Mar 08, 2009 - 4:25 pm
Hi all. I am 12 days past my da Vinci Prostatectomy. I had my catheter removed (3 days ago) after 9 days. I also received my pathology report. The margins were clear, which is what i was really hoping for.
My initial biopsy (one sample) had a Gleason score of "3+4", but my post-op pathology was "4+3" - so it definitely was time to have it removed.
It has been a quite a roller coaster, and almost a dream like situation. My wife and I were just talking today about it. It was only last August that i received the PSA results of 6.2. And then, the rest has been a blur. The 2nd PSA test. The referral to the Urologist. The consultation with the Urologist as to whether or not to have a biopsy. The biopsy. The positive results from the biopsy. The referral to my surgeon. The consultation with the surgeon, including the treatment options. The surgery. The recovery (which i am still going through). Again, it has been a blur.
I could write a book, but will offer a few brief thoughts.
Most important, how key it is to have an excellent surgeon (one who has performed over 2,000 Prostatectomies.
Also important, to have a network of people to talk to. I have 2 co-workers who have gone through the surgery (one 4 years ago, by the same surgeon. And one a few months ago). Both have offered excellent advise, and have answered questions (from major to trivial). I could not have gone through this without them. I also have a friend, who i was referred to by a co-worker, who is an expert in the field of Prostate Cancer. He had P/C, had the surgery, and has since studied and become an expert. He also has been invaluable, helping to answer questions, and offer support.
Also important, to have a loving spouse and family. My wife, in particular, has been an angel. Since my diagnosis, she has been so supportive. There have been several times, in the last few weeks, when i have been overwhelmed by the entire process, and she was there to support me. Never offering advice, but always just saying "I will take care of you" (no matter how bad things got).
Also important, wow, how wonderful are the people who work in the medical profession. From the many people in the surgeon's office, to the many people at the hospital, they have all been wonderful. From the first woman (in the admitting office) who helped me during the pre-op appointment, to the many nurses during the many pre-op exams, to the many nurses and resident doctors prior to my surgery, to the many nurses who cared for me while in recovery, to the nurse who assisted during the catheter removal. To the nurse practitioner, who advised us of everything to expect after leaving the hospital, and finally back to the surgeon. Wow. These people are unbelievable.
Unexpected ? I, personally, experienced a bit more abdominal pain (after going home) than i thought that I would. I think part of it is that i have always had a very sensitive stomach, and can easily end up with gas, cramping, etc. - even before ever having surgery. So, with all the gas that they pump you full of for the robotic surgery, i think it did a number on me. The walking around really helped on that issue. And, i watched my diet very closely, so as to eat foods that were agreeable to me. The incision pain was very minimal. I switched to only tylenol very quickly (when the viodin caused me to space out).
My best wishes, and prayers to all who are going through this.