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7, 17, 2024
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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.

Active Surveillance
Gary Sanders
Len Lindstrom

Alternative (Natural) Therapy
Allen Titmus

Cryoablation - Freezing
Paul Niblock

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

Radiation - Brachytherapy
Denny Shields
Wayne Miller

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

Radiation - HDRT
Clint Sherburne

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

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

Paul Niblock

“The results of the biopsy show that you are positive for prostate cancer."
Surely that must be one of the more frightening things any man can hear. Why the biopsy? My PSA had slowly, but steadily, risen over the past five years from 2.5 to 5.4. Urologist Dr. Peter Bergreen and I had just about decided to continue watchful waiting for another six months when he suggested doing a DRE (digital rectal exam) prior to ending the session. Sure enough he found a "spongy" area and immediately scheduled a biopsy, the results of which were two out of eight specimens being cancerous.
My followup meeting with Dr. Bergreen was a blur. I don't remember much, because here was a big wake-up call. I was no longer immortal, or bulletproof. As I stumbled through my news to my wife, Victoria, she was already taking charge. She bought books on the subject, found the Man to Man support group in Florence, made me attend, and helped me every step of the way through very personal decisions.
Right away, I found there are too many choices. Active treatments include two types of surgery, three forms of radiation, freezing the prostate and hormone therapy. We want the cancer gone and not to have to deal with it any more, but it's not that easy. We have to make a choice, even if that choice is no immediate treatment such as watchful waiting, now called active surveillance, if your cancer is deemed low risk. My Personal Journey started by attending the monthly Man to Man meetings in Florence. There I met all sorts and conditions of men, and it opened my eyes. I went to Dr. Bergreen with what I had heard. "You've been talking to that group in Florence, haven't you?" Dr. Bergreen is a consummate professional and I have valued his opinion at all times. But doctors are also human and, not surprisingly, certain preferences often reign. Not being satisfied with Dr. Bergreen's options, I saw Dr. Craig Kiser in McMinnville who specializes in cryoablation (also known as cryotherapy, cryosurgery, or just cryo). It is a process that uses extreme cold (cryo) to remove tissue (ablation). This freezing occurs at the molecular, cellular and whole tissue structure levels. The small blood vessels feeding the cancer are also destroyed by the freezing. As it turned out, this was my choice of treatment because it was quick, recovery time was short, it was relatively painless and did not cost an arm and a leg. Dr. Kiser set the date and we were on.
Following the procedure, I awoke lying on my back, with pressure stockings on my legs, and a very dry mouth. My wife, bless her, was there with a cup of ice. I felt nothing but a slightly uncomfortable feeling as if I was sitting on a tennis ball, and indeed this was about as painful as it was going to get. Next morning I went through discharge, was catheterized and sent home. After ten days or so I returned to Dr. Kiser's office to have the catheter removed, staying around the rest of the day to make sure that my waterworks was OK. One of my side effects as a result of the cryoablation was lymphedema, a painless but major swelling in the lymph system, in my case around the groin. Again my wife came to my aid, finding and getting me to a massage therapist, the excellent Sue Kelly in Newport, and in three sessions it was gone! Licensed massage therapists who are trained in manual lymph drainage are very familiar with this condition and results can be nothing short of amazing. It was all quite painless but spectacular. The lesson here is that we must do our part in dealing with side effects. Doctors are usually quite effective in eliminating or minimizing them, but there are times when complementary therapy such as acupuncture, massage and even physical therapy can come to the rescue as it did in my case.
But I had more serious trouble ahead of me. Suddenly it became increasingly difficult for me to urinate. Part of the healing was now creating an internal blockage of some sort. Not being able to go to the bathroom was making me desperate. Being unable to get in touch with Dr. Kiser due to a massive ice storm, my wife drove me to the Emergency at Peace Health Hospital in Florence. I cannot begin to describe the exquisite relief at the reinsertion of the formerly despised catheter. Even though normally detesting the catheter, I'll make an exception this time, quit my grumbling and admit it was a blessing. And that was it. I remain indebted to modern medicine. I have only the highest praise for Dr. Kiser, as subsequently I have remained cancer free with a non-existent prostate gland and negligible PSA readings of 0.025. I do not regret my choice of cryoablation and hope my life shows that it can be a viable choice when dealing with prostate cancer. I owe much to the Man to Man group in Florence and to Bob Horney in particular, a great guy in a great group of guys. But it is to my darling beloved wife Victoria that I must give the greatest recognition. This crisis left us with deeper stronger bonds of love and affection, and for that I am truly thankful. Copyright © 2010 - 2024