Sutter Cancer Centers
Elliot - Minimally Invasive Surgery Helped Elliot Stay Active
Elliot Roberts has been active his whole life. Playing organized football and baseball through school and into adulthood set the stage for an active life. At 66, he still exercises regularly, both elliptical cardio and strength training five times a week. Being athletic has always been important in his life, so when he started feeling badly in late 2011, he knew something was wrong.
After a check-up and some tests, his primary care physician, Dr. David Norene, suggested he see an Urologist. That’s how Elliot first met Dr. Jonathan Eandi. “At the start, my attitude was upbeat. The last thing on my mind was that it would be cancer,” he said. Dr. Eandi started by running several tests, and Elliot remembers that after each test, “nobody seemed satisfied with the results.” In January of 2012, after some scans, Dr. Eandi took a biopsy and the results came back positive for cancer.
“My wife and I were devastated, but Dr. Eandi’s approach helped us through the process,” recalls Elliot. “He doesn’t panic and doesn’t make you panic. It’s almost like he’s discussing chores – actions you just have to take to get healthy.” The open, honest discussion about his diagnosis made Elliot feel more positive. “Dr. Eandi talked about my diagnosis, what was happening and what my options were. He put my scans on a screen and walked me through everything.” From the very beginning of the process, Elliot felt like he had control. “He never tried to steer me into one direction. He always gave me options and educated me.”
When Dr. Eandi mentioned the da Vinci procedure, Elliot had never heard of it before. He went home and researched the process and discussed it with his wife. Elliot remembers asking himself a lot of questions: “Are you doing the right thing? How will this impact your life? Your marriage?” Elliot’s wife was supportive through his entire diagnosis and treatment, and they decided the da Vinci robotic procedure was right for him. “If you have something like that, cancer, you just want it out,” Elliot says.
The next step for Elliot was to mentally prepare for the procedure. He used his athletic discipline to run through all the “plays,” and figure out what needed to happen before the surgery, what would happen during the procedure, and what he needed to be prepared for after discharge.
The morning of his surgery, Elliot remembers being impressed by the hospital staff and recollects, “The receptionists, nurses and doctors were great and made me feel comfortable.” A few hours later, he was in the recovery room with Dr. Eandi and his team. "I felt great,” he recalls, “If he said I could’ve gone home right then, I would have.” He had minimal pain and got up regularly to walk around the hospital ward and stretch. “Right after the surgery, my attitude was ‘I don’t have complications,’” Elliot says. He was discharged the next morning at 10 a.m.
Rehabilitation is an important part of recovery, and Dr. Eandi made the steps “very clear.” A few days out from the hospital, Elliot says he “could feel [his] body healing and getting stronger and stronger.” He remembers his body feeling differently but “never had any reason to panic because Dr. Eandi always described exactly what to expect.”
Support and encouragement were vital during Elliot’s diagnosis, treatment, and recovery. He credits his wife with being “very supportive and there every step of the way.” He also remembers, “Dr. Eandi’s staff was supportive and positive. They gave me confidence. They kept me mentally focused the entire process.”
Elliot is back to the healthy lifestyle he’s always lived and “would absolutely recommend this procedure.” He knew he was going to have to go through some changes no matter which procedure he chose, and he would encourage others to consider da Vinci rather than the alternative of “prolonged radiation treatments.”
Back to top | More Patient Stories