My name is Bobby Bell, and I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in the Summer of 2019.
Even knowing the odds increase as you grow older, you never expect a cancer diagnosis. I have always been conscientious of my health. I’ve kept up with my annual screenings. I have stayed active and continued to pursue hobbies that allow me to manage stress and keep me full of fresh air. Yet, all the healthy eating and hunting & fishing trips didn’t prevent my urologist from informing me that I had cancer.
As someone who has always perceived my health as a priority, I immediately began to research the top cancer centers and available treatment options. I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of traveling from OKC to Arizona or Texas to be treated at Mayo or MD Anderson. Still, after researching prostate cancer treatment options, I was determined to receive proton therapy, regardless of the additional strain of travel.
I called a life-long friend and confidant, Barry Switzer, to share the news of my diagnosis and talk through my thoughts on treatment. I was surprised to learn that Barry was familiar with proton therapy and highly recommended the treatment. I was more surprised when he informed me that there was no need to leave home. We had access to proton therapy right here in Oklahoma City.
It was then that I realized the importance of sharing our stories.
As a person that spent years prioritizing my health and being active in the community, I was still unaware of the treatment options available in my own city. I am grateful that I had a friend that knew and shared that information.
We often overlook the information around us if it doesn’t apply to our lives at that exact moment. My hope is that by sharing my story, I can help others searching answers like I was that day.
I am happy to report one year post-treatment, my PSA levels are excellent, and I’ve had no short or long-term side effects from my treatment.