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Chemotherapy: An Excuse to Celebrate?

  • 04.18.2015
Carson City man sings the praises of Dr. Perez and his staff.
Bob Chambers has prostate cancer—and one very smart neighbor who recommended Dr. Perez to help him fight the disease. “The thought of chemo scared the heck out of me, so I first tried alternative medicine,” admitted Bob, 79. “After I became sick, I figured it wasn’t working. I asked my neighbor, a doctor, for an oncologist recommendation. Dr. Perez was it.” 
In September 2014, Bob had his first appointment with the soft-spoken Board Certified Oncologist/Hematologist. Because the cancer had spread to his bones and bladder, Bob was a good candidate for chemotherapy. “The first thing they did is have me sit down with the chemo tech. She walked me through everything. Things I could do, things I couldn’t do, and most importantly, that I can do this.”
Chemotherapy: An Excuse to Celebrate - SNCC
Right, she was. After his first treatment, Bob’s reaction was, “That’s it?” He felt fine. As with many chemo patients, energy levels tend to drop after a number of treatments. But somewhere around his ninth or tenth, Bob started feeling better. “At that point, my treatment days became a celebration. I make a day out of going in for chemo. After each appointment, I have lunch at the park, go to the library, go shopping, whatever. Chemo is just one thing I do in my day. The whole day is not about chemo.” He even changed his reminder in his phone from ‘Chemo in Carson City’ to ‘Celebration in Carson City’. 
Bob, who does three weeks of treatment, one week off, said, “I’ll tell you, the weeks I don’t go to chemo, there’s a part of me that says, ‘Gee, I’m missing that.’”
Bob gushes about Dr. Perez and Sierra Nevada Cancer Center. “I can’t say enough about Dr. Perez and his staff. He’s a joy to be around and his staff mirrors him. With most doctors, you call and get an answering service. Dr. Perez takes the calls himself 24/7. It’s so unheard of.” 
After six months of chemotherapy, Bob is doing well, with key numbers back in the normal range. “One day, Dr. Perez came into the room really excited. ‘The treatment’s working!’ he practically yelled. He’s so into his patients.” So much so that Dr. Perez and the staff supported Bob’s decision to skip a treatment in the name of fun. “I want a future. And that future is doing things that are fun. My wife and I decided to go out of state to buy a motor home so that we can go camping. You can’t believe the support I got.”
Bob hopes his positive outlook is contagious. “My philosophy is that you can’t let cancer be the thing that stops you. Sometimes, it can’t be helped, but you have to believe it won’t stop you.” Bob bought a notebook computer to use while he’s in treatment. Currently, he’s writing a book about his experience with cancer. “I feel like I have a pretty good message to give to people. I think it will help people realize that cancer is not the end of the world.”
For more information about prostate cancer and its treatment, click here.

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