Treated 2006 · Posted 2014
"I had a few minor side effects for about two weeks after treatment, and since then, I have to really pause to remember that I ever had cancer."
I was treated for my prostate cancer with proton therapy at Loma Linda University Medical Center in 2006 at age 66. My PSA has been at my pre-cancer baseline for many years.
I had very minor side effects for about two weeks following my proton treatment, and since then, I have to really pause to remember that I ever had cancer.
My wife and I had a wonderful experience at Loma Linda. They have such a caring staff and their holistic approach to dealing with patients is remarkable.
My daughter gets credit for telling me about proton and encouraging me to seriously investigate it. She learned about proton therapy from a friend of hers who had a friend who was treated with proton therapy for his prostate cancer. He had a great experience and highly recommended it. I don't know anything else about him, but it is one of those coincidences that I consider a "God moment."
At the time of my diagnosis, I talked to a number of men about their experience with a whole range of radiation and surgical treatment options. All had varying degrees of bad news to share. So the follow-up calls that I made through the Brotherhood of the Balloon were a great relief. Those conversations reinforced my decision to NOT take my urologist's recommendation but to go the route of the ones who had "been there" and "done that."
Also, I have a background in the nuclear navy so the theory of proton treatment was a flashback to my classroom at nuclear power school. I am a 1963 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, selected for the nuclear program and after graduation entered nuclear and submarine training. My first boat was USS Chivo (SS-341) a conventionally powered submarine for qualification and then in USS Tecumseh (SSBN-628), a nuclear powered missile submarine for the rest of my active duty. I remember discussions of the Bragg Peak from the classroom so the theory of proton treatment made sense to me.
In the past eight years, I have encouraged several people to undergo proton therapy at Loma Linda University Medical Center. My wife and I are very active in the local community and love to travel. Last year, we visited the Great Wall.
Here is a photo of John and his wife visiting the Great Wall of China last year.