OHSU

My Knight Cancer Story - Rick Dancer

RICK'S STORY

Rick was diagnosed with prostate cancer in January of 2010 at age 50. He shares his story in hopes of encouraging all men to be tested. Rick lives in Eugene, and is a dedicated member of his community and his church. He and his wife enjoy many outdoor activities including cycling and hiking.

I had my PSA (prostate-specific antigen) levels checked faithfully for years. In 2010, I got the news no one wants: I had prostate cancer. Cancer can make you feel as though you are wasting your life simply surviving. Cancer can make some feel like they need to get things done, now. Cancer is not a friend but it’s not a foe either. It’s now part of our lives and we get to learn to live beyond it. I believe attitude is everything.

I chose to receive my treatment at the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute from Arthur Hung, M.D. I was a good candidate for radiation therapy using Calypso® radiation technology. I am amazed that this technology can zero in on my tumor, leaving me with little or no side effects.

Am I scared? Yes, but I’m not petrified. Am I heartbroken? If I’m honest…..a little. There is tenderness in cancer. My wife and I need each other more today than we did yesterday. We look at each other differently. Emails mean more. I’m more open to new friends. I’m connecting with other guys who have prostate cancer and talking about intimate details in my life with these strangers, and I don’t care.

Remember that people don’t mean to treat you like you have cancer or try and ignore the fact. They just don’t know what to say and really, that’s okay. The best thing you can do for someone with cancer, or anyone for that matter is to simply love him or her through it.

ABOUT Calypso®

Calypso® radiation technology allows doctors to monitor the tumor continuously during a radiation session. Any movements such as breathing or shifting of body position can change the target location during treatment. With Calypso® radiation therapy you can be confident that radiation is pinpointing the cancer target and minimizing side effects. Currently, Calypso® is used exclusively for prostate cancer tumors, although it may soon be used to treat tumors throughout the body. Read more