As every other year my husband called his doctor in February and made an
appointment for his regular yearly physical. Blood results showed that he needed
pills to control his Cholesterol and had an elevated PSA number. His physician
suggested an ultrasound which showed an enlarged prostate so his doctors decided
to perform a biopsy a couple of days later. They took six samples and when the
results came back a couple of weeks later they showed that one of the samples
contained cancerous cells.
Since we have the ability to pick which hospital we want we did not think for long:
we made an appointment at the one of the best: the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.
Shortly after we started to receive numerous brochures, booklets and forms where
we learned all about the options we have and they got from us detailed information
about my husband health, habits and his working conditions. So when it came time
to go to the first appointment they were all ready for us, and the longest wait we had
was 15 minutes.
The beginnings of the Mayo Clinic in
Rochester, MN, go back to 1883 when, after a
devastating tornado, Mr. William W. Mayo and
his two sons joined forces with the nuns
from the nearby St. Francis monastery.
My husband and his daughters prior to the
After careful consideration and consultation with our family doctor my husband
made a decision to have robotic surgery which is the least invasive (recommended
for younger man (my husband was 49 at the time) who decide to have the prostate
removed). The prostate and the lymph nodes are removed with robotic hands that
are inserted into the stomach area through six small incisions. There are only two
surgeons able to perform this procedure in the whole country. Our surgeon was Dr.
Gettman who successfully performed hundreds of them.
My husband had to be at the Mayo Clinic a day prior to his procedure to have his
blood work done and to take a class concerning the surgery. His big family is very
close and they are always facing difficult times together therefore when the time
came we had a small expedition headed for Rochester: My husband and I, our
girls, two of his sisters and one nephew. His surgery was scheduled for 10:30AM on
April 10th. When we arrived they were already waiting for him. They whisked him
into the room, three nurses started to work on him and he was on the way to the
surgery room at 11:08. They took as to a Family room where they have a huge
screen where you can follow each step of the patent and they also personally
inform you about the progress of the patient.
Every once and a while I would get a call and they would personally inform me
about his whereabouts. The surgery started exactly at 12:00 and was done at 2:08
PM. They came and took me downstairs for a consultation with the surgeon. He
explained my husband's surgery in detail. He removed the prostate and a few
lymph nodes which luckily that had no sign of cancer. The procedure went well
and there were no complications. My husband had some very rare artery; they
were able to save it and even took a video of it to show what can be done with the
This is how my husband's tummy looked the
morning after the surgery
Around 4:30 they brought my husband into the room. There were several nurses
working on him when I heard: "I hate this TV channel! Do you have the NFL
channel?", and so I knew he was OK. Around 7 that evening my husband already
took his first walk down the hall and we left the hospital the next day. He had to
have a catheter for the next 10 days and take it easy for the next six weeks, and he
was back to work three (!!!) weeks later. He has his regular checkups and there is
no sign of cancer. He took a trip to Europe, climbed a mountain in Austria on the
first anniversary of his surgery and flew in a balloon over Slovenia. He flies a
plane and travels all over the US therefore I can safely say: He is doing great!
Importance of Yearly Physicals
Our Insurance Company offers free yearly physicals which we always take
advantage of because it enables us to discover our potential health problems early
when they are usually mild and curable. This also shows the wisdom of the
Insurance Company that by detecting potential health problems early saves money
on expensive procedures and medications.
My husband in his hospital bed, in the morning
after the surgery, tying to decide what he wants