Patients speak about prostate cancer and laparoscopic radical prostatectomy
Henry Suarez, Tampa, Florida
My uncle had prostate cancer. When my PSA prostate specific antigen started going up, I knew it was just a matter of time. I had gone in several times for a biopsy of the prostate gland when, finally, the last prostate biopsy was positive. I had done my research and decided on radiation seed therapy. I had an enlarged prostate so they put me on Lupron for a few months to shrink the prostate. That's the delay I needed so I could find the prostate treatment I ultimately chose.
Sunday, when I got home from Hopewell Baptist Church, I sat down to read the Sunday Tribune, when I noticed a prostate cancer article. The article intrigued me and I knew it was God sent. Because you see I was about ready to have prostate radiation implants and I didn't particularly like the idea of radiation implants but there was nothing better at the time, until "God Bless" I read the article. I prayed to the Lord and I left all my troubles with Him, as you can see I had no fear. I wasn't scared, I wasn't nervous, and had no other problem. I was happy. Because God is good all the time!
After some preliminary phone calls to my insurance company, to verify that laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (LRP) is covered even if I go to Miami, I called Dr. Krongrad's office. Miss Ruth answered the phone right away and, to my amazement, I wasn't put on hold. I explained that I was in line for seed implants but that I wanted to know more about this new laparoscopic procedure done. She asked me questions and later sent me some preliminary medical questionnaires to fill out. Before we hung up, she set the date for the prostate cancer surgery and even moved the date so that I could be home for Thanksgiving. As it turned out, that was the best Thanksgiving ever.
Dr. Krongrad later called to discuss my medical status. After that, I informed him that we had already tentatively scheduled a date for surgery. That is how I met Dr. Krongrad, may the Lord bless him.
On the day of surgery, we arrived at the hospital, my wife, my daughter, and my grandson. I signed in, was sent to a room to be prepared for surgery, and that is the last thing I remember until recovery. I couldn't believe that the surgery was all over. I thought I was dreaming. I had no pain.
That evening, I felt good, with no pain, and no dizziness. Unbelievable! At that point, I got up and walked four laps around the nurses' station. I wanted to do five laps but the nurse didn't, saying she had to run to keep up with me. A bit later I walked another four laps.
My wife came to the hospital about 7 AM the next day, and I told her I felt like I had not had surgery. We praised the Lord. About 8 AM, Dr. Krongrad came by, checked me out, said I was doing fine, like I was still pre-op. I was discharged that morning, about 16 hours after surgery. Look at this picture: that's me about 24 hours after my LRP, in the bed at the Beach House Hotel.
The day after my discharge, my family and I went down to the pool. That picture on the top is me, about 48 hours after surgery. I felt great, lots of energy, no pain. My wife and I went later went for a walk on the beach, by the water, and then sat by the pool deck and watched our grandchildren swim in the pool. We set there for about six hours, just enjoying the day.
When I got back to Tampa, I went to see the urologist who'd diagnosed me at the University of South Florida. He filled my bladder, took out my catheter, and had me stand up. I did not leak ... not even a drop! Then, on command, I urinated like a race horse. He was amazed, called his buddies to show them my abdomen, and took pictures of me.
I would suggest that anybody contemplating open prostate surgery to take a good hard look at this new laparoscopic prostate procedure. The doctor through small incisions in your abdomen they put a tiny camera that is voice controlled about three small incisions There will be less pain, less bleeding, and a much quicker recovery.
At 69 years old, if I can do it, so can you. Trust in the Lord and leave all your fears at home. Come with a happy heart and you will go home with a happy heart and no prostate cancer and no pain.