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Patients speak about prostate cancer and laparoscopic radical prostatectomy

Earl Scheuer, Meeker, Colorado

The older I get, the more I understand that God works in mysterious ways and that blessings can come from a bad situation.

In the fall of 2002, I was recovering from the shock of almost taking my left index finger off in a run-in with an angle grinder. After the surgery, the nurse was drawing blood one day, so I asked why not run a PSA while she's at it. I had missed my last physical. That is how I found my PSA elevated at 4.8 ng/ml. I was 59 years old and in good health.

An ultrasound and biopsy showed prostate cancer. Like yours, mine was unexpected, but I didn't feel bad, I didn't hurt. How could this be true? But it was true, and now I had to deal with it. I went through all the alternatives with the urologist in his office and by the time we arrived home, a two hour drive, I had made up my mind that I was going to be aggressive with the treatment and have surgery. I didn't know anything about LRP surgery at the time. It was mentioned in the book the urologist gave me to read, but the book also said it wasn't being done in the US. The book was nine years old.

I did what everyone does in this situation and started to research. I found Dr. Krongrad and, after reading all that was available on LRP, decided that LRP was the best way to go. A few emails, a few phone calls from Ruth, and a surgery date was set. We made our plans to leave cold Colorado in January of 2003 for the beaches of Florida. Not a bad place to recover.

We arrived on a Monday evening, went to the hospital the next day for check in, then to Dr. Krongrad's office for a checkup and visit. We discussed all the necessary things. Dr. Krongrad made me feel even more comfortable than I was, and I was ready for surgery the next day.

The surgery went very smoothly, from the time we arrived, to the recovery room, to the nursing staff on the floor. All was super. Dr. Krongrad came by about 5 PM, five hours after surgery and we went for a walk down the hall. I was a little sore, had some pain from the gas, but Dr. Krongrad said to walk as much as possible. I was released the next day, needing only a couple of Tylenol. The good news was that the cancer was confined to the prostate and I had negative margins all the way around.

I was very fortunate. My cancer was detected early. My cancer was treated expertly with the most aggressive and least invasive way, using the most advanced technology. Thank you, Dr. Krongrad.

Incidentally, I found that baggy pants with draw strings work best after surgery. Also, slip-on shoes, unless you have a wife like I do who will tie your laces for you for a few days. Thanks for everything, Vickie.
Earl Scheuer - Colorado