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.”