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Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Anthony Babiarz

Prostate cancer - Stage IIB

This testimonial includes a description of this patient’s actual medical results. Those results may not be typical or expected for the particular disease type described in this testimonial. You should not expect to experience these results.

View CTCA treatment results for prostate cancer

Overview

My story

In 2011, I started having acid reflux. It was uncomfortable and concerning, so I went to our family doctor for an exam. During the visit, he asked me when I’d last had my prostate-specific antigen (PSA) checked, the routine test many men do to screen for possible signs of prostate cancer. It had been about three years since I’d done this test, so he added it to my visit that day. The results showed I had a PSA score above 20, and my doctor recommended that I have a biopsy. A few days later, I received the news from an oncologist at the same clinic where our regular doctor practices, that the biopsy had tested positive for prostate cancer. I was 60 years old at the time. The diagnosis was devastating. I felt like I’d just been hit with a sledgehammer.

The oncologist recommended that I have my prostate removed. At first I was ready to say yes. Why not just have the prostate removed and get rid of the cancer? That seemed like the most logical idea.

But although I did not want to waste another minute before doing whatever I could, the oncologist recommended taking my time. He suggested that I talk things over with my wife and let him know my decision within a couple of weeks.

Late-night research

After a couple of sleepless nights, thinking things over and praying for guidance, I turned on the television at a late hour, seeking a break from the considerations. A commercial for Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) came on, and I was immediately drawn to it. I went to my computer and started reading through the website, learning about all the different services offered at CTCA®. I was intrigued by the fact that patients could choose to include a dietitian and a mind-body therapist on their care team. I was especially interested in the idea of being at a place where services are all under one roof. The next morning, I showed my wife the website, and we decided to call.

Personal care from the start

I was surprised that the first time I called CTCA, a live person answered the phone. And it wasn’t just that I spoke with a person, it was that she took her time. She listened patiently, took all my necessary information and told me she would get back to me. That same afternoon, she said my insurance was approved and I could schedule a visit if I wanted.

My first visit to CTCA was in early February. Although we live in Illinois, not too far from the facility, my wife and I stayed at CTCA for a week. I had several imaging tests and met with several doctors.

Although the experience was excellent, I was nervous about the cancer. I was worried that it wouldn’t be treatable, or that I wouldn’t agree with the treatment options. But when my radiation oncologist suggested Calypso® radiation for nine weeks along with Lupron® hormone therapy, I felt totally comfortable with the approach.

The radiation was easy to tolerate for the first few weeks. Between that and the hormone therapy shots, which I had every three months, I began having some side effects. I was fatigued, my sense of taste was off, and I gained weight. A naturopathic oncology provider recommended some supplements for the fatigue, which helped. When I experienced a burning sensation during urination as a side effect, my radiation oncologist prescribed a treatment that relieved the pain. I also worked with a dietitian to help control the weight gain. I took advantage of the pastoral care service and greatly appreciated the fact that CTCA offers affordable meals to patients.

In recovery

Today, I am in recovery and currently have no evidence of disease. I am enjoying spending time with my wife of 35 years, and very grateful that she was there for me during my treatment because I wasn’t always so easy to live with during that time. I loved witnessing my son’s wedding in September 2015. It was wonderful being able to celebrate this occasion with my family. My family is what helped me get through this difficult time.

At 67 years old, I’m feeling great. I go to CTCA every six months for check-ups, and I am very pleased with the care I continue to receive there. Everyone at CTCA is so upbeat, and this attitude helped me get through treatment. It kept me hopeful. In 2016, I was able to attend my Celebrate Life® event and have my name placed on one of the Trees of Life in the hospital. Being a cancer survivor has helped me appreciate life more and express gratitude for those everyday things that are easy to take for granted. And now I am honored to spread that hope to others facing the same journey. There is always a reason to hope.