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Update From Larry

lewvino's picture
Posts: 1010
Joined: May 2009

Home and overall doing well. I know that every man is different but this is my take on things.

Tuesday - Day before surgery. Took the scenic route to Nashville to see some of the back country, Had lunch at Olive Garden with the wife (her favorite place). Pulled into the Parking garage at Vanderbilt on the 4th floor and the Car Broke down! Looked down and the temp gauge was in the red with steam coming off the engine! My wife and I literally pushed the car into the parking spot! I had checked all fluids before leaving home. Said I can't worry about this now. Went in and did all the pre-hospital stuff, paperwork, blood work, weight, EKG, etc. etc. By the way my blood pressure was thru the roof so I had told the nurse about the car break down! Two hours later was done and asked at the parking garage if someone could help us. They had a maintenance truck come by, put in 1 gallon of water, No leaks and the car started right up. Drove about 1 mile to the hotel. Checked in and water level was fine. About 5pm my wife and I walked to downtown Nashville, had my last meal (Salmon Salad) walked by the original Grand Ole Opry building and back to hotel. About a 3 mile round trip walk. Tuesday night - bowel prep and lots of hugs and talking to the wife.

Wednesday - Car started up and got to hospital fine. Checked in. Placed in the surgical waiting pod they call it. Met with nurses, They had trouble starting my IV and had to try 3 times since my vein kept 'blowing out'. Also talked to three different anesthesologists that would put me under. Talked to Dr. Smith, Talked to his 4th year intern. Very young guy. I asked him if he got to play with the robot and he said yes, that he would make all the incisions and close me up but Dr. Smith would take over the controls for the critical parts. Glad those young ones know their video games! When I talked to Dr. Smith before surgery he asked if I had any more questions, I said how do you know if you can spare the nerves. This was a BIG concern to me since I had 3 cores at biopsy of Gleason 4+3. He told me that he would probably have to take that nerve since it is more severe then a 3+4 but we want to get the cancer. Next they rolled me down the hall to the surgery room and transferred me to the table.
I remember asking where the robot was and they pointed it out to me over in the corner. They then asked are you ready? I said as ready as I will ever be, I saw him push a syringe into the IV Line and place a mask over my face. He asked me to start counting and I was out before getting to 2. Surgery took 3.5 hours and was in recovery room for 2 more hours. Dr. Smith met with my wife in a private consult room which she was very glad to meet with him since I had been gone so long! Rest of Tuesday afternoon was pretty bad. The Pain was far more severe then I thought it would be. Every person is different and I have talked to some men that have no pain meds. They started me on morphine for pain, then switched to something else which my wife (A nurse) Said is stronger then morphine. About six hours post surgery I insisted on taking my first walk. Luckily the night nurse was a huge guy. We only went a very short distance due to the pain and it was very slow going. This was when they decided to upgrade the pain meds since if they touched my abdomen or moved the sheet I was pretty much hitting the roof. I estimated the pain at a scale 7-8 based on their scale of 1-10. The one thing that surprised me was they would not give me ANY LIQUIDS until the next morning! They did give me a sponge to wet my mouth with. They stated they didn't want me to throw up anything.

Wed. Morning. No Hospital rooms were available so they actually had to keep me in the pre-surgery pod areas, Very small rooms but OK. No windows, I started walking again at 6 am and did a lot better. The only problem was that I had to have them disconnect the IV since it was hooked to the bed since it wasn't a regular hospital bed, I could not lower it or the rails, always had to call the nurse but they were very responsive and took good care of me. At 8 they brought me a liguid diet, juice, milk, some type of a cream broth I think it was suppose to be oatmeal, and a container of water. The water was gone in 10 minutes! I then walked every hr and 1/2 and they upped my pain meds to oxycotin. Dr.Smith came by and saw me Tuesday evening around 7 and again wednesday morning. The morning meeting was by chance encounter since I was still in the pre surgery area out on a walk and he stopped and talked to me in the hall on his way to another surgery. Tuesday evening he told us that he had not seen any signs of the cancer outside of the prostate. But that the proof and final word would be in the lab results. I'll post once I find out what they say. God is good and Dr. Smith told me that on the one side he spared 100% of the nerve bundle. On the other side where the cancer was he estimated that he had spared 50 - 70% of the nerve bundle! I was overwhelmed with the news since I was more worried about erection issues then the cancer being 54.

Early in the afternoon they discharged me and we had the three hour drive back home. That was not pleasant and in case you are wondering the car made it home with NO PROBLEMS! That includes going up over Mt. Eagle in Tn. If you have every gone down I-24 from Nashville you know the Mountain. Truckers hate it and it has two run away truck ramps on it for truckers if they loose there brakes. We stopped at the base of the mountain for a rest before going up it, checked water levels etc and all was good!

Friday - Saturday. Doing much better, Can get up and down out of bed by myself now, in and out of the chair, walking circles in the house, been out on the front porch 2 times. Haven't tried the front steps yet. Came in the back door which is only 2 small steps. Last Oxycotin I took was last night at about 10pm. Have been doing over the counter pain pills today but I am about ready for another oxycotin. The only 'bad news' was Dr. Smith wants me to wear the cath for 12 days instead of 10. It has not been as bad as I thought it would be but I'm getting tired of it on day 3 with 9 more days to go.

Last night I don't know if it was a dream or not but I had some pretty good sensations down below and told my wife if it wasn't a semi night time erection at least it was a VERY GOOD DREAM!!!

They sent me home with Over $200.00 worth of free Levitra to start taking once the Cath comes out so am optimistic on that. The bowel had no control for the first day or two but they said that was from the pure liguid diet. The hospital called yesterday and told me start on more solid foods so things are sounding like good old rusty pipes down below with things starting to wake up and things working their way through the bowels.

I appreciate EVERYONES advice, prayers, concerns and thoughts. A couple guys on this forum have been outstanding in calling and talking to me and to my wife! THANKS AGAIN ALL.


Posts: 24
Joined: Jun 2009

It is good to hear that you are home and 'that' part of your life in in your past.

Keep in touch.

I wish you well

WHW's picture
Posts: 189
Joined: Jul 2009

Larry, thanks for taking the time to give us such a complete report. There are many of us that have not had the surgery yet and your insight will only help us prepare more fully.

Great news about the nerve bundles. I got news for you about being 54 though; I will be 61 on Monday and the ED issues are on my higher priority list too. It would seem that since my wife and I have had the house to ourselves the last 3 years since our son went off to college we have a renewed interest on the intimate side of marriage.

I have no doubt that the cancer can be dealt with. I think that I have a different view on cancer that most because of dealing with my wife's cancer for the last 4 years. I have never been really concerned about the PC since being diagnosed, I have been more concerned about the quality of life issues later.

But I digress, thanks again for the update. Keep us up to date as your energy and outlook improves.

Guys like you that really care to share are the folks who make sights like this a very valuable resource for guys like me who are still facing the rest of the process that happens after the diagnosis.

Good luck with the nerve bundles.

lewvino's picture
Posts: 1010
Joined: May 2009

In case you haven't heard of the chest pain post surgery thought I would mention it.
The evening of surgery I had some severe chest pain for about 1 hr. I was glad this forum had warned me about it! This is normal since you will be almost upside down for your surgery! I quess they let gravity work to move internal organs out of the way. Some how they strap you on the operating table and invert you. I was out in la-la land for all that stuff! My wife said my face was swollen some but not as bad as she thought it would be. When the pain hit in the chest I immediately remembered reading about it on here and sure enough it passed quickly.


Posts: 241
Joined: May 2007


You're a positive force on this website---you've helped a lot of people with your words----get well my man.

God Bless-----------you've been great.


Watch.repair.man's picture
Posts: 49
Joined: May 2009

Sounds like everything is going good for you Larry. Keep on going.
It gets better day by day.
God bless.

Posts: 214
Joined: Jul 2009

Thanks so much for the honesty especially about the pain and other stuff. I get to meet my doctor and am told hes one of the best this monday and because of updates like this I can ask better questions. I will keep praying for a complete recovery for you Larry and all i have read here.......god bless you all for being so open here....Nick

lewvino's picture
Posts: 1010
Joined: May 2009

Just remember each person is indiviual. I have talked to two local guys who had the same surgeon as me and they were surprised about me having pain. They had none. So I hope for you that it will be painless. I am still taking oxycotin only at night. and then taking Extra strength tylenol during the day. Each day is gradually better though.

shubbysr's picture
Posts: 87
Joined: Jun 2009

Hey Larry,

Glad to hear the good news. I watched an old Star Wars movie last night.
May the force be with you!

Remember. It does get better.

shubbysr (jim)

hopeful and opt...
Posts: 2339
Joined: Apr 2009

on your recovery path.............Ira

txbarton's picture
Posts: 89
Joined: Aug 2009


Thanks for the detailed update. I got my surgery date a couple days ago; it will be in Austin on 30 Sep. Your info helps some of my anxiety.

I was very interested in the car ride, Austin in 3 1/2 hours from home, my surgeon said most out of town patients opt to stay in Austin until the 1-week follow-up. I am sure I will be more comfortable at home but am concerned about that long a car ride so soon after surgery.

Good luck on your recovery.


lewvino's picture
Posts: 1010
Joined: May 2009

The drive home was pretty rough and in hind sight would stay at least 1 extra night if I had to do it again. The local Urologist is pulling the Cath on Monday, HURRAH!!! Though it has not been as bad as I thought it might be.

dopplerjockey's picture
Posts: 39
Joined: Jul 2009

We live about 220 miles North of Boise, where my surgery was in May 2009. Upon leaving the hospital, with the catheter in, it was all that I could tolerate just driving about 3 miles from the hospital to a home that we had rented for the 8 days post-op. I doubt that I could have tolerated a long 3-4 hour drive home, even with having pain medication on board. After the catheter was pulled, we did drive home, taking about 4 hours to get home, and by then I had had all that I wanted. And I was taking Norco for pain management. So txbarton, I think I would stay close to the hospital for those days with the catheter in place before venturing too far away.
Larry, glad to hear that things are coming along OK for you.

Olee's picture
Posts: 97
Joined: Nov 2008

Larry I hope things are going good for you. Now it's time for you to heal and look forward. I wish you the best.

rogermoore's picture
Posts: 265
Joined: Mar 2002


So glad, and I am sure you are, the surgery is behind you. It sounds like Dr. Smith took good care of you. Please keep everyone posted on your recovery. Hope those "dreams" continue.


Posts: 43
Joined: Aug 2009

Iam happy for you that surgury is over.now the jurney beging.
good luck and we are here for you.

Posts: 18
Joined: Apr 2009

AJ - now 57, gleason 3+3 = 6 Less than 5% of cancerous tissue of 1 out of twleve of the biopsies. Thank you for going into such great detail on the day of your surgery. My surgery date is Nov. 9th in Meridian, ID. DiVinci method. Sounds like you are doing great. Prayers for your future recovery.

lewvino's picture
Posts: 1010
Joined: May 2009

As I mentioned we had car problems when we got to Hospital. Took it in this week and they ran a pressure check. All they could find was a hose where the clamp was bad and it was leaking water under pressure around that clamp. They fixed it and it only cost me $86.00! Was very pleased.

Posts: 21
Joined: Aug 2009

Have been following your progress--and your new photo! Hope your recovery is continuing smoothly. Have a couple of questions. My husband has just been referred to Vanderbilt, to Dr. Bruce Roth--do you have any info? We are in the Knoxville area and requested someone with experience in metastatic pc (lungs). We're finding that's uncommon, and have only been given the option of palliative chemo, when hubby still feels pretty darn good, working every day! (Radical surgery over 2.5 yrs ago, radiation, hormone therapy for his Gleason 4+5 w/positive margins.) Any other comments/opinions about the doctors and treatment?? Any info would be appreciated. Thanks!

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