Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Three Degrees of Separation and Three PSA


Tough guy Steve Mazur from APS Customer Service shares the story of his bout with Cancer. Read on to learn how his connections in the Sailing Community took him on a ride to the hospital and back. We're happy to have him at the office once again. Welcome back, Steve!


PSA - Public Service Announcement? Yes, on many counts.


FIRST ANNOUNCEMENT
I’m back! After two weeks out of the office, I’m ready to catch up on correspondence ASAP. Look out for my emails…


Now that you know that - you can choose to stop reading, and I’ll thank you for your time.


Or break out the popcorn, grab a beer – ladies, a glass of chardonnay? And let’s get personal for a bit. That’s your warning... PSA is also an early indicator of Prostate Cancer. We’re getting serious here.


FIRST ANNOUNCEMENT…continued…
Many know I started out in the Marine Industry working with an APS competitor before tacking and making my way up the Bay 2004. Without the people I’ve met in the Marine Industry and those who enjoy our sport of Sailing, this story might not have the happy ending it does.


Bam Miller of Oyster Bay Boat Shop introduced me to Steve Benjamin of North Sails. That (in turn) guided me to Dr. David Samadi, the Vice Chairman of the Department of Urology and Chief of Robotic and Minimally Invasive Surgery at the Mount Sinai Medical Center.


Only Three Degrees of Separation. That’s right, it was these three people who worked together to cure me of Prostate Cancer. That’s the happy ending – I’m cured. I will always be indebted for y’alls help – and for the help of a cast of Family – my Sister Cam Blass and brothers Paul & Gary - and friends all too many to list. Though, I can’t get away without a shout out of thanks to Susan Pettix McNeely and son Marty McNeely.


SECOND ANNOUNCEMENT
Get Checked! Have Digital Rectal Exam and Monitor your PSA Level. So a doctor has his way with you, just do it already! Do you think he’s enjoying it? Doubtful.


Flash-back to where this all started. In October 2009, at age 51, I felt it wise to have a colonoscopy. I needed a referral. It was my Internist Dr. William Dabbs who felt something questionable and referred me to my first of three urologists. A biopsy was performed, and lab results confirmed a low volume of a slow growth cancer.


A second urologist was consulted at the top-rated facility in the country with a world-renowned Dept. of Urology. Treatment options were presented, and I selected surgery to remove my prostate utilizing the Da Vinci Robot. Surgery was attempted in October 2010 in Baltimore, and difficulties arose, which forced the surgeon to cancel the procedure and limited my options going forward.


It was at this time Bam of Oyster Bay e-mailed me asking how things went post-op. I gave him the Cliff Notes of what happened, and he asked if he could forward the e-mail onto Steve Benjamin (aka Benj) of North Sails, who had done a PhD’s worth of research finding himself the right doctor.


At this point, Benj took it one step further and forwarded the e-mail onto Dr. Samadi - another person who, like Benj at this point, didn’t know me from Adam.


ENTER: Dr David Samadi.


David cured Benj of Prostate Cancer in November 2009, and in turn, introduced the good doctor to our sport of Sailing. Dr. Samadi is dedicated to his patients like no other doctor I’ve ever encountered. (Sorry Bill, you’re great, but David takes it to another level.) Even as the son of an Anesthesiologist and Nurse, I’ve never experienced such care. Sure, a heard of Residents passed through, and I couldn’t pick them out from a line-up - but David was always there and available. I cannot praise this man enough.


We set a date for Valentine’s Day surgery. A procedure that I was originally told would take three to five hours to complete was accomplished in 59 minutes. I was walking after surgery.


Dr. Samadi has now worked on a half dozen of us Sailors and will help all Sailors in this particular distress.


THIRD ANNOUNCEMENT
Research your Surgeon!!!!!!!!!!!


The da Vinci robot has a very steep learning curve, and you need to find an experienced, skilled, and dedicated surgeon. My first round didn’t go well, and I was lucky to be introduced to David and to have had access to his skills. I only hope the same for you if you find yourself in this situation. David is trained and skilled in all three disciplines of prostate Surgery – Open, Laparoscopic, and Robotic. He has a track record with a few thousand procedures under his keel.


In closing, you should know when Valentine’s Day is to begin with, Dude. But if you don’t, February 14th. Take today’s date, do the math, and know my cancer is gone. I have zero margins, and I’m doing great. I'm Back.


Let’s get this Winter behind us and heat it up on the water already.


-Steve

2 comments:

  1. So glad everything went well, Steve. As I have said before, and I truly mean it - 2010 was a tough year - here is to an awesome 2011! Erica B

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  2. Great to have you back in top shape!! You were really missed. Now I can pawn off all of those catamaran customers again! I did take care of a three cat customer while you were gone. GREAT LEARNING EXPERIENCE! I'm ready to take on Murrays! Kidding, Paul.

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