Making the Decision
After visiting his primary care physician for his annual physical, Jim was told his prostate-specific antigen (PSA) numbers were high and had been rising over the previous three years. Originally, Jim’s appointment was with a urologic physician outside of AdventHealth, but It was Ginger who convinced him he needed to meet Hak Lee, MD, of AdventHealth Medical Group Urology at Calhoun before moving forward with his scheduled appointment. Ginger had seen Dr. Lee previously for a health issue and coincidentally had an appointment with him soon after Jim received his physical results.
"I told Jim that Dr. Lee was wonderful," said Ginger. "When I met him the first time, he took all the time in the world to go over my records and what he thought was going on with me. He was so easy to talk to and was so open with me."
At Ginger’s appointment, a physician assistant at AdventHealth Medical Group Urology at Calhoun looked over Jim’s PSA numbers. She then notified Dr. Lee and scheduled a biopsy since his numbers were so high. While they waited on results from the biopsy, Dr. Lee wanted to run more tests to be sure there wasn’t anything else going on. When Dr. Lee said he wanted to do the biopsy and tests that day, Jim and Ginger were shocked. It would have been six weeks before Jim could even be seen by the physician his original appointment was with.
"It helped our stress level knowing we would have answers quickly," said Ginger.
Unfortunately, the biopsy results revealed that Jim had prostate cancer. In addition to this diagnoses, Dr. Lee found a renal cell carcinoma in one of Jim’s kidneys. Dr. Lee explained to Jim and Ginger that he needed two different robotic surgeries: one to remove his prostate and one to remove his kidney.
"When you’re told you have cancer, a lot of things go through your mind," said Jim. "Ginger and I talked and prayed a lot, and I told her I’m not ready to give up. I have more things I want to do. Dr. Lee, the anesthesiologists and the robotics staff are all such great people. Before surgery, we had prayer. It was a great experience to go through. The staff was absolutely phenomenal."
On the day of the second surgery, it was Jim and Ginger’s wedding anniversary, and Jim told everyone at the hospital how special the day was. When Jim was admitted for recovery, Ginger noticed flowers had been delivered to the room.
"They were from Dr. Lee and his team," said Ginger. "It made me cry. I could not believe they had done that for us. In my mind, our anniversary came second that day to his surgery. It was such a nice surprise for them to do that for us. You don’t see that everywhere."