“I’m not good in the way of regular check-ups, so it was probably fortuitous,” figures Lee Michalsky, a retired district manager for AT&T living in Bardonia. Lee’s application for a new insurance policy was rejected when his blood work revealed a high PSA (prostate-specific antigen) reading. A biopsy subsequently conducted by his urologist was positive for prostate cancer.

So began Lee’s odyssey into the world of cancer treatments. After spending a month researching his options, he decided to consult with Advanced ROS radiation oncologist Dr. James Gerstley. Dr. Gerstley treated him with brachytherapy, which uses seed-like implants to emit cancer-killing radiation, and also with external beam radiation therapy.

Looking back, Lee admits he had harbored “negative feelings toward the healthcare industry” as a result of unfortunate past experiences. But he recalls that this time was different.

“I was really pleasantly surprised. It started with my urologist, Dr. Mitchell Fraiman, who did not in any way push me toward surgery. My doctors were most professional and unbiased in spelling out the facts and leaving that decision up to us.

“The therapy team at Advanced ROS was competent, friendly and sympathetic. When my wife asked to observe my radiation treatments, the staff was very amenable and even invited her into the control room. That’s a good example of how helpful and supportive they are”.

It’s been several years since Lee’s cancer odyssey. Now, he and his wife focus on simple pleasures and enjoying each day: “I like food and wine and music. I concluded some years back that cooking was my hobby. It isn’t always compatible with the diet recommendations, but it provides me with sufficient enjoyment. I intend to live happily, and that’s what I’m doing. I’m enjoying my life.”