OHSU

My Knight Prostate Cancer Story

Peter Mackwell, 54, Hood River, Oregon

Peter Mackwell - My Knight Cancer Story

As a paramedic firefighter, you understand life can be taken away at a moment’s notice. In September 2009, a routine PSA test showed elevated levels. After a biopsy and an ultrasound, the results came back: I had prostate cancer.

Although mine was not an aggressive form of cancer, I wanted it gone, with the least possible amount of time off work. A less-invasive surgical option seemed like the best choice.

During my first appointment, Dr. Amling spent two hours talking with my wife and me. He thoroughly explained all my options—we were so appreciative of all the time he spent with us. I knew he was the right surgeon: He was so informative, and had successfully performed this kind of surgery hundreds of times.

Peter Mackwell - My Knight Cancer StoryI was also really impressed with the communication at OHSU Knight Cancer Institute: Dr. Amling and his team all worked really well together, and the coordination with my primary care provider all went off without a hitch.

I had my surgery done in the morning and went home the next day. The downtime wasn’t bad at all; I used the time to catch up on computer projects. Recovering from a torn Achilles tendon was actually far more difficult!

I’ve recovered fully, gone back to work—and can still keep up with the young guys on my station. My cancer is essentially gone. Dr. Amling can’t say 100 percent, since cancer can be microscopic but he feels pretty certain we got it all. Now we just need to monitor my PSA levels from here on out.