Treated 2002 · Posted 2002 · Updated 2009
". . .I canceled my surgery and essentially left the urologist/surgeon standing with scalpel in hand."
The beauty in this story concerns events in how I got to Loma Linda. Diagnosed in Mid April after a three year history of PSAs in the 3-6 range, a Gleason score of 3+4=7, a bout of prostatitis in early January 2002. Nothing ever evident from the DREs, which were done annually since 1970, sonogram views in 2002 also inconclusive but subsequent biopsy of 12 sites showed one in the right side of the prostate as cancerous. Early deliberations resulted in my decision for radical; this was reaffirmed after Jim Tuggey, a BOB member, contacted me, advised me about Loma Linda and proton beam, but I was unwilling to leave for two months, as my wife was a 5 year lung cancer survivor but had some recent difficulties with COPD. I was still scheduled for the radical on 16th of May; she went into the hospital on 15th of May and died early morning, 16 May 2002, the day I was scheduled for surgery.
This rather unusual series of events left me with the belief that I should rethink the surgery decision. It seemed close enough to a divine intervention to me! The rethinking led me to a proton beam decision, which brought me to Loma Linda. I canceled my surgery and essentially left the urologist/surgeon standing with scalpel in hand.
Everything I have encountered at Loma Linda reinforced the conclusion these events have produced an objectively reached decision. I had sought and received numerous second opinions, none of which disclosed much about proton beam treatment. A friend here at the treatment facility, upon hearing of these events responded with "Ted, this was simply your wife's last gift to you." While I agree with that, I think she had some high level help. The end result is that I feel I was the beneficiary.
Ted Rowden, BOB hoping to graduate in Mid October, God willing!
Update February 2009
Since completion of 40 proton beamings at LL in October 2002, I have experienced the following medical events:
- Eight months following graduation I had minor rectal bleeding on two occasions and no such events later.
- 3 to 6 month intervals of PSA retests have profiled down to .31 and held steady with no spikes up or down. These retests have been done by 5 different labs.
- A squamous cell growth was removed from right eye and found malignant in August 2006. Not considered related to prostate history. This did remind me that there is a cancer cell or two in all of us.
- A urinary/bladder event requiring catherization for 4 days followed by a scoping of the bladder that was inconclusive as to cause but not considered so unusual by urologist considering the treatment of that area of my real estate four years earlier.
- Upon testing by new PCP, an angiogram disclosed a narrowing in a heart vessel which was addressed with a stent and medication, Plavix, Lipitor and aspirin. No lifestyle or dietary restrictions except common sense.
I do not consider the medical events, except for number 1 and 4 above to be connected to prostate history. This perception has been echoed by all the medics except for the urology speciality which is understantably less than committal.
None of the above has changed much of anything. A new soul-mate and I are involved in RV travel, some cruises, golf and tennis continue and am starting some model railroad hobbying. I strive to investigate any new methods of cure for efficacy and to support the research chairs in prostate, breast cancer, and birth defects to the extent of my meager resources. I find it hard to visualize any better times for me and mine. Written in February 2009, not worried about anything except creeping socialism and my own spiritualism.