By protonbob - September 21, 2016

Dear Members (A Note from Deb Hickey):

In March 2014, my husband Mark, age 41, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I will never forget the sudden panic that flooded my body when I received that phone call. This was followed by disbelief, confusion, anger, fear, and hopelessness. Doctor and hospital visits ensued; research was initiated; family and friends gathered to provide support and prayers. Those first two weeks were a nightmare.

By the beginning of week three, as we were preparing to meet with doctors at Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Mark was rushed by ambulance to the nearest hospital and then admitted to Beth Israel Hospital in Boston for emergency chemotherapy. His cancer, which had metastasized to his liver, was growing fast and causing excruciating pain.

One of his doctors told us this was a deadly and incurable cancer and he’d be “surprised if Mark made it to the end of the summer.” Another said he’d be on continuous chemotherapy for the rest of his life.

Fast forward to today. Mark has a sprained ankle. He rolled it while playing tennis last week. Thankfully, he thinks it will heal enough so he can play 18 holes of golf this weekend with my dad.

The first and only round of chemotherapy 2 ½ years ago seems to have destroyed Mark’s cancer. All subsequent CT scans and blood work have shown “no evidence of disease.”

I cannot tell you what happened or why. I can’t explain why all the doctors’ predictions were wrong. I do know that hundreds—maybe thousands—of people were praying for Mark, including many BOB members. The world “miracle” has rolled off nurses’ and doctors’ tongues many times over the past two years.

We don’t use the term, “cured,” because we don’t know what the future will bring. We do know, however, there is no evidence of disease and the doctors simply don’t know why.

Mark seems to have been given a second chance at life, and the new job I have taken on is to do everything in my power to keep him healthy.

We made two major changes in our lives soon after Mark’s diagnosis. We turned to God and our church for help and have continue to invite God into our daily lives, ask Him for guidance, and try to live our lives according to His word. We also dramatically changed our lifestyle in terms of diet and exercise. As you will see, we have focused on the latter in this newsletter.

The information that follows could change your life. I can see one example of this in the next room. He’s playing Legos with our daughter as I type this sentence.

After Mark finished chemo, I began looking into alternative, natural remedies to keep his immune system strong. In addition to considering acupuncture, meditation, and other therapies, I started reading about diet and how certain foods can actually contribute to disease and how others can counteract and even prevent disease, including cancer. I also read about the critical importance of staying active and exercising regularly.

During my research, I learned that our genes dictate only about 10 percent of how long we live and the other 90 percent is determined by our lifestyle. If you’ve been reading our newsletters, you’ve also seen the phrase “Blue Zones” mentioned a few times. Blue Zones is a concept used to identify areas in the world where people live measurably longer and healthier lives. A few years ago National Geographic set out to find the longest living cultures and uncover why their people were living longer and healthier lives than the rest of the world. National Geographic writer, Dan Buettner, went on to glean from his explorations the lifestyle habits of these cultures. You can watch him on Ted Talks.

Mr. Buettner wanted to know the common denominators in these cultures. What are the things they do? He and his team learned that every day these people stay physically active; they take time to “downshift” or slow down; they have a sense of overall purpose in their lives; they eat plant-based diets and eat mindfully; they connect with others in their community; and they are spiritual.

Whether or not the changes Mark and I have made in our lives are the reason he is still cancer-free today can’t be proven, but it sure appears that he’s doing a lot of things right. I don’t know what the future will bring. Again, I can’t say that Mark is “cured.” I can only say there is no detectable cancer and he feels good. Thank God and all those who have prayed for us.

As we mentioned last month, my father and I recently read the book Anticancer—A New Way of Life, by David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD. The book was written by a young physician and scientist who was diagnosed with a deadly brain tumor. Rather than sit back and let cancer take his life, he fought the disease vigorously. In his book, Dr. Servan-Schreiber focuses on four areas in which you can prevent and/or reverse cancer progression: Detoxifying your internal and external environments, eating “anti-cancer” foods, increasing physical activity, and pursuing mindfulness/a peaceful existence. For anyone who craves tangible information on how you can sustain your health, prevent disease, and improve the quality of and lengthen your life, this book may be for you. In fact, so are the next several issues of BOB Tales.

This month, we begin a series of articles about “Anticancer.” We’ve enlisted the help of BOB member Pat Greany, Ph.D., retired USDA research entomologist and courtesy professor at the University of Florida. We sent him a copy of the book and encouraged him to read it. And as we expected, he devoured it. We then asked if he would contribute his thoughts on the book in a series of articles in our newsletter. We think you will find his analysis compelling.

This newsletter is one of our most important to date. Please pass it along to anyone you think may benefit from reading it. As always, we welcome your feedback and suggestions for future newsletters. Just send an email to

Deb Hickey

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

In This Issue:

  • Anticancer—A New Way of Life
  • Two New Proton Centers Open in the U.S.
  • New Drug May Treat Resistant Prostate Cancer
  • Robotic Rectum—What Will They Think of Next?
  • BOB Reunion in Late September: Minneapolis, MN
  • Member Still Jet Skis at 90
  • PSA Over 8,000!
  • Prostate Cancer Treatment: Consider All Your Options
  • Less Sitting, More Standing for Good Health
  • Our Toughest Brain Teaser Ever?

Anticancer—A New Way of Life  

Article contributed by BOB member Pat Greany, Ph.D., retired USDA research entomologist and courtesy professor at the University of Florida

In the September 2016 issue of BOB Tales, Bob Marckini and Deb Hickey briefly introduced us to an important book on cancer prevention and perhaps even holistic therapy that has gained a great deal of attention and has become a major New York Times bestseller. In fact, it’s the best-selling book about cancer in the world, published in 36 languages!

The book, Anticancer: A New Way of Life, by David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD, is an exceptionally compelling narrative describing the author’s personal experience with a malignant brain tumor, discovered when he substituted for a research test subject who failed to show up for a scheduled MRI.  Dr. Servan-Schreiber filled in, only to discover that he himself had a very evident brain tumor. In the book, the author describes his shock at this discovery, at only 31, and his valiant efforts to use the best traditional medical capabilities available to overcome his disease.

Prepared for the Battle

As a neuro-psychiatrist and researcher, he was exceptionally well equipped to obtain the best therapies and physicians to effect a cure, but he wanted to do everything he could beyond conventional medical interventions. This led him to glean everything he could from the scientific literature and from other sources to identify all possible ways to overcome his problem. He made some astonishing discoveries, showing that cancer has become an epidemic since 1940, and was able to correlate this to unhealthful changes in our diet and increasingly sedentary lifestyle since then. The outcome of this identified four guiding principles, including: 

  • “Guarding ourselves against the imbalances of our environment that have developed since 1940 and promoting the epidemic of cancer.”
  • “Adjusting our diet to cut back on cancer promoters and include the greatest number of phytochemical components that actively fight tumors.”
  • “Understanding and healing the psychological wounds that feed the biological mechanisms at work in cancer.”
  • “Creating a relationship with our bodies that stimulates the immune system and reduces the inflammation that makes tumors grow.”

We Can All Benefit from His Research

Dr. Servan-Schreiber undertook a huge task to compile and analyze the information and we can benefit from his research, which he describes in considerable detail in an enthralling presentation at the University of California in 2010.  In a series of installments, we’ll be discussing these principles and presenting examples of his findings and recommendations.  It should be noted that some reviewers have questioned the scientific validity of some of his conclusions, because of the lack of prospective clinical trials, but Dr. Servan-Schreiber answered this by stating that doing so would take time, and he didn’t have the time!  However, to his credit, he did engage researchers at the MD Anderson Cancer Center and together, they developed the Anticancer Research Program, which has been operating for about five years, attempting to “move the integrative medicine field forward through several groundbreaking strategies where previous research has fallen short.”  Bob Marckini and I interviewed the lead researcher on this project at MD Anderson, and we’ll be sharing in this series what we learned from that discussion.

In addition to numerous book reviews and videos about “Anticancer” and Dr. Servan-Schreiber’s remarkable life, the Anticancer theme has gained mainstream attention with the production of a new film that will be released soon—“The C Word” —with Morgan Freeman as the executive producer.  The film’s “Four Pillars” of Anticancer include:  Exercise, Nutrition, Avoidance of Toxins, and Stress Management. An additional source of information can be found at

Coming Next Month

In our next installment in this series, we’ll discuss the dramatic increase in the incidence of cancer that has occurred since 1940 among many Americans and other westerners. This is correlated with specific dietary and environmental changes, as described in Chapter 6 of Anticancer.  Among the worst of these influences is the use of sugar, which has increased dramatically since WWII. Astonishingly, the average American consumes more than 70 kg (154 pounds) of sugar per year! Other adverse dietary factors include increased consumption of corn, and corn-fed animals, resulting in an imbalance of proinflammatory omega-6 fatty acids vs. omega-3s, which are essential for our health. We’ll also discuss the use of anti-inflammatory agents, such as turmeric, which is being widely touted as a valuable dietary supplement. Inflammation is recognized as a major driver of prostate cancer, along with other diseases. Stay tuned!

New Drug May Treat Resistant Prostate Cancer

United Press International reported recently that scientists at the Institute of Cancer research have discovered a class of drugs able to treat prostate cancer when conventional treatments fail. Hsp90 inhibitors are capable of targeting and disengaging active prostate cancer cells. These inhibitors and other similar indirect cancer treatments can destabilize several proteins needed for cancer cells to flourish, according to the report soon to be published in the journal, Cancer Research.

“We call Hsp90 inhibitors ‘network drugs’ because they tackle several of the signals that are hijacked in cancer all at once, across a network rather than just a single signaling pathway,” said study co-leader Paul Workman, chief executive of the Institute of Cancer Research in London. “These drugs can hit cancer harder than those targeting only one protein, and look promising for preventing or overcoming drug resistance.”

In order for a prostate tumor to grow, they use androgens, which are a type of male hormone. The new drug is reportedly capable of blocking the cells’ androgen receptors so they can be treated.

Project co-leader Johann de Bono said, “We have demonstrated for the first time that Hsp90 inhibitors can block the production of the most common abnormal androgen receptors that cause many prostate cancers to stop responding to current treatments. These drugs are already in clinical trials for several types of cancer, and I'm excited that our work suggests they could also benefit men with prostate cancer who have otherwise run out of treatment options.”

Robotic Rectum—What Will They Think of Next?

All of our members have been through it … many times: The digital rectal exam or DRE. It’s not the most pleasant experience in the world, but it’s not that bad either. Doctors have different skills and techniques, and some are more adept at finding irregularities that may be related to prostate cancer.

Well, there’s a new invention—a robotic rectum—that’s actually pretty ingenious. It uses robotic devices to apply pressure to a silicon rectum, so that trainee doctors and nurses can get an accurate sense of the feel and shape of normal rectums and those with irregularities.

A 3D model of the internal organs is displayed on a computer screen, which allows the trainee to see what they are feeling through haptic technology that involves interacting with computers through touch.

The robot can be programmed to have different anatomical characteristics, such as an enlarged prostate or a prostate with a developing tumor.

New research involves doctors wearing small pressure sensors in their gloves and collecting data from real prostate exams in patients. This information will be used to program the robot to even better simulate “the real thing.”

What could possibly come next? 

Recap: BOB Reunion, Las Vegas, NV

Dr. Lynn Martell and his wife, Karen, kicked off a road trip through CA, NV, UT, ID, WY and MT at the Paradise Seventh-day Adventist church in Las Vegas, NV on July 5. There, they met with nearly 20 BOB members and their family members. Guests enjoyed refreshments while listening to Lynn share updates about exciting research being done at LLUCC to advance proton treatment.

Recap: BOB Reunion, Salt Lake City, UT

On July 7, Lynn and Karen Martell met with another group of BOB members and their families in Salt Lake City, UT. The reunion, coordinated by Rory and Michelle Weaver, was held at the public library. Lynn spoke to the group about a recent groundbreaking celebration at LLUCC and presented a short film.

Upcoming: BOB Reunion, Minneapolis, MN

BOB members are invited to attend a reunion in Minneapolis, MN on September 27 at the Wayzata Country Club. Attendees can play golf (8:00 a.m.) and/or get together for an afternoon lunch (1:00 p.m.). Dr. Lynn Martell, along with Andrew Millard, development officer at LLUH, and Billie Baker, senior development officer at LLUH, are looking forward to meeting with former proton patients and their families and sharing the latest developments in proton therapy at Loma Linda University Cancer Center.  

For more information, please contact Billie Baker at 951-743-0817 or

Member Still Jet Skis at 90

Okay, he’s almost 90. We communicated with BOB member Chuck Sampson last month. You may recognize his name and/or his face. Photos of Chuck water skiing and breaking the sound barrier on his Sea Doo into his 80s have graced our website, Facebook page, and newsletter for years.

We asked Chuck if he’s still active. Below is part of his response:

Yes, I’m still active and attribute my lifestyle to going through proton therapy at Loma Linda University Cancer Center in 2005. My PSA remains low and I’ve had no problems. I’ll be 90 in January and am hardly slowing down. I gave up waterskiing this year; however I am still riding my Sea Doo. I still love speed! In fact, last year I bought a new car with a 420 HP engine.

I also lead worship at my church and serve at the Harvest Compassion Center here in Phoenix. The center services 450-500 families each month with food, clothing, and other supplies. They have two marathon fundraisers every year in Phoenix and Chicago. I’ve taken part in four of the marathons and will be participating in the one in Chicago in September. I did an 8K last February here in Phoenix. I’ll continue as long as I can.

I’ve been unusually blessed with good health, but I know it won’t last forever. I do know, without a doubt, my prostate cancer treatment at LLUCC contributed significantly to my wellbeing for which I’m grateful. I also know my life is in God’s hands.

Bob and Deb: What you both do is tremendous. God has used you both in a remarkable way to help those in desperate need of prostate cancer healing. You go way beyond what would ever be expected to bring the healing message of proton therapy to those who need it and don’t have a clue. Most people who retire early have no plan for their future. God had a purpose for you, Bob, and you stuck with your calling with heart and soul. At least that’s the way I see it.

God bless you in the work He has called you to do. Keep in touch. It’s a joy having this extreme East/West relationship as we both continue to spread the proton word as much as we can.

Chuck is featured on our “Life After Proton” Web page along with 32 other inspiring BOB members. Take a peek and see what life is like after proton therapy.

We have been producing BOB Tales newsletters monthly for almost 16 years. During this time there have been some important articles that many new members have not seen, and some older members may have forgotten. So, we decided to periodically re-run some articles from past newsletters. The story below is from April 2003.

PSA Over 8,000!

This is a sad story from one of our members. The names have been changed. 

Henry is my younger brother by two years. When I found out I had prostate cancer, I called Henry and my older brother, George, to encourage them to check their PSA. George did.  He discovered prostate cancer and had it treated with surgery, over my objections. 

Henry, on the other hand, made some negative comments about the medical profession and finished his statement with “a guy has to die of something.” A few weeks ago, and nearly five years later, Henry told me, “I wish I had gone to the doctor.”

Sixteen months ago he passed out in a parking lot. He was rushed to the hospital. When he awoke, he was told his PSA was 8,800 and he had advanced, metastatic prostate cancer.  He was also anemic and was given blood.

Ten days later, after he stopped taking 10 to 12 aspirin a day to relieve his hip pain, which had been going on for five years and he thought was normal, his doctor castrated him. One tumor is on his left hip and they don’t know where else it has spread. He is on chemo. His PSA is “down” to 1,100 and the hip pain is gone most of the time. He has six more chemo treatments to go and then he may be able to be on some new gene therapy that has had some success with advanced-stage prostate cancer.

We are in frequent contact with recently diagnosed men. Most are early stage and have several options available to them. But sadly, a small number are like Henry. They don’t believe in having annual physicals, and they feel okay physically. Many men who follow this path will live long and healthy lives. But, with one out of six of us likely having prostate cancer, not having annual physicals and PSA screening is like playing Russian roulette in our opinion. And prostate cancer isn’t the only disease that can be caught early through annual physicals. Consider it “preventive maintenance.”  Those men who have some family history of the disease should be especially vigilant, as their probability of having prostate cancer is greater, as Henry and George discovered.

Year-end Giving

As the end of the year approaches and you plan your year-end giving, please consider making a gift to the Robert J. Marckini Endowed Chair for proton therapy research or to Vision 2020 at Loma Linda University Health. Send us an email if you would like to learn more about these important causes.

How to Contribute to Proton Research

Give Now: Visit the LLUH website and donate online. Make sure the “Designation Type” is set to “Proton” and the “Designation” is set to “Robert J. Marckini Chair.

Send a Check: Make your check out to “LLUCC Proton” with “Marckini Chair” in on the memo line and send to:

LLUH, Office of Philanthropy
P.O. Box 2000
Loma Linda, CA 92354.

Make a Call: Contribute by phone. Contact Elvia DeHaro at 909-558-5010 

Series: “Make Vegetables Taste Good”

This is the third article in this series, and this particular issue seems perfectly fit for a healthful vegetable-based recipe. As we mentioned previously, Deb Hickey set off on a mission to find recipes that make the healthiest vegetables something to look forward to at dinnertime. She learned a lot about specific vegetables and how some fight specific medical issues while others interact with each other to become “super” foods that target specific cancers. After six months of research and experimentation, we’re happy to share what we’ve learned.

We will continue to give you our recipes for how to make vegetables much less boring and a lot more delicious. Remember, these are dishes that Deb and Bob have tried. We choose our favorites to share with our readers. Have a vegetable-based recipe that you find irresistible? Send it to us!

White Kidney Beans

Cancer Fighting: We can’t stress enough the health benefits of eating beans. White kidney beans and other legumes are rich in antioxidants, which are known to have anticancer properties.

Fiber-Rich: White kidney beans (and other legumes) contain soluble and insoluble dietary fiber. Soluble fiber helps lower your cholesterol. Insoluble fiber prevents constipation and other more serious digestive complications.

Heart Healthy: White kidney beans are rich in vitamin B9 (folic acid) and low in fat.

Detoxifying: Kidney beans contain molybdenum, a trace mineral that’s a key constituent of an enzyme known as sulfite oxidase. This enzyme detoxifies sulfites commonly found in prepared foods.

Learn more.

Bob Marckini’s Creamy Italian White Bean Soup


  • 1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 cans (15 ½ to 19 oz each) white kidney beans (cannellini) rinsed and drained
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 bag of fresh spinach
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese (optional)


In a large (5 qt.) sauce pan or Dutch oven, heat oil. Add onion and celery. Cook until tender, stirring occasionally (8 to 10 minutes). Add garlic. Cook for about 30 seconds (stir while cooking). Add beans, broth, pepper, thyme, and water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.

With a slotted spoon, remove 2 cups bean and vegetable mixture from the soup and set aside.

For the next step, Bob uses a Cuisinart, smart stick hand blender. “A great cooking tool,” he says. Blend/puree what’s left in the pan until it’s creamy smooth (less than a minute).

If you do not have a stick blender, spoon the mixture in the pan into a regular blender and puree until it’s creamy smooth. You may have to do this in two steps, depending on the size of your blender.

Return the puree to the saucepan. Stir in the beans and vegetables removed earlier. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the spinach. Wait a few seconds and remove the pan from the heat. Don’t overcook the spinach. Stir in the lemon juice.

Serve with or without parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Let us know what you think!

If you try one of our suggested recipes, please let us know what you think.

Have your own recipe for a seriously tasty vegetable dish? Share it with us. If we try it and love it, we’ll post your recipe in an upcoming newsletter, give you full credit, and send you a signed copy of Bob’s book as a “thank you.”

The Utterly Amazing Banana

After reading this, you’ll never look at a banana in the same way again.

Energy Overload

Bananas contain three natural sugars—sucrose, fructose, and glucose combined with fiber. A banana provides an instant, sustained, and substantial boost of energy. In fact, just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout.

That’s Not All

Bananas can help defeat or prevent a considerable number of illnesses and conditions.

Blood Pressure: Bananas are extremely high in potassium, yet low in salt. This makes bananas perfect for lowering blood pressure.

Constipation: Bananas are high in fiber. Eating bananas can help restore normal bowel action.

Heartburn: Bananas help with heartburn because they have a natural antacid effect in the body.

Ulcers: The banana is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicler cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach. 

Stress: Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates the body’s water balance.

Strokes: According to research, eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40 percent!

This is just a sample of the amazing benefits of eating bananas. There are more!

New “Live It” Video: Standing

Loma Linda, CA has been designated a “Blue Zone” by National Geographic as one of the five communities in the world with the longest-living inhabitants. Residents of Loma Linda are 10 times more likely to make it to 100. So, perhaps we should pay attention to how they live their lives.

Loma Linda University Health’s latest video in the series, “Live It,” is on the following page.

Video: Standing: Reduce Risk of Chronic Disease

You’re probably doing it right now—sitting. Some researchers call it “the new smoking,” says Health Journalist, Patricia KelikaniDr. Ernie Medina, Loma Linda University assistant professor of preventive care says, “Chronic inflammation increases over time if you sit too much. Chronic inflammation is actually a root problem for most of our common big killers, cancer, heart disease, diabetes and stroke.”

Watch the video to learn more.

The Comments Continue

Bob Marckini’s book, You Can Beat Prostate Cancer: And You Don’t Need Surgery To Do It has moved up to the No. 2 position in Amazon on a search for “prostate cancer” out of nearly 35,000 books on the subject, and has recently reached 270 reader reviews—still more than any other book in the top 50. This book is as timely and relevant as it was when first published in 2007 and is still helping men and their family members navigate the confusing world of prostate cancer treatment options.

Below is an excerpt from a recent 5-star review.

By J. Devine, August 5, 2016

I was stunned by a rapid rise in my PSA in 2014. My urologist did a biopsy and said I had prostate cancer. I received a second opinion on the biopsy from Johns Hopkins Cancer Center. My doctors said I could employ “watchful waiting” because I was 75. I was in a quandary about what to do. Then I read Bob Marckini’s book … The depth of knowledge and experience which he poured into the book; the extensive explanation of ALL possible treatments; and the fact that he had experienced all of the concerns and fears which I was also feeling gave me tremendous insight into the nature of the disease and the options that were available to me. [The book] calmed me and showed me a rational comparison of possible treatments and a basis on which to discuss a course of action with my wife. We decided to go to Loma Linda University Cancer Center and have proton beam therapy.

I am blessed to say it was a phenomenal experience and eliminated my cancer with NO SIDE EFFECTS.  If you have prostate cancer, READ this book before making any decision. You will always be grateful that you did.

Was Bob’s book helpful to you? Have you written an Amazon review yet? If not, please post a review today.

Every Amazon review is important: The more quality reviews, the higher the book ranks within Amazon’s search engine. The higher the ranking, the more visible the book is to those searching for information about prostate cancer treatment options.

Buy Online, in Bulk or in Spanish

Online: Paperback: $19.00----Kindle: $9.99----NOOK Book: $9.99----Apple iBook:  $9.99

In Bulk: Conctact us for a discount price list. Proceeds from book sales support proton therapy research through the Robert J. Marckini Endowed Chair at LLUCC.

In Spanish: Buy the print version or in eBook format.  

Prostate Cancer Treatment: Consider All Your Options

We received the following email from a website visitor.

I am 73 years old and live in Oregon. I just had a second biopsy last week and notified by my urologist’s assistant that I have cancer of the prostate. I was given no other information except to get scheduled for a bone scan, chest scan, and abdomen scan. No Gleason score was provided. Also, I was not informed of the extent of the cancer. As mentioned, this was my second biopsy. Five years ago I had my first biopsy by a different urologist and those results were negative.

That being said, I just began reading Bob Marckini’s You Can Beat Prostate Cancer: And You Don’t Need Surgery To Do It, which was given to me by a dear friend. He went through proton therapy and has come away with a complete cure and no residual side effects. He talks as if a miracle was performed. His comment to me:  “Bill, don’t let anyone start cutting on you.”

Soon thereafter, another friend living in Arizona had his prostate removed after reading the book, 100 Questions & Answers About Prostate Cancer. We met him in a local restaurant yesterday and found him to be absolutely miserable. My wife and I were very disturbed by what he told us.  His experience from his original visit to the urologist to what he is experiencing today is a very sad scenario that should be told to anyone contemplating prostate removal. Our thoughts about an alternative to surgery have been reinforced by this visit with our friend. I will likely choose proton therapy.

Back to the Future Series—Part III

3D Print Your Own Shoes!

A recent editorial in Changing Times made several predictions about how the digital age will impact our future. Here is the last of a series of three articles on this subject:

3D Printing: The price of the cheapest 3D printer has come down from $18,000 to $400 in the past 10 years. During the same time, it became 100 times faster. Many major shoe companies have started 3D printing of shoes. Spare airplane parts are already 3D printed in remote airports. The space station has a 3D printer that eliminates the need for the large number of spare parts they used to have in the past.

Soon, new smart phones will have 3D scanning possibilities. You’ll be able to 3D scan your feet and print your perfect shoe at home. By 2027, Changing Times predicts 10 percent of everything that’s being produced will be 3D printed.

Work/Jobs: 70-80 percent of jobs will disappear in the next 20 years. There will be a lot of new jobs, but it’s not clear if there will be enough new jobs to replace the old ones.

Agriculture: Cheap agricultural robots are in our future. Farmers in Third World countries can then become managers of their field instead of working all day on their fields.

Aeroponics will need much less water. The first petri dish-produced veal is available and will be cheaper than cow-produced veal in 2018. Currently, 30 percent of all agricultural surfaces are used for cows. Imagine if we don’t need that space anymore. There are several startups that will bring insect protein to the market soon; it contains more protein than meat. It will be labeled as an “alternative protein source” because most people still reject the idea of eating insects.

New Apps: There’s an app called “moodies” that can already tell which mood you’re in. By 2020 there will be apps that can tell by your facial expressions if you are lying. Imagine a political debate where an app can report if/when they are telling the truth!

Currency: Bitcoin will become mainstream this year and might even become the default reserve currency.

Longevity: The average life span is increasing by three months per year. By 2036, there will be more than a one-year increase per year.

Education: The cheapest smart phones are already at $10 in Africa and Asia. By 2020, 70 percent of all humans will own a smart phone. That means everyone will soon have access to world-class education.

Read the article. 

Last Month’s Brain Teaser

Which of the following names does not belong: a) October, b) the Dead Sea, C) Greenland, d) the West Indies, or e) Li’l Abner? (Hint: Think Negative)

Answer: (From Parade Magazine) The Dead Sea  

Why? October is the 10th month, not the eighth, as its name implies. Greenland is mostly covered with an ice sheet and is not at all green. The West Indies are in the Caribbean, not off the coast of India. And Li’l Abner is big, not small. So, the one name that doesn’t belong in this group is The Dead Sea, which really is “dead.” Due to its extremely high salt content, no plants or animals can live in it.

Winner: BOB member Jene Richart of Sugar Land, TX, is last month’s brain teaser winner! Jene is “another engineer” who elected proton therapy for his prostate cancer treatment over the other options he thoroughly researched. Jene worked for NASA at the Johnson Space Center for 25 years when his prostate cancer was diagnosed in late 2011.  He retired that December following the end of the Space Shuttle Program.

After talking to several doctors and doing extensive Internet research, Jene was “totally confused” about treatment options. During one of his appointments at nearby MD Anderson to discuss his options with oncologists and radiologists, he found himself in the hospital’s library. “I checked out several books, one of which was Bob Marckini’sYou Can Beat Prostate Cancer,  Jene said. After reading it and “making the obligatory (for engineers) risk matrix,” Jene decided to have proton therapy.

Jene completed his treatment at MD Anderson in July 2012.  His PSA remains low and he’s feeling well. He’s taken up genealogy in his retirement, which Jene describes as “a big jigsaw puzzle with most of the pieces missing.”  He also enjoys playing with his grandchildren.

Congratulations, Jene! Your signed copy of Bob’s book is on the way.

New Brain Teaser: A Tough One

This month’s brain teaser is one of the toughest we’ve ever presented.

Is it possible for an object to be at one point on this earth on two different days, in two different months, in two different seasons, on two different years and in two different centuries … all at the same time?

If your answer is “Yes,” please explain how this can happen.

Send your brain teaser answers to for a chance to win a signed copy of Bob’s book.

The Genie

A man was walking along the seashore one day, when he came upon a corked bottle half submerged in the mud. He removed the cork, and out popped a genie. The genie thanked the man for being freed from the bottle and offered him three wishes.

“First,” the man said, “I want a billion dollars in a Swiss Bank.” Poof! A bank statement appeared at his feet with his name and one billion dollars in the account.

“Second,” he said, “I want a red Lamborghini.” Poof! A fire-engine red, $5 million Lamborghini Veneno roadster appeared.

Ecstatic with the first two results he said, “For my final wish, I want to be totally irresistible to women.”

And, poof! He was turned into a box of chocolates.

Be careful what you wish for.

Aging and Working Out

I feel like my body has gotten totally out of shape, so I got my doctor’s permission to join a fitness club and start exercising. I decided to take an aerobics class for seniors. I bent, twisted, gyrated, jumped up and down, and perspired for an hour. But, by the time I got my gym shorts on, the class was over.

Two Old Friends

Two elderly men had been friends for decades. Over the years, they had shared all kinds of activities and adventures. Lately, their activities had been limited to meeting a few times a week to play cards.

One day, they were playing cards when one looked at the other and said, “Now, don’t get mad at me … I know we’ve been friends for a long time, but I just can’t think of your name! I feel terrible. I’ve thought and thought, but I can’t remember it. Please tell me what your name is.” 

For at least three minutes, his friend just glared at him. Finally he said, “How soon do you need to know?”

Quote of the Month:

“Lord, give me patience and give it to me NOW.” —James W. Moore

The Executive and the Old Man

(Author unknown)

Some say the following story is true. I don’t know if it is, but the message and moral
it teaches us are crystal clear, and very real in my opinion. We can all learn a lot from this story of a businessman and the mysterious old man he met one day …

A businessman was deep in debt and just couldn’t see a way out. His creditors were closing in on him, the phone wouldn’t stop ringing with demands for payment, and he couldn’t pay.

One day, he went to the park and sat on a bench, wondering if life was worth living, if he should just give up and declare bankruptcy. That was when an old man with a kind face walked over to him. “Oh my, something is troubling you isn’t it?” he asked. The businessman, deep in his despair, told the kind old man his troubles.

“I believe I can help you,” said the old man, and he reached into his pocket and dug out a checkbook. He asked the man his name, wrote out a check, and put it in his hand. “Take this money and meet me here in exactly one year from today; that is when you can pay it back to me.” He turned and vanished as quickly as he had appeared.

The businessman saw in his hand a check for $1,000,000, signed by John D. Rockefeller, who was, back then, one of the richest men in the world. “My problems are over,” cried the businessman in relief. “I can pay my debts!”

He kept telling himself he would use the check, but instead, he put it in a safe and decided to try to handle his financial problems on his own. Just knowing that he could always use the check gave him the determination to work out a way to save his business. With renewed optimism, he negotiated better deals and extended terms of payment. He closed several big sales. Within a few months, he was out of debt and making money once again.

Exactly one year later, he returned to the park with the un-cashed check. At the agreed-upon time, the old man appeared. But just as the executive was about to hand back the check and share his success story, a nurse came running up and grabbed the old man.

“I’m so glad I caught him!” she cried. “I hope he hasn’t been bothering you. He’s always escaping from the rest home and telling people he’s John D. Rockefeller.” And she led the old man away.

The astonished executive just stood there, stunned. All year long he’d been wheeling and dealing, buying and selling, convinced he had a million dollars behind him. Suddenly, he realized that it wasn’t the money, real or imagined, that had turned his life around. It was his newfound self-confidence that gave him the power to achieve anything he went after.

REMEMBER: Sometimes the best answers come from within you, if only you can find that sense of confidence in yourself!

Low PSAs to all!

Bob Marckini and Deb Hickey

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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.