Treated 2001 • Posted 2002
"To me, this information was a blessing and a life-saving message from God."
On August 15, 2001 I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Earlier PSA tests were: 1. in December, 1999 which had a PSA of 4.9 and a negative biopsy with 8 needle samples. 2. In June of 2000, which showed a 6.9 PSA and a negative biopsy with 14 needle samples and 3. In June, 2001 my PSA was 13.7. The 14 needle biopsy showed one needle sample with cancer. My Gleason score was 3+3=6.
Both my family doctor, who recently came from CA and my urologist strongly recommended surgery. I didn't keep my condition a secret. When talking to a friend at church, he said he had just talked to a person at a breakfast meeting who had recently taken radiation treatments at Loma Linda. This man was very pleased with LL and his PSA was less than 0.1. To me, this information was a blessing and a life-saving message from God.
So I got all the information I could about the different treatment methods. Surgery did not appeal to me with its promise of three weeks of having a catheter and three months of incontinence. The brachy seeds looked like a good option until I found out there was a 41% chance that my cancer had advanced out beyond the prostate. The more information I received about Loma Linda the more excited I became about it.
When I went to LL for my initial testing, Dr. Yonomoto told me they can extend the proton beam out somewhat beyond the prostate. So with proton treatment, there is only a 4% chance that my cancer is beyond the reaches of the protons. This information gave me a lot of confidence and hope.
Treatments were not a problem for me. The short amount of time each day meant we had a lot of time to see the sites and visit relatives and friends. The Centre Pointe apartments in Colton (3.5 miles away) were very good and it was nice to see so many patients there to visit with.
About half-way through the treatments I needed Flo-Max to help with a urination problem. Also, suppositories prescribed by Dr Y were needed to help heal the rectal area that was affected by radiation. I only needed 1/2 dose of the Flo-Max. Gradually, I went to 1/4 dose and about 4 months after my treatments ended, I discontinued the Flo-Max.
Everything is pretty much normal now. My 4-month PSA test showed a 3.2 which is less than 1/4 of what it was before treatment.
My Blue Cross-Blue Shield Federal Employees health insurance covered the treatments with no questions. My cost was about $1600 plus the cost of transportation from Iowa and living in CA for eight weeks.
I am 61 years old and I retired from the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service in 1999. I am a very active person. I do vigorous exercise at a rec. center three times a week and I can still run the mile in about seven minutes.
I am very thankful for Loma Linda, the staff, the support group and the BOB.
Cedar Rapids, Iowa