In the HIFU Patient Perspective Series, HIFU Prostate Services shares real HIFU patient stories in hope that they will be helpful in understanding what to expect when making a treatment decision and undergoing HIFU treatment for prostate cancer.
HIFU Patient Perspective: Jerry Peterman
Treated with HIFU: 2010, Bahamas
Diagnosed with prostate cancer: 2010
Jerry is a man who is used to helping other people. He spent a large majority of his life as a firefighter in Graham, NC, a town that he now has the honor of serving as their mayor. He is a father, a husband, and a war veteran who continues to serve as a volunteer in the local fire department. Jerry knows what it means to serve people and to make a difference in his community.
However, when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer approximately seven years ago, this was not something that he had a lot of experience dealing with. He had to explore how to help himself and which treatment option would be the best option to let him return quickly to his normal lifestyle.
Jerry was diagnosed with prostate cancer, like so many other men, after his regular physician detected that there might be a problem through a semi-annual check up. He was referred to a local urologist, Dr. Michael Wolff, for further testing where it was confirmed that he did in fact have prostate cancer.
The first thought that went through his head was, “Why me?” but both Jerry and his wife Janice, are people who quickly get down to taking care of business, so they immediately asked Dr. Wolff about treatment options as well as the pros and cons of each.
“Dr. Wolff gave us all the options and didn’t push us on anything in particular. In the end, I asked him what he would do if it was him or his dad and he told me that he would chose HIFU. That is why I chose to go with HIFU for my prostate cancer treatment,” said Jerry. “Honestly, my biggest concern prior to HIFU was just surviving. I watched other friends in the same situation make different decisions about treatment and unfortunately they are no longer with us now,” continued Jerry.
Two weeks after Jerry was diagnosed with prostate cancer, he was headed to the Bahamas to have the HIFU procedure as an outpatient procedure.
“The overall HIFU experience was really great. Dr. Wolff actually even traveled with us on the same plane. Everyone associated with the treatment and the hospitals were all really great, ” said Jerry. “I would recommend HIFU and Dr. Wolff to any friendd or family member who was diagnosed with prostate cancer.”
Shortly after the procedure, Jerry was able to return home and resume his normal activities within a few days, “I had to tell a few people what was going on so they could help me out some, but a few days after I was back, the town had a big BBQ festival and I was able to be there no problem.
“Even though I had a few issues related to the catheter after HIFU, Dr. Wolff had explained everything to me and told me what to expect, so nothing was a big surprise,” said Jerry. “Overall I have done really well – haven’t had any major problems.”
When asked what advice Jerry would give other men upon a prostate cancer diagnosis, he said, “I would tell them to study all their different treatment options. And I would tell them to find a doctor that they really trust and ask them what they would do.”
Nowadays, Jerry is as happy as can be. It has been several years since HIFU and since he doesn’t really worry about prostate cancer anymore, he spends his time focused on his community and his family, including his first grandchild who is on the way!
Read more patient stories here.