Open Accessibility Menu

Celebratory Bell Ring for Prostate Cancer Survivor

  • Category: Blog
  • Posted On:
Celebratory Bell Ring for Prostate Cancer Survivor

Back in the day, a single bell rung very slowly preceded a funeral or burial service. For recent prostate cancer survivor Rick Maben, the sound of a bell was no sad story coming to an end. The sound signified Rick’s completion of a successful treatment for prostate cancer.

Today, in many cancer treatment facilities, including Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center’s (PVHMC) The Robert & Beverly Lewis Family Cancer Care Center, the bell is rung, not slowly, but enthusiastically, to commemorate the conclusion of a successful battle with cancer.

The retired 68-year-old former trucking fleet manager from Ontario awakened in January of this year with the inability to urinate. The issue became so serious that he was required to go to a local emergency room. His kidneys were nearly shutting down when he was catharized to drain his bladder. He was referred to PVHMC urologist Aaron L. Nguyen, MD, for diagnosis and treatment.

Dr. Nguyen recommended a biopsy, but due to a recent cardiac event where Rick received a stent and was currently on blood thinners, the procedure had to be delayed. At the same time, Rick’s prostate specific antigen (PSA) numbers were high - well over 10 - indicating that treatment was required for his condition. Rick stopped his blood thinners and continued to catharize himself until the medication left his system. He was then referred to Sri Gorty, MD, a radiation oncologist at PVHMC.

“Dr. Gorty explained my choices,” says Rick. “My treatment would be based on my biopsy, and it was something they perform every day.”

Once Rick’s biopsy was performed, it confirmed that Rick was suffering from prostate cancer and a 45-dose course of radiation treatment was recommended. Additionally, Dr. Gorty advised Rick to double his Flomax prostate medication and shortly afterward, Rick no longer needed to perform the painful self-catheterization he’d been doing for almost two months.

Rick began treatment on a five-day-a-week schedule, with each treatment lasting around ten minutes. From the moment he walked into the treatment area, Rick was made comfortable, and all procedures were thoroughly explained. During radiation, he would start counting to distract from the machine’s noise.

“The whole procedure wasn’t easy, but for whatever reason, I had confidence in the process,” said Rick. Every staff member was on the same page, and there wasn’t one thing I could ask that they didn’t know; it gave me even more confidence that my cancer was being taken care of.”

While he was in the waiting room each day, Rick and his wife Nancy built relationships with other patients requiring radiation therapy. Soon they were sharing their experiences and tips on dealing with issues like diet, side effects of the treatment and how to cope with having cancer.

When Rick’s patient friends would finish treatment, they gratefully rang the bell in the waiting room. Rick would get his chance to ring the bell in late June.

“I would come in even when I wasn’t being treated to see other patients ring the bell,” he says. “When it was my turn to ring the bell, the other patients, who were now my friends, came to see me too.”

Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls happily for Rick Maben, prostate cancer survivor.

“I had no experience being sick,” adds Rick. “But I had the best experience in getting well.”

To learn about cancer care at PVHMC’s The Robert & Beverly Lewis Family Cancer Center, call 909-865-9555 or visit: