Michael Stein

Association: Patient
Region: New Jersey
Cancer: Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, prostate

"When you have a good feeling going into something that is obviously life changing and you feel positive about it because of a team that is so confident and caring, it increases your chances of making it and coming out better from it."

I think it was 2006. I was taking a shower and felt a lump in my groin. I have a degree in psychology, but a lot of it was in the medical end of psychology. I also had a short stint in nursing school, so I know what should be there and what shouldn’t be there. I knew that lump shouldn’t be there, so I went to my doctor.

I was referred to the head of surgery at Hahnemann Hospital. He told me that they needed to do a complete biopsy. They removed the inguinal node in my right groin area. It turned out to test positive for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

I (too) had prostatitis in my forties, but medication took care of it. As I got older, doctors monitored my prostate-specific antigen (PSA) more closely.

The good thing was that they found it in a very remote follicle of my prostate gland, which means I only needed surgery. They decided they’d take out 31 lymph nodes and my prostate. Thirty nodes were directly related to my prostate but the node in my small intestinal area was to assess any change in my lymphoma. I was told these decisions were made at their tumor board meeting. It gave me a great sense of reassurance knowing I had a team behind me.

I was only in the hospital for the day of the surgery. About two days later, they called and said they got everything, so no chemo, no radiation.

When you have a good feeling going into something that is obviously life changing and you feel positive about it because of a team that is so confident and caring, it increases your chances of making it and coming out better from it. If you’re not feeling that chemistry with the person that’s going to be handling your care, you need to get out and find someone that you do have it with. You need to feel good and positive because if you don’t, you’re changing the odds.