CSN Login
Members Online: 6

My Journey for the newly diagnosed & Success!

ajfishin_fool
Posts: 7
Joined: Apr 2009

I first posted back in April 2009. Diagnosed with prostate cancer. PSA 5.1 - Gleason 3+3=6 -one out of twelve biopsy cores were positive - 56 at the time of diagnosis. Now 57. Traveled to Boise, ID, Dr. Waldmann (Meridian) performed my surgery using the DaVinci method. Pre-op appointment on Fri. Nov. 6th Doctor prescribed an anti anxiety to take the morning of the surgery, however gave me enough for the weekend - Thank God he did... I was a nervous wreck and they sure helped. Also, a bowel cleanser and clear liquid diet the day before the surgery. I arrived at the hospital at 11:00 a.m., November 9, 2009. Given IV's and two shots of verset. Taken to surgery - Very quickly I was told I was going to sleep and that is the last I remember before waking in recovery. Recovery was tough because the morphine was making it hard for my brain to tell my body to breath. Spent extra time in recovery until respirations were normal. Doctor met with my wife and daughters and said my surgery was "text a book procedure". Taken to my room around 5:00. Catheter was in place and at this time I was in severe pain. Once in my bed and settled I was given morphine every 4 hours through the night. I had three male nurses, who were very good. I was told not to get up the first day of surgery, but the next morning after breakfast I started walking the hallways – more often and longer every time. (I feel that was huge to my recovery.) Doctor came to see me the next morning after the procedure. I was discharged late that afternoon. First evening and night at daughters home I was in a lot of pain. My wife helped with all of my needs and care from the catheter, changing bags, meds and helping to change cloths. While at daughters home I walked laps around her house, was able to go to Red Robin (restaurant) that Friday. I purchased a couple pairs of athletic pants to wear during recovery, but soon found out that was not ideal. My wife purchased athletic shorts. Much easier to carry around cath bag while at home. When I went out I wore the longer pants. For me the catheter was not a problem. Yes it was a relief to have it out, but I didn't find it irritating. It was attached to my leg with a white bandage that it clamped into and then I would tape it to my leg. The smaller bag I strapped below my knee and placed it on the inside of my calf so I could empty it easier. Saw the Doctor November 17, he took out the catheter and gave me my pathology. I was surprised to learn that my cancer was up-graded to a 3+4=7 and that there were large tumors throughout my prostate. The average prostate is 20 to 25 grams. Mine was 54 grams! The good news was that my margins were all clear. Also, they were able to spare the nerve bundles. Waiting for 6 weeks to have PSA done. I do want to say something here that I feel very strongly about. I was told that I was a good candidate for "Watchful Waiting" or "Active Surveillance". It was extremely hard to go from April to November knowing I have cancer and “could it be spreading?”. That time frame gave me an accurate perspective on what it feels like to wait with cancer. I am so glad I had the surgery, especially being a candidate for “Watchful Waiting” only to find out it was worse, more aggressive than what showed on the biopsy. I am very blessed where the continence issue is involved. I was so nervous about the unknown... I wear a pad. Change it maybe every three to four days as needed. I wear it mostly for protection rather than need. I leak some from time to time when I sneeze or cough hard, but even then it is minimal. I wake up at night to use the restroom. The urge is strong... and I need to hurry, but I make it just fine. I have been faithful with the kegal exercises before and after the surgery. Doing the daily cialis as prescribed (insurance approved cialis for a year) and then a larger dose weekly and of course the pump... so necessary for the blood flow and keeping length. I hope my info helps anyone that is facing the surgery. Others have posted their experiences, which I was grateful to read about. All in all it feels so good to have this over with and I can face the future and deal with what comes!

Just wanted to re-post this for all my fellow brothers just being diagnosed. It is now August 1, 2011 and I am doing fantastic. I have beed diagnosed with Peyronie's Disease; which is a bend in the penis from fibrous plaques. My urologist has me using a penis pump to stretch the tissue. Was using the injections for erections, but now just using cialas. I am 100% in contol of my bladder. I still have some urgency issues - but I make it fine. My PSA is undetectable. Wishing you all a happy and healthy life... It is worth all it takes to get there!

VascodaGama's picture
VascodaGama
Posts: 1563
Joined: Nov 2010

AJ

Thanks for the report.
I wish you continous good outcomes in your journey.

The best to you
VG

ajfishin_fool
Posts: 7
Joined: Apr 2009

I appreciate your kind words. I wish this outcome for everyone and hope it continues. It certainly is a journey full of questions, anxiety, and hope.

dafuston
Posts: 26
Joined: Aug 2011

Thank you for your post. My husband (50) was diagnosed on Friday, August 5th. Our daughter and I are trying to research all the treatment options with their various protocols and side effects. It's very overwhelming! My husband has the same 1-12 positive areas, 3+3=6 Gleason Score. We have a 10 year old as well as 2 small grandchildren - so we are concerned about the radiation seeds, are unsure about cryosurgery and the hormone injection 3 mos. prior to surgery, had not heard of robotic surgery until I investigated on-line, so is that the same as radical protatectomy? How did you decide on your method of treatment? We are in the Atlanta, GA area and are currently seeing a urologist at Emory.

VascodaGama's picture
VascodaGama
Posts: 1563
Joined: Nov 2010

Dafuston

AJ in this thread is reporting his experience on surgery done with a robot (aka; DaVinci).
His case is typical and based on his diagnosis and now the outcomes from surgery, his choice can be considered rightful on his case.

This is a good example which your husband could take when procuring for his own choice. However, in prostate cancer we know that not two cases can be considered equal. A treatment may work well in one case but not in another with similar characteristics.

Hope you find what you are looking for.

VGama

ajfishin_fool
Posts: 7
Joined: Apr 2009

Hello, This is Alan's wife! He has been working so much over-time I jumped on to see updates on the board. Sorry for not responding sooner. First - I am so sorry that you, your husband and family have to take this journey. He is very young to have been diagnosed with prostate cancer. My husband was as well. We did research after research. We ended up traveling 250 miles from our home when we found a surgeon who had been a seasoned surgeon with the DaVinci method. From what we found was that if you and your husband should decide on the DaVinci surgery it should be done with a surgeon who has performed at least 250 – 300 surgeries. We can’t make your decision for you – nor should anyone else. One of the reasons we decided to NOT go with the seeds is that it destroys the prostate (and some surrounding tissue) and if it comes back you cannot do surgery at that time. Also, you can’t be close to young or fertile females. Interestingly – I was in having some blood work done and a man next to me had prostate cancer 9 years ago. He had his removed surgically. It returned and then he had the option of radiation to get any cancer left.

Again, God’s blessings with making your decision. As a wife and a caregiver during Alan’s surgery if I can be of any help with moral support let me know and I can get you my phone number.

Patty & Alan

Subscribe with RSS
About Cancer Society

The content on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions.

Copyright 2000-2014 © Cancer Survivors Network