By wc@@@ - November 1, 2013

Proton BOB Quote

Dear Members:

The opening quote suggests that for things to change, people need to get involved and take action. Well, here's your chance"please read on.

Proton therapy for prostate cancer is under attack. Those who want to discredit proton therapy have claimed it is no better than lower-cost IMRT, and they are citing shoddy studies using Medicare billing records to back up their case. It's not surprising that some medical insurers jump on the bandwagon, as their profits are higher when they reimburse for lower-cost treatment options.

Coincidentally a number of recent studies have proven conclusively that treating brain, spinal, and pediatric tumors with proton therapy is not only superior in terms of cure rates, but side-effects and secondary cancers are significantly lower as well. AND long-term costs are also lower because of the reduced need for follow-up medical care. Shouldn't the same be true for prostate cancer treatment?

Deb Hickey and I have been working with a team of people for the past couple of months to develop a survey that should help put in proper perspective the benefits of proton therapy for prostate cancer. We tested it with 25 BOB member volunteers and incorporated their feedback in the final version. This survey is different from surveys we've used in the past. It is much clearer and much more focused on the important issues. Unlike the studies using Medicare billing records to extrapolate patient outcomes, our survey data will come directly from the patients themselves.

So, here is your chance to make a difference. If you haven't already done so, I urge you to fill out the survey and return it as quickly as possible. If you do not have a copy of the survey, you can find a link when you open this month's BOB Tales newsletter. Just click on the link and take the survey "or you may also download, print, and mail in your survey". It will take less than 15 minutes to complete. Also, feel free to forward this newsletter to friends who have had proton therapy for prostate cancer so they can take the survey as well.

Finally, November is the month of Thanksgiving, the month of Veteran's Day, and it's also National Adoption Month "this is especially important to our family"you'll learn why".

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

Bob Marckini

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

In This Issue

  • 2013 BOB member survey"information and links
  • Much less collateral damage to children treated with protons
  • Pediatric proton survey results show 33% increase in cases treated
  • Featured member"can you be too old for protons?
  • How a proton guy celebrates his 78th birthday"by driving his bike up a mountain; another goes water skiing to celebrate his 87th
  • New matching gift challenge announced
  • Bob Marckini and Deb Hickey to visit LLUMC next week
  • Easy way to reduce the risk of aneurysm
  • Flu shot does much more than prevent influenza
  • Importance of keeping your brain healthy


proton therapy bob members

We added 66 new members last month. Our membership represents all 11 proton centers in the U.S. as well as three in Europe and Asia. Members come from all 50 U.S. states and 35 countries.

2013 BOB Member Survey:
Update, Information, and Links

"What you do today can improve all your tomorrows." "Ralph Marston

The best way we can counter the recent attacks on proton therapy is to get the truth out. How? By going to the source, by asking you"the patient"directly about your proton experience.

The 2013 BOB Member Survey was distributed to all members on Tuesday, November 5th. We are delighted to report that close to 2,700 of your fellow BOB members have already responded to this important survey. If you haven't already done so, please complete the survey to the best of your ability. If you printed it out, please return it as quickly as possible. The data from online surveys are automatically collected when you press the 'Finished!' button. The larger the response, the greater will be our credibility, and the more attention we will receive in the media when the report is published.

We need to let the world know that while proton therapy may cost more initially, years later, the side effects are considerably lower; quality of life is considerably higher; and there is lower incidence of secondary cancers. So, long-term cost of proton is likely lower than conventional radiation.

Taking this survey is one of the most important things you can do as a BOB member.

Results will be published widely, and will be used to set the record straight on proton therapy for prostate cancer. Thank you, in advance, for your cooperation on this very important initiative.

proton bob arrow Click here to take the survey online "recommended".
proton bob arrow Click here to download and print a hard copy which you can fill out and mail in.

proton therapy featured member story gordon lindberg

If you have any questions about the survey, please contact Becky Campbell at the Proton
BOB Data Center in Colorado:, "720" 588-2160

Children Treated with Protons:
Less Collateral Damage

A group of children with neuroblastoma were treated with either IMRT or protons. The study was reported last month on Hematology/Oncology Today "HemOnc Today". The children in the study had a median age of 3 years and all had high-risk neuroblastoma. All were treated with chemotherapy, surgery, and bone marrow transplantation followed by either IMRT or proton beam radiation.

Five of the 13 children in the study received radiation to two or more tumor sites. Local recurrence did not occur in any of the children after treatment according to the researchers.

But here's the big difference: Radiation dose to surrounding healthy tissues and organs was significantly lower with protons. See the chart below.

children treated with proton therapy chart

Researchers also reported that heart and lung were also less affected with protons when chest radiation therapy was required.

Bottom Line

Both IMRT and proton did a good job destroying the cancer, but radiation delivered to healthy tissue was significantly lower with the proton group than the IMRT group. This has major implications with regard to long-term growth and development, quality of life, and secondary cancers with these young children.

You can easily extrapolate from this study the significant benefit of treating prostate cancer with protons vs. IMRT, especially when you consider all the important organs and healthy tissue surrounding the prostate.

Click here to read how proton therapy spared organs in children with neuroblastoma.

Pediatric Proton Study:
33% Increase in Cases Treated

According to a recent study by the Pediatric Proton Foundation "PDF" and the National Association for Proton Therapy "NAPT", the number of children with brain and spinal cancers who were treated with proton therapy in the U.S. rose 33% since 2010. In 2012, 694 pediatric patients were treated with proton therapy, compared with 465 in 2010 and 613 in 2011.

Conventional radiation for pediatric brain tumors has been associated with long-term neurocognitive deficits, including decreases in IQ, difficulties with attention, processing speed and executive skills. Even low dose traditional radiation to glands in the brain may cause life-long detrimental effects on hormone production and growth.

Unlike conventional radiation that can affect surrounding healthy tissues as it enters and exits the body, proton therapy uses high speed particles that can more precisely target tumors. Proton spares healthy tissue and has virtually no exit dose. The decreased radiation dose outside the tumor is especially critical for children since the risk of secondary, radiation-induced tumors may reach 25% in long term survivors treated with conventional radiotherapy.

Click here to read the complete story.

Featured Member Story:
Too Old for Protons?

proton therapy featured member story gordon lindberg

Born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Gordon Lindberg was drafted into the Army in January of 1944. He fought in the pacific during World War II. Gordon later studied industrial engineering at the University of Minnesota on the G.I. bill. He graduated in 1950 and began work in the water treatment business. Gordon worked for Honeywell, Vickers Hydraulics, FMC Corporation, and Tonka Equipment Company before retiring in 1998. Over the years, he married his wife, Nonie, and had three children. He now has five grandchildren.

Gordon was diagnosed with prostate cancer at the age of 85 in 2011 with a PSA of 9.5 and a Gleason score of 7. "At the time, I wanted the urologist to operate and get that thing out of me," he said. But his doctor refused, telling Gordon that he was "too old."

Gordon didn't like that comment and immediately decided to see another urologist … and then another. "They also refused to treat me," he told us. "One of the doctors was an expert with da Vinci equipment and he said to me, 'Gordy, if I operated on you they would run me out of town.'"

proton therapy featured member story gordon and nonie lindberg

The only other option that was presented to Gordon at the time was "watchful waiting." Gordon thought, Wait for what?! Wait until the cancer gets into my bones and they can't do anything at all to help me? With a Gleason score of 7 and numbers on the Partin scale that didn't look encouraging, that would be the most stupid thing to do.

Gordon didn't realize it at the time, but he was lucky they all turned him away.

After Gordon continued to prod for treatment suggestions, his doctors recommended IMRT. At that point, Gordon figured it was better than the other options, so he decided to move in that direction. He was just about to start treatment when he heard about proton therapy and Loma Linda University Medical Center.

"I first heard about proton therapy from friends who knew men that had undergone the treatment at LLUMC," Gordon told us. "I then talked to some former patients and started to learn about the advantages of proton beams over conventional radiation"especially the ability for better control and the fact that protons reduce the chance for damage to surrounding tissue." Gordon also read several books about conventional radiation treatment and noticed repeated comments about undesirable side effects. Unfortunately he did not read Bob's book, "You Can Beat Prostate Cancer," but told us, "If I had read it, it would have considered this decision a no brainer."

proton therapy featured member story gordon lindberg

Although Gordon talked to several men who had received proton therapy for their prostate cancer and had good things to say, he still agonized over the decision to be away from home for more than two months. But after his wife agreed to go with him, it made the decision much easier. "I also figured that if the guys I spoke with had been willing to spend almost three months away from home for proton therapy, it's gotta be worth it," said Gordon.

The time at LLUMC for Gordon and his wife was "actually a fun experience." They enjoyed the Wednesday meetings, the potluck suppers, and exploring the area.

Today Gordon's PSA is 0.2 and he tells us he's had "no side effects." After his treatment, he had to have two hip replacements "which were necessary before his proton treatment, but he decided to wait" which kept him off his beloved golf course for a while. "I'm now back on the golf course and playing nine holes," Gordon said happily. "I'm working my way back up to eighteen."

Member Feedback

Chuck Sampson "Surprise, AZ" sent us the following message:

I think you may be interested in knowing that at the age of 87, I recently purchased a new Sea Doo. Also, I'll be going water skiing with my daughter, Jillian "59" on Thursday "the weather here in Phoenix has been beautiful". I'm also preparing for a Hot Dog Patio Party on Friday. There will be about 28 guests "I'll spend today cleaning the patio" … The golf course is green and beautiful with new winter grass. We have four beautiful golf courses here in Sun City Grand. It's too bad my 'thing' is water skiing. But when I get old, I may just get serious about golf. We'll see.

proton therapy prostate cancer chuck sampson

One of our members wrote of last month's newsletter:

I always look forward to reading the BOB Tales. It's like a comfy, old friend. This was an unusually good issue! Each newsletter provides so much information"takes so much work"and it shows. Good job, Deb and Bob.

In last month's BOB Tales, we quoted a doctor from the UK who said, "Proton beam will be the universal treatment of choice for prostate cancer in ten-year's time." Many of our members were thrilled to see this.

One member wrote to us and said:

I'm glad someone actually said it. With increased availability, proton will be the first choice, and surgery will go the way of bloodletting with leeches.

Jacques "Frenchy" Houot "Carbondale, CO" sent us a recent photo.

Jacques "Frenchy" Houot received his proton treatment over ten years ago at the age of 67. An avid bicyclist and Alpine ski racer, Frenchy continued to follow his passion after treatment, winning race after race in both sports in his age category … where he's usually the oldest. Frenchy just turned 78 and guess how he celebrated his birthday? He rode his bike up Aspen Mountain from McClure Pass to the base of Kebler Pass"a six hour ride!

proton therapy prostate cancer jacques frenchy houot

Proton Patient Reference List:
Proton + Hormones

As you know, part of our mission is to spread the word on proton therapy, to share with others our stories and the benefits we received as a result of our treatment decision. One way members reach out is by volunteering to be on one of our former proton patient reference lists, making themselves available by phone or e-mail to men who are seeking information about proton therapy. We currently have 32 different reference lists.

In Bob's book, "You Can Beat Prostate Cancer," he reported that talking with former patients about their experience of proton therapy was a major factor in his treatment decision. He recalls that their stories"of treatment and life after treatment"were in sharp contrast to feedback he received from men who had chosen surgery or conventional radiation.

We are currently looking to update our reference list of members who were treated with both protons and hormones. If you were treated with protons and hormones and are willing to e-mail or speak with potential proton patients, please send an e-mail to

Breaking News:
Matching Gift Promises to Double Yours

Passionate about advancing proton research, a BOB member and founder of the Sequoia Foundation for Achievement in Culture and Education is encouraging fellow BOB members to match a $25,000 challenge grant coming from the Foundation. 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 take this opportunity to double the impact of your year-end gifts and beyond.

If you are inspired to give or have questions about this challenge, please contact Paul Arceneaux in the Office of Philanthropy at 909-558-3581 or Other ways to give are outlined after the following two stories.

Why Prostate Cancer Didn't Scare Ken Coley

Written by James Ponder, PR Writer/Editor for LLUH

Ken Coley skipped the panic and foreboding stages when he learned he had prostate cancer in October 2011. Instead, he casually picked up the phone and invited his pal Rudy"a 16-year prostate cancer survivor"to breakfast.

As they ate, Ken made up his mind to deal with the disease the way Rudy had: by heading to the James M. Slater, MD Proton Treatment and Research Center at Loma Linda University Medical Center.

proton therapy research contributor ken coley

After getting his questions answered, Ken started proton therapy. "I was treated with the utmost dignity, respect, and consideration at all times," he reports, commending the professionalism and empathy of the Loma Linda staff. Now that his treatments are over and Ken's PSA score is well within the safety zone, he has become a veritable cheerleader for proton therapy.

On an extracurricular tour of the Centennial Complex on the LLU campus, he saw a wall displaying the names of donors whose generosity is helping educate future generations of health professionals. "Seeing that motivated me to do something as well," he recalls. "I am a person of limited means, but I wanted to do this." After talking it over with Penny, his wife, the Coley's went ahead and included Loma Linda in their estate plans.

In describing the process of remembering the organization in his will, Ken speaks highly of Rich Bennett, the planned giving officer at Loma Linda University Health, who answered all his questions and made him feel at home.

"Some people are always wanting more from you," Ken observes, "but I didn't get any sense like that from Rich. My gift, a bequest in my will, isn't that large, but Rich said, 'It takes many bricks to build a wall.' Just like everyone else at Loma Linda, he consistently treated me with courtesy and respect."

Ken offers some advice for people who wonder if their gift, large or small, will make a difference. "Loma Linda is a worthwhile place to put your money to help benefit mankind," he says. "There's a lot going on there, and they outreach all over the world. Making a contribution to Loma Linda is easier than you think. There's nothing to dread. Anyone, especially those who have benefited from the graceful way we were treated, should consider putting Loma Linda in their estate plans."

proton therapy research contributor clyde marsh

Yet Another BOB Member Makes a Contribution

Clyde Marsh of Riverside, CA has been attending the potluck dinners at Loma Linda every Tuesday night since his treatment almost six years ago. Recently, he showed up with a check for $6,000 for the Robert J. Marckini chair.

To learn more about leaving Loma Linda University Health in your will or trust, please feel free to contact the Office of Planned Giving at "909" 558-4553 or

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."


Bob Marckini and Deb Hickey to Visit LLUMC

When: November 20, 2013 at 5:00 p.m.

Where: LLUMC Wednesday Night Meeting at the Drayson Center, Collins Auditorium: 25040 Stewart Street, Loma Linda, CA 92354.

Details: The event will be hosted by Dr. Lynn Martell. Bob Marckini will be the guest speaker.

RSVP: Contact Paul Arceneaux for more information at 909-558-3581 or

Reduce the Risk of Dangerous Aneurysms

People who eat more than two servings of fruit daily are 25% less likely to develop abdominal aortic aneurysms "AAAs" than people who eat little or no fruit. They are 43% less likely to have aneurysms that rupture says Otto Stackelberg, MD "Karolinska Institute Stockholm, author of a study of 80,426 people". If an AAA ruptures, life-threatening bleeding may occur.

Get a Flu Shot

Everybody knows it can stave off influenza, but it may also cut heart attack risk nearly in half, according to a 2013 study. That's because the flu virus may "prompt an inflammatory response in arteries that are already diseased," leading to blockages that can cause heart attacks, says study author, Anita Heywood, a public health scientist at the University of New South Wales in Australia.

Keeping Your Brain Healthy as You Age

prostate cancer health and nutrition

The health of your brain plays a very important role in almost everything you do: thinking, feeling, working, playing, and even sleeping.

The good news is that emerging evidence suggests there are steps you can take to help keep your brain healthier as you age. These steps might also reduce your risk of Alzheimer's disease or other dementias.

NOTE: You can do everything "right" and still not prevent Alzheimer's disease. Here, we present the most up-to-date information available about brain health so you can make informed decisions about your overall health.

Stay Physically Active

Exercise is necessary for maintaining good blood flow to the brain as well as to encourage new brain cells. It also can reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke and diabetes, and thereby protect against those risk factors for Alzheimer's and other dementias.

Eat Well

Eat a low fat, low cholesterol diet. There is growing evidence that a diet rich in dark vegetables and fruits, which contain antioxidants, may help protect brain cells.

Get Active Socially

Social activity has been proven to reduce stress levels, which helps maintain healthy connections among brain cells.

NOTE: Research has shown that being part of a support group following cancer treatment improves quality of life, and enhances patient survival, according to the American Cancer Society. So we suggest"join the BOB"it's good for your health!

Keep Thinking

Mentally stimulating activities strengthen brain cells and the connections between them, and may even create new nerve cells.

NOTE: Here is a great reason to take part in our monthly brain teasers!

Click here to learn more about prevention and risk of Alzheimer's and Dementia.

Holiday Discount for BOB Members

The holidays are quickly approaching. Is there is someone special in your life that may benefit from reading Bob Marckini's book? Do you have a son, brother, or other family member who is at higher risk for developing prostate cancer? Do you have a friend, co-worker, or acquaintance who might be interested in learning about proton therapy for prostate cancer? Well, now is the time to place your order. We are offering a special holiday discount"it's outlined below.

Proton BOB Book Discount

To place an order, simply send an e-mail to with the quantity that you desire. Remember, proceeds from book sales are used to help fund our efforts and to support proton therapy research through the Robert J. Marckini Endowed Chair.

Amazon Reader Reviews

We have reached 165 reviews on Amazon! Here are a couple of recent reviews:

Amazon 5 Stars for You Can Beat Prostate Cancer

You Can Beat Prostate Cancer and You Don't Need Surgery To Do It,
by Dr. Ken Ford

I am an Orthopedic Surgeon from Houston, Texas, and was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2006. The choices for treatment were unclear and I was very confused and somewhat overwhelmed. After talking to about 50 patients, some with impotence and daily leakage of urine, I decided that surgery was not for me. Fortunately a friend referred me to Bob Marckini's book which was written in terms that I could understand. Bob explains his journey and quest for knowledge along with the pros and cons of various treatments. This book played a big part in my decision to temporarily move to Loma Linda, California, for very successful proton treatment. I am doing just fine with no significant problems related to my treatment in late 2007.

Amazon 5 Stars for You Can Beat Prostate Cancer

Truthful and Informative … No Fiction Here, by Philip D'Amico

I found this book sooooooooooooo helpful and decided on proton treatment at Loma Linda. I wasn't disappointed. I found that all I had read about in the book was spot on. After treatment, which was painless and very professional, I am very happy with the results. In addition to the great results, I have maintained friendships with many of the fellas who had treatment at the same time. All of us feel indebted to Bob Marckini for taking the time to write this book which helped us make our decision to have proton therapy. I strongly recommend this book.

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:

Another Reason to Avoid Surgery

One of our members sent us a link to a blog titled, "Prostate Diaries." Developed by a man who had his prostate removed in 2007, he posted a story and video about another man who had a prostatectomy and has since developed a bladder neck contracture. This is a potentially serious complication that men who elect radical prostatectomy should be aware of prior to treatment. The contracture is a narrowing at the connection between the bladder and urethra which can cause significant symptoms including a slow stream and incontinence.

Click here to read the story and watch the video.

And Another Reason to Avoid Surgery

Another member sent us a link to a website developed by surgery patient, Rick Redner, who wrote a book with his wife titled, "I Left My Prostate in San Francisco"Where's Yours? Coping with the Emotional, Relational, Sexual, and Spiritual Aspects of Prostate Cancer."

A comment about this book on Amazon reads:

i left my prostate in san francisco book

With humor and candor, Rick tackles difficult to discuss topics such as living with a catheter, urinary incontinence, depression, erectile dysfunction, and penile rehab. In addition, there are informative chapters about how to share the news with others and how to cope with their reactions, what to expect during the process, why he opted for surgery, insurance questions, dealing with lack of sleep, returning to work, and more.

From [his wife] Brenda's point of view, she discusses her fear over losing her husband to cancer, the power of prayer, grief and loss over the life they once had, coping with the change in her husband's personality, and the impact Rick's surgery had on their sex life.

This is truly a powerful book because it shares so many aspects of coping with prostate cancer, surgery, and post-surgery issues that might be embarrassing to discuss. It is a straight-shooting story, but it also encourages and inspires. Each chapter ends with a series of helpful questions, meant to be discussed with your spouse, your doctors, or others. In less than 300 pages, the Redners provide a strong foundation for couples facing a prostate cancer diagnosis.

Click here to learn more about this book.

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 Babies are born with 300 bones, but by adulthood the number is reduced to 206. Some of the bones, like skull bones, get fused into each other, bringing down the total number.
proton bob arrow It's not possible to tickle yourself. This is because when you attempt to tickle yourself you are totally aware of the exact time and manner in which the tickling will occur, unlike when someone else tickles you.
proton bob arrow Less than one third of the human race has 20-20 vision. This means that two out of three people cannot see perfectly.
proton bob arrow Your nose can remember 50,000 different scents. But if you are a woman, you are a better smeller than men, and will remain a better smeller throughout your life.
proton bob arrow The human body is estimated to have 60,000 miles of blood vessels.

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

Movember 2013

Movember 2013

It's that time of year again. As we mentioned last month, November is the time of year when men from around the world sprout mustaches "or shave if they typically wear a mustache" to support "Movember," an official global charity with a mission to raise awareness about men's health issues. Through "the power of the Mo," vital funds and awareness are raised to combat prostate and testicular cancer and mental health challenges.

Even if you haven't joined an official Movember group in your community, please let us know if you grew "or shaved" a mustache this month to build awareness about proton therapy for prostate cancer. And please"send a photo"we may ask to post it in our next newsletter.

The Proton Store

Holiday Gifts

Do you have a son, brother, other family member, or friend who you think should be more aware of prostate cancer and proton therapy? You may want to consider giving him a copy of Bob's book. And, as we've mentioned in previous issues of BOB Tales, we also offer proton-inspired gifts at The Proton Store, including BOB caps, t-shirts, mugs, and even a pair of BOB boxer shorts.

BOB member, Bill Vancil, designed these promotional items to help raise money for proton research at LLUMC. Three dollars from every purchase goes directly to the Robert J. Marckini Chair. So, why not buy a gift for a loved one, and at the same time support proton research and spread the word on proton therapy?

If you have an event coming up, there is also a volume discount. Just e-mail Bill Vancil for more info:

You Never Know Who's
on the Road Behind You

Proton BOB Bumper Sticker

You never know who is staring at your bumper while you're sitting at that red light"you could save a life. Spread the word about proton therapy with a BOB bumper sticker. Just send $6.00 to Bob Hawley: P.O. Box 45, Mt. Angel, OR 97362 and he'll mail you one. Or, e-mail Bob at .

All proceeds go to proton therapy research.

Last Month's Brain Teaser

For the math majors in our group: I'm a four-digit number. My second digit is twice greater than my third. The sum of all my digits is three times greater than my last digit. The product of my third and fourth digits is twelve times greater than the ratio of my second to third digits. What is my number?

Answer: Leave it to our smart members. The answer we were looking for was 7638. And Jim Kennedy "Gaithersburg, MD" was first with the correct answer using simple algebra. However, a few members came through with another answer, which was also correct, 0846. The first with this correct answer was Gary Fisher "Chesterfield, MO".

proton therapy jim kennedy brain teaser winner

Jim Kennedy is another "recovering engineer" who was a NASA test conductor and simulations director during the Apollo program. He travelled extensively to most of the worldwide tracking stations, ships, and aircraft used in the program. He later worked in the early stages of the cellular telephone industry. He enjoys family, friends, computers, travel, and his amateur radio hobby.

proton therapy gary fisher brain teaser winner

Jim told us that he met "many wonderful folks" during his proton treatment at LLU, including Bob Marckini who was visiting at the time, and many of these friends have become life-long.

Gary Fisher is retired from Graybar Electric Company located in Clayton, Missouri, after 32 years of service. He was the Director of Accounting Information and Reporting Systems upon retirement in 2002.

Gary's proton treatment was in 2010 at MPRI in Bloomington, Indiana. He tells us that he is pleased with the results of his treatment. "My current PSA is .2 and I have not had any noticeable side effects," Gary says.

So, two signed books went out last month to two very smart BOB members.

NEW Brain Teaser:

Mr. Jones one day got off a train in Chicago. While passing through the station, he met a friend he had not seen in years. With his friend was a little girl.

"Well, I certainly am glad to see you," said Mr. Jones.

"Same here," said his friend. "Since I last saw you I've been married"to someone you never knew. This is my little girl."

"I'm glad to meet you," said Mr. Jones. "What's your name?"

"It's the same as my mother's," answered the little girl.

"Oh, then your name is Anne," said Mr. Jones.

How did he know?

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

Send Us Your Favorite Brain Teaser or Riddle!

Do you have a favorite? Send it along with the answer to Deb Hickey at If we use it, we will give you credit for having sent it to us.

An Observation

In Africa, some of the native tribes have a custom of beating the ground with clubs and uttering spine-chilling cries.

Anthropologists call this a form of primitive self-expression. In our country we refer to it as 'golf.'

Smart Move

My memory is going fast, so I changed my password to "incorrect." That way when I log in with the wrong password the computer will tell me: "Your password is incorrect."

Gift for Teacher

On the first day of school, the children brought gifts for their teacher. The supermarket manager's daughter brought the teacher a basket of assorted fruit. The florist's son brought the teacher a bouquet of flowers. The candy store owner's daughter gave the teacher a pretty box of candy.

Then the liquor-store owner's son brought up a big, heavy box. The teacher lifted it up and noticed that it was leaking a little bit. She touched a drop of the liquid with her finger and tasted it.

"Is it wine?" she guessed.

"No," the boy replied.

She tasted another couple of drops and asked, "Champagne?"

"No," said the little boy … "It's a puppy!"

Sex After Surgery

A recent article in the Kentucky Post reported that a woman, one Anne Maynard, has sued St. Luke's Hospital, saying that after her husband had surgery there, he lost all interest in sex.

A hospital spokesman replied, "Mr. Maynard was admitted in Ophthalmology"all we did was correct his eyesight."

Quote of the Month

"You must learn from the mistakes of others.
You can't possibly live long enough to make them all yourself.

"Sam Levenson

Paul Harvey's Wishes for Children

proton therapy final thought

We tried so hard to make things better for our kids that we made them worse. For my grandchildren, I'd like better. I'd really like for them to know about hand-me-down clothes and homemade ice cream and leftover meat loaf sandwiches. I really would.

I hope you learn humility by being humiliated, and that you learn honesty by being cheated. I hope you learn to make your own bed and mow the lawn and wash the car. And I really hope nobody gives you a brand new car when you are sixteen.

It will be good if at least one time you can see puppies born and your old dog put to sleep. I hope you get a black eye fighting for something you believe in.

I hope you have to share a bedroom with your younger brother/sister. And it's all right if you have to draw a line down the middle of the room, but when he/she wants to crawl under the covers with you because he/she's scared, I hope you let him/her.

When you want to see a movie and your little brother/sister wants to tag along, I hope you'll let him/her. I hope you have to walk uphill to school with your friends and that you live in a town where you can do it safely. On rainy days when you have to catch a ride, I hope you don't ask your driver to drop you two blocks away so you won't be seen riding with someone as uncool as your Mom.

If you want a slingshot, I hope your Dad teaches you how to make one instead of buying one. I hope you learn to dig in the dirt and read books. When you learn to use computers, I hope you also learn to add and subtract in your head.

I hope you get teased by your friends when you have your first crush on a boy/girl, and when you talk back to your mother that you learn what ivory soap tastes like. May you skin your knee climbing a mountain, burn your hand on a stove and stick your tongue on a frozen flagpole.

I don't care if you try a beer once, but I hope you don't like it. And if a friend offers you dope or a joint, I hope you realize he/she is not your friend. I sure hope you make time to sit on a porch with your Grandma/Grandpa and go fishing with your Uncle. May you feel sorrow at a funeral and joy during the holidays.

I hope your mother punishes you when you throw a baseball through your neighbor's window and that she hugs you and kisses you at Hanukah/Christmas time when you give her a plaster mold of your hand.

These things I wish for you"tough times and disappointment, hard work and happiness. To me, it's the only way to appreciate life.

proton therapy final thought

And finally …

November is the month for Thanksgiving and for remembering our veterans who sacrificed so much for our freedom. November is also National Adoption Month. We in our family have much to be thankful for. The list is long. Right at the top of the list, however, is a beautiful child that Deb and her husband, Mark, adopted at birth. Gemma Pauline Hickey is now 2½ years old. She's happy, healthy, and full of energy; she loves life; she loves her parents and grandparents; and she's a joy to be around. God bless those who bring their babies to full-term and give them to loving families for adoption.

Happy Thanksgiving, and 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.

*As we go to press with this month’s BOB Tales news is filtering out about the devastation caused by the typhoon in the Philippines, including an estimated 10,000 deaths. We are reminded that our good friend and BOB member, the Rev. Dr. Federico (Fred) Agnir is from the Philippines. Fred is the author of “When God Calls,” a book that is rich in information about the Filipino people, history, and culture. We have communicated with Fred, who has family in the Philippines that were affected by the storm. All appear to be safe at this time according to Fred. Please keep the Filipino people in your thoughts and prayers, and consider contributing to one of the many charities that have been established to help with major relief efforts. Click here for information on how you can help.

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.