Four years ago, Demetrious Heim received a devastating diagnosis – stage 4 prostate cancer. The news launched him into a battle that would test his resilience and determination like never before.
After an initial round of chemotherapy helped prolong his life, the cancer returned with a vengeance a few years later. Demetrious was facing an uphill battle and needed a new plan for treatment. He had previously been traveling from his home in Pierre Part, Louisiana to New Orleans for his medical care, a tiring journey that took a toll on both his health and his wallet.
A recommendation for treatment closer to home led him to Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center in Gonzales. Travel time to the Gonzales facility was cut in half and a welcome relief to the financial strain of fuel expenses. With the help of patient support services, the Cancer Center was also able to offer Demetrious gas cards to alleviate this burden.
After another round of chemotherapy, hope was on the horizon for Demetrious. The Cancer Center in Gonzales introduced a groundbreaking radiation treatment called PLUVICTO, specifically designed for patients with advanced prostate cancer.
PLUVICTO is a targeted therapy that gives advanced prostate cancer patients a new treatment option and helps to improve quality of life. This radiation, given as an injection, targets cancer cells with more precision while avoiding damage to healthy cells. Mary Bird Perkins is the first cancer care provider in the region to offer this radiation treatment, allowing more patients the opportunity stay close to home for their cancer treatment. Demetrious agreed to the new care plan, driven by the possibility of extending his life as long as possible and creating quality memories with loved ones.
Since starting PLUVICTO treatments, Demetrious has returned to most of his daily activities. He gets around more easily on his own and has even gotten back to working in his garden, a testament to the treatment’s efficacy and his determined spirit. “By the grace of God, I will be a living testimony,” he says.
Demetrious says he’s beyond satisfied with the unwavering support of his comprehensive care team at the Cancer Center. His team, led by his radiation oncologist, Dr. Maurice King, Jr., has been open, welcoming and encouraging. “They treat me like family,” he says. “I couldn’t ask for a more wonderful team around me.”
This personalized care, coupled with the innovative PLUVICTO treatment, has given Demetrious the opportunity to create meaningful memories. When first diagnosed with prostate cancer, he hoped to see his young grandson get on the bus for the first time when he started school. That grandson is now six years old, and Demetrious is looking forward to the same memory with a newborn granddaughter added to the family.
To learn more about PLUVICTO or to find out if you are eligible, call Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center in Gonzales at (225) 644-1205.