Harvey Rector, 71-year-old former Springfield police officer, has completed his proton therapy treatment this summer. And to look on his smiling face today, one would never think he once was wrecked by pain caused by a cancerous growth on his tailbone.
First, doctors told him he would have to have the tailbone cut off and undergo radiation, and that he could be paralyzed from the waist down. But fortunately, an oncologist at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis directed him to ProCure, a health care company that provides cancer treatment through the use of proton therapy.
“They told me there was a unit in Oklahoma City where they could provide treatments that would help with the recovery time,” Harvey said. Indeed, the end result of proton therapy treatment, according to ProCure, is fewer side effects that leave patients feeling physically drained, allowing them to recover more quickly.
“I met many men down there being treated for prostate cancer with no pills or surgery,” he said. “We met one patient with brain tumors — she had a rare disease that forms tumors on the brain and spine — and they said she was cancer free after 50 treatments.”
It took Harvey 40 treatments before he was considered “cancer free;” he had his last treatment on June 10. There was “no pain to the treatment,” he said. “It’s unreal how they can direct a beam to a size of a hair to treat a tumor.”
Since his last treatment, he is slowly been getting back into his routine : “I have some bad days but normally I do good. Right now I’m just trying to make up for some lost time.”