Treated 2002 · Posted 2003

“I was so excited to phone my urologist, to cancel my surgery date . . .”

I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in October of 2001. Then there was the decision of “what do I do??” My urologist gave me three options-----#1 ignore it for a year then check the PSA again, #2 have the radical prostatectomy, or #3 have the seed implant. After many confusion and family discussions we decided to go for the doctor’s recommendation of the radical surgery and made a surgery appointment for January 7, 2002. We did go one step further and made an appointment with our local oncologist that strictly does the seed implant. Of course all he recommended was the seed implant or the radical surgery. He said he had heard of “Proton” but didn’t know anything about it.

It was the first week of November when a friend stopped by my house while I was working in the front yard. During our conversation he told me about his eye problems so I told him I had prostate cancer. His response was “Oh my gosh, don’t have any surgery until you talk to my friend in Seattle. He can tell you all about something called Proton! They do it down in California somewhere and my friend really believes in it.” Well, that was good enough for me. I was excited to talk to anybody about an alternative to surgery.

It took me a week to get hold of this guy because he had been in Palm Springs, CA. Anyway, this guy ended up being Larry Stevenson who graduated from the Proton treatment in Loma Linda, in December 2000. Larry invited us to his home one evening for a two-hour informational gab session. He gave us the phone number to the referral office. He also came by our house on a couple of occasions to drop off paperwork. This guy religiously believes in Proton and he will tell anyone who will listen, which has included lectures at the YMCA.

The day following our conversation with Larry, my wife phoned Janice in the referral office at Loma Linda and started the ball rolling. It only took a week to ten days of numerous phone calls, E-mailing doctor records, and checking insurance. We scheduled an appointment for Feb. 4, 2002. I was so excited to phone my urologist, to cancel my surgery date and tell him I was accepted for Proton treatment in Loma Linda. Of course he frowned on the whole idea. He claims, “Proton is too experimental.” Oh well.

I began my 40 treatments Feb. 11 and finished April 9, 2002. I am happy with it all. I’m anxious to check my PSA in four months. “Thank you Proton!”

Harland Hughes - Renton, Washington

Postscript: Harland’s four month post treatment PSA was 0.3