My name is Baretta Lee. I'm the wife of Ricky Lee. When I met Ricky, he was already on a course of medications addressing issues with his prostate that he was addressing with his general practitioner. They weren't getting any better. The symptoms were getting worse, and so he was just telling me that he had problems urinating. He wasn't having problems with erections or sexual performance, but it was the urination. That was a big concern for him. We decided to go ahead and schedule a routine visit because it was coming around to his routine time to have an annual checkup. He's pretty healthy, but we decided to see another doctor at the time. Once he told me that he had went to this doctor a couple of times and his PSA levels were rising, and the only thing she was doing was giving medications and the symptoms were not getting better.
I thought "Well, why don't we just go to another doctor, another general practitioner, to just have a routine workup?" It wasn't really anything detailed in the beginning because it was a routine visit. However, it became very pertinent when the results of the PSA came back, because he was general, he's healthy, he was just... He's generally healthy. That was an alarm for the doctor, of course. Then it made an alarm for us. It was just coming back, getting those results, and she was like "Hey, you got to go see somebody." Of course, you have to get somebody that takes the insurance. We just kind of prayed about it and just say "Hey, let's... Then around that time, it was Covid time, and so it was really hard to get in to find a doctor. It was taken forever to see somebody.
It actually was kind of who took our insurance and the first appointment that we can get. I was very diligent about it. I was calling around trying to get in and get in, and finally we got a general practitioner that took him. We had options. She did refer us to other doctors and other treatments, but we did our research. I'm very nerdy when it comes to that kind of stuff. We did our research and when she said, Dr. Klaassen, of course I'm reviewing and we heard nothing but good things about him. Of course, it was like we're right here in Augusta, right here at AU. I'm familiar with the care that they give. It was like "Okay, we're going to put our trust in Dr. K." He did recommend a biopsy, and so we immediately got in. It wasn't hard to get in.
It wasn't difficult, it wasn't... Even during Covid times, it was very easy to get in. We had the biopsy, and I remember very clearly it was 12 snips of my life that I could never get back. It was very interesting, to say the least, but it was very easy. He came in and after that it was like "Okay, we go from here."
We got a phone call telling us that the biopsy was positive for prostate cancer. Immediately the doctor gave us a lot of information. She explained it to us, and because we were diligent about knowing what our options were, what was the next step? It was we kind of pushed so we could know what to do. She immediately gave us a couple of options. One was, I guess it gets depended on it was the surgery, the robotic surgery was one of them, depending on the position of it or if it had spread it or whatever the case may be.
Then I think even at that time, we were told that it didn't look like he would need any type of chemo or radiation after. Once my husband heard that, he was like "Okay, I want the surgery." I was like "Okay, it's operation one and done. We get the surgery, no chemo, no radiation, how we're going to look at it." Those were our option. That was our path from the very beginning. We were very honest with our feelings. We made sure that... We were raw, honest about how we felt. We talked about, and we never talked about it not working. I think that that's important. I think that your attitude and how you carry things out, it applies to a good outcome. We didn't talk about it a lot. We only talked about it when a doctor's appointment came up.
That's just kind of how we worked through it. Be honest about how you feel with your partner. Ask questions. If you're asking questions to your physicians and they're not getting answered, that's a red flag. It's not one time I didn't ask or push for answer and I didn't get it. Just be honest and talk about it, be honest and talk about it. Then once it's done, it's done. That's just been our way of dealing with it. Don't prolong it and talk about it, and whine about it. It's just not productive to a good outcome.