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Recovery Period expectations.

bmorris
Posts: 18
Joined: Aug 2004

I was diagnosed with PC in Agust 04. My PSA initially was 4.2. Immediately after my biopsy it droped to 3.3 with a Gleason score of 6. I opted for the radical nerve sparing surgery considering my age, 41, and the stage of the cancer. I had that God awful catheter removed today, 10 days after surgery, and feel pretty good. My Dr states I should not require any radiation treatments as the cancer was confined to one lobe of the prostate. I really expect to recover quickly but I am going to take it very easy for the next month -- very difficult for me since I am a very active person. As for side affects, I am experiencing very little leakage and have had a spontaneous erection so the outlook is promising. If anyone in my same age bracket can share their recovery experiences, I would greatly appreciate it.

thanks,

Barney

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

CONGRATULATIONS Barney! It sounds like you are well on the road to recovery. Although I was older when I had surgery (58) your recovery appears to mirroring mine. From your statement about incontinence, I would be willing to bet that you are regularing performing the kegel exercises. Continue with the exercises and the leakage will continue to get better. As for the erection that is an excellent sign. I think you have an excellent prognosis in that area also. In 6 - 8 weeks you should be back to near normal. (Perhaps sooner in some areas)

Again, survivor, you should have a very bright future ahead of you. Congratulations

Roger

jeffingbmich
Posts: 18
Joined: Mar 2003

Barney,
I'm older (58) but very active (race mountain bikes, ski, hike, etc.) so thought I'd share my experience. I had RP surgery in February '03. Had some mild incontinence for a few weeks but none after that. The only thing I've noticed is that I can't go quite as long between bathroom visits but still get through the night and several hours at work. The ED aspect has taken longer but continues to improve. This has been a test of patience and faith but it's getting better and I continue to be optimistic.
I was in excellent physical condition before my surgery but waited 10-12 weeks before getting back to serious exercise (crunches, leg lifts, weights, etc.) and it was probably 12 weeks before I could sit on a bike seat. The best advice here is to just listen to your body. You don't want any setbacks so just take it slow. As I started my recovery I overdid it and ended up having a double hernia repair 5 months after my RP. I recovered from that within a month and have been fine ever since.
I found out at my 18 month checkup in July that I am still cancer free, which continues to be great news every time I hear it. My doctor is optimistic that it's gone for good but won't call it a sure thing until we're 4-5 years post op.
Keep the faith, Barney. It's no damm fun, but you'll get through this!

Jeff

bmorris
Posts: 18
Joined: Aug 2004

Thanks Jeff. I will be sure to take it easy -- as difficult as it may be.

Barney

tpelle
Posts: 149
Joined: Aug 2003

Jeff: You mentioned that you "overdid it and ended up having a double hernia repair 5 months after my RP." How did you discover that you had a hernia? And, was it a result of overdoing it in connection with the surgery.

I had RP in January 03. All seemed to go well until early in the fifth week after surgery when I inadverently picked up a box of groceries (about 34 pounds) to load into my car. There seemed to be no problem. Two weeks later I lifted a wheelchair into the back of a car for an old woman at the doctors office. While neither of these events seemed to cause any immediate discomfort, several weeks later I developed and still have pains in the lower left abdomen. The pains seems to be more pronounced if I attempt to do Kegels. My doctor knows of my lifting infractions but feels that the pain is coming from an irritated bladder. I'm taking Imipramine which hasn't helped much, if any. Can you or anyone else relate to this problem? I have never quite reached full urinary control and continued to use one Depends pad per day.

jeffingbmich
Posts: 18
Joined: Mar 2003

tpelle: Sorry for the slow reply but I only check this site a couple times per month. I discovered I had the hernia due to the pain in the groin/testicle area (remember the "turn your head and cough" drill?) After a week or so of the pain I could feel the intestine beginning to protrude through the inguinal canal. My GP said it was a hernia so I went to a surgeon who specializes in laproscopic surgery (minimal incisions). He performed the surgery and within 30 days of the surgery I was back on my bike. I believe (although my doctor doesn't agree) that the hernia developed because the RP surgery, the related abdominal distention and muscular atrophy in that area allowed everything to just "sag". My next door neighbor also had RP surgery (5 years ago) and developed an inguinal hernia within a few months of his RP surgery. I find it hard to believe that this situation is just coincidental but, of course, it's possible. You might want to do some research on this and, of course, check with your doctor. Best of luck (and prayers, too)

Jeff

tpelle
Posts: 149
Joined: Aug 2003

Thanks, Jeff. Your comments are most helpful. I would have thought that my urologist would have checked for a hernia before now. Next month I will be seeing my primary care doctor and ask him to check or refer me to someone who will. Thanks again, tpelle

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