Graduates from the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center have mounted plaques in the graduation hall, the place where graduates ring the “gong” in celebration. One of our friends mounted this plaque on January 6, 2011. – JEL 4/20/2011
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Paul’s Epistle to the Romans 8:28
My local urologist gave me the results of my first biopsy: I had prostate cancer with a Gleason 6. The only remedies available in the Houston area back then were surgery and X-ray radiation. As I studied those two choices, I became fearful of the side effects. I worried about incontinence. What if the surgery didn’t remove all of the cancer? And who would take care of my clients during surgery or radiation? I am the only lawyer in my practice. So I chose “watchful waiting.” I had been healthy until then; maybe the cancer would go away.
My second biopsy was five years later, in July 2010. This time I had a Gleason 9 accompanied by a Gleason 7. I had to do something, but by then it was almost too late. Fortunately, I knew about the MD Anderson’s Proton Therapy Center (“PTC”) and contacted them immediately. My program of healing began here just over 2 weeks after I got my biopsy results. I underwent my 39 Proton Treatments with the PTC’s pencil beam technology, starting on November 10, 2010 and ending on January 6, 2011.
Thank you to MD Anderson’s Proton Therapy Center
Being confident in the 95%++ survival rate, and with fewer of the risks or fears I associated with surgery or X-ray radiation, it was a joy for me to show up early each morning for my treatments — like a daily victory lap. (And I didn’t miss a day at the office.)
Thank you to Andrew K. Lee, M.D., M.P.H., my Doctor
Looking back to when we first met in August, 2010, I can still see the solemn expression on Dr. Lee’s face as he listened to my story of 5 years of hesitation and inaction. Despite this, he took me on as a patient and started me right away on Lupron and Casodex. Since then, he has told me his goals and those of his PTC staff, first in stopping, then in shrinking and finally in destroying my prostate cancer. In his caring and encouraging manner, he also has prescribed the role he expects me to play in this effort. Each time I meet with Dr. Lee, this busy man has a way about him that makes me feel as if I am his only patient. I will never forget what he and the Proton Center are doing for me.
Thank you to Tai Ly, Nurse Practitioner and Evangeline Hubbard, Nurse
Tai shows a combination of empathy and wit that only a nurse and cancer survivor can. Evangeline gives me Lupron shots with such finesse that I almost do not feel them.
Thank you to Technicians, Gantry No. 3:
Stephanie Bazille Cara Butler Joann Goodman Marilyn Hines Hien Le
They inserted the placement balloon with tenderness, checked my levels, kept me from banging my head on the gantry, and endured my sense of humor with grace.
“But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall.” Malachi 4:2
Thank you to Patients Chuck, Curtis, Hayden, James, Larry, Tim and many others. For camaraderie as we provided support to each other; sitting in gowns, awaiting our turns on Gantry 3 or 4; “welcoming” new arrivals; comparing Gleason and PSA scores; “We have a beam!”; our Wednesday dinners together; and the Gong!
Thank you to my CREATOR. He allowed the shadow of prostate cancer to cross my path while lighting my way to the MD Anderson Proton Therapy Center. In this way, He gave me the privilege of having my cancer treated by an eminent radiation oncologist and his staff — all this while developing friendships with many other patients.
Lupron Legionnaire Dave (Patient), his wife and Family January 6, 2011
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