Treated 2000 • Posted 2002
“I'm now 81 years old and thanks to Loma Linda I plan to pull a few more years! I have a sister who is 94! One thing I know for sure - I won't die from or with prostate cancer!"
Somehow I never "worried" about prostate cancer. Even after my first visit with a urologist and I had a 6.8 PSA (Feb. 1999) I was advised that at my age (78) these things progress very slowly and most men my age don't die from prostate cancer! What he suggested was "watchful waiting!" I wasn't worried -- after all I was taking "Saw Palmetto" on a regular basis.
Feb. 2000-----my PSA was now 11.9 and Gleason 8. The doctor felt it was time for a biopsy. Sure enough it was prostate cancer! I still wasn't worried ----- after all, they just remove the prostate! Wrong! My urologist said we are now treating these cases with hormone shots. This was intended to prevent the growth and spread of the cancer. So why should I worry? So I marched down the hall and got my first Leuprolide shot.
May 2000------It was now time for my second Leuprolide shot! The old urologist was now retired! The new urologist was “green as grass.” He was offering a surgical procedure called "orchidotomy" which would accomplish "the same thing" as hormone shots. I found out that what he was suggesting was castration!!!!
During the meantime I had studied about Loma Linda's Proton treatment. I informed my new urologist that the purpose of this visit was to ask him to transfer all of my information to Loma Linda. He snapped right back ----"they won't take you.” I then informed him "I have already been accepted -- all I need to have is my records transferred." He then snapped back - “You know that Proton stuff is experimental!" I advised him that “A 90% success ratio is good enough for me, and Medicare will be paying. Everyone knows that Medicare never pays for experimental procedures.” He walked away in a huff.
Fortunately my primary doctor was very cooperative! He had most of my records and he faxed the information out to Loma Linda that same day!
June 6,2000-----I visited my staff physician Dr. Yonemoto at Loma Linda. He had done his homework. I got my "pod" fitted in the afternoon and also a 3D catscan. I was advised that they would inform me when my first treatment would start.
I flew back to Minnesota feeling very satisfied. July 13,2000 I began my first of 38 Proton treatments. The staff was magnificent down on gantry #3. I did have a balloon break one day (water went everywhere)! I asked the gal that did it if I was likely to become pregnant? She replied, "I hope that I'll be the first to know!"
I was very fortunate to have relatives that lived within shuttle bus range.
Sept. 6, 2000---- got my last Proton treatment and flew back to Minnesota the next day.
The results are excellent:
Pretreatment PSA 11.9
Dec.14, 2000 PSA 1.21
June 12,2001 PSA 0.86
Dec.4, 2001 PSA 0.09
June 4. 2002 PSA 0.02
Dec.2 2002 PSA 0.1
I'm now 81 years old and thanks to Loma Linda I plan to pull a few more years! I have a Sister who is 94! One thing I know for sure: "I won't die from or with prostate cancer!"
Winston Zappe - Staples, Minnesota