Phone Call Sets In Motion Action

In early 2005 Rich received an attention-grabbing phone call that set in motion a prostate Cancer Adventure.

“Are you sitting down?” Dr. Rippentrop asked.  “Yup,” Rich replied. “You have prostate cancer. Come to my office tomorrow and bring Marion. I’m going to give you options,” he said.

A cancer physician with a robust sense of humor is worth his or her weight in gold, and Dr. Jon Rippentrop shared his wondrous humor that’s stacked on solid medical credentials. As we sat nervously in his office he winked and said, “You have no symptoms and feel good. You don’t need to do anything about your prostate cancer……and the good news is you won’t have to do any retirement planning!!!!”   We chuckled at his humor because we knew he was about to give us hopeful options.


Then he presented several possible treatments for this prostate cancer adventure. We chose to proceed quickly with surgery and, later, radiation. On December 27, nearly 18 full years after his prostate was removed Rich had a semiannual meeting with Dr. Rippentrop. Rich’s PSA test showed undetectable.  “Looks great!” said the doctor.

Science works. Wise researchers developed the PSA test and our astute family doctor noted Rich’s rising psa during annual blood tests before physicals. She referred him to urologist surgeon Dr. Rippentrop, who conducted robotic surgery. It worked.

Rich has enjoyed good health all these years and is appreciative of the outstanding science and wise physicians who helped him along his cancer journey. Fortunately, prostate cancer, like some other cancers, responds well to early detection and treatment.

Back Sliding in Receptivity to Scientific Knowledge

Modern medicine is amazing but there is sad news. Charles Kenny’s relatively new book, THE PLAGUE CYCLE, is a history of how medical researchers learned to prevent or cure many contagious diseases that felled millions of people in years not far back.  Both Rich and Marion remember receiving the then newly developed polio vaccine they took as children. Certainly, their parents were appreciative of the new vaccine. The polio scourge that struck so many children is now virtually unknown. Thanks to science. While cancer is different from microbes that spawn contagious diseases, scientific advancements over decades help ALL live healthy lives. Sometimes we take this for granted.

Kenny’s last chapter reveals disturbing medical backsliding. Far too many people believe Internet hucksters who plant unfounded fear of modern medical treatments and vaccines.

Ruining Everyone’s Day

A diagnosis of a disease or contagion alters people’s lives. Avoiding vaccinations puts lives at unnecessary risk.

Prostate cancer isn’t caused by a microbe and has no symptoms in its early stage. The PSA test helps a physician identify and treat it using a variety of techniques while there’s still time. It’s a lifesaver.

Winding Pathways owners Marion and Rich Patterson urge everyone to get annual physicals, appropriate medical tests, and vaccinations.