For more than 65 years, the Buckeye football team could count on Bernie Speyer's support. Today, Bernie counts on the Buckeyes.
After being diagnosed with an early stage of prostate cancer, Bernie Speyer underwent a radical prostatectomy. A year after his surgery, during a routine checkup, his prostate-specific antigen (PSA), which helps detect prostate cancer in men, was discovered to be elevated.
Fearing his cancer had metastasized, Bernie underwent six weeks of radiation treatment.
Five years later, Bernie's PSA level was discovered to be higher than before his initial surgery. Hearing the news, Bernie was anxious to do more and consulted with his doctor. He told his doctor he wasn't ready to give up and was willing to try whatever other options were available.
Based on Bernie's previous treatments, his physician, Robert Bahnson, MD, found a clinical trial in which Bernie was eligible to enroll. The clinical trial called for Bernie to receive an initial injection of Zoladex once a month coupled with Casodex, which he took orally every day.
After the first treatment, his PSA level went down. After the second, his PSA level was virtually undetectable. Initially, there were minimal side effects, which consisted mainly of hot flashes that have since subsided.
Today, Bernie still participates in the clinical trial and will continue for as long as he wants. He has routine blood work to monitor his continued success.
More important, Bernie is back to his famous Buckeye tailgate tradition. Decked out in his Buckeye gear, Bernie sports a hat adorned with Buckeye pins collected over the years.
When asked which pin is his favorite, Bernie points to the gold one in the very front, which reads "cancer survivor." "That one," he said, "is the one I'm the most proud of."