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9/2/2016 Latest post:
A little over one year ago, Caroline and I looked for a second home in Scottsdale, Arizona. We wanted a place to get away that was different than the Dallas area. We came out one weekend with some great help from my brother in law and sister in law, Kathryn and Drew looking for homes. The first afternoon was not good and Caroline and I battled some. The next morning our realtor said she had the perfect home. Boy, was she right, once we walked in, we knew it was the right home for us. We purchased the home within a week. We noticed on the way from the airport, Mayo Clinic and hospital, which is about 4 miles from our home. It's amazing how God works when we don't even know it! My annual physical was in September later that year and my doctor in Dallas called and said my psa level was a little high. She wanted to re-check in a week or so. I went back in and it had dropped back down, so she said just wait until the next physical for a follow up. Later, in May 2016, on one of our trips to Las Vegas, I became ill, and had to rush to the emergency room. I got well enough to travel back to Dallas and went back to my doctor's office where she did another psa test. This time the result showed a 38.8 reading where it should have been 2.5. She then referred me to a urologist in Dallas. I took another psa test with him and the reading was 28. Yes, it was down but still off the charts. Before he did a biopsy, he suggested I do a fairly new test called a 4K score. It determines if you have a good chance for aggressive prostate cancer. I did the test and while I was on a trip with Caroline at Lake Tahoe, I got the dreaded call from the doctor telling me I was a candidate for aggressive prostate cancer and suggested he do a biopsy. So I did the unpleasant biopsy and received the results that I had prostate cancer. The good news was that it was only found in two samples and only a little bit in each. Prostate cancer is rated on a system called Gleason score. If there is such a good thing, a score of 6 would be the best. An 8 or 9 would show aggressive cancer. The good news is mine was a six. Caroline and I discussed our options for treatment. She had done some research and found that the Mayo Clinic near our home in Scottsdale was rated the top in the nation for prostate cancer. So I made an appointment in July to see one of their top surgeons, Dr. Robert Ferrigni. So anxiously we went to my appointment with Dr. Ferrigni. We were both amazed at the cleanliness and organization of Mayo Clinic. We felt like we were at the right place. First there was no waiting time to see the doctor. Where else does this happen? First a PA came in and went over my medical records and then Dr. Ferrigni comes in and spends about 45 minutes with us. He explained all of my options including proton treatment. He told us what to expect from the worst to the best. He actually was glad to have a young patient like me in good physical condition. This made me feel good! He said, "I get all the monsters, older, big heavy men with diabetes and all kinds of health problems. ". He then stated that with my 4K score being so high, he recommended a radical prostatectomy that would be assisted by robot. He said he felt this would give me the best chance for success to eliminate the cancer and to have fewer side effects. He also explained his experience in the fact that he had done over 3500 of these surgeries. Caroline and I both looked at each other and knew this was the way we had and wanted to go. So we scheduled the surgery for Tuesday, September 6 th. Every experience I have had at Mayo has been stellar. It's amazing that God helped us find a home close to this wonderful doctor and facility. He protects his children and I know I'm one of his , so I know I'm protected. I'm so glad He loves me. I also love and appreciate the wonderful love, prayers and support of my family! My friends have been an amazing support. I also am so fortunate to have a wonderful loving wife that stands beside me. I'm also thankful to the partners in our business, MCS, that are so supportive. They have really stood behind Caroline.. They want and encourage her to be with me here in Scottsdale. I also appreciate the prayers and support of our Friday devotional group as well! Thanks for everyone's love, prayers, and support! Love you all. Mark