From touring Scotland and Ireland, to riverboat trips on the Rhine, Rhone and Danube rivers, Charlie Green, of Dubuque, has seen many places across the world, including living in Alaska for 35 years.
Another place Charlie visited recently was the Wendt Regional Cancer Center, not for sight-seeing, but for radiation therapy after being diagnosed with prostate cancer.
"With prostate cancer, you're presented with a lot of choices for treatment," Charlie said. "Once I made the decision to have radiation, my urologist referred me to the Wendt Center, and I started working with them."
Charlie's cancer journey began with surgery at UnityPoint Health - St. Luke's Hospital in Cedar Rapids.
"I received great care in Cedar Rapids," Charlie said. "I was an inpatient there for about 24 hours and found the care to be really good."
A year after his surgery, it was determined that Charlie's cancer had likely returned, and he elected to undergo radiation therapy at the Wendt Center. In total, he had 34 radiation treatments.
Throughout his treatments, Charlie was cared for by several nurses at the Wendt Center, including Mary Carol Batteram, RN.
"My first contact at the Wendt Center was with Mary Carol," Charlie said. "Mary Carol went above and beyond the call of duty to get all of the preliminary testing and imaging scheduled and completed that allowed me to begin my treatments,"
On June 3rd, Charlie marked his final day of radiation therapy with a bell ringing ceremony.
"It was nice to get the treatments done, especially since the start had been delayed by COVID," Charlie said. "Although I was relieved when my therapy was finally complete, I regretted saying goodbye to the wonderful staff at the Wendt Center. From the people who meet and greet you, to the nurses that cared for me and the technicians that ran the radiation machines - everyone was caring and professional."
At his bell ringing ceremony, Charlie added that while he greatly appreciated the care shown to him, he recognized how important that level of support would be to those patients whose cancers were much more serious and whose treatments may have been more intense.
Charlie considers himself lucky to have gone through prostate cancer treatments with minimal side effects. After his first few treatments, the daily routine began to feel more like popping in to visit with friends, instead of undergoing medical treatments.
With his radiation treatments complete, Charlie is looking forward to getting back on the trail to do more traveling, in particular to the Badlands and South Africa - two trips that were postponed in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Finally getting there is the best part about traveling," Charlie said. "Once you get to your destination, it's fun to see new trails."