The Cancer Center’s Story Project is an effort to capture stories from our community of patients, friends, family, clinicians, and staff who have been affected by cancer in some way. This is Walter's Story.
- Walter Richard Ristow was 71 years old when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
- "About a year into my prostate cancer diagnosis, I didn’t want to be too defined by that."
“About a year into my prostate cancer diagnosis, I didn’t want to be too defined by that. People who come to Mass General for cancer treatment are unusually fortunate. But it was a shock.”
“I was operated on in November, I had kind of a rocky recovery from that actually. I was re-hospitalized for something that never made any sense to anybody, but my right leg simply didn’t work for awhile. Moving it hurt, putting weight on it hurt excruciatingly, it made no sense. But, it making no sense doesn’t keep it from hurting.”
“I used a lot of the integrative therapy programs here. I’ve had a dozen acupuncture sessions. I can’t say I felt something dramatically changing because of acupuncture. On the other hand, I made it through radiation treatment better than my oncologist was expecting. It’s 45 minutes or so where you’re off duty, that made a huge difference, just having that time apart.”
Walter Richard Ristow
About a year into my prostate cancer diagnosis, I didn’t want to be too defined by that.
This interview took place in July 2016 and has been edited for clarity.