When Rick Keller’s urologist told him that his biopsy results were “positive,” his first reaction was relief.
“I thought ‘positive’ meant good,” said Rick, who lives in Carrollton. “But this was bad. As an active 49-year old, it was devastating to learn I had prostate cancer.”
Because of his age, his urologist recommended surgery, but Rick was not convinced.
“I heard the possible side effects of surgery were incontinence and erectile dysfunction,” said Rick. “It was a little frightening.”
While Rick explored his treatment options, he heard a radio ad for proton therapy which emphasized greater precision and fewer side effects. With a friend’s encouragement, Rick scheduled an appointment with the MD Anderson Proton Therapy Center in Houston.
The company Rick works for has an office in Houston so he was able to continue working while receiving treatment. He even found a roommate in Houston who was also being treated for prostate cancer.
MD Anderson made things easier, too.
“I was having a difficult time finding a way to tell my family,” said Rick, who has two daughters, ages 21 and 14. “The licensed social worker helped me through that. And they were very helpful in assisting with the financial aspect of treatment and helped me navigate the insurance process. Everything just came together, every step of the way.”
Rick’s treatments began on December 27, 2011 and ended on February 21, 2012. Aside from a treatment related tan on both hips, Rick experienced no side effects and was able to continue his active life style. During that time, he was able to work, play golf and make friends.
“I joined a support group called ProtonPals,” said Rick. “We had dinner every Wednesday. There was a lot of bonding and joking around. I still keep in touch with many of the guys I met.”
Today, with no sign of cancer, Rick’s outlook is positive.
“Only this time, ‘positive’ is good,” he said.
Due to our response to COVID-19, all blood donations at MD Anderson
Blood Donor Center locations are being held by appointment only.