Patients speak about prostate cancer and laparoscopic radical prostatectomy
William Sherman, Chicago, Illinois
I had no symptoms of prostate cancer when there was a spike in PSA prostate cancer test from 3.7 ng/ml to 5.1 ng/ml. My doctor suggested a consultation with a local urologist. At 51 years old, I wasn’t completely certain that I was too young to have to deal with anything too serious so I made my appointment.
I was very surprised that the prostate biopsy showed a stage 2 prostate cancer. Although I had no symptoms of prostate cancer whatsoever, they found a prostate cancer with a Gleason score was 6 and 7. I was scared to death and my heart was in the basement.
The urologist gave me a pamphlet that described treatment for prostate cancer, a pat on the back, and encouraged me to study the treatments, saying that I had time. He suggested radical prostatectomy, a prostate cancer surgery, as being the best solution for this stage of disease. I went home, summoned all my courage, got on the computer, and found that I had many options. Amazon.com offered books by various experts with decided opinions.
Amongst all the "helpful" options I found some guy named Krongrad whose website was devoted to the understanding and laparoscopic eradication of prostate cancer. I never thought I'd ever have anything in common with Pat Robertson, but his interview and the other informative materials really made sense. Laparoscopic radical prostatectomy is a virtually pain free, five small incision alternative to open radical prostatectomy procedures being performed in Miami by a guy who has been doing it successfully for years.
Although the local physicians and clinics professed to understand the nature and treatment of my disease, none of then matched the firm assurance I sensed from contacting Dr. Krongrad, Hope, and Ruth. After reviewing my medical profile, Dr. Krongrad said at my age, build, & stage of the cancer that I was a perfect candidate for the procedure. That was enough to convince me.
I made my appointment prior to taking a two week vacation to clear my head. The first part of June found my wife and me in Miami. The doctor's office was easy to find, normal, and unpretentious. Meeting Dr. Krongrad in person was simultaneously a pleasure and encouraging. He is very dedicated to making his patients comfortable and positive about the procedure. We talked, asked questions, and got to know one another. I was pumped and ready to go!
After a painless admission (via the delightful Marty) to Aventura Hospital, we were on our way. The day of the surgery, I was first on the roster at 7:30 AM I remember making nervous small talk as I was wheeled into the operating room. The next thing I remember is waking up in the recovery room around 10:30 AM.
Post surgery found me with abdominal discomfort (no real pain), a very dry mouth, and a sore throat. That wretched, uncomfortable but necessary catheter made its presence known as well. Yet I did not require any pain medication at all.
I was coherent by noon, kidding with the staff by 3:00 PM, and walking down the hall (slowly) by 5:00 PM. The hospital staff remarked that I must be a patient of Dr. Krongrad, because I was doing so well so soon.
The following day I was discharged to the hotel (Residence Inn) and was walking around the hallways and over to the Aventura Mall. Dr. Krongrad kept close tabs on me during these couple of days before I left. He called to say that the pathologist had determined that the cancer was contained in the prostate but it had reached a Gleason score of 8 by the time it had gotten to pathology. We felt we did the right thing at the right time with right guy.
Getting used to the catheter was the only really dreadful part of the whole experience. I am now in my sixth week post surgery and other than a leaky bilge pump I feel almost like my old self. Dribbles are turning into streams and potency is beginning to become apparent.
Words can't express my admiration of Dr. K's talent and manner. He's not only a world-class surgeon; he's also a great guy to have in your corner. He has a solid base in Hope and Ruth. They are professional, helpful, and understand your concerns almost before you express them. All in all, you couldn’t be in better hands.
I e-mail Dr. K once a week to keep him informed and he gets back to me right away if he has any questions. If you are faced with the decision of prostate cancer treatment and leaning towards surgery, do yourself a favor and consult with Dr. Krongrad. We are lucky to live in a time when a man like Dr. K can help us.