Beating expectations

Arriving at McLaren Oakland on the morning of his cancer surgery, John was pleasantly surprised by what he found


John has a certain approach to life.

He understands that there will be tough times and adversity along the way.

“Life will hit you in the nose,” he said. “And you hit back. That’s what we did.”

Coming in and every step
along the way, we noticed
the level of cleanliness
and how helpful and polite
everyone was.

He took this attitude with him to the starting line of a 10K run he and his wife signed up for. Traveling to Florida and Disney World to participate in (and complete) the run was the culmination and triumph of John’s recent and most alarming bout with adversity.

Just weeks prior to the Nov. 1 run, John had undergone successful surgery to treat his prostate cancer.

Cancer diagnosis

Aug. 13, 2019, 7 a.m. — it’s a day and time John will never forget, because it was then that his cancer was surgically removed, ending months of nervous anticipation.

His ordeal began more than a year prior, when after his annual physical his doctor noticed an elevated PSA level while reviewing his blood work.

An elevated prostate-specific antigen level in the blood could be an indicator of the presence of prostate cancer.

John was referred to a urologist, who asked him to follow back up in three months. But, after his initial evaluation, he neglected the three-month follow-up.

“I didn’t feel anything,” he said. “There were no symptoms. It didn’t feel like there was anything wrong.”

The following year, he again saw his physician for his annual physical. And, again, his PSA level was elevated. This year, though, he didn’t neglect his urologist follow-up and additional tests.

“The doctor came into the room, and he said it was cancer,” John said. “A good PSA is under one. Mine was more than four. It was a tough time for me and my wife.”

John sat down with his urologist. The pair discussed their options, which included surgery and radiation therapy. Then he went home to tell his wife.

“My wife and I had a tough time with it,” he said. “We went away on a vacation — to get away and make a decision and come back fully committed.”

They decided on surgery. Dr. Bradley Rosenberg, a urologist at McLaren Oakland, told his patient, “John, for this, I really like McLaren Oakland.”

And on that morning in mid-August, John underwent surgery at the downtown Pontiac hospital.

The surgery

Admittedly, John approached McLaren Oakland with a certain perception of the facility. However, following his procedure, he walked away with a much greater appreciation and very positive impression of the hospital.

“Everything just clicked,” he said. “Coming in and every step along the way, we noticed the level of cleanliness and how helpful and polite everyone was — from the valet all the way to the waiting room. “It was a similar experience for my wife — we both felt safe every step of the way.”

John’s grateful sentiments extended to his surgical procedure as well.

In a successful procedure using the latest surgical technology, Dr. Rosenberg was able to perform John’s prostatectomy with minimally invasive techniques.

It’s that technology that allowed John to return to work one week into his recovery and, after just three weeks, he was back at full strength.

“I was able to run and exercise just like I used to,” he said, “and run in — and finish — a 10K in Disney World.”

Says Dr. Rosenberg, “John was very fortunate in that his cancer had not yet advanced past the early stages. This put us in a very advantageous position, giving us the opportunity to remove the cancer via a minimally invasive procedure, allowing John to recover and return to his life quicker.”

For John, now with his cancer diagnosis behind him, he remains grateful for the care he received and to those who saw him through it.

“Life hit us in the nose, but you hit back,” he said, “and we did.”


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