Facing Cancer: A Problem to be Solved

Freddie Pike, Prostate Cancer Survivor

As a retired minister, I had spent years counseling those facing cancer. I never felt concerned about that dreaded diagnosis. For me, cancer was something other people went through. My job was to be there should someone need me.

With that mindset, you can imagine how unnerving it was to hear the surgeon say, “Mr. Pike, you have prostate cancer.” I admit, the news shook me up for several days.

SOLVING PROBLEMS

After taking the time to process, I decided I would face cancer as a problem to be solved. Surely I knew how to solve problems, so I started researching treatment options. My options included surgery, robotic surgery, regular radiation, and radioactive seed implants, among others. Next, I narrowed down the choices to one primary possibility and decided to research the leading provider of that type of treatment. The facility that seemed to be the best was in another state, but I had a friend that lived nearby. I called him to see if he could tell me anything about the provider I had found. As the conversation continued, he said, “Freddie, one of the deacons in my church, just went through something called proton therapy. He speaks very highly of it.” I thanked him for the information but dismissed the idea. Proton therapy wasn’t part of my research.

The next week my older brother told me about a gentleman he knew that had just finished proton therapy treatment.  Convinced proton therapy was the best option; he urged my brother to look into the choice for me. OK, now proton therapy had my attention!

BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD

This new information led me back to the computer.  I typed in “proton therapy” and immediately found the Oklahoma Proton Center.  My wife and I diligently read through their website. When we had finished, we decided it was worth consideration.  I filled out a web form Sunday evening and said to my wife, “Let’s see how long it takes them to respond.”

8:30 Monday morning, I received a phone call from Oklahoma Proton Center. After asking a few questions, I decided I’d like to make the trip to OKC to meet their team to make a decision. The lady on the call immediately offered to schedule a visit for the following day.

After my consultation, I spent the next few days thinking and praying about my options. I knew I had all the information needed to determine proton therapy was my best option. I was at peace with my decision.

MY EXPERIENCE AT OKLAHOMA PROTON CENTER

My experience at Oklahoma Proton Center was one of the most professional and caring experiences I had ever encountered. I have worked with many groups throughout the years, and I have never experienced a higher level of professionalism and compassion in all my years in ministry.

I entered as a patient and left as a member of a caring family. Their treatment protocols and personal attention erased any stress that I might have had. Six months after my treatment, my PSA was .21.  After seven years, my PSA remains exceptionally low, and I have suffered no significant short- or long- term side effects. I would, without any hesitation, recommend Oklahoma Proton Center to anyone facing cancer.