In approximately 14 hours 32 minutes and 42 seconds I will attend the surgeon’s office to have my penile catheter removed. I cannot wait! It’s been one week since I had surgery and now I’m confined, restricted and almost imprisoned by this unpleasant, unattractive tube and (urine) bag attached to my leg. I hope it doesn’t leak or break. It has really been the most discomforting and restrictive period of my life. To be able to urinate at will and control my penis is wishful thinking.
It began in May 2009 when attempting to adjust my life insurance a serum analysis
revealed a shocking PSA of 9. I have been healthy all of my life. I am presently a practicing psychiatrist and an alternative medicine specialist. So why now’? How did this happen to me, my wife and family. We were all in shock and then the fear set in when my wife, Maryanne and I began the rounds with Prostate Cancer specialists in New York’s finest hospitals. All we kept hearing was the chance of impotence that would ultimately affect our 30 year happy marriage.
The doctors looked over at my Wife, who is 10 years younger than me, shook their heads and gave her their “heartfelt” condolences as if we were being sentenced to s sex-less marriage. My wife was quite infuriated when doctors nodded their heads, extending their hand to her and retorting that “it is such a shame. . .you are so young”. If she was not upset by the diagnosis two weeks ago she was reeling from these comments of the demise of our marriage.
The effects a diagnosis of cancer is overwhelming. You live in fear of the unknown, concerns about how sick you will become, the prospects of dying, the end of what you’ve known and loved. To a marriage it is a huge, daunting decision as well as a sadness of what will become of a happy, healthy marriage and family. Our own children, friends and family members were horrified and angry that we took a month and tried alternative therapies. That’s what we do in life. We practice integrative medicine. So we did not feel very good about jumping into a surgery that may alter our marriage forever. We understood that, but everyone else just wanted it out and the pressure for surgery began.
While we were really mourning our life and fearing what could be the worst there was little understanding for the sadness we were feeling as a couple and the not knowing what would be. While of course, we wanted the cancer gone, it was the frightening side
effects that made us take pause. This is something only two partners can understand. Something no one ever really talks about and do not want to hear about. Along with the cancer diagnosis there is a whole emotional process going on that is very personal and beyond upsetting. I don’t think many couples have the opportunity to explore this and the feelings involved.
As we moved on in the process rectal exam, biopsy and a Gleason score of 8 confirmed the diagnosis of prostate cancer. At age 65, I feel great with no unusual symptoms of prostate disease and very often this is the case, so when. I finally discovered that I did have this type of cancer, mental shock cannot describe the anguish that I was experiencing. Prostate cancer is more common than we know. It affects one in six men. 192,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in the United States every year. It is the second leading cause of death in men. 6,000 new patients will be discovered in New Jersey this year. This disease is more common in African-American men. In 1988; the prostatic specific antigen test became available and is now used very commonly by physicians to screen for disease of the prostate. Normal values should be under 4. The PSA test can detect cancer 6 to l3 years before clinical symptoms actually develop. After age 40 all men should be tested annually. By the time symptoms of pain, urinary
infrequency, and sometimes hematuria (blood in the urine) appear, the disease process may be significantly advanced. Rectal exam should also be performed to help the diagnosis. Other symptoms of prostate cancer can be trouble urinating, starting and stopping while you urinate, lessen force of urine stream, blood in the ejaculate, swollen legs, pelvic discomfort, bone pain, fractures and sometimes even spinal compression. So now that I know I actually have prostate cancer, whatever should I do‘? Many options are available including watching and waiting, but I did not like that idea. Traditional radical surgery, robotic surgery, cryotherapy, high focus intensive ultrasound, and radiation seed implants are the most common types of treatment. Most often men decide on either robotic surgery or radiation seed implants. My dear physician associates had extensive advice, which often frustrated and confused me. Everyone thought their idea was the best. My alternative medicine colleagues insisted that I do nothing radical, but instead take supplements, vitamins, and change my diet and weight. The thought of waiting and
worrying would send me back to my psychiatrist, but I’ll give it some thought.
Macrobiotic diet is highly recommended and this involves only consuming vegetables, finite, fish, and especially no red meat. Nothing acidic was acceptable since cancer thrives on an acidic medium. My naturopathic doctor advised me and insisted that I consume only strawberries and blueberries, somewhat radical, but probably effective. Supplements are known to help such as vitamin D, antioxidants (especially C0ql0 MediLeaf), mistletoe, saw palmetto and many more.
I consulted with Norman Shealy, M.D. President Emeritus and founder of Holos University in Springfield, Missouri; he is one of the most well known experts in alternative medicine. Norm has written numerous books and is considered to be one of the first allopathic physicians to embrace holistic medicine. Norm suggested a rigorous course of supplements, meditation and relaxation techniques. There are also naturopathic remedies. Interestingly enough, one of my close Dominican friends consulted a healer in South America who felt that a supplement called Cats-Claw (which I tried myself) is supposed to be very effective in treating prostate cancer. Other methods of treatment include hyperbaric chambers and exercise, which are very helpful to increase the oxygen saturation of the body (cancer does not thrive in a high oxygen medium).
I also came upon treatment called Ondamed, which is an electrical stimulating type of treatment that resonates with resistance in your body and could cause cellular change through its electrical impulses -in order to destroy abnormal cancer cells. I experienced this treatment personally and in four weeks my PSA decreased horn 9 to 7. I would recommend that you contact Dr. Rolph Binder and Sylvia Binder who are located in New York for specific details regarding the Ondamed or go to Ondamed.net for details of their state ofthe an device. We now have and utilized the Ondamcd in our Integrative Medicine practice in Ridgewood, New Jersey so you can contact us as well. I was scanned and worked on by Silvia Binder while my wife continued the treatments at home. During this month the PSA went down and we had hope of the tumor shrinking. However, an MRI of the Prostate revealed no changes in the tumor. While it was still encapsulated in the prostate it was about to encroach the nerves. My wife and I looked at the MRI and she just said “this is enough...you have to do the robotics...we cannot take any chances...it’s been long enough. She consulted with colleagues in the field of alternative medicine; Dr. Konstantin Korotkov or Russia, Dr. Bernard Williams current President of Holos
Graduate Seminary et.al and they all felt it was probably safer to have it removed; but a very difficult decision with our orientation in alternative medicine. With the results of the MRI, Maryanne urged me to set a date and have it done and we would deal with the aftermath together. We had n lot of faith in Dr. Samadhi. Maryanne researched him thoroughly and felt it would be the best surgery to spare the nerves and get rid of the cancer.
Although I experienced most of these alternatives, I am not a gambler. I wanted this cancer to be out of my body. So, I elected receive robotic surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Dr. David Samadi is highly recommended and one of the most experienced experts in the field of robotic surgery for prostate cancer internationally and, by the way, he happens to be a very professional person and a really nice guy. His nurse, Helen Pctruzzelli is a gem and wealth of prostate cancer research and support during the recovery period. These qualifies are really important to me in choosing a physician and his staff for treatment. The decision to have surgery was very difficult and haunted me. Potential side effects include partial or total impotence (I certainly did not want my sex life to end - not yet!) as well as urinary incontinence or frequent side effects. Early intervention can improve the outcome. If the nerves are removed during surgery (and this is not always the case) the side effects are can be significant. Impotence is
however treatable. Robotic surgery is very specific in removing only the necessary cancer tissue and sparing the nerves whenever possible. Dr. Samadi also has the technique of transplanting the sural nerve from the back of leg to the prostate area and this sometimes decreases the potential of impotence. Healing can take 3 months to 2 years, so they tell you to be patient. Easy for them to say Prior to surgery a transrectal MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) can be helpful to the surgeon to be more exact in tissue removal. As I mentioned urinary incontinence is another surgical side effect, Kegel exercises, tightening of rectal muscles as if you did not want to pass gas are very helpful in the recovery of incontinence. You should began these exercises at least one month prior to surgery and continue several weeks after surgery until urine incontinence is relieved. These exercises often improve the urethral strength and are very effective in reducing and eliminating the incontinence. So, I finally bit the bullet and I am now five weeks postsurgical. I was in the hospital for one day, recovery was difficult with one week
of pain and another week after which I felt much better and I returned to work in the third week. I was very lucky, no cancer had gone beyond the capsule of the prostate, the nerves were spared, and the pelvic lymph nodes were negative tor metastasis (that is, cancer outside of the prostate).
My wife and also best friend Maryanne was extremely supportive and helped me to gain the strength to decide that robotic surgery was my best choice. Thanks to all of my four children, JR, Rachel, Alexandra, and Edwin for their kindness and support in helping me to survive this ordeal. Family is important in making these ever so difficult decisions involving this disease. My children just wanted it out, but sat by waiting for us to schedule surgery. They were very frightened and worried about me.
What causes this disease? Modern medicine is not sure as to the etiology of prostate cancer; however, we have certain information that certain instances may be causal in nature. A high~fat diet, which is eating the wrong kinds of fat, and being overweight are possible reasons that increase the potential for prostate cancer, however I am not overweight and I don’t eat a high fat diet. Increase in the production of testosterone may also cause the developing of prostate cancer cells. Testosterone therapy should be cautious, because testosterone can increase the growth of cancer cells. Being exposed to cadmium in batteries, being a welder, working in the rubber industry, and being exposed to toxic chemicals have also been associated with prostate cancer. Mercury and silver fillings in the mouth create a magnetic field and can produce an acidic medium in the body. Interestingly in my case not only do I have numerous silver fillings, but I also have a gold crown in my mouth. I was told that I have a battery in my mouth and this could
precipitate acid in my body. Root canal should also be of concern because they leave a lot of dead tissue, which is free to move around in the body. Finally, lifestyle changes are critical: eat the right foods, do not smoke, exercise, and especially address your emotional issues. Stress and anger should be eliminated or controlled because these can possibly potentiate cancers in the-body and only then can you survive the potential hazards and associated illnesses connected to this very common disease. Maryanne is sure that the effects of stress on the body are the causative factor in the disease process going from the energy field and invading the physical body. She is an expert in EPC/GDV technology in the United States, training with Dr. Korotkov. I know that 1 was under a huge amount of stress when my position as Medical Director of a hospital unit ‘I had grown and administrated for over 30 years downsized my position. This was a huge personal and financial blow which created n domino effect on my finances with two children in college and law school and a third picking a $45,000 a year school to attend. I felt tremendous guilt at now not being financially able, as I was, to take care of my responsibilities.
The emotional toll of being removed from my position with no cause after creating a huge psychiatric department that yielded the hospital over $750,000 per year was mindboggling. It was very hard to understand how taking $100,000 from my salary would help the hospital survive. This same thing was being clone to all senior, salaried doctors who were my colleagues for years. It was this two year onslaught and emotional and financial upset that culminated with my diagnosis. So, yes, I believe my body reacted violently to the stress, anger, disappointment and overwhelm.
It is now 6 weeks post surgery. I was able to go back to work two weeks after the surgery and have healed well. I am still tired the evening but that is getting better. I seem to be getting some functioning back which is a god send. Answers to prayers. I am cancer free. As one of my close friends, Kenyon Taylor tells me “this was just a shot across the bow”. You now have to change your lifestyle and do your emotional work. Kenyon is a 10 year survivor of uterine cancer and did just that She packed her house up in Montclair, N.J., moved to Sedona, Arizona and immersed herself in the healers, supplements, diet all the things she knew as a healer would work. Allopathic medicine gave her a year to live. It never returned and she is healthy, traveling the country as a healer to others. So I have many ‘blessings; my wife, Maryanne, my family and wonderful friends who understood and supported me. My sister Jill and her husband Steve and my brother Jay and his wife Susan are of particular mention in their love and caring and giving so that I would agree to have the procedure. They all know what I mean.
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