R. R., Nanuet, New York, USA
Dear Dr. Samadi,
I have tried to write a description of my experience and emotions concerning my dealings with prostate cancer and specifically my experience with you and your staff.
I am 63 years old and have generally been in good health throughout my life. I have belonged to a gym for the past 9 years and exercise 3 days a week primarily jogging 4 miles on the treadmill and spending 15 minutes on Cybex machines. For several decades and up until I was about 57, I played full court basketball with guys generally in my age bracket or younger once per week. I stopped playing basketball after my second arthroscopic surgery on my right knee.
In October 2004 I visited my urologist and I was concerned that my PSA had risen to 4 for the first time. In April my PSA registered 6.64 followed by another PSA and free PSA the next week that registered 5.40 and approximately 5% respectively.
I scheduled a biopsy with my urologist and he thought that perhaps my enlarged prostate accounted for the increased PSA and he didn’t suspect cancer since the biopsies of 12 or 14 sites did not seem to indicate anything unusual on his screen. Two days later he called to tell me that in fact cancer had been found and we scheduled a meeting to consider options. Although I had a gut sense that the report could be bad news, his early morning phone call provoked the dual emotions of angst and stoicism. I would do what would have to be done, but which course was going to be the best for me?
My initial reaction to the news was essentially to accept the diagnosis and move full speed ahead. I really didn’t believe that I was hosting a cancer within me.
Finding a capable surgeon to help me evaluate the risks and alternatives to eliminate the cancer was my next step.
Making this decision was a very important step for me and my family. It meant a mental preparedness and a need to understand what was to be involved in the surgical process.
In my meeting with Dr. Samadi, I was unaware of what I was going to hear. All this was new to me, but Dr. Samadi had confidence, extensive experience and I left his office feeling that I had made an important and correct decision in choosing him to do my surgery. It was a major step to facing the reality and knowing that I would be receiving the expertise of a doctor who was well trained in the latest techniques and procedures, and someone who gave me a sense of assurance.
There was an additional issue surrounding my pending surgery. In March 2005, I decided on elective inguinal surgery. I had the bilateral hernias for perhaps 20 years and they never really bothered me. I felt that as long as I was in good health, and certainly never considering that I was harboring a cancer, I underwent laparoscopic hernia surgery. This turned out to be fateful decision in that now a strong mesh wall was inhabiting the access area to the prostate. Dr. Samadi was not happy to hear this and I subsequently learned from him that he spent some time thinking through how he could access the prostate and nerve bundles during his surgery. He undertook a new methodology during the surgery to deal with the problem.
I have found Dr. Samadi and his operating room team to be the ultimate in professionalism. He is caring, listens well, is accessible and extraordinary in his surgical skills.
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