“My voice to me is like the fingers of a pianist or a surgeon,” Paul said. “So, this diagnosis was potentially devastating. And when I researched it, the proton beam treatment - the real reduction of side effects - was key for me.”
With proton therapy, proton beams enter the body and deposit most of their energy directly into the tumor, delivering higher doses directly to the cancer. One of the most precise and advanced treatments available, proton therapy protects healthy tissue
and critical organs near the tumor from excess radiation.
“It definitely decreased the radiation dose to the voice box and swallowing muscles, so it reduced the chance of side effects, like a hoarse voice or swallowing difficulties,” said Paul's radiation oncologist Dr. Rohan Deraniyagla, medical
director of the Beaumont Proton Therapy Center. “Patients are seeking out this type of care because it targets the cancer and doesn’t cause excess damage.”
The treatment also preserved Reasoner’s sense of taste and minimized swallowing issues or dry mouth; symptoms more likely to occur with traditional radiation.
After completing treatment in August 2021, Paul went on a hunting trip to rebuild his strength in Northern Michigan, where he met a fellow cancer survivor from West Virginia in the woods. This chance meeting and a series of fateful connections led him
on a trip to West Virginia and the two dogs that are now a part of his family.