Michael, 62, is a former Navy Corpsman with the 7th Marines and has a degree in nursing. He shares his experience with robotic surgery to treat his prostate cancer. He also explains how his active lifestyle helped him recover faster.
I went to my physician’s office for my regular prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and he noticed that the pattern had changed. My doctor suggested that I see Dr. Julian Anthony, a urologist affiliated with Sharp Grossmont Hospital, for a biopsy. Two weeks later, I received my results and it was positive. I had prostate cancer.
Since the cancer was still in the early stage, the best option for me was robotics. I did lots of research online before choosing the right hospital. I chose Sharp HealthCare for my procedure because of its reputation with robotic surgery in San Diego.
After choosing my treatment, I knew I had to be in the best shape I could be to recover after surgery. I stepped-up my workout plan and concentrated on the core muscle in my abdominal area.
After my surgery, I was in the hospital for 1 ½ days. The care I received at Sharp Grossmont Hospital was exceptional, which says a lot since I’m a former nurse. In regards to pain, I only had some minor soreness. In my opinion, a flu shot hurts more.
The quicker you get up and start moving, the faster you will heal. Once I got home from surgery, I immediately started walking up and down the stairs at my house. When I got the OK from my doctor, I went to the gym and worked hard on the treadmill for an hour each day, and worked with trainers to strengthen my core muscles. One month after surgery, I went back to the pool and swam 2,000 meters a day and exercised for 1 to 2 ½ hours in the gym. Two months after surgery, I’m just as healthy — if not healthier — than I was before surgery.
In regards to sexual function, the nerves were spared and I still have all the sensations I had before. Although I’m not at 100 percent yet, I’m fine with that. I’m pleased with my results because I’m still thriving and healthy.
The doctor can do the surgery, but it’s up to us to keep our bodies in shape. Any guy with a genetic history of prostate cancer should get his PSA done after 40 years old. And do it regularly because you need to track the pattern. Also, involve your wife and family. Having cancer is scary, but with the support of your family, it makes it feel less daunting. My father and a good friend died of prostate cancer. I wasn’t going to be next.
For More Information
To learn more about Sharp's robotic surgery services or to find a Sharp-affiliated physician, search for San Diego doctors or call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm. For general information about prostate cancer, please read Prostate Cancer in Adult Health.