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12, 11, 2019
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Each man's Journey is listed under his BASIC treatment. When you click on one of the names to read a particular Journey, you may see one or more different treatments in bold lettering immediately above the Journey text. You will see (Recurrence) if they are due to a recurrence. Otherwise, they will be treatments used in conjunction with the basic treatment, i.e. Lupron with External Beam Radiation or External Beam Radiation with HDRT/Brachytherapy, etc.

Cryoablation - Freezing
Paul Niblock

Active Surveillance
Gary Sanders
Len Lindstrom

Surgery - Robotic
Bill Force
Ray Barba
Anonymous 2, Part 1
Bob Peters
Roger Straus
Christopher (Christo) Schwartz
Lowell Bublavi
Anonymous 2

Surgery - Open
Bob Thorp
Bob Hefty
Tim Daugherty
Joel Peterson
Debbie Daugherty
Anonymous Part 1
Jim Buch
Anonymous Part 2
Bob Horney

Radiation - HDRT
Clint Sherburne

Alternative (Natural) Therapy
Allen Titmus

Hormone Therapy
Guy Waller
Arthur Case
Rick Lopez
Rommie Overton
Fred Thorngate
Duke Best

Radiation - External Beam
Rich Gordon
Rick Dancer
Jim Wilkinson
Armand Chichmanian
Tom Wilson
Rommie Overton
Warren Davidson
Lance Stoddard
Joe Henderson

Radiation - Brachytherapy
Wayne Miller
Denny Shields

Rick Dancer

My name is Rick Dancer. To many in Western Oregon I was the guy on TV since I had worked as a news anchor on KEZI TV for almost 20 years. To some in Oregon I was the guy who ran for Secretary of State in 2008 and lost. But the title I value most is: "I am Rick Dancer, a guy who survived prostate cancer."
When my doctor told me 5 years ago that I might have prostate cancer, I would like to say my biggest fear was of death, but it was not. I was a 52 year old man and my biggest fear was the possibility of losing my ability to get an erection.
Too many guys don't like to talk about prostate cancer because they have been convinced that once they go through treatment they will be left impotent... with no erections. Or, they may be left without total control of their urinary function... incontinent. Either of those two thoughts can stop a man dead in his tracks, but they shouldn't. There are many more success stories out there than so-called failures and that includes mine. Since much of that success depends on early detection, it is important that we get off our butts at age 40, according to the new American Urologic Association guidelines, and get to a urologist for a baseline PSA (blood test) and DRE (digital rectal exam).
My first PSA test at age 45 was 2.0... not bad. From that point, it started rising annually, resulting in five biopsies over the next five years as it climbed to 15.7. It wasn't until the fifth biopsy that cancer showed up. When the doctor said, "We found something," the world as we (my wife, Kathy, and I) knew it disappeared and a new, terrifying Journey took its place. I was scared to death. I cried quite a bit in the first month. I was numb, in shock and very scared. My Gleason Score was 6, which indicated a rather non-aggressive cancer. But, then there was the fact that my PSA went from 2 to 15.7 in a few short years. What to do.
I found prostate cancer survivors were the biggest help to me. I needed someone I could have an open, honest conversation with. I needed someone I could talk to about erections, the "man stuff." Someone who had "been there - done that." Many men, I found, were not very comfortable with that topic. One place you can find men who WILL talk about it is at Us TOO Prostate Cancer Education/Support Group meetings. We are fortunate to have two chapters in our area, one in Springfield which meets the first Wednesday of each month and one in Florence which has two monthly meetings - the second and third Tuesday of each month. Florence also has a website, www.ustooflorence.org, with important prostate cancer information including Personal Prostate Cancer Journeys. These are personal stories of each man's prostate cancer experience. Both chapters (all three meetings) are regularly attended by urologists from Oregon Urology Institute. So, my recommendation to those who are looking to talk with prostate cancer survivors, see if there is an Us TOO Chapter near you. If there is, attend a meeting and see if it meets your needs. To locate an Us TOO Chapter, go to www.ustoo.org and click on "Find a Support Group Chapter Near You." Fill in the state you reside in and they will all appear for you. Or, call 1-800-808-7866.
After considering my own treatment options, I chose to have external beam radiation at Oregon Health Science University (OHSU) in Portland, Oregon, with the new "Calypso" technology. Three beacons (fiducials) were placed in my prostate which helped target the radiation and limit its side effects. June 18, 2010 was the final day of my 28 Calypso treatments. My only side effect so far is that I have some difficulty urinating if I hold it too long. Everything else (yep, you know what I'm talking about) works (thank you God). My PSA is currently bouncing around from 1.7 to 4.0 which, I've been told, is very common during the first couple of years following external beam radiation. I know my PSA will never be zero because I still have my prostate, unlike men who have had it surgically removed.
Cancer has changed my life, opening up a whole new world for me. Cancer has forced me to experience the freedom of making personal choices in my life without feeling that those choices need to please others. After all, it is my life. If someone had come to me and said, "Rick, your future is in surviving cancer," I would have laughed. But as it turns out, my life has had a new beginning because I now know I can do anything, including conquering cancer.
If you are a man and you are afraid to go to your doctor and have a simple PSA blood test, you are crazy. If you are age 40 or older and have a doctor who says you don't need to have a PSA test, find a new doctor. Early detection saved my life and it changed my life for the better. Fortunately, I found the cancer before I knew it was present (causing symptoms). Here's some important information for you to consider: The PSA test can detect prostate cancer 5-10 years before the urologist can detect it with a DRE. Now, that's what saves lives.
Yes, the diagnosis started me on a difficult and painful process, but good things (like being cured) follow great adversity. If you are a man who has symptoms "down there" and are avoiding a trip to the clinic, good luck. Get it checked out! Cancer may catch you and if it catches you before you catch it, you may lose big time. If you are looking for the best possible outcome for prostate cancer, it can be summed up in just two words: Early Detection!
Finally gentlemen, we have to start talking about prostate cancer as if it is a reality, because it is. This will mean some difficult conversations and, yes, we may have to use words like erection. If you are afraid of the digital rectal exam, get over it. Go ask your wife if she feels sorry for you. She's been going through a very embarrassing process since she was a young girl. It is your body, it is your prostate and it is your life. Come on, what are we so afraid of?

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