Prostate Cancer Survivor Alan from Maine

Alan from Maine

When Alan was diagnosed with prostate cancer, we were shocked and our lives were thrown into a tailspin. He had lost a sister to breast cancer and had lived through her excruciating pain. We were terrified, to say the least. The surgeons here wanted to jump right in and operate immediately without giving us a chance to even catch our breath.

Since I have always relied on research and facts to make decisions, I made both of us take a deep breath and start looking at what we were dealing with. The surgeons here had mentioned the other options (radiation, hormone therapy, etc), but had only mentioned the ultrasound as "something that's being done on a test basis in other parts of the world, not proven".

No one I talked to at first had ever heard of HIFU. We actually had surgery scheduled, but when the anesthesiologist called to go over the possibilities of what could go wrong, I broke down and sobbed, knowing that there had to be a better way to save my husband's life. I found the HIFU link through the Us,Too website, which is an informative support site for prostate cancer. From there I researched HIFU intensively. I spoke to doctors from the US who performed the same procedure in Mexico as well as doctors and
patients in Europe.

After researching the differences in the two ultrasound machines, we settled for the ablatherm in Toronto because it seemed to be more powerful and exacting. As well, we felt that we would be more comfortable in Canada as the culture is closer to our own. We've been traveling to parts of Canada for the last few years for vacations, including our honeymoon. Perhaps this was to prepare us for the coming events? Who knows.....

Dr. Warner called Alan on a Sunday morning to talk to him and answer questions. His was the first calming and reassuring voice from a medical professional that we experienced. The surgeons here were all much too hyper in their speech and mannerisms, scaring us half to death instead of reassuring us. Dr. Warner was the first doctor we had contact with during
this entire experience who felt like an advocate, not an adversary. It was his phone call that made our final decision for us. We scheduled Alan's HIFU treatment for Nov. 30.

Being people who need all the facts, we decided to travel to Toronto to meet Dr. Hausanna and see the clinic before making the final financial commitment. We ended up getting caught in a series of snow storms, so instead to driving to Toronto (17 hours) and back, then flying up for the treatment, we ended up staying. Everyone was so nice, thoughtful and helpful to us during our visit. Our experiences with the Canadian health
services were positive ones. We toured Toronto Western Hospital and the Don Mills Surgical center. As a patient, Alan was well cared for with much more one-on-one personal care than he had previously received at home. As the loved one, I can only feel grateful for the love, care and concern that everyone showed to me. During the procedure, Alan was happy as could be - sedation is a wonderful thing! I, on the other hand, was a wreck. The nurses at Don Mills couldn't have been more caring or supportive. I will be forever grateful for their presence.

After the procedure, once Alan was comfortable and all the sedation had worn off, we went back to the hotel for the night. Alan did sleep quite well considering what he had gone through. The following day, after a long hot shower and breakfast, we went back to the clinic for our review. We were greeted with hugs and smiles from every staff member at the clinic, and our post-operative screening was efficiently done. We were sent home with all of our questions answered and relieved hearts.

Janice has stayed in constant contact with us following our return to the US and our island home. When questions have arisen, they have been answered fully, patiently and in such a way that we can actually understand the answers! We have told and retold our story to countless people. We stress the need for men to have their PSA checked every year. We have recommended HIFU as a safe and efficient alternative to surgery to those men who have contacted us because they, too, have been told they have prostate cancer.

Both Alan and I will be forever grateful to the miracle of modern technology which allowed us to find HIFU, and to the love, thoughtfulness and talent of the Maple Leaf HIFU team and all the professionals at Don Mills Surgical Center. Thank you all for saving my husband's life.


Video Interview with a Patient Treated with Ablatherm HIFU
Doug Hill is a patient describing his experience with the HIFU prostate cancer treatment. Watch video clips of Doug discussing his treatment here by clicking here .