RICHMOND, Texas - A man from Richmond in Fort Bend County got shocking news when he went in for a knee replacement.
Christopher French has spent the past year in recovery for more than his knee. We caught up with him at Levy Park in Houston to discuss his helpful advice with other men.
There's no place Christopher would rather be than spending time with his horses. He was apprehensive about taking time away from them for a knee replacement, but that time off ended up being more than he ever expected. Routine blood work came back raising suspicions of cancer.
"My family doctor said, when you get done with this, you've got some high levels from your prostate results and we need to get you to a urologist," explains Christopher.
He was referred to a doctor with Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital who performed more tests.
"It did show prostate cancer that needed to be treated. Some of them are so low-grade or so low stage that we can actually just watch it," says Dr. Ramesh Krishnan. He is a urologist and the Chief of Surgery for Memorial Hermann Medical Group.
He performed robotic surgery to remove Christopher's cancer.
"Essentially what we do with our procedures through some tiny holes in his abdomen, we remove the prostate using the DaVinci robot, and then we reconstruct the bladder and the urethra," explains Dr. Krishnan.
Christopher is relieved at how far the procedure has come in recent years.
"Another nice thing for me and a fortunate thing for men, if they're worried about this part of it, they do this with a machine. They don't just get in there and cut up," says Christopher.
"We are able to spare the nerves and do a better job reconstructing the urethra and bladder, so the risks of leakage of urine and sexual dysfunction are very low," states Dr. Krishnan.
Christopher is raising awareness about pelvic floor therapy. Once thought of as "for women only", exercises like Kegel's can also help men prevent urine leakage. He found unique ways to do it for several months.
"I'd be on the highway and say, okay from this section to the next section, I'm going to do it! So, I was doing what I needed to do," says Christopher.
He shares a positive update about another private matter.
"One tablet a day and I'll do that for a year to help blood flow in certain areas. Hey, I don't have cancer, I'm not going to die, and I'm still who I am," exclaims Christopher.
That means this "cowboy at heart" is back in the saddle again. He had to wait ten weeks after surgery before riding his horse again and laughs he still had to take it slow and easy to get there.
"I was like an old-time cowboy, bowlegged for a day, then I rode another 20 minutes the next day and did this again. Maybe a week or two later didn't bother me at all, and I was cowboying again," says a laughing Christopher.
He goes on to say that the powerful combo of his medical team and faith got him through it all. Even leaving him momentarily speechless, just thinking about it.
"Yep, my Lord takes care of me, in spite of myself," says Christopher.
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