On August 10, 2018, the staff and patients of the Maryland Proton Treatment Center (MPTC) were treated to the flugelhorn playing of local musician John Collins, who played “When You Wish Upon a Star” to commemorate his last day of treatment.
Eight months earlier, John, a retired music teacher, and his brother went in for their annual urology appointment. Due to a high PSA level, John had a follow-up, which led to his diagnosis of prostate cancer. It was especially hard news to hear, as he lost his father to prostate cancer.
He explored several treatment options, including brachytherapy and surgery. He heard about proton therapy on the radio and television, and scheduled a consultation with Mark Mishra, MD, of MPTC. After learning about the non-invasive treatment, he decided on proton therapy.
“Patients diagnosed with prostate cancer are faced with multiple treatment options,” says Dr. Mishra. “Oftentimes, patients will not have an opportunity to hear about all of the available treatment options from knowledgeable providers. Mr. Collins did exactly what I encourage all patients to do – take time to learn about different options and carefully consider the risks and benefits of each. After reviewing the details of Mr. Collins’ case with him and better understanding his personal preferences and priorities, Mr. Collins and I felt that proton beam therapy was the best treatment option for him.”
In June 2018, John began driving himself from Ellicott City to his appointments. He scheduled his treatments in the morning so he would have the rest of the day to continue with his usual activities, which include giving private music lessons, co-directing an 18-piece jazz band, playing in another 18-piece band, and playing with a trio at a local restaurant for their Sunday jazz brunch.
“I actually looked forward to going to the center in the morning, and I’m not a morning person!” he says. “The staff are absolutely wonderful. I never met anyone who was cross or upset.”
He appreciated the attention to detail, such as learning his favorite music and playing it during treatment.
For those considering treatment at MPTC, John says, “You are not alone. The MPTC staff cares for you, and you won’t be just a number, you will be treated like a human being…it doesn’t get any better!