Treated 2015 · Posted 2016
"[A BOB member] talked with me for two hours. He had just finished proton treatment ... He took me through his entire journey at LLUCC. He thoroughly explained EVERY step. He said that I owed it to myself to visit LLUCC and just sit in the waiting room and talk with patients."
I was diagnosed with prostate cancer on April 15, 2015. I was scheduled for surgery June 6. I told everyone at work. My boss said that I should check with Loma Linda University Cancer Center in California. On May 4, I received a telephone call from a BOB member who was also a friend of my boss. He talked with me for two hours. He had just finished proton treatment and was completely satisfied. He felt that he made the right decision. He took me through his entire journey at LLUCC. He thoroughly explained EVERY step. He said that I owed it to myself to visit LLUCC and just sit in the waiting room and talk with patients. He told me that everyone would be very frank and open about treatment.
I trusted him because he seemed to be someone who did a lot of research. He had explored every single option and visited many different treatment centers in Arizona and in other states. Just thinking about that two hour call with him makes me emotional even to this day! He was so convincing and upbeat. He explained the positive attitude one MUST have for the fight. His encouragement was overwhelming. I had never met this man (and still have not met him in person). His call was totally out of the blue and so lengthy that I sat down and cried when I hung up.
He had opened my eyes and heart to attack the cancer head on with proton therapy at LLUCC.
Before my call with this BOB member, my urologist had laid out the treatment options, including proton treatment. He explained, however, that proton treatment "might not be a good alternative due to distance and logistics and that surgery is out if cancer returns after PBT." I found out later that he was wrong.
Through lots of prayers and soul strengthening talks with my wife of 48 years, we made the choice to go to Loma Linda. We started our journey on May 10, 2015. The owner of the nursery where I work (and many others) included me in their prayers. In fact, she took me aside one day when I was waiting for the insurance approval call from LLUCC, and prayed with me. Twenty minutes later I got the call and we knew that God and everyone else would be on our side and guide us through the journey.
My wife and I have a house in Long Beach, CA. Long Beach is 60 miles from LLUCC (it is 400 miles closer than Tucson), so we made arrangements to stay there for the duration of my treatment (our son lives in Tucson and was free to become our house sitter for the summer - another miracle). When we were all settled, we began the three-hour commute one way for treatment June 1 and travelled almost 7,000 miles in LA traffic!
Treatment was a breeze. It was the tension filled drive in stop-and-go traffic that created the stress. Stress relief came from visits and camaraderie with other patients and the absolutely fantastic staff at LLUCC - a very special place on earth, indeed. The people there are so special and caring it goes beyond words!
I cannot find enough words to describe my life events one year ago, but I hope my story helps you understand that my prostate cancer and my decision to have proton therapy at LLUCC changed my life in so many ways and made me appreciate our fellow men and women and the goodness in us all.
LLUCC's creed to "treat the whole person" is so right.
I hope I can inspire someone in the way that my BOB member friend inspired me.
Below is a photo of Richard with his dog, Phoebe.