Saturday, February 15, 2014

My visit with my Dr. Bob

I had an appointment with my long time PCP, Dr. Stonecipher ("Dr. Bob") yesterday. He'd not yet seen the MRI report that I will discuss with the Uro on Monday, but he, being the straight shooter that he is, basically told me that the question really is no longer if I have PC, but rather what grade, how large and how aggressive. When asked what treatment he would have if it were him, he stated just plain old fashioned open radical prostatectomy. He felt that in the hands of a surgeon who'd done a thousand or more the chances for completely removing the cancer were the best and that in his experience most of his patients who had undergone the surgery regain erectile function (as long as the nerves could be spared) and quickly regained continence although a few would wear a pad when doing strenuous exercise.

I rarely disagree with Dr. Bob but my reading is that treatments such as Hi Intensity Focused Ultrasound, cryotherapy, focal laser ablation made more sense to me due to their lower incidence of the wretched sexual and urinary side effects. He made the argument that there weren't enough long term studies to show that the cancer was fully removed and that at my age, I should have as my number one goal complete removal of the cancer from my body.

I'll know more Monday after the Uro reviews the MRI with me and certainly more after the biopsy. Dr. Bob walked me to the door and put his arm around my shoulder and told me that whatever treatment I chose, I'd have his full support. He gave me a hug and I said with my voice quivering and eyes welling with tears, "Thanks for being my doctor." He replies with all sincerity, "It's my honor Scott." I've stumbled into a great job, I stumbled into a great relationship and I stumbled across one of the best family/personal physicians in Austin. The honor is mine, Dr. Bob.

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