Summary: Stephen Trice is a 55-year-old man who was diagnosed with prostate cancer in November, 2007. On December 21, 2007, he had a robotic prostatectomy at the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center, performed by James Borin, M.D., assistant professor of urology and director of robotic surgery at the University of Maryland Medical Center. He shares his success story here.
I was fortunate that my prostate cancer was caught early. That’s because I receive an annual physical with my family doctor, which includes a PSA test. In 2005, my PSA was 4.3. My doctor said, “Let’s keep an eye on that.” In 2006, my PSA was down to 4.1. My doctor said, “Let’s continue to keep an eye on the PSA.” In September of 2007, I went for my annual physical and had another PSA test. This time my PSA was 6.2. My doctor told me to see a urologist, which I did. I had a biopsy done, and that’s how my cancer was discovered.
After looking at all the options for someone with prostate cancer, and talking to several doctors about those options, I chose the robotic surgery. I had my surgery on a Friday morning, and probably could have gone home the next day. Since I live in Berlin, which is three hours away, I stayed in the hospital an extra day.
It took me about a week to start being able to take short walks outside. At the end of two weeks, I was able to go back to work part-time. I own a construction business and was in the middle of putting an addition on a house. When I returned to work, I was able to work about a half-day for the first few days. At the end of the third week after surgery, I was able to work full days. I would be tired and still couldn't do much heavy lifting. However, after about six to eight weeks following the surgery, I was feeling great.
On March 27, 2008, I went to see my surgeon for my three-month check-up and got great news: my PSA was 0! Not only do I feel great, but according to my doctor, I am progressing very well.
I only have six small scars where the robotic instruments were placed during surgery. Those will fade with time. I was sent home from the hospital with a catheter that I had to leave in for about a week. The catheter was not difficult to deal with. There was no pain when the catheter was removed, which only took about 10 seconds. For about three weeks after the catheter was removed, I had some minor incontinence. At about eight to 10 weeks, I had complete control of my bladder.
Words alone cannot adequately express my satisfaction with my surgeon, his staff, the University of Maryland Medical Center and the entire staff responsible for my care. They always treat me like I am the most important person they have to take care of. That is important to me. From the time I entered the hospital until I left, I was treated like royalty. While I don’t remember anything about the surgery, I do remember the care I received pre-op and post-op. Everything was first class!
I can’t stress this message enough to other men: Get your PSA checked every year! It is a simple blood test. It could save your life. Talk to your family doctor about your family history. Pay attention to what your body is saying to you. Don’t be embarrassed to talk about it. I’m more than happy to share my experience. If you need someone to talk with you about this subject, please feel free to contact me.
For more information about treatment for prostate cancer or about any of the programs and services of the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center, please call 1-800-888-8823.
If you have a success story you would like to share about your successful treatment at UMGCC, please contact the Web site editor.