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wife with questions

dodyg
Posts: 5
Joined: May 2009

We just found out yesterday that my husband has prostate cancer he is going friday for a CT and a bone scan I would like to know from other wives what I should get ready for his home coming after the robotic surgery we have alot of step so I will put a twin bed down stairs for him untill the cath comes out we have 5 dogs and I am afraid they will step on the tube and pull it out while running down the steps I know he needs to get in some walking so I will put the dogs outside or we will walk around out side just wanted to know what else I can get ready for him to be comfortable. Now from the Husbands what was best things that made your recovery better or helped alot. I just want to make sure I have everything ready that will help make him less stressed and more comfortable. Thanks

Olee's picture
Olee
Posts: 97
Joined: Nov 2008

Your post concerning post-op reminds me so well of the things my wife did for me after surgery. I received excellent care at the hospital by some of the best nurses I have ever met, but my wife became the caring and loving nurse once I came home. It's funny you mention your dogs because we have a 145 lb rottweiler who likes to love on his mom and dad. So when I came home, telling him to stay away, in order to avoid the catheter, was a challenge. My wife was home with me for the four days, but had to go back to work shortly there after. This left me to take care of myself during the day. Angus, our loving rottie, responded to commands and laid down beside me at the couch luckily. I kept a cane nearby to help with getting up and sometimes had to use it to gently push his kisses away. My wife did so many things for me I can never thank her enough. She did things for me I never thought I would have anyone do, starting with the time after the biopsy to the post-op. I had made sure I had the things I would enjoy the most, given the situation,around the house before the surgery. My wife and I went shopping for those books I always wanted to read, rented the movies I wanted to watch. She made sure I had things to occupy my time when I came home. I watched a ton of movies I always wanted to watch and read five books in a month. Between the movies, the books and the laptop, I was occupied. My doctor had also recommended that after a few days that I get out of the house, so on the fourth day my wife took me on a short 15 mile drive. She also helped me on my walks, choosing to play physical therapist. She had always been my best friend and wife, but during that time, she was my personal nurse and physical therapist.

RRMCJIM's picture
RRMCJIM
Posts: 149
Joined: Mar 2009

I am going thru post-op at the moment. My wife has done so much for me, I can't thank her enough. The first day she had the recliner all set up with anything I could think of. For me, lying flat in bed with the cath, is impossible. I can't find a spot to be comfortable. She helps me with my walks, showers, hell the first day she even helped me to the bathroom....which is a feat in and of itself..lmao....I am sure you and your husband will find what works best for you as you go thru it. She has lost some sleep this week after surgery, getting up every few hours just to check on my sorry a s s .....She has been my strength, my nurse, my therapist, my everything
Good Luck, you will do fine
Jim

dodyg
Posts: 5
Joined: May 2009

Thank you so much for taking the time to write us I will make sure to have lots of pillows to keep his head up a little if thats what works for him and one to put on his lap for the dogs that will want to jump on him thay are about 50 lbs but think they are small puppies that can sit on your lap which they do they even let us hold them like babies this will probabley be one of our hardest things to keep the dogs off of him and his bed in the living room. Good luck on your recovery we hope everything continues to go well for both of you. Keep us posted on how you are doing. Thank you.

dodyg
Posts: 5
Joined: May 2009

Thank you so much for writing me back. My husband said he wanted a book for fathers day I told him we will go get it now so he can read it while he is off we started making a list of things to have done before he goes in we were in a bike accident about 8 years ago so we have a walker, cane wheelchair and a shower chair we were hoping to never see these things again but glad we have them. what we dont know is can you shower with the cath in or does he need to wait untill it is removed. Im sure the doctor will tell us this but this way i can get some adult shower wipes to have on hand. Again thank you so much for all your knowledge it is very helpful to us.

RRMCJIM's picture
RRMCJIM
Posts: 149
Joined: Mar 2009

You shouldn't need any of those items. I do need help getting up from a reclining position at times. I shower with the cath, not a problem. Getting in and out of the shower has never been an issue. The dog seems to sense that something is different, and seems to be gentle around me for the moment. Using the toilet for me has been a little difficult because they have the cath tube strapped down with a short lead to it. But rather than try to move it and suffer spasms I just endure. I have not been effected by spasms at all, so I feel very fortunate, some here ,like Olee , said the spasms were the worst. Walking is not a problem, but I find I become exhausted easily. Doing even a little activity wears me out fast. But it seems you have time to prepare if you were just diag, it does take time to research, then plan, decide, and schedule which treatment is right for you.
Jim ( Big Ugly Biker Guy)

thegriz
Posts: 23
Joined: Nov 2008

I also had Da Vinci. My thoughts: Your husband should be able to do stairs, just slowly, so having a bed downstairs may not be necessary, or even wise if the dogs are around. My wife and I slept in our upstairs bed as usual, and had no problem. The bath and shower were then close if I needed them. I changed to a larger urinary bag at night and left it on the floor next to the bed with the tube well secured to my thigh. I doubt he'll want any dogs in his lap for several days (weeks?), as his abdomen will be sore and tight from the Da Vinci. Your great concern for his well-being will be his biggest asset. Good luck.

dodyg
Posts: 5
Joined: May 2009

Thank you very much for taking the time to write us. our bathroom is downstairs and even when we are well the dogs can take your feet out from under you and have almost made up fall now we wait untill most of them made it down so we can get down safley i will have a pillow around for his lap not for them to sit on but for when they jump up on him i hope they know something is not right but you never know how they will react but the puppy will chew on his bag thats why i was hoping it would be one that straps to the leg and not go all the way to the floor. we have started now putting a stop or tryig to get them to stop jumping on him a hard habbit to brake when every morning they are on their hind legs and he pets and talks to each and every one like me next me next we have i guess about 3-4 week to get things under control. thanks again

mary1228
Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2009

Just registered for this helpful and knowledgable site and I'm so glad I did.
Reading over many of your stories I believe will help with dealing with my
husband's prostate cancer. He was diagnosed in Mid April, 58 yrs old, and
had PSA of 17 with Gleeson of 6. He had the bone scan and all went well.
The question is that most of you that went through surgery, did the robotic
surgery. His specialized doctor doesn't do robotic and will do the radial prost.
Is robotic the best way to go with this type of cancer? Any one experience
the radial prost. ? Perhaps, I feel that we should go only through the robotic,
reading your comments. Thanks

RRMCJIM's picture
RRMCJIM
Posts: 149
Joined: Mar 2009

Hi there, I decided on robotics for a few reasons. One was it seems to be the"Golden Standard" nowadays. You can go to the di vinci site and actually see the robot, it has a quicker recovery time then open radical prostatectomy , the ability to do nerve sparing, and minimal blood loss. I went home the very next day. Also we have a friend who is a surgeon and couldn't say enough good thing about it. There is another post here and it's by a guy who is a Dr. I believe he chose to have open surgery because he wanted the touch of the surgeon, as opposed to a robot who might not know the amount of pressure being applied
Jim

lewvino's picture
lewvino
Posts: 1007
Joined: May 2009

I have been diagnosed with Prostate Cancer age 54 but have not started treatments yet. I meet with the Robotic surgeon on June 8th for initial consult and scheduling of the surgery. The reason I'm looking at Robotic is similar to other's post.
Plus - I have watched two actual videos of the procedure on the web. The surgical field is magnified giving the surgeon a better view. It is also shown in 3D for the surgeon. Blood loss is less so the surgical field also has a 'cleaner view'. As you know there are lots of nerve bundles controlling erections through the area and the surgeon has a better view of the nerves. The robot is under control of the surgeon at ALL TIMES. They even have built into the robotic software is the surgeons hand slips or moves to fast it is not transferred to the robot. One other point that really impressed me is with traditional surgery when they suture the urinary tract back together one area was stiched 'blind' by the surgeon. With robotic they can see what they are actually sewing since they can put a camera there!

If you go robotic though find a surgeon that has done hundreds. I've been told that there is a large learning curve on the robot so you one some one with EXPERIENCE.

Larry

mary1228
Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2009

Thanks Jim and Larry for your feedback This is all happening too fast for me. Surgery
on my husband is Tues 6/9 We talked about the DaVinci Robotic surgery vs the reg radial
and he puts faith in his surgeon and he has decided to go thru radial. I feel that its his call and he is the patient after all. Only wish there wasn't so many choices out there.
It seemed like there was a delay in all his tests taken, biopsy, bone scan at least weeks
and now surgery has been decided within the week. That bothers me but its up to the patient to decide. After reading a post from Feb 09, I did feel better in that men aren't cured
any better with the DaVinci procedure but the difference is the length of stay and the
overall recovery time I am surprised that his surgeon doesn't do that procedure since he is
young at 43 yrs old. Well what matters is the patient and if he has trust in his doctor
he will make the right decision. I'm not looking forward to Tuesday

lewvino's picture
lewvino
Posts: 1007
Joined: May 2009

Mary; You and your husband will be in my thoughts and prayers! I've debated going traditional surgery versus robotic but will make up my mind on June 8th after I talk with the robotic surgeon in Nasvhille TN. I actually found a video on the web of the Doc doing the surgery with the robot and watched it! I've been told my Local Doc is really good but have been impressed with the Robotic procedure.

43 is very young, I'm 54 and I know how much the thoughts have been hitting me as I'm sure they are him.

Each person has to make their own decision and I'm sure his surgeon will do an excellent procedure for him.

Keep us posted!

Larry

RRMCJIM's picture
RRMCJIM
Posts: 149
Joined: Mar 2009

You will be in our thoughts also. I know how hard it is to make the decision that was right for me... too many choices. Mine came down to the surgeon... I was so comfortable with mine, I just knew after our meeting (2 hours long). He has performed ( in the 200 range) robotics. He trained with City of Hope, Loma Linda , and his partner in Detroit, and Chicago. He took the time with my surgery to save both nerve bundles, very little blood loss, about a shot glass full, etc. I believe it came down to his skill level, his success rates, and his willingness to treat me as a special case, not just another notch on his belt of thousands.... like Larry, I am54, but life is getting back to normal...good luck to you and your husband
Jim

kreinholt's picture
kreinholt
Posts: 35
Joined: Mar 2009

lewvino, I don't think the decision will be that hard for you. I went through the Di Vinci and it was painless with a quick recovery. The other benefit was that there was less risk of damaging other areas than the traditional way. Trust me, you will be up and about in two weeks tops with cabin fever. Really had no use for the pain pills they gave me. Had minor discomfort when I coughed or sneezed and that's about it. I think that the worst part for me was the catheter. Cursed it every day but it was more of an annoyance than anything. Don't usually sleep on my back so that was a challenge the first couple of days. Have no problem with erections either although it takes slightly longer but not much. Good luck with whatever decision you make. I know you'll keep us posted.

kreinholt's picture
kreinholt
Posts: 35
Joined: Mar 2009

Mary, you are correct, it has to be his ultimate decision. Either way, my thoughts and prayers are with both of you and will remain positive that whatever procedure he chooses will get rid of the cancer. Your support, patience and understanding before and after the surgery will be key to his recovery. My wife is a nurse, so she instinctively wanted to take care of me, but there were times that I wanted and needed to do things on my own so I didn't feel too dependent. Again, be patient with him especially post op. Encourage him to join this website. There are a lot of great guys on this website like Jim and Larry who can provide some great personal experiences and support. Nobody wants to go through this alone and not everyone knows someone who has gone through the experience that they can readily talk to. Even though I have never met any of these guys, I feel like I know a lot of them and can relate to everything that they are going through. Looking forward to hearing from you after Tuesday's appointment.

Kurt

mary1228
Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2009

I am so glad the surgery is over and I'm know my hubby is too. THe surgery went well,
radical prost. about an hour and maybe a little longer. Many of the doubts he had about the radical proced were cleared up and my husband, Paul seems to be very comfortable with his decision. If it was me, I'd probably go with DaVinci since I see the recovery will be longer this way. The incision is about 14 staples which is about 3 -4 inches, looks a bit uncomfortable. Either way, the catheter is a pain. The hospital gave us 2 size bags, a larger one for night and a leg one for the day. He was in the hospital 2 nights, and maybe he could have been released a day earlier but his blood pressure was low 88/40
and the surgery was done on Tuesday early afternoon. Time will tell how Paul will recover,
but so glad it's over. He is 58 and his biopsy reflected 9/12 samples cancerous, PSA levels
were 17,18 with Gleeson of 6 but he felt fine. I know he can't wait for the catheter to be removed on the 19th, not so much the staples. The doctor was quite understanding and I still am surprised he doesn't do the DaVinci since he is a young doctor, 43. He is sleeping downstairs and appreciates our chairs with arms now. I have made lots of jello and slowly he's back to eating. I wonder when he can attemp steps once again. Thanks to all of you on this board for your sincerity at this time.

lewvino's picture
lewvino
Posts: 1007
Joined: May 2009

Glad to hear your husband is recovering. I'm 54 and having the robotic surgery on August 12th.

My Local Dr. is also fairly young. When I asked him why he didn't do the robotic he said the group he is in would have to purhase the robot itself since the local hospital doesn't have one. Though I just heard the hospital has put in a new surgical wing and are buying the 'robot' so his group may be changing over to robotic in the future.

I chose the Robotic and a Dr. he recommended to me at Vanderbilt in Nashville.

Its good to hear that your Doctor is understanding. My local Dr. said he would still do follow up with me even though I went to a different Dr. for the robotic surgery.

Larry

shubbysr's picture
shubbysr
Posts: 87
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi Larry,

Similar to my situation, I did not feel confident in the experience of my small town doctors. I choose a 2nd opinion from the Urology Dept. at John Hopkins in Baltimore. The 8 hour trip was not the most comfortable but, well worth getting Radical Robotic from a urologist who does @150 per year.
My one piece of advice is to do the Kegel exercises NOW. I was told about the Kegel exercises 2 days before surgery so,not much practice time. It is easier to do after surgery with lots of practice before hand. Best of luck to you, with good thoughts and prayers heading your way.

Jim (shubbysr)

lewvino's picture
lewvino
Posts: 1007
Joined: May 2009

Jim,
Thanks for the heads up on the Kegels. I had read about them and have been practing for about 1 month now. I need to practice more per day since I don't think I get in the recommended 10 sets per day. Plus my wife works in Labor and Delivery so she reminds me of how much they help the pregnant women! Gee gone from bleeding after the biopsys, to Kegels to future pads. What is happening to my body! LOL but I guess it beats the alternative.

I have much confidence in the Doc at Vanderbilt. He has done several thousand with the robot, was listed as one of the top 500 male cancer docs in the USA and has also written extensively in medical journals and medical text books. I want EXPERIENCE on my side for this one.

Larry

RRMCJIM's picture
RRMCJIM
Posts: 149
Joined: Mar 2009

Glad to hear your husband's surgery went well. My recovery has gone very fast so far. He will love the day the cath is removed, nothing at all to it either. My Dr had me up and walking right away, faster to get rid of the gas from surgery. The more walking, the faster the healing I was told. I had no trouble with stairs, just slow going with the cath. The first time in the shower was a chore, but it got easier as time went on. I did get winded easy, especially when standing for awhile in the shower, etc....keep us informed
Jim

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