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follow-up radiation question

jgh333
Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2004

First of all, thanks Roger and Joe for replying to my first message. I appreciate your encouragement and advice.

Just a quick update. It will be two weeks this Wednesday since his RP. The pathology reports came back excellent! No cancer in the lymph nodes and it was contained with no cancer around the edges of the prostate. This means no radiation follow-up. My husband is estatic. I am just wondering though - do people ever elect to have radiation follow-up just for peace of mind?

Also, the catheter and staples come out this week. Another milestone in this new experience. I have to say it has been a lot more uncomfortable then it seemed at first. Everyday he has had bladder spasms that have been quite painful. Thank God - they are temporary. They never last long and we have been told as soon as he gets the cath out they will go away. He says it won't be soon enough! Other than this, his recovery has been dramatic. I know he will still be limited for another month or so (lifting restrictions) but everyday since he came home from the hospital he has been 100% better! It really is amazing to me.

The next part of this journey may be hard as we begin to find out to what extend our love life will change. We just received a letter from our hospital encouraging patients and spouses to attend a prostate cancer support group. We will just have to see where it takes us.

I am truly grateful that things have gone this good so far - I have great confidence that we can handle whatever lies ahead.

That is all for now,
Thanks for listening,

Julie

nutt
Posts: 140
Joined: Sep 2001

Julie,
I guess there have been some that have had additional therapy of sorts but..... the least intrusive method would be to have more psa tests ie... every three months (verse 6 mos or a year) to assure yourselves that the RP got it all. For that fact, even if your insurance doesn't pay for it I understand it is not very expensive -- check with your doctor.

Then, if there is a trend upward in the psa you have an early jump on it?

The other solutions all have their own side affects and can delay the healing process ie... radiation will surely kill more tissue but will it be cancer or good tissue?

It could add addl problems to returning to whatever full function he is capable of?

I understand your view, uncertainity and plain fear that it wasn't all eliminated. WE ALL face that question and have to reach the point where we just trust our original selection of procedure and surgeon BUT, keep a very watchful eye.
Just very happy all went as well as it did. Keep up the strong spirits and support and you both will get through this stronger than before.
Stay in touch.
Joe

jgh333
Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2004

Joe,

Yes, there is a lot to think about. I quess sometimes you hear people doing extremely radical things to ensure the cancer doesn't return. I am not talking about prostate cancer per se...

But you are right, the least intrusive way to keep track is through the PSA tests. He will go in June 9th for follow-up to surgery and we will talk more about it with the specialist. The doctor already said they will be closely monitoring my husband every few months for the next five years. That entails the dreaded psa tests. I quess it will not be so dreaded especially after you get the first one behind you.

What you said makes total sense and it is what my husband is comfortable with that really matters. And he does not want to do follow-up radiation unless it was recommended.

One thing I have learned through this whole process is - the more information you have - the better decisions you can make. And (this is a biggie) - once you make an informed decision, try not to compare your situation with everyone elses!
Yikes, easier said than done.

Thanks,
Julie

rogermoore's picture
rogermoore
Posts: 265
Joined: Mar 2002

Julie,

Congratulations on your husband's report of "non-involvement" of the lymph nodes!!! That is truly a good indication the cancer was contained. It sounds like he is recovering quite well. I know he will be extremely relieved to have the catheter removed. Keep in mind that there may still be some bumps in the road, but it seems the worst is over. Be sure he continues to practice the kegel exercises.

As for the impact on your love life, only time will tell. Here again, keep a positive attitude (both of you) and the prospects of returning to normal will improve. As my surgeon told me "90% of the arrousel function is mental."

Again, congratulations and keep us posted.

Roger

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