support proton therapy research: Lung cancer causes more deaths than colon, breast, and prostate cancer combined. It is the number one cancer killer in the U.S. More than $10 billion is spent each year on lung cancer treatment, yet the survival rate is only 15%, with 1.3 million deaths each year.

Clinical research is underway at Loma Linda University Medical Center, MD Anderson, and the University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute using the proton beam to treat lung cancer. There may also be lung cancer research programs at other proton centers.

As you would expect, the great advantage in using protons is that the tumor can be destroyed by delivering large doses of proton radiation to the target, while sparing critical nearby structures like the heart, spinal cord, and esophagus. Researchers are predicting higher survival rates while maintaining a high quality of life after treatment. Thus far, the results are very encouraging.

Early Hair Loss May Signal Heightened
Risk of Prostate Cancer
in Black Men

Early Hair Loss May Signal Heightened Risk of Prostate Cancer in Black Men

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania found that black men who develop baldness by the age of 30 are more likely to develop prostate cancer later in life than their peers who did not lose hair by that age.

According to Charnita Zeigler-Johnson, PhD, adjunct scholar in epidemiology at the university's Perelman School of Medicine, the research is thought to be the first to focus solely on black men. The findings are significant because black males contract prostate cancer more often than other men, and are more than twice as likely to die from the disease.

Proton Therapy - University of Pennsylvania

Published in the April, 2013, issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, the study evaluated 537 black men exhibiting baldness. Of that number, 318 of the subjects had prostate cancer and 219 did not.

When researchers crunched the numbers, they found that men who reported baldness by age 30 were at significantly higher risk of the disease than those who did not. "Their likelihood of developing prostate cancer was increased by about 70 percent, compared to men with no baldness at age 30," Zeigler-Johnson notes.

She also points out that while baldness of any type increased the risk of prostate cancer, frontal baldness in young men was most significant. "If they had frontal baldness at 30, men were 2.6 times more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer before age 60, compared to men at age 30 with no baldness," she adds. The study also found that in men diagnosed with prostate cancer before the age of 60, frontal baldness was strongly linked with more advanced and aggressive cancers when compared with other types of baldness.

New Screening Procedure
Helps Detect Prostate Cancer

Proton Therapy - Upstate Medical University SUNY

A Syracuse, New York, hospital recently became one of the first health care facilities in the nation to purchase the technology necessary to enable the use of a new screening procedure in the war against prostate cancer.

In discussing the procedure, known as fusion MRI ultrasound biopsy, officials at SUNY Upstate Medical University claims it gives doctors a more precise method of finding and treating the sometimes-elusive cancer.

The story of Jeff Barkley illustrates how elusive the disease can be. The Phoenix, Arizona, firefighter knew that his family history meant he was predisposed to prostate cancer. As a result, he conscientiously monitored his PSA levels. Although his rising PSA levels were cause for alarm, five biopsies performed over a period of eight years all produced negative results.

"It was a relief each time they were over, especially when each one came back negative," Barkley recalls. "But I still had a doubt, and there was a suspicion that something was going on." When Barkley heard about the new procedure, he thought it was worth investigating.

The procedure combines MRI images of the prostate gland, taken before the procedure with ultrasound-guided biopsy images in real time, to give doctors a three-dimensional view of the organ. If anomalies are discovered, the $400,000 UroNav platform guides physicians in precisely positioning biopsy needles to obtain samples of the suspicious tissues.

"With only ultrasound, you can't see where the cancer is," urologic oncologist Srinivas Vourganti, MD, says. "But, the power of the MRI is [that] it allows you to see the cancer, but it's difficult to bring in to the office. So this technology is called fusion MRI ultrasound biopsy, and it allows you to get the best of both worlds."

The new procedure can also identify indolent cancers"slow-growing tumors that don't require immediate treatment"as well as cancers that other procedures sometimes miss. The new procedure will be especially useful for men who continue to have high PSA scores"and may, in fact, have undiagnosed prostate cancer"yet still get negative biopsy results.

That's exactly what was discovered when Barkley was tested using the new procedure. The UroNav disclosed the presence of a malignant lesion the five biopsies overlooked. Fortunately for Barkley, it was not an aggressive, fast-growing form of the disease. Today, the 59-year-old is investigating treatment options and preparing to kill the disease that has been so deadly to other members of his family.

Featured Member Story: Charlie Mack

"It's a … short movie. How'd we ever get here?"

"That James McMurtry lyric pretty much summed up my thoughts when I was diagnosed with prostate cancer," says Charlie Mack. "It's not like I wasn't expecting to get PCa. My brother had been diagnosed several years earlier. Still, when the probable turns into the definite … well, it was a little earth-shattering. It's amazing how every little thing in your life that you used to think was important suddenly doesn't seem so anymore."

Former Proton Therapy Patient - Charlie Mack with wife Phyllis and Bob Marckini

Charlie never questioned the course of treatment he would undertake. He had visited Loma Linda on two separate occasions to visit friends who were proton patients and saw first-hand the unbelievable care each of them received. When Charlie was diagnosed, one of those friends sent him Bob Marckini's book. "Reading that book confirmed my decision," Charlie says. "And when my wife and I discovered that my health insurance considered Loma Linda to be an in-network provider, we began preparing ourselves for our new adventure."

"What a wonderful adventure it was!"

"I decided if we were going to spend nine weeks somewhere then we're darned well going to enjoy ourselves," Charlie laughs. He and his wife, Phyllis, took advantage of everything Loma Linda and the proton radiation department staff had to offer. However, the most fun the couple had was the time spent with fellow patients and their spouses. It was never dull in the waiting room during Charlie's nine weeks of treatment. And he told us, he never dreamed he would have so much fun while being treated for cancer. "I almost felt guilty," Charlie says, "… Almost."

Charlie continues, "I don't believe that could happen anywhere but at Loma Linda, where patient interaction is nurtured and encouraged. Loma Linda truly is a magical place." Charlie doesn't consider himself a deeply religious person, but he couldn't help but believe, as his friend, Dr. J. Lynn Martell, says, "no one comes to Loma Linda by accident."

The Entire City Supports the Proton Program

While in treatment, Charlie learned that the entire city of Loma Linda seemingly supports the proton program and its patients. Short-term housing was plentiful. He and Phyllis found a house that had been divided into two separate units. Their half was wonderfully furnished with a master suite, living room, dining room, full kitchen, Hi Def TV, Wi-Fi, laundry room and garage and was located a mile from both the hospital and the Drayson Fitness Center. All they had to bring were clothes and toiletries. Charlie often walked to treatments and the gym.

The two became friends with many of the Loma Linda staff, including the radiation department receptionists and the techs who treated Charlie every day. "We still see them twice a year when I return for check-ups, at which times I say I'm ready for my 46th treatment"which consists of hugs from each of them," Charlie says. "They are dedicated professionals and are loaded with compassion."

A True "Radiation Vacation"

Former Proton Therapy Patient - Charlie Mack and family

Charlie and Phyllis feel fortunate to have traveled to some wonderful and exotic destinations in their 30 years together, but the time they spent at Loma Linda ranks near the top. As Bob Marckini says, it truly was a "radiation vacation." In summation, Charlie says, "You can be treated by proton beam therapy for prostate cancer at a growing number of places, but there is only one Loma Linda."

Charlie is "totally satisfied" with his PSA numbers and his quality of life post-treatment. He says, "Treating cancer shouldn't be this easy and this much fun."

Member Feedback:
Honoring the "Whole" Person

Bob received the following e-mail from a member on the topic of "the total wellness approach" to treatment at LLUMC:

In 1998, I had a PSA of 6.8 and a Gleason 6 which steadily progressed until, at age 62, I underwent a radical prostatectomy in 2000. Post-prostatectomy, my PSA steadily rose. In 2010, I was diagnosed with a recurrent tumor in the prostate bed and a PSA of 2.7. Having lost both parents to bone and pancreatic cancer, I was fearful I would not have a second chance. After reviewing all available modalities, I chose proton therapy at LLUMC. I received 43 treatments. Six months later, my PSA had dropped from 2.7 to 0.01, where it remains today. I found the total wellness approach at Loma Linda critical to my recovery. Today, at age 75, I have a new lease on life due to the excellent care at Loma Linda. I will soon be attending my 50th reunion at Stanford Law School; I still practice full time healthcare law; and I am able to look forward to many enjoyable years with my children and five grandchildren.

Deb received the following e-mail from a member who is a physician. He also refers to the "Make Man Whole" approach at LLUMC:

I was treated in 2007. My initial PSA was 9.3 and my Gleason score was 6. My PSA continues to decline and is now 0.3. I have no incontinence, impotence, or other side effects and feel great. I recently reunited and married my high school sweetheart after meeting at our 50th high school reunion. My wife now has early stage breast cancer and will be having proton therapy. Thanks to God, Dr. Slater, Loma Linda, and all the staff for caring enough to offer an option that honors the whole person with their "Make Man Whole" program.

Life After Proton Treatment:
Grandfather Skydives

Former Proton Therapy Patient - Larry Talmadge with Tayleigh Talmadge

Five months after his proton treatment for prostate cancer, Larry Talmadge, 79, charter member of The Parachute Club of America "PCA" and an original Seattle Skydiver, came out of retirement at the request of his granddaughter for one more jump to celebrate her birthday. "We made a pact when I was a little girl that we would jump together on my 18th birthday and I held him to it," said Tayleigh Talmadge.

Family and friends met to celebrate the event at Harvey field in Snohomish, Washington, where Larry's career began in 1957. "This was my 109th jump and a lot has changed for the sport," said Larry. "Using square chutes and an altimeter was a new experience, as well as being in a plane that could reach 13,000 feet in less than 20 minutes."

Larry's pre-treatment PSA was 13. His current PSA is 1.2. He feels wonderful and has had no side effects of any kind. "At the age of 79, I feel blessed to have been able to receive proton treatment for my prostate cancer at Loma Linda. I am able to carry on with my life, knowing that proton therapy is the reason I am able to do this with no physical constraints. I golf every day "weather permitting" and I can attest to the fact that I can function as a whole man, including being mentally, physically, and sexually normal."

Former Proton Therapy Patient - Larry Talmadge



Saying Thank You in a
Truly Meaningful Way

Several times during the year we hear from members "or their spouses" we've helped. They express their thanks for whatever role we played "or Bob's book played" in helping them discover proton therapy. Often they comment on friends who have gone a different route and they describe the difference in their outcomes and quality of life. Some of this is quite graphic. Frequently they end their e-mail by offering to send a check to help defray our costs. Our response is always the same: If you truly want to say "thank you" in a meaningful way, send the check to Loma Linda for proton research.

Now that we have been honored by having an endowed chair named after Bob, we encourage members to send the check to Loma Linda with a directive that it go to the Robert J. Marckini Chair. As you can see, many are now doing this and we are truly grateful.

Scott and Anne Wilcox
Share Their Blessings with Others

Scott and Anne Wilcox of Morro Bay, California, enjoy a leisurely afternoon with their 2001 Harley-Davidson Heritage Springer. Scott chose proton therapy at Loma Linda University Medical Center after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2012. The couple was so impressed with the care they received that they remembered proton research in their estate plan.

Scott and Anne Wilcox

For Scott and Anne Wilcox, his recovery from prostate cancer is a gift from God.

Whether cruising the Central Coast of California on their turquoise and cream Harley or hunting in the mountains, the retired schoolteachers from Morro Bay, California, make a point of enjoying each day to the fullest.

Unfortunately, the ride screeched to a halt in January 2012 when Scott learned he had prostate cancer. "That's some of the worst news you can receive from a doctor," he recalls.

"Usually, I'm very optimistic," Anne adds, "but when I learned he had prostate cancer, I was devastated."

"We went home to analyze our treatment options," Scott continues. "At that point, God played a big part in things. He directed Anne to call a neighbor lady down the street and tell her I had prostate cancer." The neighbor said, "I have a book here that Scott needs to read," referring to Robert J. Marckini's bestseller, You Can Beat Prostate Cancer And You Don't Need Surgery to Do It.

"That was just the beginning of a number of events God used to open doors," Scott said.

After reading the book, Scott and Anne reached out to Deb Hickey at the Brotherhood of the Balloon for more information. Bolstered by Deb's encouragement, Scott told his urologist he wanted to follow the book's recommendation to seek proton therapy in Loma Linda.

"I had a good urologist," Scott recalls. "He said ‘I think you need to go down there to Loma Linda for a consult because you'll always wonder about it if you don't.'" The urologist cautioned that the insurance carrier probably wouldn't pay for proton therapy, but Scott drafted a letter of medical necessity with specific reasons to justify an exception. When his primary care physician signed Scott's letter and faxed it to the insurance company with a referral to Loma Linda for proton therapy, he reiterated the urologist's assertion that the carrier would likely deny it.

Undaunted, Scott and Anne headed to Florida to visit his elderly mother. A few days later, he began calling the insurance company. Anticipating rejection, he also penned a 42-page appeal document just in case. He and Anne prayed earnestly and asked several of their friends to do the same.

"We had two churches and the Black Sheep Harley-Davidsons for Christ," he shares, referring to a motorcycle ministry he and Anne belong to, "praying that God would open the doors for me to receive the best treatment possible." In the meantime, he kept calling the insurance carrier.

"I hounded them for seven straight days," he reports. "On the seventh, they said, ‘We've approved you to go to Loma Linda.'"

Scott and Anne were overjoyed! "I called Loma Linda from Florida," he informs, "and said, ‘I'll be flying into Ontario on February 26.' They said they could get me in to see an oncologist on the 28th."

A week after meeting with a radiation oncologist, Scott received a call from Loma Linda notifying him that he could start the program the following week. He and Anne loaded up the Harley and headed to the Inland Empire for 10 weeks. After getting fitted for the pod and having a CT scan, Scott was ready for his first treatment.

"It went pretty well," he reports. "I would be treated at 8 a.m. every day, then work out until noon. We stayed at a friend's home in Highland and rode the Harley every day. We probably put 2,000 miles on it. My buddy has a Yamaha and we took a ride up to Big Bear. We pretty much did our normal routine, just in a different place."

"You also painted your friend's house," Anne reminds him.

Although proton therapy didn't crimp Scott's style, it wasn't entirely free of issues. "I had minor urinary side effects during the final six weeks of treatment," he notes. "Minor stuff like urgency and frequency, but it went away a month after treatment."

Four months after his treatments ended, a conversation with his urologist's assistant confirmed his treatment decision.

Scott Wilcox Quote

"When I had my first 4-month follow-up, the urologist's assistant asked if I had incontinence, sexual dysfunction, or other problems. I stopped her and said I had zero side effects. She was stunned. I asked her how many of the doctor's patients who have surgery or conventional radiation come in at four months with no side effects. She said, ‘None.'"

Today, nearly two years after completing proton therapy, Scott and Anne remain grateful for the way they were treated at Loma Linda, and want to give back. They found two ways to do that.

First, Scott asked Deb Hickey and Dr. J. Lynn Martell, DMin, director of special services at LLUMC, to include him as a reference for men who have been newly diagnosed with prostate cancer. "I get one or two calls a week," he says. "I often spend an hour or more with each of them, helping them learn more about treatment options, especially proton beam therapy."

Second, they decided to remember proton research at Loma Linda University Health in their estate plan. After working with Paul Arceneaux and Tricia Murdoch in the Philanthropy Department, they were referred to Rich Bennett from the Office of Planned Giving. Scott describes the Loma Linda representatives as "very nice to work with; they were not the least bit pushy."

BOB Comment on Scott Wilcox Featured Member Story

At Scott and Anne's request, Rich Bennett worked with their executor to craft a plan for donating 25 percent of their estate to the Robert J. Marckini Endowed Chair for Proton Research at Loma Linda University so others can benefit from the program that Scott describes as "one of the best experiences of my life.

"Loma Linda is such a caring, loving place with such high medical standards," Scott concludes. "It's a wonderful place to give to. We were fortunate enough to benefit from treatment there and wanted to pay it forward for others in the future."

Read Scott's full testimonial on our website.



Matching Gift Promises to Double Yours

Don't forget: The founder of the Sequoia Foundation for Achievement in Culture and Education is encouraging fellow BOB members to match a $25,000 challenge grant. The foundation will match gifts of $1,000 or more to the Robert J. Marckini Chair, up to a total of $25,000, until December 31, 2014. Please consider taking this opportunity to double the impact of your gift!

If you are inspired to give or have questions about the various ways to support proton research efforts, please contact Paul Arceneaux in the Office of Philanthropy at 909-558-3581 or


You may also contribute by check. Just make your check out to "LLUMC Proton," specify Robert J. Marckini Chair in the memo, and mail it to: Loma Linda University Medical Center, Office of Philanthropy, P.O. Box 2000, Loma Linda, CA 92354.

Or, donate online. Specify Robert J. Marckini Chair under "Designations."

To learn about naming Loma Linda University Health in your will or trust, please contact the Office of Planned Giving at (909) 558-4553 or


Last Month: Christmas Day at the Martells

The following was submitted by a BOB member and party attendee. He wishes to remain anonymous.

Christmas Day at the Martells

For the 14th year, Dr. Lynn Martell, Dmin, director of special services at LLUMC,, along with his wife, Karen, and other members of his family, hosted proton patients from as far away as Alaska and Maine, for Christmas dinner and entertainment. A gourmet meal was served, including vegetarian turkey "Lynn assured everyone that the turkey was indeed a "vegetarian"" to 85 proton patients, their families, members of the university staff, and proton alumni. Tables were set throughout the beautiful Martell home, including the reputed "best seats in the house" in the master bath.

The Martell's grandchildren, along with several young friends from the local high school, provided musical entertainment with cello, violin, harp, and keyboard. A short Christmas play and carols rounded out the festivities.

Lynn and Karen shared a short Christmas message, the vision of Loma Linda University Health to "make man whole," and emphasized to the patients not to focus on how many days we live, but instead on how we live each day, because each day is a gift.

Christmas Day at the Martells

At Lynn's request, a proton alumnus shared how important it is to "pay it forward" and to make yourself available through the Brotherhood of the Balloon as well as local prostate organizations to provide other newly diagnosed men with prostate cancer helpful information about the benefits of proton beam therapy.

After dinner, Lynn and Karen gave each guest an inspirational book that Karen authored, as well as personal words of encouragement.

A comment made by a patient upon leaving summed up the evening: "I'm glad I attended this event. It will be a Christmas I'll always remember. What a blessing!"

Proton Therapy Events

Upcoming: NAPT 2014

When: March 31 – April 3, 2014

Where: Ritz-Carlton, Pentagon City, Washington, DC

Details: The National Association for Proton Therapy's second annual National Proton Conference is where proton community leaders and clinicians will meet to discuss "Advancing Cancer Treatment Access Worldwide." Click here to register.

Don't Pass the Bugs This Winter

Do Not Pass the Bugs This Winter

Looking for ways to avoid spreading germs this cold and flu season? If so, a handful of precautions might be just what the doctor ordered.

Seasonal illnesses"which run the gamut from runny noses and sore throats to upper respiratory infections, pneumonia, and influenza"are the bane of winter for many Americans, but doctors say you can improve your chances of staying healthy by following these steps:

  1. Get a flu shot. Pretty much everyone should get one, but seniors, children, health professionals, pregnant women, and people with
    heart disease, asthma, or diabetes should definitely have the shot
  2. Swab cell phones with alcohol
  3. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze
  4. Don't touch your face or nose after handling a door or keyboard
  5. Wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer
  6. If possible, don't go to work or socialize when you're not feeling well
  7. Eat a nutritious diet, minimize alcohol and sweets. Avoid tobacco
  8. Don't neglect to exercise. It strengthens the immune system and helps you fight the viruses making the rounds.

Heart Health Tips

According to "now", carrying as little as 9 extra pounds increases your risk of blood vessel damage "and heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers". The good news"it doesn't take much to turn up your fat-burning furnace and get your energy levels, self-esteem, and sex life back on track.

Here are four easy steps to lose belly fat fast:

1. Walk more. Walking is one of the best exercises for minimizing that gut. Taking a brisk 30-minute walk every day helps keep your fat cells from expanding. Burn even more belly fat by adding 10 minutes of weight training twice a week; increasing muscle mass will whittle your middle even faster.

2. Grab a tape measure. Waist size may be a better indicator of health than the numbers on your bathroom scale. Your waist should be a little less than half the number of inches in your height. And as a general rule, anytime a man's waist size reaches 40 inches, his health and sex life are at risk. Women's waists should be no more than 36 inches.

3. Grab the whole grains. When it comes to foods that burn belly fat, you can't beat whole grains. And it's a pretty simple trade-off. Just replace some of the processed foods in your diet with three daily servings of 100% whole-grain cereals, breads, and pasta to lose inches off your waist.

4. Get your ZZZs. In one study, dieters who slept 8.5 hours a night lost twice as much fat and retained more lean muscle compared with the folks in the study who slept only 5.5 hours nightly. The longer sleepers also burned an extra 114 calories a day. That type of additional calorie burn can translate into as much as 10 extra pounds lost a year!

Dale Knudtson "Yorba Linda, CA" has proven himself to be a huge supporter of proton therapy. Recently, he told us of a unique way he is attempting to educate others and spread the word about protons.

I decided to sell the various books on eBay that I had purchased after I got my prostate cancer diagnosis "before I knew about Bob's book" … the attached letter is what I wrote to the purchaser of the 100 Questions and Answers About Prostate Cancer book "this is typical of the other letters I write as well".

Here is an excerpt from the letter Dale included with his book shipment:

I don't know you but wanted to take a minute to write you a note"obviously from your purchase of this book, there is someone you know that has received a diagnosis of prostate cancer. As a prostate cancer survivor myself, I know first-hand how that diagnosis can turn one's world upside down. And, if like me, the patient "and those who love him" wants to educate himself as to just what this terrible thing is and more importantly, what is the best course of action for treatment "since there are so many and seemingly conflicting treatment options available". This book is a good "overview" to "get up to speed" on all things regarding the prostate, but let me assure you it is not complete!

A Great Way to Spread the Word about Proton Therapy for Prostate Cancer

While reading these 100 Questions and Answers, I would strongly encourage you to obtain the book, You Can Beat Prostate Cancer And You Don't Need Surgery To Do It, by Robert J. Marckini. He too is a prostate cancer survivor who had looked into and evaluated all the treatment options"before choosing proton therapy "which isn't even addressed in the book you just purchased". The Marckini book was the most informative reading I experienced "written by someone who had been through what I was going to be going through" during my post diagnosis research. I was just about ready to go the surgery route "as it was what was being "pushed" by my urologist", reluctantly, as I wasn't too keen about the possibility of wearing diapers for the rest of my life or having sexual issues as well "both very common "side effects" of most of the prostate treatment options, especially surgery".

Amazon Reader Reviews

We have reached 170 reviews on Amazon! Here is a recent review:

Amazon 5 Stars for You Can Beat Prostate Cancer

Thank you, Proton Bob! "HCI Faculty

After my positive biopsy, my urologist said I have two choices: 1" He operates or 2" I find another urologist. That was my second easiest choice on my journey. After reading this book and doing a ton of research "I tended towards first person accounts", I chose proton therapy.

The people at Loma Linda were amazing; staff and fellow patients! I also learned the difference between curing and healing, a key lesson. 6.5 years later, normal PSA and no side effects. When asked, I have three pieces of advice: 1" Do your research, 2" read this book and, 3" remember, it is YOUR choice.

Did you find Bob's book helpful?

Please help us to spread the word and educate others about proton therapy. If you found Bob's book to be helpful in making your proton treatment decision, please post a review on Amazon.

Once you are logged into your Amazon account, click here and click the "Create your own review" button. NOTE: Reviews can be just a few sentences"it only takes a few minutes. And, don't forget to rate the book from 1 to 5 stars!

Don't have an Amazon account? No problem. Sign up here"it's free.

Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Apple Logos

Available in Amazon's Kindle format, Barnes & Noble's NOOK Book, and Apple iBook format

Buy the Kindle version now for $9.99.

Don't have a Kindle? No problem"just download the free Kindle reading software for your smart phone or tablet.

Buy the NOOK Book version now for $9.99.

Don’t have a NOOK? No problem. Just download the free NOOK reading app for your Android smart phone, tablet, or iDevice.

Buy the book from the iTunes store for $9.99 for your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch in iBook format.

The hard copy version of You Can Beat Prostate Cancer is available online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and LuLu Press.

Proceeds from book sales are used to help fund BOB efforts and to support proton therapy research.

Ask about our bulk discount for hard copy books for anyone interested in spreading the word about proton therapy:

Math Magic

Try this: 259 x your age x 39 = ? You will get an interesting result!


Can lightning occur without causing thunder? What about "heat lightning?" All lightning causes thunder, though it may be too far away for you to hear. Many people think that term means lightning without thunder, but this is a misconception. The apparently quiet flashes are often called "heat lightning" because they occur commonly in the summer, a time of many dazzling thunderstorms, both near and far. And, did you know that lightning can strike up to 10 miles away from a thunderstorm? Overhead you might see a cloudless sky! This is the origin of the term, "a bolt out of the blue."

New Exam

This exam is designed to boost the ego of bright people. You only need 4 correct answers out of 10 questions to pass … but most don't!

  1. How long did the Hundred Years' War last?
  2. Which country makes Panama hats?
  3. From which animal do we get cat gut?
  4. In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution?
  5. What is a camel's hair brush made of?
  6. The Canary Islands are named after what animal?
  7. What was King George VI's first name?
  8. What color is a purple finch?
  9. Where are Chinese gooseberries from?
  10. What is the color of the black box in a commercial airplane?

Check your answers below.

  1. How long did the Hundred Years War last? 116 years
  2. Which country makes Panama hats? Ecuador
  3. From which animal do we get cat gut? Sheep and Horses
  4. In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution? November
  5. What is a camel's hair brush made of? Squirrel fur
  6. The Canary Islands in the Pacific are named after what animal? Dogs "The name Islas Canarias is derived from the Latin name Canariae Insulae, meaning "Island of the Dogs""
  7. What was King George VI's first name? Albert
  8. What color is a purple finch? Crimson
  9. Where are Chinese gooseberries from? New Zealand
  10. What is the color of the black box in a commercial airplane? Orange "of course"

What do you mean, you failed? Me, too!

Special Series:
Did You Know THIS About Your Body?

The human body is a treasure trove of mysteries, one that still confounds doctors and scientists about the details of its working. It's not an overstatement to say that every part of your body is a miracle. Last month, we gave you five interesting facts about your body. Below are five more"again, most will surprise you.

proton bob arrow By 60 years of age, 60% of men and 40% of women will snore.
proton bob arrow We are about 1 cm taller in the morning than in the evening, because during normal activities during the day, the cartilage in our knees and other areas slowly compresses.
proton bob arrow The brain operates on the same amount of power as a 10-watt light bulb, even while you are sleeping. In fact, the brain is much more active at night than during the day.
proton bob arrow Nerve impulses to and from the brain travel as fast as 170 miles per hour. Neurons continue to grow throughout human life. Information travels at different speeds within different types of neurons.
proton bob arrow It is a fact that, on average, people who dream more often and more vividly have a higher Intelligence Quotient.

Next month, we'll post five more interesting facts about the human body and continue doing so for the next five months.

Last Month's Brain Teaser

What do the following names represent?

Bo Derek, JFK, Elizabeth II, Henry VIII, and Pappy Boyington

Answer: They represent a hand of cards,
a straight:

  • Bo Derek is a 10.
  • JFK is a Jack.
  • Elizabeth 2 is a Queen.
  • Henry 8 is a King.
  • And Pappy Boyington? Gregory "Pappy" Boyington was a United States Marine Corps officer who was an American fighter Ace during World War II. For his heroic actions, he was awarded both the Medal of Honor and the Navy Cross.

BOB Tales Proton Therapy Brain Teaser Winner

Don Coban of Box Elder, South Dakota, was one of only two that submitted the correct answer for last month's brain teaser! He was surprised and pleased to win a copy of Bob's book.

Don was treated with proton therapy for his prostate cancer in March of 2003. His pre-treatment PSA was 12.9. More than ten years later, he's happy to report that his PSA is undetectable "<.01".

Don retired in 1988 from the USAF after 34 years. When his wife Jinny retired shortly thereafter, the two began traveling extensively in their RV. Now they consider themselves "snowbirds." They have a condo in Rapid City, SD, for the summer months and drive to Tampa, FL, for the winter. "That keeps us away from all that white stuff!" Don says.

While in Tampa, Don and Jinny also enjoy taking Caribbean cruises. "And whenever I can, I get the word out about proton therapy," Don tells us. "So far, I have sent quite a few of my friends, and their friends, to Loma Linda and Jacksonville for treatment. It's nice to hear that they've all had great results."

Congratulations, Don! Your signed book is on the way.



BOB Tales Proton Therapy New Brain Teaser

New Brain Teaser:
Weigh This Fish

What is the weight of a fish if it weighs 10 pounds, plus half its weight?

This one is easy for anyone who knows simple algebra.

Answer next month: The first to send an e-mail to with the correct answer will receive a signed copy of Bob's book. No cheating by using the Internet!

Where Are You From?

A couple is at the airport in Phoenix, awaiting their flight. They are dressed in heavy boots, parka, scarf, mittens, and all ready to head home to the Canadian winter.

An older American couple standing nearby is intrigued by their manner of dress. The wife says to her husband, "Look at that couple. I wonder where they're from." He replies, "How would I know?"

She counters, "You could go and ask them." He says, "I don't really care. If you want to know, you go ask them." She decides to do just that; she walks over to the couple and asks, "Excuse me. I've been noticing the way you're dressed and I wonder"where are you from?" The Canadian farmer replies, "Saskatoon, Saskatchewan."

The woman returns to her husband who asks, "So, where are they from?"

She replies, "I don't know. They don't speak English."

My Travel Plans for 2014

I have been in many places, but I've never been in Cahoots. Apparently, you can't go alone. You have to be in Cahoots with someone. I've also never been in Cognito. I hear no one recognizes you there.

I have, however, been in Sane. They don't have an airport; you have to be driven there. I have made several trips there, thanks to my children, friends, family, and work. I would like to go to Conclusions, but you have to jump, and I'm not too much on physical activity anymore.

I have also been in Doubt. That is a sad place to go, and I try not to visit there too often. I've been in Flexible, but only when it was very important to stand firm.

Sometimes I'm in Capable, and I go there more often as I'm getting older. One of my favorite places to be is in Suspense! It really gets the adrenalin flowing and pumps up the old heart! At my age, I need all the stimuli I can get.


Quote of the Month

"It's so simple to be wise. Just think of something stupid to say and then don't say it."
"Sam Levenson

About Growing Older: Words of Wisdom
from Will Rogers

  • Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it.
  • The older we get, the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for.
  • Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me. I want people to know "why" I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved.
  • When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to youth, think of Algebra.
  • You know you are getting old when everything either dries up or leaks.
  • One of the many things no one tells you about aging is that it is such a nice change from being young.
  • One must wait until evening to see how splendid the day has been.
  • Being young is beautiful, but being old is comfortable.
  • And finally, if you don't learn to laugh at trouble, you won't have anything to laugh at when you are old.

Low PSAs to all,

Bob Marckini and Deb Hickey

You can download this month's BOB Tales in PDF format to your computer by "right-clicking" ("control-clicking" on Mac) and going to the "Save Target As… " option on the menu that pops up.

NO MEDICAL ADVICE: Material appearing here represents opinions offered by non-medically-trained laypersons. Comments shown here should NEVER be interpreted as specific medical advice and must be used only as background information when consulting with a qualified medical professional.