Treated 2005 • Posted 2016
My communication with Ed (former proton patient and BOB member) clearly illustrates out how important it is for those of us who have been blessed with protons to share our experiences with others. That is why I am sharing my story.
I am sharing my experience with prostate cancer and proton therapy to inform and assist newly diagnosed men with their prostate cancer treatment research. Note that I feel it is imperative to research treatment options and NOT immediately do what your doctor suggests (e.g. surgery).
I have always tried to take care of my health by exercising, eating healthy and having annual physicals. I am 80 years old and I have copies of my annual complete medical exams going back to age 25. My PSA readings were always below 4.0 until 2005.
In July 2005 my annual exam recorded my PSA had spiked to 7.0. I asked my family doctor for a biopsy. He recommended waiting for another PSA blood test. I insisted, so he made an appointment with a local urologist for me.
The urologist asked me why I wanted a biopsy. I said, "I have prostate cancer ".
His reply was, "Who told you that?
I replied, "My PSA."
He said, "You can't always tell by the PSA."
I continued to insist on a biopsy. He took 17 cores and when the results came back, he told me I had no cancer.
I insisted on another biopsy in 30 days. That really upset my doctor.
Thirty days later, he took another 17 cores and the results came back. "No cancer, " he told me. "I told you that you don't have cancer."
But my gut told me differently. I asked for him to send my bloodwork to another lab.
Reluctantly, he sent my bloodwork to a different lab.
The results came back. I had cancer. By then, my PSA was 7.39, % of total PSA 16.90, Gleason score 6/7, T1c6a.
My doctor recommended surgery and started an appointment schedule.
I told him to hold off. I wanted to research my treatment options. He rudely responded, "Go do your research. I don't care if you come back to me."
I knew I wasn't going back to that doctor. I also knew I had some work ahead of me. I researched every option I could find: Radiation, seeds, cryo, and yes, surgery.
And most importantly, I prayed that God would lead me to the right decision.
One evening, I attended a Rosenberg Financial Group Seminar. I told the President, Ed Rosenberg, that I was not going to look at any financial decisions until I found a treatment for my prostate cancer. Ed replied, "I have prostate cancer. I'm having proton therapy at Loma Linda University Cancer Center in California."
I asked, "What is this proton treatment and why are you going all the way to California?
Ed told me his story. He then gave me several names of former proton patients, including BOB founder, Bob Marckini. I called all of them. They were extremely helpful. Bob even gave me the names and contact information for many more former proton patients. I called them too. Everyone told me they were doing well and had experienced no side effects. They even referred to treatment as a "wonderful vacation."
God had answered my prayers. I made an appointment for a consultation; I was accepted; and I started treatments soon thereafter.
I went back to my urologist just to tell him that I was going to LLUC for proton therapy. He told me, "Proton therapy is a marketing gimmick and it's only for the rich."
I told him I was going anyway.
I started my 44 treatments on October 20, 2005 and completed them on December 30, 2005.
I was fortunate that Ed Rosenberg was at LLUCC at the same time. We played golf, hiked the CA mountains, visited President Reagan's Presidential Library, walked through local wineries, traveled to Las Vegas and so much more, all while being treated for cancer.
LLUCC is staffed with highly qualified and kind personnel. While there, I experienced a calmness that I had never experienced before.
To be honest, I felt the presence of God all around me.
It has now been 11 years since my proton therapy at LLUCC. Today my PSA is 0.040 and I have never experienced any side effects.
I will always be thankful to Ed Rosenberg for introducing me to proton therapy and to LLUCC.
My communication with Ed clearly illustrates out how important it is for those of us who have been blessed with protons to share our experiences with others. That is why I am sharing my story.
If you were intrigued by my story and would like to contact me, please do so.
5303 Peppermill Court
Sarasota, Fl. 34241