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Kenny - Prostate Cancer (and Multiple Myeloma)

Kenny - Prostate Cancer (and Multiple Myeloma)

Kenny Green was recently treated for prostate cancer at the SCCA Proton Therapy Center, but it’s just one of the many challenges he has overcome in his remarkable life. He survived prostate cancer, spent ten years on dialysis before receiving a kidney transplant, and still lives with multiple myeloma, a cancer that affects white blood cells. Through it all, Kenny has lived life to the fullest and taken on many roles: musician, popular local DJ, and devoted husband of 47 years to his wife, Celeste.

Kenny and his wife Celeste, married almost 47 years.

Music has been a through line for Kenny. He met his wife when he was playing in a band, and later became known for his amazing DJ skills, where he earned the moniker DJ Jammin’ Green. From those early days his reputation grew. Kenny was a local sensation for 32 years, before retiring as a DJ with a masterful set at a party thrown by former Seahawk Marcus Trufant.

DJ Jammin' Green poster.

In 2002, during a routine physical, Kenny was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. The prognosis was dire. Doctors told him he'd have five years to live, but Kenny was determined to double that. He needed a stem cell transplant – which unfortunately came with risks. Kenny's kidneys had been damaged by high blood pressure and cancer. After the transplant, both his kidneys failed, and he spent the following ten years receiving dialysis three times a week. Receiving dialysis is physically and mentally exhausting, but he never missed an appointment.

In 2012, he was placed on a kidney transplant list, but he had only a 5% chance of getting one. The many blood transfusions he'd received meant the chances of rejecting a donated kidney were high. Miraculously, on May 23, 2017, he got the call: a kidney match had been found. The very next day, he had the transplant. The match was exceptionally good, and he has done better than his doctors imagined he would. He feels incredibly lucky that the opportunity for a transplant came through.

Then, in 2019 he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. It was almost unbelievable, but Kenny was buoyed by his strength in God and vowed to keep going, continue working, and not let it control his life.

Kenny’s urologist recommended a prostatectomy, but he had a lot of internal scarring from the transplant. He was skeptical and decided to get a second opinion from an expert in the field. He was referred to Dr. George Schade, a urologist at UW medicine, who thought radiation might be better. Dr. Schade recommended he see Dr. Jonathan Chen at the Center.

"They told me, 'You would do well with proton therapy with minimal risk for more scarring.'" Though the idea of radiation was scary, Kenny felt better going with protons because the side effects could be fewer than with conventional radiation or surgery. And proton therapy could target the cancer in his prostate without the risks of another operation. He felt he might recover faster, too. Though he experienced fatigue during proton therapy, a common side effect, he didn’t have any other symptoms and continued to work throughout his treatment.

Kenny is still working, but both he and Celeste are eyeing retirement. They plan to travel together, with cruises to Alaska and the Caribbean on the list, along with trips to Las Vegas and California. Though he will always deal with multiple myeloma, he’s triumphed over prostate cancer and kidney failure. He’s earned that travel and leisure time.