I want all my friends and family to understand how important a yearly PSA screening is for themselves and/or the men in their lives!  Do you know that if a man lives long enough he will probably get Prostate Cancer? …But he doesn’t have to die from it!

Here is my story!  (October 1, 2009)

I am now 61 years old. Fortunately for me I had a PSA test in September last year and again during my yearly physical in December. The December PSA results were elevated and my Family doctor wisely sent me to a Windsor Urologist. I was initially treated with antibiotics in case an infection was elevating the numbers. After another PSA test still showed elevated numbers, on February 6, 2009 the Urologist took biopsies from 20 predetermined sites in my prostate.  It took almost 2 months to get the results and on April 1, 2009 I found out that I had Prostate Cancer (with a Gleason score of 7.0) in one of those 20 sites. 

This Windsor Urologist offered me different treatment options that could be done in Windsor but didn’t help me understand my out-of-town options. In fact he tried to scare me away from an out-of-town treatment by saying that if I had any medical emergency with my catheter when I returned home that I should call a cab and go back to where the surgery was done instead of seeking help from him.

I heard about the Da Vinci Robot System through my sister Lori! She put me in touch with her friend who paid $45,000, 3 years earlier, to have his Prostate surgery done with the Da Vinci Robot System at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.  I didn’t want open surgery and this was the least invasive method of dealing permanently with my prostate cancer!

I googled Da Vinci Robot system and realized that my answer was just down the road at St. Joseph’s Hospital in London! After a referral and an initial consultation with Dr. Steven Pautler from the Urology and Surgical Oncology Departments I was given a surgery date for September 15, 2009.

The Da Vinci Robot System takes a little longer so the operating room was reserved for 5 hours.  Dr. Pautler’s skilled hands set up the robot through 6 small incisions in my 6-pack stomach. After about 3.5 hours of surgery, using 10X magnification, my prostate was removed through a tiny incision near my belly button, (I understand that other methods take a shorter route down under and don’t have the 10X magnification of what the surgeon is cutting …ouch!)

After the surgery, once I passed the gas that was trapped in my stomach, I had very little discomfort from the surgery. The drain tube came out on September 17 and I was discharged the morning of September 18. After 2 days of showers, the strips of surgical tape covering the 6 incisions fell off and all I had left to deal with was the catheter.  

September 30, I had my first follow-up visit to London. Dr. Pautler is the kindest, most sincere, friendliest, down to earth doctor I have ever met! He explained that the pathology report couldn’t have been better. My cancer was confined to the prostate and not near its walls. The lymph nodes near the prostate that were removed were clear and that I am totally cancer free!  The catheter was removed and I was able to drive home!

While everyone’s cancer situation is different, I can’t say enough about the Da Vinci Robot System and Dr. Pautler. I feel that I owe him my life!

I am grateful to my fiancée Monica for her love and support every step of the way; to my 85 year old mother for her love and support and being with Monica for our stay in London; to Dr. Koutras for his diligence in ordering the PSA test which led to the discovery of my cancer; and above all to our Almighty Father for his guidance to make this journey a success.  

I am cancer free and wanting every man over 40 years old to get his PSA checked annually!  Please pass this email on to 5 male friends of yours!  The test is painless! With early detection of a problem, Prostate Cancer can be beaten!

Grateful Survivor!

Dan Leavoy

Email:  dan@captaindan.com

 

P.S.   My PSA score on January 11, 2010 was perfect! ...below the limits of detection! 

My PSA score on October 15, 2011 was perfect again! ...below the limits of detection!

 

 

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