Wayne makes a hole in one with his prostate cancer treatment
Receiving a clean bill of health after a cancer diagnosis isn’t the same feeling as sinking a hole in one, but they’re both undeniably satisfying
When he’s not in his boat fishing, Wayne Crawley, 73, can often be found on the golf course or cooking in the kitchen. These pastimes – and his family – are his great passions in life, and he wasn’t prepared to let a cancer diagnosis interfere with any of them.
Following his diagnosis of prostate cancer, Wayne visited an oncologist close to home to learn about the choices for treatment. “Unfortunately, I just didn’t connect with that guy. So, I ended up meeting a doctor at a cancer center in southern New Jersey and he was great, it was like talking with family,” he says. “It didn’t matter that I had to drive an extra 20 minutes to get there – it was worth it. The drive was actually about the worst part of the treatment.”
“I understood this was the latest and greatest system, and it’s proven true.”
The doctor outlined the treatment options, listing the pros and cons, and Wayne hardly had to think twice before choosing external beam radiation therapy with the hospital’s new Elekta Unity MR-Linac. One of the benefits that appealed to him was that the tumor could be treated solely with the MR-Linac without the need for surgery or chemotherapy. “I understood this was the latest and greatest system, and it’s proven true,” Wayne says.
Indeed, combining a high-field MRI scanner and radiation treatment machine (linear accelerator), Elekta Unity enables the medical staff to see the tumor and surrounding organs while treatment is being delivered. It allows doctors to react to how the tumor is responding to the therapy. An MR-Linac ensures a high level of personalization and precision, which are key to preserving healthy organs from exposure to radiation and reducing side effects.
“Everything was fantastic. I thought it might be painful or at least uncomfortable, but the only slight discomfort was the sound of the machine. But you quickly get used to that; I actually fell asleep during treatment a couple times.” Wayne says that having his head outside the MR-Linac was comforting as he could look around and not feel claustrophobic.
He adds that the side effects after treatment were minimal. “I was visiting the bathroom a little more frequently for the first one or two weeks, but other than that, nothing. I’ve been living just as I was before I was diagnosed.” Wayne says that a key factor in his overall experience was the staff at the hospital. “I can’t praise them enough and would highly recommend this treatment – in fact, I have already on several occasions,” he says. In fact, after his Unity treatment was completed, he wrote a letter to the hospital’s CEO, praising the department, his doctor, and the radiation therapists he met each day.
Now, when Wayne casts his lure, lines up a drive or spends time with his wife, he can enjoy the moment without thinking about how life might have been without his treatment.