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Randy - Prostate Cancer

Randy - Prostate Cancer

After a routine physical revealed that he had elevated PSA levels, Randy was shocked to discover he had prostate cancer. “That phone call from my urologist was tough!” says Randy. “My dad had prostate cancer at 75. My PSA had been trending up a bit, but I figured I had another 20 years before I had to deal with it. It is very concerning to hear that you have cancer!”

Randy is a General Manager at Central Lincoln Electric Utility and hails from Philomath, Oregon, which is on the way to the Central Oregon Coast. Randy’s treatment choices close to home included surgery and brachytherapy (a type of external radiation that involves planting radioactive seeds in the prostate). “I decided to explore alternatives on the Internet when I came across ‘proton therapy,’ which led me to SCCA Proton Therapy Center’s website,” says Randy. “I read and listened to several testimonials and studied the results of the treatment. It sounded encouraging, so I called the Center and made an appointment to see Dr. Chen.”

Randy reached out to SCCA Proton Therapy Center and consulted with Dr. Chen. "One of the things that is unique about the Center is that we get a lot of patients who reach out to us on their own through their own extensive research," says Dr. Chen. "Mr. Grove was exactly like that, and when I met him, I could immediately tell that he had done a lot of reading and knew a great deal. We had a great conversation and were able to make sure that proton therapy was the right fit for him."

Randy stayed in Seattle for nine weeks, and Dr. Chen recommended he stay active during treatment to help him through this time. “I love riding my bicycle, especially to explore new places,” says Randy, “so I brought my bike to Seattle in the middle of winter. I logged almost 200 miles. I rode in all kinds of weather: rain, snow… I almost got frostbite in my hands from riding in the freezing weather! Dr. Chen quipped that I’d come up to get my cancer cured and would leave almost missing fingers! So I bought some better gloves!” 

"I encourage all my patients to stay active during radiation therapy, but Mr. Grove really went above and beyond with that advice," says Dr. Chen. "Not only was he biking all over the place, he joined a local gym and worked out regularly throughout his treatment. I was really impressed!"

Screenshot of one of Randy's bike rides around Seattle.

Randy and friends at the Seattle waterfront. 

For Randy, the proton therapy treatments did not interfere with his exploration of Seattle. He spent about 30 to 40 minutes each day at the Center, and the only discomfort he had was filling his bladder prior to treatment and holding it.

Randy was grateful for the support he received from family, friends and coworkers. “I really appreciated the entire staff at the Center, too” he says. “They are professional, caring and positive people!  I was far from my home but they made me feel welcome and they took good care of me.” Nevertheless, when Randy got home he was excited to sleep in his own bed.

Randy's colleagues gave him this lovely support photo.

“As a patient, you have to be your own best advocate, and choose the treatment that you feel is right for you. I’m really glad I chose proton therapy to treat my prostate cancer,” he says. “My PSA numbers are now in the normal range and should continue to go down for another year and half or so.  All of my plumbing is working normally. While it was a fairly long way to go for treatment, there are lots of housing options, and the public transportation is easy. Oh, and there are a lot of bike paths!”