A Coach Triumphs After Robotic-Assisted Prostate Surgery
Harry Welch's friend, Mark Eskander, urged him to be screened for prostate
cancer as well. In his insistence, on the spot, Mark called and made an
appointment for Harry with his physician and surgeon, Jeffrey Yoshida,
M.D., Urologist and Program Director for Hoag Urologic Oncology.
To comply with his friends’ persistent wishes, Harry met with Dr.
Yoshida who recommended a PSA test and digital rectal exam (DRE). Harry’s
PSA level was well within normal limits, but his DRE was slightly irregular.
Because of this, Dr. Yoshida urged Harry to have a prostate biopsy, which
was performed and ultimately revealed cancer.
To say the least, Harry was surprised to find that he had prostate cancer.
This diagnosis began with a friend’s out-of-the-blue request to
be tested, and not because he was having any symptoms or concerns about
his prostate health. Yet, prostate cancer is often asymptomatic, and not
detected unless screened for.
Dr. Yoshida counseled Harry on different treatment options, which included
robotic-assisted surgery and various forms of radiation therapy. Yet,
at this point, Harry decided to do some research. He spent a lot of time
researching all the surrounding hospitals, their programs and their treatment options.
"However, at the end of the day, I felt so confident in Dr. Yoshida
and his team, and the advanced precision and capabilities of the robot,
that Hoag and robotic-assisted surgery was easily my choice,” shares Harry.
Your continual support and resource
After choosing to have his care at Hoag, Harry and his wife Cindee were
greeted by Urologic Nurse Navigator Nancy Raymon, M.N., CNS, AOCN.
"Nancy Raymon is second to none,” shares Harry. “She would
listen to all of Cindee’s and my questions and concerns, followed
up on all of my appointments, and was always available to us. Her care
was above and beyond what any professional should give.”
As urologic nurse navigator, Nancy provides guidance, support, education
and coordination of care for Hoag prostate cancer patients throughout
their treatment experience. She leads a pre-surgery class for men and
their support persons, as well as the Man-to-Man Prostate Cancer Education
and Support Group, a class endorsed by the American Cancer Society. Nancy
is there to assist patients through phone, email, or in person communication.
A dedicated coach
Harry has been the head football coach at Santa Margarita Catholic High
School since January 2010, and in just one year of coaching at SMCHS,
received top honors as “Coach of the Year” from both
The Orange County Register and the
Los Angeles Times. His dedication to the sport and the young men he coaches is undeniable.
So when Dr. Yoshida asked when they could schedule the surgery –
it got complicated. Off-season was too far away, and Harry did not want
to miss a game. After much discussion, they found a suitable option –
a bye week for his team.
"I did not want this cancer diagnosis to get in the way of my life
or my team. But, I knew that this was too important to put off until the
end of the season,” says Harry.
Harry had robotic-assisted surgery on the morning of October 4, and went
home the next day. Each day he was up walking more and more, and was even
able to attend a coaches’ meeting on October 6 to prepare for the
upcoming game against Orange Lutheran High School. On October 15, with
Dr. Yoshida, Hoag Hospital anesthesiologist and friend, Dr. Steven Todd
Newman, as well as all of Santa Margarita High School in the stands as
his support, Harry returned to the football field. That night he coached
his team to a momentous and emotional victory, beating Orange Lutheran 27-15.
"I have felt so supported by Dr. Yoshida, Nancy and the entire Hoag
team,” continues Harry. “My whole family now receives our
care at Hoag, and we continually refer our friends and family to this
great hospital. We are happy to make the extra drive from Rancho Santa
Margarita to receive Hoag’s unparalleled and outstanding care.”
To learn more about Hoag's Prostate Cancer Program and its expert medical team,