Narrative by Paul Foster

My name is Paul Foster and I’m a prostate cancer survivor. It all started about a year ago when I found out that my PSA was a little high. Dr. Rahman told me that I would need to have it redrawn in six months to see if it remained high. Six months later I returned and found out that my PSA was still high and I would need a biopsy. I went in for the biopsy thinking the worst because my mother had died of cancer at a very young age. When I found out that the result was positive for cancer I didn’t know what to think or say. My first thought was that I’m going to die, just like my mother. I will always remember what my daughter said after she had heard my terrifying news. She told me, “Dad this is just a small bump in the road and you will be just fine”. Those words kept me going through the hard days. After I had found out that I had Prostate Cancer, I sat down with Dr. Rahman and he told me that I had a few different options. The two that I considered were radiation and surgery. I felt the best option for me was surgery. I wanted a treatment that would rid me of the cancer and give me enough time to recover so I could watch my oldest granddaughter graduate from college and get married.

On May 30, 2011, I had laparoscopic robotic prostatectomy at Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie, at 6:00 in the morning. After the surgery I was kept in the hospital for about three days to recover. While in recovery, I had to use a catheter which was very uncomfortable. The day the catheter was removed was very upsetting for me. Although I was warned I could have some urinary leakage, I was still surprised when it actually happened to me. The nurses at Dr Rahman’s office made what was a horrible time for me just a little better with their professionalism and kindness. I was very fortunate that the leaking only lasted about 2 weeks then I was pretty much back to my old self. I had to get PSA testing every 3 months for the first year, again I was very fortunate that my PSA’s have been basically undetectable. Even though I’ve been a year cancer free, I’m still apprehensive every time I get the bloodwork that the cancer will return. It’s an ongoing battle that will always be with me.

This past year was a difficult journey for me, one that I would have never have been able to get through without the love and support of my wife and daughters. They were my rocks through this time in my life and I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart. I would also like to thank Dr Rahman for his wonderful care, not just for his skill as a surgeon, but for his kindness as well.

I really hope my story will help others over their “bump in the road.”