Prostate Cancer: Gary

Cancer Care
“Guys should have their PSA levels checked every year,” Gary said. “Luckily, they caught mine in time. I had a good friend who died of prostate cancer, he wasn’t as lucky”

From raising crops, to raising flowers

After discovering high PSA levels during his routine physical, Gary Geisinger,age 73 from Annandale, had a biopsy. Results showed six out of 12 samples as cancerous, with one on the aggressive side. As a result, Gary had his prostate removed and underwent radiation with Christopher Miller, MD at Coborn Cancer Center.

“Guys should have their PSA levels checked every year,” Gary said. “Luckily, they caught mine in time. I had a good friend who died of prostate cancer, he wasn’t as lucky."

Today, Gary has good health and feels strong but has learned how to listen to his body. He doesn’t have the energy he once had, but he has learned his new limits and when to rest.

Gary and his family have a long history with Coborn Cancer Center. His wife and sister, both breast cancer survivors, went through chemotherapy and radiation. “We’ve gotten to know and love the people at Coborn Cancer Center and consider them our good friends,” he said. “When we walk in the door, they are all so friendly and know us by name. The radiation staff and doctors are phenomenal.”

After retiring 15 years ago from a full life of farming, owning an antique business and 33 years designing heating and air conditioning equipment, Gary still manages to stay very active. He added new hobbies to his daily routine including gardening, landscaping and helping people in his town and church with handyman projects.

“Growing up, I didn’t make a ton of money so I learned how to fix everything myself,” he said. “Now I’m the handyman of Annandale. I like to help people with whatever it is they need fixed, whether it’s a lawn mower, toilet or just landscaping.”

Gary spent most of his life raising soybeans and corn. After retiring, he missed raising crops and decided to fill the void with something else. Gary looked at his plain yard and decided to clean out all the landscaping and start over. He’s now a pro at gardening and raising flowers. He created a beautiful sanctuary in his backyard and named it “Beryl Park” after his wife. “Beryl is my No. 1 supporter,” he said. “We’ve been together since the fourth grade. Two years ago, I was taking care of her during treatment and now she is taking care of me. We make a great team.”

Gary also enjoys assisting his son, Jeff, at the auto body shop each day. “I cherish that every day I can go into the shop and work with my son,” he said. “He’s my best buddy. I have a busy life and have figured out how to handle the lack of energy I now have. I get by every day, and life is good.”

Even through his trials, Gary radiates positivity. “I feel very fortunate. We have received such good support through our community, church and friends. We have three wonderful kids, five amazing grandchildren and four great-grandchildren – I have a great family and that’s what keeps me going.”

When asking Gary’s advice for others going through the cancer experience he shared, “Be patient with your body, listen to your doctor and do what they tell you. Don’t get all excited about whatever you must deal with. Just take it one day at a time, and learn to live life.”