Treated 2001 · Posted 2002 · Updated 2015
“For the first time in my life, I found a medical facility where people were treated like human beings instead of walking diseases.”
My pilgrimage to LLUMC was neither dramatic nor extraordinary. My PSA was 5.6 then jumped to 10. Gleason was 6. I was scheduled for brachytherapy, which my doctor son advised against. Then three days before my appointment with the radiation oncologist, my other son sent me an E-mail message with an excerpt from USA Today, describing how Ken Venturi had gone to Loma Linda for Proton beam radiation and had been cured of prostate cancer. Subconsciously, I thought perhaps following Venturi would improve my golf game. Two days later, I called Loma Linda and was advised to fax my medical records. The next day, Sandy Plattner called to tell me I was a viable candidate for proton beam radiation, and that there had been a cancellation, which I might fill, just three weeks away. I told Sandy I was already packing my bags and I would walk, drive, fly, or swim, whatever it takes, but I would be there.
Like virtually everyone else, my eight weeks at Loma Linda was a marvelous experience. For the first time in my life, I found a medical facility where people were treated like human beings instead of walking diseases. I made many great friends, enjoyed outstanding cultural events, and ate exceptional food.
My current PSA is 1.8 and I have had minimal difficulty except for a bladder infection, which is now being treated and some minor rectal bleeding. I have also had the satisfaction of sharing information with another man who is now in treatment, and I have been asked to speak to a veterans group next month.
I am so grateful to you for leading the Brotherhood. I look forward to attending a reunion within the next year.
It has been 14 years since I received proton therapy at Loma Linda University Cancer Center. During these years, I have had some issues, but I thank God and Loma Linda because I am alive and as well and happy as any 84-year-old man could expect. Every day is a blessing. I live in the present and plan for the future with gusto and eager anticipation.