Treated 2000 · Posted 2004 · Updated 2015
“My prostate cancer has been in remission for 15 years now.”
It took two needle biopsies three months apart to find my cancer in the spring of 2000. I learned of proton treatment the day of my diagnosis. A friend of a friend had just returned from Loma Linda. I logged on the web, went to the LLUMC web site and started reading. The instant I saw the "Bragg peak," I knew protons were for me. Of course, I had a bit of a head start. I am a retired Nuclear/Mechanical Engineer. I knew a lot about ionizing radiation but was not familiar with the behavior of protons passing through water (flesh). The significance of the Bragg peak, is that it enhances the ability to deposit energy in the target, and reduces the damage to surrounding good tissue. The biggest drawback to conformal radiation treatment of deep tissue tumors with photons (high-energy x-rays) has been the collateral damage to good tissue. Harnessing the proton the way it has been done at LLUMC has solved that problem. No psychological trauma or gut wrenching decisions for me. My battle was not with cancer, it was with CIGNA to get them to pay for my treatment (I won).
The word "BOB" now has special meaning in my life.
1) I am a proud and grateful member of the benevolent and prestigious "BOB" (Brotherhood of the Balloon).
2) I am thankful that "BOB" Marckini followed up on those early-morning bull sessions at the Loma Linda proton Treatment Center, and has devoted so much of his time to the "BOB."
3) Most important of all, I am forever grateful for the phone call from another friend named "BOB." He started me down the road to Loma Linda. That's the best tip I've had in my lifetime.
Bottom line: If I had it to do over I would choose the combination proton/photon treatment in an instant, hands down, over any other option.
PSA at diagnosis - 7.7 Gleason - 3+4 = 7
PSA 4 months post treatment - 2.8
PSA 10 months post treatment - 1.6
PSA 12 mouths post treatment - 1.7
PSA 16 months post treatment - 2.4
PSA 20 months post treatment - 1.3
My PSA has gone through a little bump, but my cancer remains in remission two years after treatment. Ask me in a few more years if I have been cured. My attitude is that, yes, I have, and if I'm wrong there are lots of new "smart bombs" on the horizon for cancer. In the meantime I still have my prostate, I'm not wearing a diaper, and I have fond memories of that two-month vacation in Southern California and the wonderful folks at the LLUMC Proton Treatment Center.
My prostate cancer has been in remission for 15 years now.