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Ricky - Prostate Cancer

Ricky - Prostate Cancer

When he was first diagnosed with prostate cancer, it hit Ricky hard. He shut down and wouldn't talk about it with anyone. He was scared. But when he found SCCA Proton Therapy Center, that changed. Read our 5 Questions with Ricky.

Tell us about your cancer experience and how you decided on proton therapy.

When I went in for a physical, and they did bloodwork, they told me that there was a possibility that I could have prostate cancer. When I went in for a biopsy, I was nervous as hell, and I pretty much mentally shut down. They told me it would be 7 to 15 days before I would hear. When I saw the number pop up after just two days, I didn't want to answer. The gal on the phone said, "I have good news and bad news. Which do I want first?" The bad news: You have cancer. My stomach dropped to the floor. The good news: it's all in one spot. 

From there, I shut down, and I didn't tell anyone anything for a while. I saw another doctor, and he was only recommending chemotherapy. He was saying the cancer could be very aggressive and he scared the crap out of me. I went back home and prayed and started reading the handouts. That's when I read about proton therapy. I asked my doctor about it, and he wasn't very supportive. So I just called.

Of course, my insurance was denied. But the Proton Center did a great job with financial help. Boy, oh boy. I felt a lot better. I came out to see the place and meet everybody. I knew that this was the place I was supposed to be. I told my sister what was going on, and then my kids. I felt a lot better about talking about it because I had some hope. Then I got a call from the Center, and the gal said: "you're approved." Of course, I cried then. Yes, I did.

When I first got to the Center, I met a few of the nurses and the team. Then Dr. Rengan explained how everything was going to go. They just made me feel so at home and so comfortable. They had me out of my box. I was really open.  

What are your hobbies? Were you able to continue during treatment?

I work with kids. I'm a Pac Highway Chargers Volunteer Coach for Youth Football. I took the year off and am now looking forward to getting back to coaching basketball. 

What is the most interesting thing about you that would surprise your treatment team?

I'm really quiet, but they think I'm really outgoing! They had me open up, and I could tell them anything. I talked to them about a whole range of things. 

Tell us about a quote, a person, a song or anything that inspired you during your proton therapy.

My kids inspired me. I have 5 kids.  Brian – 36, Teek — 33, Little Ricky Jr. – 32, Ramika — 29, Diondre — 25, and Brendan, who is 10. I also have four good friends: Ronald "Blaq," Myron "Pete," Robert "BoRoy," and Donell "Dfrash." We've been friends since Kindergarten. Have we got stories! We have a picture of us trick-or-treating together. Dfrash is going through chemo right now. 

Tell us what you are doing now.

I'm back at work. I'm a driver for Samsung. I drive the engineers all over Washington and Canada to test new and old devices. I also cater. I am keeping really busy. I came out of the house the other day and watched my grandsons and my nephews play basketball. So I'm getting out. People tell me that I look the same I as I did in high school. 

Any last words?

I was actually excited to come to treatment. I was looking forward to it. When I got to the Center, they were happy to see me. When I was late, they said they missed me. They helped me get me back to where I was supposed to be, mentally as well. The greatest part of the Center and the treatment is the staff (tears of joy). Ryan made the joke when I finished: "Don't get up and try to come the next morning," and I did, and I laughed.