Patient Stories

About Your Staff...Clone them!

Dear Dr. Dietrick,

I would like to take a few minutes to thank you and the wonderful staff at Chesapeake Urology for getting me through my prostate surgery and recovery. First of all, thank you for the painless surgery. My recovery has been, in my opinion, outstanding.

Next, I would like to thank Nancy Wehner for all of the administrative support.

Let’s not forget Phil Shulka, who has been through it all and got me through it as well. His care and guidance was deeply appreciated.

And, finally, a big thanks to Larry Waskow, who assisted me (and the nurses at St. Joseph’s) in fitting the right products, patches and clamps to make my catheter experience much less painful and tolerable.

You have a wonderful staff. All I can say is CLONE THEM!

I will see you in a few weeks to move forward to my next, and hopefully successful radiation phase of this journey.


A grateful patient



Dear Dr. Siegel, 

Please extend my sincerest thanks to all of your staff at the Owings Mills Prostate Center for the professionalism and kindness they showed to me during my recent lengthy course of radiation treatment. I especially wish to thank Heidi for guiding me through this process in a way that made me feel that I was more than just another patient on the table. I also wish to thank Dr. Hudes, whose compassion and amazing sense of humor really helped me at a time when my spirits were really low. Finally, I again commend every single one of the techs, as well as the front desk, for their positive attitude, and their dedication and kindness to me.

With kindest regards, A Grateful Patient


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Patient's painting depicts staff member as a "warrior princess"

warrior princessWhen Charles Grudzinsky was a patient in Chesapeake Urology's Infusion Therapy Center, receiving Provenge to treat his advanced prostate cancer, he grew close to the Infusion Therapy Center Manager, Maria Webster. A talented artist, Mr. Grudzinsky painted Maria as a "Warrior Princess" and presented her with what she calls "one of her most prized possessions." 

Spending many hours in the Infusion Therapy Center, Mr. Grudzinsky got to know Maria quite well, including her Native American heritage. Maria's great-great grandfather was Cherokee and her husband’s great grandfather was Navajo. 

Maria explains, "Much of what I believe in and how I live my life is based on those Native American traditions.  My passion is fighting prostate cancer and ensuring that our men receive therapy on a urgent basis with hopes that they will be able to live a quality life and enjoy their family longer."

Mr. & Mrs. Grudzinsky were actually at Maria's wedding, which was a traditional Navajo ceremony.  Mr. Grudzinsky, appreciating how hard Maria works for her patients, depicted her fervor and passion for caring for her patients as this "Warrior Princess."


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"These words cannot express the depth of our gratitude. Everyone at the Prostate Center made an unimaginably scary time easy to navigate, and made my husband feel safe and cared for during his treatments. Chesapeake Urology Associates truly went above and beyond to care for him as a person and not just a patient with a disease.  We will always bless you and keep you in our hearts. You all make such an important impact on the lives of all the men you serve." 

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Waking Up to Prostate Cancer

 By Phil Shulka, patient

In February of 2007, I was 60 years of age and had no clue what was in store for me.  My family was grown; I had a granddaughter, a good wife, good job, and good health.   All, except the good wife, would be a memory.  I felt great and maintained an exercise program of running 15-20 miles/week and lifting weights.  How things would change.

Read Phil's story here...

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Baltimore Raven's Director of Security Says Catch Prostate Cancer Early

Darren SandersDarren was diagnosed with prostate cancer in March 2011, after his PSA level doubled from the year before. To remove the cancerous tissue, he elected to have the daVinci robotic surgery: a technique that is precise, reduces blood loss and potential need for a transfusion. Darren later learned - following his father's subsequent prostate cancer diagnosis - that he is genetically predisposed to prostate cancer.

He now recommends getting tested for prostate cancer early and frequently, as it is the best way to ensure a cure. Darren also has learned since being diagnosed that African-American men are 60 percent more likely than the rest of the population to develop prostate cancer, which is why he believes it is important to share his story with others.

Darren is a retired police officer and currently serves as director of security for the Baltimore Ravens.

"I don't know where I would be if I didn't see a urologist about my health," said Darren. "But I'm glad that the disease was caught early so I can live a long, healthy life."

He says men should not be embarrassed to talk about getting screened for prostate cancer, as catching it early is the best way to treat and cure the cancer. While Darren spends much of his time protecting others, he values the CUA team for being there to safeguard his health, and his future.

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Patient Navigator Touches the Hearts of Patients Throughout their Journeys with Cancer

Valentine’s Day is known as a day of romance and matters of the heart.  Well, on Valentine’s Day of 2013, Oncology Nurse Navigator Diana Melendez attended CUA’s Prostate Cancer Support Group held at The Prostate Center, where she got to speak heart-to-heart with a number of CUA patients who she’s been navigating through their prostate cancer treatment.   Diana frequently contacts patients via email, phone and Skype, but the meeting was an opportunity to meet in person and share more stories. 




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Knowledge is Power When it Comes to Prostate Cancer 

Marie Dunsmore's husband, Walt, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in June 2009 after his urologist noticed that Walt's PSA was elevated at his annual exam. A biopsy revealed that three of thr 12 areas sampled were cancerous. Marie's initial Reaction was fear.

"I think it's a universal reaction," she says. "At the time you hear cancer, you don't know how bad it is or what the proognosis is going to be, and you just pray that everything works out."

Dunsmore soon found out that knowledge gave her power. "I went on the Internet and I researched everything," she recalls. "I wanted to know everything I possibly could. The more information you have, the easier it is to deal with the cancer, because then you know what you're dealing with. Be informed."

Three months after finishing 12 weeks of radiation treatments at the Chespeake Prostate Center, Walt's PSA had decreased from 5.2 down to 1.5. 



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Hold Onto Each Other, and to Faith

Pamela Stanton will never forget the morning in May 2008 when her husband, Leroy, was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

"We were lying in bed and the phone rang. I saw the doctor's number come up on the caller ID, so I gave it to my husband. When the doctor said, 'You have prostate cancer,' I lost it."

Despite the fear she felt, she refused to allow prostate cancer to separate her from her spouse. "I always say, 'We had it,' because I felt like I was diagnosed too," she says. "It drew us closer together. Sometimes, we get caught up in our own little personal time, but when cancer happened we realized how valuable being together was. Instead of drawing us far apart, it actually brought us closer together."

Faith in God also carried the Stantons through Leroy's fight against prostate cancer. "Even if it's the size of a mustard seed, that's all you need to make it. I was there praying and standing strong for him. We prayed together," she says. She credits God for the strength that Leroy, a police officer, showed while undergoing 45 radiation treatments and brachytherapy at the Chesapeake Prostate Center. "He never missed a day of work - it was awesome how strong he was."

Leroy's follow-up visit revealed that his PSA was back to normal, and he is in great shape.



Know Your Medical History, and Get Preventative Care

Malvilyn Statham's beliefs in the importance of knowing your family's medical history and preventative medicine were bolstered when her husband, Calvin, was diagnosed with prostate cancer during a routine check-up. Due to his family medical history - both Calvin's father and brother have also battled prostate cancer - his risk for the disease was heightened.

"Calvin has an excellent doctor who check him because of his family medical history," she says. "When he saw something that he didn't like, he sent him to the same urologist that his father had gone to. They were actually diagnosed with prostate cancer at the same age."

"I truly believe that if you go for your regular examinations, and then if you go when something is not right, the doctors can help you a little bit more; but it needs to be a family affair for men and women," Statham says. "We need to know what Uncle John and Aunt Susie died from."

Calvin now speaks at churches to let African American men know about prostate cancer's genetic link and encourages them to get regular exams. After 44 radiation treatments and four chemotherapy treatments, Calvin received good results.


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