Mario J., USA
To Dr. Samadi & Staff:
Several weeks ago I found myself not waking from a nightmare but waking into one. This was after being diagnosed with cancer. My life was spiraling out of control and reaching the epitome of despair. In a true sense of the word, I was experiencing an existential crisis. At moments I even questioned whether my life was worth going forward. How could I get prostate cancer? I'd always done the right thing; exercised like a maniac with a black belt in martial arts, I ate well, I worked hard, I had a reasonable social life and took several vacations a year. Yes, this was unthinkable!
Aldous Huxley said that heaven and hell exists in the human mind, mine had catapulted me in the deepest pits of hell: sleepless nights (prescription drugs were useless) anxiety and depression were overwhelming, constant and all consuming. Thoughts about my options were irrational, all I could think about were the side effects: incontinence and diapers, destroyed nerve bundles (good-bye to sex), dragging around a catheter the rest of my life, inability to be independent. My OCD reached new heights. I walked around catatonic. Still, I knew that I had to make a decision. Thus, I consulted with radiation/oncologists, urologists and even a spiritual healer. None of the options they offered seemed desirable or risk free. But during some lucid moment my mind told me that surgery was the best option. I went to a support group knowing full well that my clock was running and that my cancer could advance and metastasize.
A short time later I was referred to Dr. Samadi, I did some research and came to the conclusion that this was the man that could, possibly, take me out of this tormented existence. After getting a consultation appointment with his office, my initial impression was bolstered by the empathy shown by his staff. But then something unexpected happened, as soon as I put the receiver down Dr. Samadi called me directly from Israel where he was doing the first robotic surgery in Haifa. After speaking with him a few moments I felt elated with a weight lifting of my chest.
Four days later, my one on one consultation with this man brought on a cathartic relief. Not only was this very well known and busy physician at the forefront of robotic surgery but he was also compassionate and overall re-assuring on a personal level. And when Dr. Samadi proposed putting me on his calendar for Saturday surgery I knew I wanted to go forward. I knew that I could have absolute trust in this man and was willing to hand him my body and my life. When the doctor walked out of the office briefly, I asked my former spouse, who accompanied me, what her impression was and without the slightest equivocation she said, "you're fortunate, that you've found an ideal surgeon and an incredible human being."
The next few weeks, while dealing with Dr. Samadi's staff, I was further encouraged by their courtesy, attentiveness and professionalism.
The surgery went well. The O.R. team was thorough and consoling and playing one of my favorite songs by Bruno Mars in the background. When I woke up I knew that I had a second chance at life. That same night I was walking 15 times around the hallway, the next morning Dr. Samadi sat at my bed side and answered all my questions. The nerve bundles were saved, it seemed that all cancerous tissue was removed and that I would be okay. I was discharged the following day. Six days later the catheter was removed and Dr. Samadi gave me another incredible piece of good news in his office, the pathology report showed that I was clear of cancer.
Now, at home for less than 2 weeks, I keep getting stronger by the day; initial issues with bowel movements are a thing of the past, my slight incontinence is becoming less of a problem daily, I drive, I walk, I sleep better than I have in months, I play with my dog, I'm working part time and enjoy cooking and company. Oh, I almost forgot, I also pray.
What's next? my PSA test in four weeks and after that a nice vacation and a greater appreciation of life and the great tapestry of dedicated, hard working and good human beings who cross my path every day. But I give special thanks for having come across one particular human being, Dr. David B. Samadi.
Thanks Dr. Samadi for giving me back my life.
PS: I would be remiss if I didn't give special thanks to Ms. Samadi for her understanding and passionate support of her spouse and what he accomplishes everyday.
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