Following a 31-year career at Anheuser Busch, Michael Field was looking forward to slipping into retirement. He purchased a 25-foot Hunter sailboat and spent many of his days sailing along the St. Johns River with family and friends.
For a few years, it was smooth sailing, but then a visit to the urologist revealed Mike had a higher than normal PSA – a substance produced by the prostate gland that, at increased levels, is indicative of prostate cancer.
When a second reading showed his PSA was continuing to climb, Mike knew it was time to take action. “At the time, I had heard some very positive things about Ackerman Cancer Center. I was able to get an MRI the same day, and from there, everything just seemed to fall into place.”
Dr. Ackerman and Mike agreed proton therapy was the best choice in his particular case, so in January, Mike underwent the first of 45 treatments. Fortunately, aside from a little fatigue that was remedied by a daily nap, he did not experience any side effects and is quick to credit Ackerman Cancer Center with the positive experience.
“It was so convenient and everything was just top-notch,” he says. “Dr. Ackerman made me feel so at ease, and the front staff greeted me by name and with a smile every time. I have such high praise for the whole staff; they really made me feel I was the only one there.”
Now that his treatment is finished, Mike is paying it forward by participating in Ackerman Cancer Center’s clinical registry. He is also active in the Men Helping Men prostate cancer support group. “The sessions are just so interesting and provide such good information. Besides, where else can you find 17 or 18 men gathered in the same place for the same reason?”
Mike and his wife are now getting back to the business of retirement, including a little travel. “My son instigated a trip to St. Louis to see a Cardinals game and tour the Anheuser Busch plant. After working all those years in the Jacksonville plant, I really enjoyed seeing it.”
“It’s been one of the best few days of my life,” Mike’s son said of the St. Louis trip in a recent Facebook post. “Dad worked nights and weekends for 31 years at Anheuser Busch. Through hard work, he was able to put me through private school and still be able to wake up after 5 hours’ sleep so he could see every baseball game I ever played in. Recently, I was able to take him to St. Louis to tour the Budweiser factory and see a Cardinals game at Busch Stadium. Cheers to my old man, and to all the dads that put in sacrifices day in and day out to see their kids succeed in life.”
With his son close by and an upcoming visit from his Seattle-based stepdaughter and grandchildren on the horizon, it certainly looks like blue skies ahead for Mike and his family.