Turlock resident Dan Murray not only beat prostate cancer, he discovered his inner poet in the process—all thanks to care he received from Memorial Medical Center, Modesto.
Just before his 55th birthday, Murray—a construction foreman—visited his primary care physician for an annual blood screening test for prostate cancer. His readings had always been normal before, but this time, his prostate specific antigen (PSA) level was elevated. In a follow-up visit with his urologist, Murray underwent a prostate biopsy. The results revealed high-risk prostate cancer.
"It was quite a shock," Murray says. "It changes your world. I was still a healthy, active construction worker—and then this happens." His doctors recommended a course of hormone therapy and radiation. That’s when Murray met radiation oncologist Chris Neville, M.D., whom Murray describes as "one of the most caring, intelligent, all-around good guys you’ll ever meet."
During his treatment, Murray decided to participate in a few of the special cancer therapy programs at Memorial Medical Center, Modesto. These included classes in writing, art, yoga, and Pilates. "The doctors can do their best to cure the cancer, but it takes all the other stuff to cure the emotions, the soul and the mind—to make you a whole person again," Murray says.
He enjoyed the classes so much that writing and sculpting are now two of his favorite hobbies. In fact, some of his poetry has been published, and one of his sculptures has been on display in a Modesto art gallery. "I never thought I could be a writer or an artist or anything like that," he says. And he is grateful that Memorial Medical Center, Modesto reaches out to cancer patients in this compassionate and creative way. As a cancer survivor, "you need this to change your emotions…and get your soul back on track," he says.