Provision patient enjoys “summer camp” experience with protons


 We welcome today’s guest blog by patient and Provision graduate Michael Swiatek. Today he completed treatment for prostate cancer.

This has been a very different experience than what I expected. I’m here for medical treatment in a facility that seems more like a social hall. My wife Maureen was down here the first week helping me set up the apartment and I felt like I was being checked into a summer camp. I was, it’s called Camp Proton.

At Camp Proton I arrive at the main lodge each morning and start my first activity of puzzle building. Later the camp counselors (Jennifer and Sheri) escort me to the next activity. They teach me a new way to wear my bathrobe and take me over to the gantry ride. There they have stickers for me that I can wear. We also get to play with balloons, but it’s not what I expected. I then lay down on the motion table for a ride where I get to see the laser light show, watch the gantry spin around and try to guess when the pop up targets will come out of the wall. This of course is all done to a music score emanating from the walls.

Before you know it you come back to rest from where you started. Now it’s time to go back to the main lodge for a hot drink and animal crackers.

There is plenty of time to socialize with the other campers before lunch is served in main lodge loft. There are many camp directors, mine is Dr. Fagundes. They will sit down and talk with you about how you are enjoying and participating in the camp activities.

There are also weekly talk sessions with science professor Niek Schreuder who will challenge your imagination with images of protons racing about. I was surprised to find out that the Bragg Peak was not one of the Smoky Mountains.

For me, my stay is over and now I get to go back home and tell all the neighborhood kids how I spent my summer vacation.

Goodbye camper buddies.