Friday, June 15, 2012

This Father's Day: Forever Filled With Gratitude

Frank Jr., and his dad.
In 2010, Frank McKee was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He chose to have proton therapy at Penn Medicine for prostate cancer, and today, lives a full life with his family and friends. In this blog post, his son, Frank McKee, Jr., talks about what it was like to watch his father overcome prostate cancer with proton therapy treatment at Penn.

I’ll never forget the moment my dad told me he had prostate cancer. I was leaving work, getting ready to get in my car when he called. There was something ominous about his voice that told me I shouldn’t start the car – that I was about to hear some news that would affect me deeply.

He told me he had prostate cancer, and that it was found very early. He sounded calm and collected as he told me he was researching treatments for prostate cancer and had a good chance of overcoming cancer.

Despite his optimism, my heart began to sink. His diagnosis would forever change my world.

Choosing Proton Therapy for Prostate Cancer

My dad was very confident, and after meeting with Stephen Hahn, MD, he chose Penn Medicine for proton therapy. I was confident in Penn Medicine, and was ready to be there for him to support him every step of the way.

Except, he really didn’t need it! He’d drive himself to receive proton therapy treatments nearly every day – rarely accepting an offer for a ride from me or my family. He went to work everyday too. His treatment made him a little tired, but it was nothing that stopped him from his daily routine.

His life didn’t have to stop just because he had prostate cancer.

As a son watching his father go through cancer treatment, it was challenging to be strong for him. He made it easier though, because he had a great spirit about him and was always very optimistic.

At his last treatment, our entire family came with him to celebrate with noisemakers and signs. It was a great feeling to see him at the finish line.

He finished proton therapy for prostate cancer, and today, I’d say his experience changed him for the better. He is living his life to the fullest, and has adopted a healthy lifestyle.

This Father’s Day – and every Father’s Day since his diagnosis, will be filled with gratitude.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad.

Diagnosed with prostate cancer?

Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with prostate cancer?

Penn Medicine is one of only 10 centers in the United States to offer proton therapy. Proton therapy treats prostate cancer with external beam radiotherapy in which protons are directed at a tumor. The radiation dose that is given through proton therapy is very precise, and limits the exposure of radiation to normal tissues. This reduced exposure leads to the possibility of decreased toxicity, side effects and complications for patients.

Learn more about proton therapy for prostate cancer, and how proton therapy offers potentially less side effects for men with prostate cancer.

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