At the beginning of 2010, 52 year-old Bloomington resident Jeff Holland was in the prime of his life. The long-time Monroe County 4-H Director enjoyed his job, playing basketball with his friends and giving back to his community. A routine check-up at his doctor's office that winter revealed a high PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) level in Jeff's blood.
“I went to my doctor's office and she wanted me to get one of those tests.” recalls Jeff, “I said, 'why, I feel great?' But after my PSA test came back she wanted me to see a specialist.”
Just a few weeks later after having been referred to IU Health Southern Physician Urologist Dean Lenz, MD, Jeff was diagnosed with an advanced, aggressive form of prostate cancer. For Jeff the news, couldn't have been worse. “The hardest part was hearing the word cancer.” says Jeff, “The next hardest part was having to tell my friends and family because immediately when you hear the word cancer, you think death.”
After telling Jeff he had cancer, Dr. Lenz recommended surgery followed by radiation therapy and hormone therapy. “Jeff was the perfect example of someone who required more than one treatment modality because of how aggressive his cancer was.” says Lenz, “So we took his prostate out with our advanced da Vinci surgical system and then he underwent radiation therapy with Dr. Lee at the IU Health Cancer Radiation Center in Bloomington.”
Jeff endured weeks of state-of-the-art RapidArc radiation therapy under the care of Radiation Oncologist, David Lee, MD. “RapidArc is a lot quicker. The treatments are usually done in 3 to 6 minutes.” states Dr. Lee, “And the quicker the therapy, the more chance that it is going to be accurate because there will be less chance of internal and external movement while on the table. RapidArc treats the areas that need treatment while minimizing dosage to the areas we don't need to treat.”
Getting Back to His Life
Jeff made it through the surgery and radiation therapy with a positive outlook on life. Today, over two years since his diagnosis there isn't a trace of cancer in his body. Jeff credits the treatment as well as the collaboration between his two physicians. “They gave me back my life. I'm doing everything I did prior to the big 'C word' being used and I feel good because of it. I wanted to live... I wanted to be able to make a difference in other people's lives.”
As Jeff moves into the next chapter of his life, he is grateful for his family, his friends and his team from IU Health in Bloomington who all made a difference in his life.