Treated 2002 · Posted 2003
"A quick call to Joe. 'Hi, John. How are you?' 'Not so good, Joe. A little case of PCa!' 'No big deal!' says Joe."
PROLOGUE: This effort is dedicated to the memory of Joe Burrows, who is in Heaven now, having suffered a failed heart procedure. Without his wisdom and guidance about the merits of LLUMC and PBT, I might have been one "Unhappy Camper". Instead, I am a "Man Made Whole" enjoying the special friendship of another mentor, Bob Marckini. I'll always remember you Joe, and both Bob and I will continue to spread the "Message" as long as there is breath in our bodies. Thanks Joe; we all miss your warmth and smiles.
THE DIAGNOSIS AND THE CALL
"I'll bet you the farm!" Have you ever heard that from a Doctor? Now, how do you collect the bet when he certainly doesn't own a farm, and probably never has had dirt on his hands? Regardless, that's what my Urologist said when he felt the slight induration on the left lower lobe of my prostate, as he reassured me that the ensuing biopsy I was about to receive would be negative; "I'll have that good news for you in about 5-7 days". After all, my PSA (prostate Specific Antigen) was only 1.6.
Why doesn't the phone ring? OK, 7 days are up; my turn to call (damn my "A" type aggressive personality). Many time consuming menus later, the nurse answers. "Yes your results are in, but I can't give them to you. I'll have the Doc call you." Cold sweat! Mind racing! Could the Doc have lost the bet?
I'm not waiting for the return phone call from the Doc. The "A" in my personality says that I must start the investigation process immediately. No Hesitation! Boot up the computer! Off to the websites: NCI, Mayo Clinic, ACS, etc., etc. The printer is roaring alive; start labeling files; clear out a file drawer. I'm on a tear! No time for sadness or sympathy now! No, "Why me's?" Staging, PSA, Gleason score, cores, pathology slides, etc., etc., a new vocabulary!
That night the surrealistic call arrived. "I've got bad news for you." Gleason 6. I never heard a word after that (although, I know the Doc spoke to me for at least 10 minutes) until he says "you will need to come in this week for an appointment to discuss a plan of action". "Action": that's a word I like! I muse, "why can't I come in tonight?" Doesn't he know that I have CANCER and I'll probably be "pushing up daisies" soon.
Suddenly, Eileen, my wife, stops by my office at home after her day's activities. Who's that on the phone? Anything wrong? Can't talk now "Honey". It's the Urologist on the line. The color goes out of her face; probably to match mine. My call to the Urologist finishes with an appointment for tomorrow. Oh no! Tears! Hugs! "They must have confused my results with the real PCa (Prostate Cancer) patient. Wow! We must both be delirious! But only for a moment.
OK, enough of this nonsense! I'm not accustomed to losing. So, mobilize and attack!
APRIL 30, 2002= "C"-DAY(CURE DAY)!!!!!!!!!!!
DISCOVERING AND VETTING MY OPTIONS
I begin to mobilize my resources; organize my thoughts. Wait a minute! One of my best friends, Joe Burrows, had just finished treatment for PCa. Some strange place I've never heard of. A quick call to Joe. "Hi, John. How are you?" "Not so good, Joe. A little case of PCa!" "No big deal!", says Joe. "I was treated and cured at LLUMC (Loma Linda University Medical Center) in December with PBT (Proton Beam Therapy) and I'll show you the way. Get the video; brochure; call Sharon Hoyle, Nurse Case Manager and Dr. Rossi; Call Bob Marckini (Who is he?); Teddy Fuller (patient friend of mine successfully treated at LLUMC). Don't worry about a thing! I'll make some calls! We've got the whole thing handled!" What a true friend! He's setting the stage for my cure, and I am just preparing to attack! Atta boy, Joe! Your positive attitude has just "Made My Day."
Boy, this sounds easy! Piece of cake! Hold it, John Boy! Rev up your anal personality! Step back! Analyze! Gather data! Prepare a matrix! Assets vs. Liabilities! Risk vs. Reward! Pros and Cons! Ok, now you're back on track!
"Dinner is ready Dear!" "Just a minute Honey, I've got one call to make. I'll be there in a minute," as I am greeted by the pleasant sound of Bob Marckini's voice. (I've subsequently nominated him for "Sainthood.") Ninety minutes later, I show up for what could have been a cold meal had it not been for my understanding wife, Eileen, who had kept it hot in the warming oven.
"TO MAKE MAN WHOLE!" A catchy phrase! Like maybe it could be a slogan for a Viagra commercial. More chats with Bob Marckini and the many BOB members he referred me to. A conversation with Dr. J. Lynn Martell (VP Advancements LLUMC). Their stories were all too good to be true. I think I'll put the entire LLUMC and "To make man whole" story on the back burner, and get on with analyzing the "tried and true" programs of RP (Radical Prostatectomy), "the gold standard," Brachytherapy, 3D (three dimensional) Conformal Radiation, IMRT(Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy) (a bit newer), etc.
Dr. Patrick Walsh's "Guide to Surviving Prostate Cancer" is at the top of my list of books to buy, that will help me with my research. It will turn out to be a very valuable reference source, but when all of my analysis is complete, it will be but one of many volumes that will inhabit my library shelves. The ABC's of Nutrition & Supplements for Prostate Cancer would also play an important part in my future lifestyle change.
But always haunting in the corners of my mind is LLUMC…
So, on with my research project. The Mayo Clinic at Rochester. R/P or Radiation. Both Docs, in both specialties, say I'm a perfect candidate for either. A new PSA—3.3— but, one week after a biopsy? The Doc says it not a valid test that soon after my prostate was turned into hamburger. A new Gleason: 3 plus 4=7. But, it's a very subjective analysis—don't worry. T1c—no tumor felt. That's a piece of good news!
LLUMC still pulsing away in the gray matter. Bob Marckini, Dr. Martell, et. al. Better make an appointment for a consult just in case. Sharon Hoyle (aka Florence Nightingale), is she for real? September date penciled in. Seems like a long way out. Hope there will be a cancellation, so I can get an earlier consultation.
On with the search. Dana Farber-Brigham & Women's Consortium in Boston. My dear friend Jim E. was treated there and he swears that they are the best for seeds and/or seeds and radiation in combination. He said they could place seeds more accurately using Open MRI vs. Ultrasound. No side effects for him. The Docs were great! My visit was very rewarding. They have the "three Doc consult" approach. A Urologist, Radiation Oncologist, and a Medical Oncologist. The "Uro" says I'm a cinch for an RP cure. The "RO" (Radiation Oncologist) says Seeds and Radiation (throw in maybe a little Hormone Therapy for good measure) will do the trick. The "MO" says I wouldn't do RP—seeds and radiation would be the best approach. On DRE a slight induration is again felt and a new Gleason of 4 plus 3=7 is reported (at this rate I'll be a 10 in no time). They also advise an endo-coil rectal MRI, which on first reading is inconclusive for Capsule Penetration (A second reading by the Chief of the Department says it is OK — encapsule). What a roller coaster!!
Next Step, Johns Hopkins. The best RP surgeons in the world. I visit with one of their top Docs. He's quite interested in telling me about his greatness, but leaves little or no time for my questions (after I travel 1500 miles to consult with him). The atmosphere is cold; I'm uncomfortable (even though I know that he is a well known Urologist/Surgeon with an excellent reputation). I do come away with some good news, however, new Gleason 3 plus 3=6 (Dr. Jonathan Epstein, a well respected and world renown Pathologist); a T1c Stage again. Things are looking up!!!!!
Next, a visit to a nationally known Brachytherapist. Great reputation. His protocol includes hormones, IMRT, and seeds, a battery of blood tests and screening, but the speed at which he wished me to proceed only caused me to slow down.
I decided that Brachytherapy could make my "short list", so I visited Southwest Oncology Center in Scottsdale, another RO in Sarasota, and had a very detailed conversation with The Seattle Prostate Clinic. It was unanimous! I was the perfect seed candidate! Each had a different opinion of what ancillary treatment I should have with the Seed Insertion, and what form of guidance should be used, i.e. Open MRI, Ultrasound, or Color Doppler Ultrasound.
And still, that small voice in the back of my mind. Could LLUMC be the possible answer? Well, it's time to "fish or cut bait." Consult time at LLUMC. I meet Sharon Hoyle for the first time. YES, she's for real! Florence Nightingale reincarnated! My visit with Dr. Rossi and his Resident, Dr. Huh, lasts about two hours. I'm armed with a notebook full of questions, and he patiently answers all of them. He says I'm a T2b, PSA 2.45, Gleason 6, and a perfect candidate for "all protons", with a strong chance for minimal side effects (no guarantees, however). "So what are my chances?", I ask Dr. Rossi. He calmly answers, "with PBT your chances for cure will be better than Brachytherapy; statistically, slightly better than RP (but let's call it even), and I'm gonna hurt you a whole hell of a lot less!" I am totally comfortable with Dr. Rossi and his team. I sign up for the Orientation and Tour that day. Gerry Troy is the Social Worker. When I finish, I reflect on what a well-informed, caring, compassionate individual, I have just had the pleasure of meeting. I decide to take one more step into the "pond" and visit Julie Naranjo, Maria and Analyse (spelling?) in the Insurance Department. More concern and compassion for my situation and well being. Where does LLUMC get these angels? By the way, "Both your primary and secondary insurers have approved your PBT!" LLUMC is a viable option! The visit was most rewarding and informative. A glimpse of the extremely professional staff, from all angles, was comforting and reassuring.
So let's recap the 3 viable options:
- RP would be at Mayo Clinic, Rochester. Dr. Meyers answered all questions thoroughly and compassionately, and he has impeccable credentials.
- Seeds/Radiation would be at Dana Farber, with Dr. Mark Hurwitz. Brilliant RO/Brachytherapist; excellent reputation, very caring and incredibly communicative.
- PBT – LLUMC. Dr. Rossi, thorough, honest, caring, dedicated, totally communicative, very experienced with a far reaching reputation.
So what's the last step in the analytical process? I want to hear from the PCa patients that have experienced the various modalities.
Radical Nerve Sparing Prostatectomy – It's major surgery, a bloody operation, with the potential for far reaching side effects. Impotence, incontinence, urethral scarring, recurrence at the prostate bed, and the possibility of cancer transmission through the bloodstream. Can you really excise all of the prostate? In my opinion, there really is no margin to be had. Think of it as a melanoma. Too many organs and nerves in the way to get after all of the potential "legs of the crab". (My good friend's wife is a surgical nurse and she confirms that is a real concern.) The recovery period would be lengthy, and with my Keloidal scarring tendency, urethral stretching treatments could be a real possibility (just ask Charlie Rubin, BOB Member).
I contact 5 good friends that have had RP:
- A "Poster Boy" for RP. 4 years out and absolutely no side effects whatsoever. He never looked better.
- Recurrence of PCa at the prostate bed, elevated PSA, then radiation and hormones. Impotence and "dripping".
- Positive margins: Immediate radiation, hormones, impotence.
- Cned (Clinically, no evidence of disease) and Bned (Biologically, no evidence of disease) at 9 years, but totally impotent even after trying all sorts of intervention. He's only in his early sixties now and it has destroyed his personal self-esteem.
NOT A GOOD SCORE CARD TO SAY THE LEAST! AND THEY CALL THIS THE GOLD STANDARD?
Brachytherapy – It's still a form of surgery. The question of seed migration to the lungs, bladder, bloodstream. The Docs say no, but why the strainer to catch the seeds when urinating after the surgery? Potential for burning of the bladder, urethra and colon. The skill of the Brachytherapist is crucial here, and do I want foreign objects permanently implanted in my body?
As for the patients:
- Another "Poster Boy" 2 years out, some PSA bounce, however.
- No complications, but a definitely rising PSA 3 years out. Probable recurrence, and he was contacting LLUMC for a consultation and a salvage treatment with PBT.
- No problems except for minor urethral burning, and somewhat reduced sexual function.
- No complications but PSA results 4 years out are not promising.
BUT I WOULD CHOOSE THIS MODALITY OVER RP!
So what about "To make man whole?" at LLUMC – The Docs and health care professionals passed a rigorous muster. The program was far reaching; not just the PBT treatments. It would entail a permanent life-style change. The 5 and 7 year study results were comparable or slightly better than those of RP, IMRT or Brachytherapy. The morbidity statistics were more favorable than any other form of treatment. There would be no trauma from surgery. I probably would not experience the potential devastating side effects that RP patients can be faced with. The vast majority of the PBT patients offered favorable evaluations of their therapy and LLUMC; NO HORROR STORIES! LLUMC was world renowned for its Scientists and their Research Protocols.
So here I am. PSA 1.6-2.4; T1c-T2b; Gleason 6-7; armed with knowledge. Knowledge is power; I empowered LLUMC to design and provide my PCa treatment, and I commit to a significant life-style change.
THE ALL-ENCOMPASSING TREATMENT EXPERIENCE AT LLUMC
The incredible quality of the staff at LLUMC starts at the top! I have always believed in the philosophy that Executives, Administrators, or Managers hire in their own image, and Dr. Lyn Behrens, the President of LLUMC is living proof of that; soft-spoken, yet authoritative, compassionate, brilliant, far-reaching and cognitive in her approach to issues. She has a unwavering mission to deliver the best healthcare that can be accomplished. So when you evaluate Dr. Behrens you see the logical continuation of the staff quality with individuals like Dr. J. Lynn Martell, Gerry Ellis, Drs. James and Jerry Slater (talk about brilliant and forward thinking), Dr. Rossi (so personally concerned about my health), Sharon Hoyle (Florence Nightingale) I'm "mad" about her, Drs. Yonemoto and Jabola, Nurse Sandy and all of the Nurse Case Managers, Gerry Troy (Mr. Compassionate, a walking encyclopedia of the Inland Empire Landscape), and his assistant, Patti; the list goes on: Mary Lou Edminster, Kimberly, Linda Lantz, Nancy Wilkins, Katherine, Julie Naranjo, Analisa, Fabio (my oh so kind, yet demanding trainer), his wife Trina (massage therapist), Stella (Dietician and Nutritionist), the entire staff at the Drayson (exercise) Center, as well as David Colwell and Unetta at the Development Office. Now, I must give special KUDOS to my Gantry 3 Team: Ken, Loren, and Teresa. The Docs and the Physicists design the treatment, but then it's up to the gantry team to "deliver the mail." I became very close to these tireless, dedicated health professionals and their spouses, and I shall be forever indebted to them. Did I forget anyone or misspell a name? If so, I apologize!
Then there are the many other special LLUMC Docs that attended to our other aches and pains that we encountered during our stay. Dr. Walter for Eileen's GI issues; Dr. Catalona for my "out of the blue" hernia; Dr. Roth for some well needed counseling; a Dentist (can't remember his name) who repaired my chipped tooth; and to a very special individual and Cardiologist Dr. Ribeiro. He, his wife Tereza and his lovely 4 children have become life-long friends of ours. I had a complete "Cardio" work-up that uncovered some false positive test results (done in Florida) that could have sent me down a totally unnecessary treatment path. I would trust him with my life, and will cherish his friendship and medical advice for as long as I live.
I would be remiss, if I did not mention the Wednesday Night Support Group Meetings, my fellow patients, and my care giver Eileen (my wife). I was exposed to a diverse group of men, and their care givers, each Wednesday night under the Direction of Gerry Troy. It was an incredible assortment of wonderful people, all in the "same boat", with warmth and affection for each other. We all shared our "highs and lows", and when I finished my treatment I had tears in my eyes and was sad to leave. I have become very close to many of my PBT treatment brethren. It was a very emotional evening. I could not have completed the "Adventure" had it not been for the loving care that I received from my wife, Eileen. I just took the PBT treatment. She took care of all the rest! The Support Group is a MUST! Do not miss a Meeting!
What about outside activities? If you miss out on the "Inland Empire" opportunities you will have lost one of the best ancillary benefits of the LLUMC experience. The daily PBT treatment becomes "dwarfed" by the daily "treats" available. Gerry Troy publishes the most comprehensive list of all of the activities, but let me highlight some:
Most Favorite Restaurants – Citrone (best wine list by far), Greensleeves,The Wild Rabbit, Caprice, Mario's Place, Seville (Salsa dancing after dinner), Mission Inn (3 restaurants-Courtyard is the best), Napoli, Clara's, Claim Jumper (casual), Mimi's (first time dinner patrons get fresh mouth-watering muffins to take home), Isabellas, Cider Barrel, The Eating Room, and Le Basil. Castaways in San Bernardino has spectacular views, but the food is average.
Best Golf Courses – Redlands Country Club (Monthly Membership available to PBT patients), Oak Quarry Landmark Golf Course, PGA of Southern California (2 courses—off Cherry Valley Blvd—the best condition, by far). There are many others, but I found these to be the best.
Weekend outings – Las Vegas (Bellagio Hotel and see the show "O"); Ceasar's (for dinner at Le Cirque); Los Angeles (for a reasonably priced small suite hotel, stay at the Le Parc Hotel in Hollywood – or my favorite upscale hotels are the Four Seasons and The Peninsula (visit the Getty Museum and see "The Lion King"); San Diego (Torrey Pines Lodge and Golf Courses); Lake Arrowhead (can be a day trip) – be sure to take the boat ride on the lake. Big Bear Lake (stay at the Northwood's Conference Center (Get the one Spa Room that has a partial Lake view) – great restaurants and the "Blues Cruise, also the nine hole golf course is fun;" Palm Springs – Idyllwild (artist/ pottery community), The Living Desert, The Painted Canyon, Borego Springs,The Tramway, and for the LADIES, shopping at the Outlet Mall and El Paseo Drive for "Chic & Haute Couture"; Joshua Tree National Park; The Oasis of Murals at 29 Palms; Laguna Beach,The Pageant of the Masters (a must see), and for The Sawdust Art Festival. Stay at the Marriott Inn at Dana Point (breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean); Catalina Island – The Catalina Flyer from Newport and stay at the Villa Portifino. Take the bus tour all the way to the top of the mountain, ride The Yellow Submarine, many fun restaurants and fun "tourist type spots."
Theater – The Redlands Bowl (free-except for donation) is a must, and we found the Redlands Theater Festival to be charming and very entertaining.
Miscellaneous – The best Dry Cleaner is in Highlands (forgot the name—Korean Mother and Daughter—ask Maria Fischer at The Redland's Lawn and Tennis Club). The best hair stylist is Thersa at the Rose of Sharon in Redlands—Ditto for manicure/pedicure, and the best Esthetician is International Skin & Body Care in Redlands. For My taste The Redlands Lawn and Tennis Club was the best place to stay($$$$.) Cheryl, the Manager, made life "a breeze" for us.
I could go on forever, but if anyone wants more detailed information, please do not hesitate to e-mail or call me.
MY REBIRTH AT LLUMC
It was the start of a new life for me. I was reborn. I believe that I am cured of PCa, thanks to the foresight and "guts" of Drs. Slater and their outstanding health team. I have been "Made Whole," paying more attention to diet, nutrition, exercise, meditation, spiritual feelings (Thanks Dr. Martell). I am much more attuned to health issues in general (Men's and Women's). Now it's time to give back! I'm privileged to serve on the Proton Advisory Council with many fine past PBT patients. We are dedicated to being advocates for PBT as the best chance for PCa cure, and we realize that the future holds a great deal of promise from the continuing research that is being conducted under the guidance of Drs. Slater and their medical scientists. We must find ways to support their efforts. Simply put, it takes money and lot's of it! Research dollars hold the key to further advances in all of the Cancers that can be cured with PBT. By funding The Dr. James Slater Chair, we have the best chance to advance new Protocols, that will save more and more lives. My wife and I have made a gift to the Slater Chair at LLUMC, and The Slater Chair will be in my new estate plan. I urge you make an "investment", and to do your utmost to help continue the mission "TO MAKE MAN WHOLE."
And for those of you that might read my testimonial, who have not yet joined the BOB: "Illustrious Brotherhood of the Balloon," I implore you to do so immediately. It's free, and the benefits you will reap will be immeasurable. Bob Marckini has dedicated his life to keeping us all informed. You will be part of a database and inquiry source that will benefit not only yourself, but will also be a major resource for all of the men that will be diagnosed with PCa in the future. Join now, and you will continue to play a major part in the struggle "TO MAKE MAN WHOLE". I have never looked back on my decision!!!!
And, now, I would like to share with you some of the issues that are specific to Men's Health, and the voids that are obvious in the sphere of delivering the options to the patient when evaluating the best modality offered for the cure of Prostate Cancer. Unlike many other serious disease diagnoses, the Doc that usually delivers "the News" after a positive biopsy is skilled in RP Surgery and that is basically what he or she has to offer. I do not in any way mean to denigrate the fine Urologists that care for our health problems, but surgery is their livelihood and is what they have been trained to do. They believe that RP is "The Gold Standard". They are not totally versed in the newer forms of treatment. Unless the patient has a curious personality and wants to take care of his own health destiny, the unsuspecting patient will usually opt for RP. I submit an interesting question to you: Is RP "The Gold Standard" or is it the "Old Standard". I have my own strong inclinations. If it is still "The Gold Standard", why are so many outstanding medical scientists mining for "Diamonds and Platinum", possibly uncovering the new "top shelf standard"?
In the case of other types of Cancer diagnoses, the deliverer of the "news" usually is not the one that will deliver the cure. Instead they will act in the capacity of a consultant who will begin to review options, and suggest courses of action that the patient can review. They will also refer you back to your primary physician. The patient then will often be lead to a medical Oncologist that will elaborate on the process. Men with PCa need this avenue also. There should be a forum called "A Tumor Board", similar to the approach at Dana Farber, where they insist that you meet with a Urological Surgeon, a Radiation Oncologist, and a Medical Oncologist in order that you will be totally informed and prompted to seek more information. I believe that there should be a mandate for all Urologists do this.
Most men usually have a more disinterested approach to their GU (Genito-Urinary) health issues, than women have to their OB/GYNO (Obstetrical/Gynecological) breast health problems. Most men don't converse often with other men about prostate health. The opposite is true for women. Men are not as familiar with their anatomy as women are with theirs. It's just not "MACHO"! I know men who don't know what a prostate is!! They have never had a PSA, even at age 50, 60 or 70. They often call that little "walnut shaped" organ a PROSTRATE!!!!! Men are HUSH HUSH! Women are VOCAL! Most women have their annual "Femi" examinations religiously each year. Is a DRE any worse than "a pelvic exam"? I doubt it!!!
We men now must lobby for a "National Forum". We need a "Prostate Awareness Month", promulgated by the President. October is "Breast Cancer Awareness Month". Women have fought hard for this, and they continue to be vocal and make their case. They have earned the "spotlight" and deserve it. The government spends 15 times as much on "Breast Cancer Research" than it does for "Prostate Cancer Research". Why? Just as many men are diagnosed with PCa each year. We need to come out into the sunlight, out of the dark ages, and fight for our cause. Women have BCa (Breast Cancer) fund raising events. Men need to have PCa fund raising events. Women testify in front of Congress to make their case for more research money. Men need to mobilize and do the same. We need to get the nationally-known "Media Docs" on our side. We need the politicians, the TV networks, print media, Hollywood personalities and corporate dignitaries to awake to the cause. There is a vast amount of money raised for HIV/AIDS , CP, Alzheimer's and MD etc., every year. Why not for PCa? We need women to continue to lobby for their cause and seek funds, and just maybe we should join them. They have figured it out!! Husbands and wives unite!!!!!
Why not a "Million Man March" on Washington, D.C.? Almost 200 thousand cases of PC are diagnosed each year. It is the second leading cancer-killer of men. Why does Bob Dole "stump" for Viagra and not PCa. Why don't we hear from Arnold Palmer, Harry Belafonte, General Schwartzkopf? Rudi Guliani speaks of his PCa, but I have heard no passion to fund research or improve treatment. Why not more Ken Venturi's, who have raised millions for PCa and lends his support at every turn?
It's time to be heard! Raise your voices! Send email or faxes to all who can make a difference. Write to the White House. Fax your elected officials! Better yet, call them!!!!! Schedule PCa events in your community. Sound the alarm. IT'S TIME TO ERADICATE PROSTATE CANCER!!!!!!!!
John Ebin – Long Boat Key, Florida
EPILOGUE II (Update January 2009)
6 years, 8 months and 15 days later at the request of my Brother Bob (Marckini), I reflect on and update the saga of my PCa journey.
"No Big Deal," said my dear, now departed friend, Joe Burrows. You were "spot-on" JB with respect to LLUMC's ability to eradicate the disease (PSA now stable for over 2 years at 0.3), but little did we both know about the life changing event that had just occurred… a complete realignment of life's priorities, almost 4,000 new Brothers with common bonds, a dedication to "give back" to LLUMC in return for their gift of "making man whole" and most importantly a deep respect and admiration for Dr. Slater's foresight and perseverance in bringing Proton Therapy to the rescue of mankind; a cure for Cancer without the serious repercussions, associated with this insidious disease, for the majority of cases treated.
As a result of my LLUMC experience I am now certainly in the best physical and emotional shape of my life thanks especially to my exposure to The Drayson Center, the lovely Ms. Stella (nutritionist), Wednesday night support group meetings and the never ending mentoring of Dr. J. Lynn Martell. He guided me through many complicated emotional and physical issues during my treatment. I shall always be deeply indebted to him. He was and is to this date a caring, capable and compassionate Pastor to a huge flock of confused souls. The gift of LLUMC has allowed me, at the age of 70 years young, to enjoy many adventures around the globe, pursue wonderful physical activities, hobbies and cultural events; so you see, Joe Burrows, it was "no big deal" but instead, an incredible event!!!!! I only wish you were still here to see the gratitude in my heart for having steered me to LLUMC.
So, my heartfelt thanks and admiration go out to the many dedicated staff members of LLUMC. I challenge you to continue to improve your protocols, advance the science and research of PBT, and continue your life saving and enhancing mission with all due haste.
John P. Ebin – Sarasota, Florida