Treated 2009 • Posted 2011
When David's radical prostatectomy failed, he chose proton treatment to go after the cancer cells the surgery had missed.
Proud to be aboard the Brotherhood. This is an outstanding program. I am a solid believer in the "Proton," and your organization is right on track getting the message out to all those in need. Keep up the good work! Early detection and Proton treatment is the way to go!
10-17-95, the prostate biopsy came back hot in the upper left quadrant of the prostate.
12-12-95. my prostate was removed.
Two years later, the PSA began to climb again.
11-20-97, ProstaScint - UCLA - indicated cancer in the prostrate bed.
1-26-98, City of Hope, consulted with Dr. Wawachi regarding regular or Proton radiation. PSA 7.
4-98, Started Proton radiation - Proton all the way.
Completed Proton, 2nd week of June 98.
So far, PSA is Non Detectable, as of Feb. 2003.
Had no radiation side effects, whatsoever.
That's my history.
Thanks so much, Bob for having me aboard. Looking forward to communicating with all members!
Here is the second part of the story:
In my note to David asking permission to use his story, I mentioned that his testimonial would be valuable to men who chose surgery and had a recurrence of their cancer. His story would give them hope. Here are excerpts from his response to me:
Your statement regarding there are some members who are dealing with failed surgeries really pulled at my heartstrings. To those, please note the following:
Just because there is a reoccurrence after surgery does not mean all has been for nothing. In fact, if you push your surgeon for the percentage of cancer reoccurring in the area, as I recall, it was around 15%.
If it does reoccur, don't panic, you're OK. It just means you just have to go another step in kicking it!
And this is where I am biased. Go for Proton radiation! With out a doubt, Proton's accurate delivery of radiation to the cancer is by far the best delivery method. Radiation is radiation - it all works the same way. It's "how" it is delivered is the key. Barbara Walters called Proton, "Beam of Hope" on her show aired on ABC. And she was "so" right!
And for those of you in the Brotherhood who have perhaps lost a little hope during your struggle with cancer - and we all experienced that one time or another - I would like to relate my story about my "cancer hero." Let's call him TC.
TC and I met at the Loma Linda Proton treatment center on a warm April day. We were to start our treatment that day. He was scheduled first and I next in line. This man had such an infectious smile and such a great outlook on life, you just couldn't help admiring him.
Waiting to be called for our treatment, he told me he was a retired marine. Yaa, we sure did a lot of "hanger flying." He not only walked toward new adventures in life, he ran after them! He couldn't get enough of life's adventures and rejoiced in the chase - win or lose.
During our conversation, he brought up the subject of flying. Seems he wanted to learn to fly. Now, keep in mind, TC is no spring chicken. He goes out and buys a small "puddle jumper" airplane and learns to fly. He had a ball. While talking about his experiences, he bubbled with joy and excitement, as he relived those "flying" days.
Finally, we were called to begin our treatments. We were led to the dressing room, told to undress and put on those complimenting backward "gowns." We laughed and laughed about showing our rear ends to the nurses. As we put on the gowns, I was shocked to see one of TC's leg's had been amputated above the knee. I asked - How in the world did you ever fly an airplane without the leg, TC? He said, No big deal, I rigged the airplane so I could fly it, the modification was approved by the FAA, and off I went and learned to fly! Needless to say, I was blown away. What tenacity, what a spirit of adventure and life. There certainly was no grass growing under "his" feet. So, with his big hand on my shoulder away we went to Big Room for his treatment. At the end of his treatment, it was DSOP, he and I walked back to the dressing room together. All things stopped until he was there.
After his treatment, he waited for me, with our wives, so we could all walk and talk together. As we walked to our cars, "Did we giggle and laugh at our radiation treatment?" You better believe it! We had made it though the first one, it didn't hurt; we have busted the "barrier of the unknown!" We were veterans now. It became even more hilarious as we tried to tell our wives about the "Balloon!" Our friendship was cast in stone right then and there. What an admiration my wife and I had for TC and his vivacious joy of every minute of life.
Next day, as we were again waiting for our call, I asked TC what his PSA number was? It's only 45, he casually replied. Yaa, it has spread outside my prostate but I know good "Ole' Beamer" will take care of it! I swallowed hard and tried to hide my concern for my buddy. But TC's seemingly limitless joy and faith in tomorrow and life, stuffed my concern way back in my mind.
Off we went for our second adventure, yaa, but now we were veterans. The techs and nurses are in for a pleasant surprise. From the time TC entered the Big Room you could hear and feel his joy for life as he talked with them. They too, loved TC.
On my last treatment, we decided to give the nurses a surprise. Kathie, my wife, used lipstick to write across my butt, "Last one! We love you. Thanks." Needless to say, when the nurse pulled that backward gown away, she giggled, then broke out in laughter and called the whole staff, who "had" to have a picture of it. So if you are at Loma Linda Medical Center one day and see a lipstick covered butt in the scrap book, Guess who?
During the length of treatment, a bond of love and concern is cemented between patients and staff. We are all part of a unique family and, yes, we all know after treatment, all must continue on with their own walk down life's path, but also know we have shared a part of each others heart.
TC - - well I am happy to report, TC is still kicking and fighting! Would I expect anything less? Keep in mind, our Proton treatment was in 1998. TC started with a PSA of 45 and the cancer had spread to other parts of his body. He still is doing the things he loves, like fishing. He is not doing much hunting anymore but is still pushing the envelope of life with Gusto.
As one might expect, TC's PSA went to 179. Do you think that stopped him. No way! Knowing new drugs and methods are being developed every day, he search and is now receiving one of those drugs.
Let me share with you a part of TC's latest EMail:
Update on my weekly Taxol treatment
First treatment ................ PSA 178.7
Second treatment - 6 days later PSA 123
Third treatment - 13 days later PSA 76
Hello you two. The chemo treatment is TAXOL, it will not kill the cancer, only hold it from growing . . . . . . one treatment a week. All I can say after my first three hours of treatment, Feel Great. Ate a large dinner. Slept all night (8) hours. I do not know how long this great feeling will last but I'll take all I can get ......... love, TC.
Hope - - - - - - - - - You better believe it!
Live life every day- You better believe it!
With Gusto - - - - - Salute to you, TC.
Don't just "say" it - DO IT!
God Bless all of you in the Brotherhood.
Hello Kin and Friends:
Most of you couldn't open the attachment, so am resending in regular email format..... I shall try to bring you up to date on my prostate cancer treatment.
Three weeks ago, we stopped the Taxol treatments. My PSA count is down to 6, and my poor 'ol body has been taking a real beating. So, my doctor and I both agreed to take a rest. We shall stop the treatment for one month. If the PSA stays under 9, we shall go for another month.
I found a treatment on the internet that has been used in Japan with great success. Black Mushrooms - there are five or six kinds, and I buy them in four lots of mushroom complex's. I bought a 90 day supply, but did not take any while on Taxol.... so for the past three weeks I have been on the mushroom treatment. My PSA went down to 5.60. I believe the mushroom is doing it's work. I will see my doctor in 2 weeks, then if the PSA is still going down, we will know for sure if the little toadstool is doing it's thing. There are no side affects. I believe that if my PSA stays under 9, I will not go back on Taxol. My blood is checked each week, and the PSA every other week.
Oh, happy day! After the third week my taste is back - about 75% --- and that is like being born again. And, last but not least, I may now have two small glasses of wine each week.
Life is great!..............
Well, passed the 10 year mark on June 2008. All is well, PSA remains non detectable. Although another non related surgery resulted in some loss of muscle tone, my wife and I just finished applying 10 gallons of sealer on the patio deck. If that weren't enough exercise, there is always driveway gravel to be redistributed and leveled. At 79 years of age, I find exercise is a requirement, not an option. For me, sitting around, doing nothing, causes the old muscles to stiffen. And of course, in the past, reading required glasses, now, you got it, glasses are needed for reading and driving. Yes, as most of us over 65 know, it's patch, patch and more patching to keep us going. The Lord has blessed me and I am thankful. May He bless all of you.