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Surgery Wednesday

MichaelF1002
Posts: 54
Joined: Mar 2013

Hi all,

Sorry, haven't been very active here past few months.  But I've been visiting almost daily and reading.  I'll be going for Da Vinci surgery on Wednesday. My surgeon will be the same doctor who removed my kidney three years ago and he has done thousands of these Da Vinci prostate surgeries. So I feel pretty confident it will go well.  I was looking into brachtherapy but was not considered a candidate because I am already experiencing urinary difficulties and they were concerned that they might get worse as a result of the radiation.  I turned down external radiation so that left me with surgery or watchful waiting.  Couldn't stand the idea of having this thing growing in me, not knowing when or if it would spread.  My PSA has gone from time of biopsy (April 13, 2013) from 4.71 to 6.16 to 5.47.  The second one was taken too soon after biopsy (it had been preordered and the lab automatically administered it when I went for something else).  So that explains the big jump.  But I wasn't happy with the last reading either, considering it was 3.82 less than a year earlier.  Anyway, I'm mentally and emotionally prepared (I think).

Best to all,

Michael

age 66, 3+3=6, 5.47 PSA

p.s. A few days ago, I heard from the VA about my Agent Orange claim.  They denied the kidney cancer claim but approved the prostate claim.   

lewvino's picture
lewvino
Posts: 1004
Joined: May 2009

Best wishes on your surgery! Let us know how you do.

lewvino

MichaelF1002
Posts: 54
Joined: Mar 2013

Thanks, Lewvino!

hopeful and opt...
Posts: 1278
Joined: Apr 2009

As was suggested to you, I wonder if you ever have a course of an antibiotic to determine effects on your PSA. Remember the PSA measures a trend only. The biopsy is the critical information. Eventhough I, also with a Gleason 3+3=6 have been in an Active Surveillance program for almost 5 years and am happy with my decision, since I am closely monitored and can always seek the same treatment that I originally would have choosen,  I wish you well in the choice that you are making.

PS PLease share the involvement of cores that were cancerous. How many core(s) were 3+3=6

MichaelF1002
Posts: 54
Joined: Mar 2013

My biopsy showed 10% of one core (5% according to second opinion at Johns Hopkins).

Glad you are happy with your decision, Hopeful.  I couldn't do that, however.  I'd be worried the whole time, thinking that it is possibly worse than indicated by the biopsy, as post-op biopsies sometimes prove true.  Bad enough I have to be concerned about the kidney cancer metastasizing, I don't want to have prostate cancer on my mind for the rest of my life too.  I'd rather have it removed and hope for the best after that. Smile

Michael

hopeful and opt...
Posts: 1278
Joined: Apr 2009

 

 

hopeful and opt...
Posts: 1278
Joined: Apr 2009

Obviously my viewpoint is different. Since approximately 70 pecent of low risk cancers are indolent, that is not likely to spread, I prefer to be monitored with the best expertise available; that is an expert in monitoring my low risk cancer using the lastest technology available, that is an MRI guided with a three dimensional ultrasound machine that is able to dertermine cancers at a signifcantly greater rate that the two dimensional random biopsies that are generally used. I do not wish to take the risks of incontinence and ed, as well as other potential issues from surgery and other active treatments.

In my opinion, having surgery with the very small amount of cancer that you have is overtreatment.

Please feel free to click my name to determine how I have been treated and other pertinent information.

I would not mention any of the above if you had gone through surgery, however, since you have not undergone this treatment, I feel that eventhough I am very direct and possibly insensitive on the days before a  potential surgery, I would be remiss in not saying what I have.

At any rate I wish you the best

MichaelF1002
Posts: 54
Joined: Mar 2013

Well, now that you mention it ... it is a bit insensitive.  See Lewvino's response to learn the appropriate thing to say in the future.  I haven't just been sitting around for 6 months in la la land.  I have been researching and, like others in our position, have come to a conclusion that I feel is right for me.  So at two days before my surgery, to say that this is "overtreatment" can put the idea back into my mind that "Gee, I wonder if I'm doing the right thing."  After having considered my options for months I am not, of course, going to rethink my decision just because you are doing so well with active surveillance.  I could point out a number of cases I have read about where that turned out to be the wrong decision for people.  We are all individuals and this is a decision we all must make, and nobody can know how it will turn out.  No point in second guessing anybody.  I am very happy that active surveillance is working so well for you. I don't think it would work that well for me.  But I hope that in the weeks and months to come, I will be equally happy with my decision.

hopeful and opt...
Posts: 1278
Joined: Apr 2009

I wish you well

I apologize for insensitivity in being aggressive, not assertive in providing what I consider valid information for you.  I sincerely wish the best for you.

 

MichaelF1002
Posts: 54
Joined: Mar 2013

No problem, Hopeful.  Life is too short ... as we both know.  Besides, you have always been very helpful in your other replies to me.  Laughing

Michael

Samsungtech1
Posts: 350
Joined: Jan 2011

Michael,

Good luck.  One thing about this route is that if there is any extension they will see, and deal with it.  One thing to keep in mind; Agent Orange induced prostate cancer tends to be very agressive.  Another point, it is very real for other cancers to attackyou.  On top of that ischemic heart disease is part of the deal.  

I got both, Ralph got more than that.  You need to "listen to your body".  I was in great health and up until I was diagnosed I never went to a doctor.  If youbelieve this is from VN then be really careful.  You need to evaluate yourdoctors constantly.  When they found the noduleS in my lung, I was told by every doctor, and nurse it was because I smoked.  I quit in 1985.  Most Dr.s do not read about agent orange.  They are too busy. Not one of my uncles, or seven male cousins have ever had prostate cancer or heart disease. My dad did not have it either.

by the way, the nodules were determined to be from prostate cancer.

Good luck,

Mike

MichaelF1002
Posts: 54
Joined: Mar 2013

Hi Mike,

Thanks. 

There's no sure way of knowing if my prostate cancer is a result of Agent Orange.  Because of the evidence that supports that AO can cause prostate cancer in people, the VA gives it an automatic approval.  I believe someday they will say the same thing regarding kidney cancer.  I have read the report on the aggressiveness of AO-related prostate cancer.  That was one of the factors that made me decide on surgery.  Sorry to hear that it has affected you so badly. 

Regards,

Michael  

Beau2
Posts: 228
Joined: Sep 2010

Hope your surgery goes well.

I found that after my surgery all of my urinary problems went away. The problems I had with slow urination and getting up several times at night disappeared with the 70 gram prostate. 

Wishing you the bestI

 

MichaelF1002
Posts: 54
Joined: Mar 2013

Thanks, Beau.  Those are the same problems I have been experiencing and am hoping for the same outcome!

Regards,

Michael

MichaelF1002
Posts: 54
Joined: Mar 2013

Surgery performed Oct. 9; released from hospital Oct. 10.  I experienced very little pain, only a bit in the stomach area due to the gas they pumped in.  Have taken no pain pills since being discharged.  However, the catheter is worse than I expected.  So uncomfortable.  Physically and psychologically.  Can't wait to get it out next Thursday.  Now the long wait for the biopsy.

Michael

yankeefan
Posts: 69
Joined: Mar 2013

i had surgery about 6 months ago....was fortunate to get a good path report....hope you do too....re the catheter..yeah, that's a pain but it will be gone soon...I had mine for 10 days, it was actually easier/less discomfort than I thought, but was still a great relief to get it out....my doc had me remove it myself at home in the shower....that caused a little bit of worry, but turned out to be straightforward....the real concerns, which i'm sure you know, are incontinence and ed. You can expect some period of ed for sure...i'm been 6 months and am still struggling with that....most don't have bad incontinence problems...but a few percent do...hopefully you aren't in that 3-5%. I leak only a very little and only at certain times....not a big problem for me...in fact, I had more urinary problems before the op as I suffered from a very large prostate with the normal symptoms for that...now my stream is much better and I don't have to go every 30/45 minutes...I had an open prostatectomy, vice robotic, so my recovery was a little different than yours will be....the first few days were pretty painful. other than wishing you the best of luck I can only advise to get as much walking/exercise as possible.....that will help in the recovery....

Beau2
Posts: 228
Joined: Sep 2010

Yeah, getting the catheter out was a liberating experience.  I remember getting my first good nights sleep, not having to take it into the shower, etc.

Good luck with your recovery. Best wishes.

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