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Behind the Headlines-21

Us TOO FLORENCE - BEHIND THE HEADLINES
BY BOB HORNEY - PROSTATE CANCER SURVIVOR - Us TOO CHAPTER LEADE
(Published August 12, 2015, The Siuslaw News)

It would be very difficult for anyone who has not walked in our shoes and attended Us TOO Florence meetings to understand the depth of respect, appreciation and just plain thankfulness we have for our two urologists, Dr. Bryan Mehlhaff and Dr. Doug Hoff. Take them away and we are just a bunch of prostate cancer patients talking about ourselves, each other, what we've read or heard while doing our best to support each other. Bring in Drs. Mehlhaff and Hoff, and we are a vibrant group seeking and receiving medical answers to personal issues related to screening, diagnosis, treatment or life after treatment. With Dr. Mehlhaff making prostate cancer his specialty, we are also kept abreast of the very latest treatments and tests related to prostate cancer.
For eleven years and counting, Dr. Mehlhaff has attended our meetings following his day at the Florence OUI Clinic. Dr. Hoff has been having lunch with us one time per month for about 4 years, finding a way to actually eat his food while answering the many questions we toss his way.
Since having Drs. Mehlhaff and Hoff available at our meetings, men can generally count on at least 20 opportunities per year to get their questions answered by one of them...if they attend our meetings. Many of us who started attending Us TOO Florence meetings upon our diagnosis, have continued attending with no thought of stopping. Knowing the life-saving importance of early detection of a recurrence is one of the reasons most of us will remain with and depend on our urologists for our ongoing prostate related followup care. After all, they are the experts!
Whether we are talking with our own personal urologist (Dr. Mehlhaff or Dr. Hoff) or have a different primary urologist, the answers we get are good for all concerned. There are always personal and general questions arising about our current status (aches, pains, test results, upcoming tests, follow-up treatments, something new in the news or on the internet, etc.) and whether the answer means we have nothing or lots to worry about, just getting an answer is critical. Whether we are on active surveillance or had one or more of the treatments, questions will frequently arise concerning what we've been through, what's going on right now or "what-ifs" about our immediate/long-term future.
Some of our concerns may seem too insignificant to us to actually schedule an appointment with our urologist, but having the chance to bring these up in the informal setting of a meeting is an advantage for all concerned - urologists and patients. After all, these concerns might just be a significant clue to the urologist about what is going on with our prostate health. The more we share, the better the urologist sees the whole picture of our health.
So...what we have right here in Florence is the opportunity to do all of the above without an appointment or charge. Over and over men arrive at our meetings with real life concerns and, after having a chance to talk with our attending urologist, have a definitive idea of what is going on. Granted, some of the answers do not support our longevity, but being able to get these concerns answered as they arise addresses the present and helps us plan future action. In addition to our own, we also get to hear the concerns of other men and women and the answers from the urologists. These may actually address and answer future situations of our own.
Having two monthly meetings with a urologist at each one, Us TOO Florence is a one-of-a-kind education/support group because of our two wholly unselfish urologists - Dr. Bryan Mehlhaff and Dr. Doug Hoff. We are absolutely thrilled and extremely fortunate to have them on our team!

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