As a new resident of Naples, Florida, one of John’s first priorities was to find a urologist. A month earlier, his GP told him his PSA was elevated and he would need to find a doctor once he was settled. So John grabbed a phone book and made an appointment – and that’s how he found out he had prostate cancer in the fall of 2003.
“I remember the day well, when the urologist told me I had prostate cancer and his solution was to go in right then and remove the prostate. He also recommended I get a second opinion.”
Wondering that evening where he should go for that second opinion, John received a call from a good friend that had also fought prostate cancer. His friend’s recommendation led him to The Johns Hopkins Brady Urological Institute in Baltimore where he met Dr. Burnett. He explained Johns Hopkins’ Watchful Waiting protocol which tracks three to four prostate cancer markers in the body. So John entered their program and visited semi-annually for appointments. That protocol was followed until early 2006 when it was decided further action would need to be taken, so John’s prostate was removed using the Nerve Sparing Technique for Radical Prostatectomy.
John’s PSA levels remained negligible for seven years. But at the beginning of 2013 during an annual physical, his PSA levels revealed otherwise. They believed he had some remaining cancer tissue in the floor of his abdomen, so his doctor recommended Salvage Radiation Therapy – 40 radiation treatments, 5 days a week, for 8 weeks.
“While waiting in a small conference room to sign papers, we were told I qualified for a new experimental protocol, reducing the numbers of radiation treatments to 15. We were thrilled!”
His first treatment was on John’s 66th birthday, November 7, 2013 and the series ended just before Thanksgiving. His follow up appointments show he is doing well.
“My entire prostate cancer saga has been a series of God encounters over the past 15 years. My health is great, my life is wonderful, and I am married to a wonderfully supportive woman. I am so thankful for so many things.”