Treated 2002 • Posted 2002
“Many aspects of this whole story have convinced me that there was Divine intervention. No one is this lucky!”
Having recently gotten very positive PSA results, I hereby submit my story. Beginning about 1996 I had a series of elevated (8 to 12) PSA readings. For a few years antibiotics brought these readings down to lower but still high readings. I avoided a biopsy because of a disdain for invasive procedures (fear!). In retrospect, it is clear to me that I was in denial.
In November, 2001 I had a PSA of 12.4 and was persuaded by my new primary care physician to see a urologist. I did so, and based on PSA and DRE results I agreed to have a biopsy. The biopsy was positive for prostate cancer with a Gleason score of 6. A bone scan was done which revealed no sign of spread of the cancer outside the prostate.
I am a graduate of the United States Military Academy and stay in close contact with many of my classmates through e-mail and other means. Two of my classmates are graduates of the LLUMC Proton radiation therapy program. On the night of the day that I received my diagnosis one of my classmates called me and in the course of our conversation I told him I had prostate cancer. An hour or two later one of the Loma Linda graduates called me and strongly recommended that I consider Proton radiation therapy. I called the toll free number and was sent information relating to Proton therapy. I was averse to surgical treatment and had been warned that the other radiation approaches had serious side effects. This and the recommendations of my classmates led me to choose Proton radiation therapy at LLUMC.
When I contacted Loma Linda the earliest treatment available was late August, 2002, but I agreed to take any earlier time that might become open. Within a few days I was offered an early May treatment schedule which I readily accepted.
I had an exploratory exam and pod fitting and was to begin my 40 proton treatments on May 13th. The first session was cancelled due to equipment problems, as was my second on May 14th. I was very discouraged and worried that the Proton treatments might take forever. I had my first treatment on the 15th of May and never skipped a beat from then until I finished on July11th.
During treatment and after, I have had no significant side effects. Based on the recent four-month PSA results it is clear so far, that the Proton radiation therapy was a wise choice. The care and environment at LLUMC was ideal. The staff and caregivers were very considerate and all in all, the experience for me was memorably pleasant. And most importantly, the treatments worked with no side effects. Many aspects of this whole story have convinced me that there was divine intervention. No one is this lucky!
Robert Reed - Carlsbad, California