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Journey Begins

SubicSquid
Posts: 11
Joined: Aug 2009

I was diagnosed with PC on July 8. I am 63 years old. My PSA was 5.66 and I had three cores out of 12 in my biopsy with a Gleason grade of 8 (3+5). Unfortunately, after the biopsy I developed a severe E-coli infection, despite the fact that I had pre-biopsy anti-biotics. The E-coli was resistant to two anti-biotics and I ended up getting IV anti-biotics for 14 days. I also had a catheter in place for 7 days. Infection is gone, but my doctor wants an eight week wait before surgery to ensure prostate is free of infection. I will be getting open surgery in October based on the recommendation of my doctor. A bone scan was negative and I had an MRI done (results not known). Because I am obese, he told me it would be difficult surgery. I am more concerned about the catheter than I am the actual surgery. After only one week, I had a mild infection and was miserable. I could not sit for any length of time and sleep was hard to come by. After removal, it took me two weeks to get bladder function back to normal. I was urinating every hour on the hour for the first week after removal. Reading this board has provided some comfort, knowing that I am definately not alone with this cancer. I am wondering if there are any other obese men here and any problem they incurred because of their weight. It seems that being fat precludes all kinds of things, and makes the process a lot more difficult. I was given the choice of DaVinci or open surgery, and elected the open based on discussions with the surgeon and his recommendation/cofort zone. I will stay in touch as things progress. Right now it is the wait for surgery that sucks. It has given me too much time to read about all the problems that I might face in the future.

lewvino's picture
lewvino
Posts: 1010
Joined: May 2009

Try and focus on the positives instead of the negatives. I know easier said then done but believe me I had as many fears as you are right now.

Weight - When I was diagnosed with my Prostate Cancer in April 2009 my weight was 235. I immediately decided to start loosing weight. It was not easy but on my date of surgery August 12 I weighed in at 198 for a loss of 37 pounds!

Pre surgery Time - I to had to wait awhile but spent my time reading and learning about the cancer and TALKING TO MY BEST FRIENDS. Many phone calls and visits at my friends house plus some emails and phone calls from some guys on this site helped me tremendously!

Cathetor- Honestly it has not been as bad as I dreaded. Though today is day 6 and I'm ready to get rid of it but I have 6 more days to go. Buy some neosporin onintment and keep the tip of the penis lubed up with the neosporin it helps!

I had the DaVinci surgery. Good luck, keep us posted. If you want to talk offline shoot me an email at lewvino@yahoo.com

Larry

SubicSquid
Posts: 11
Joined: Aug 2009

I just got through losing 35 pounds over the past year. I've fought weight ever since retiring from the military. FInding it hard to get motivated right now. I'll keep as positive about all this as I can. Thanks for the support. George

Bill91101
Posts: 59
Joined: Apr 2009

HI Subic,

I have PC, but got pretty lucky. I also started reading everything available while waiting for results of tests, etc. This started last April.

Even though you want to be informed about what is going in, it can be real overwhelming. I thought I was going to lose my mind.

SO- I cut back on getting too much info. It seemed like I had every symptom available. LOL.

My dad had PC 13 years ago. Got Proton Beamed and has been all right since.

SO: think Positive, visualize coming through everything strong and with positive results.

You are not alone, my friend!

Bill

Bill_4's picture
Bill_4
Posts: 29
Joined: Jun 2009

Subic,
Sometimes catheters can be OK and an important part of healing. See my post "Hyper-continence", 8/23. I waited 6 weeks for robotic assisted surgery and kept reminding myself to get informed but not to spend too much time on possible complications. Here's hoping you do fine. We are all here for you!
Bill

txbarton's picture
txbarton
Posts: 86
Joined: Aug 2009

My local urologist, who doesn't do daVinci, said I am too heavy for daVinci. My son is a Hepato-Biliary-Pancreatic surgeon, has used the robot for some other procedures and called a urologist friend in Knoxville who is certified with daVinci and is approaching 1000 procedures (the manufacturer doesn't certify anyone until they have done >20 procedures). He said obesity is not a problem, that he had done one on a 5'10", 350 pound patient the week before. He recommended 2 daVinci surgeons in Texas; one near by who happens to not take my insurance (Tricare) and another 3-4 hours away who does. I talked with him and he said my weight is not an issue; he has over 1700 daVinci procedures. He has a video he will send that shows a daVinci procedure from the surgeon's view and he discusses issues with over-weight to "morbidly obese." BTW, I watched about 30 seconds of the video and stopped, my son watched the whole thing this afternoon.

My son said he prefers arthroscopic procedures, when possible, on obese people. Getting through the layers of tissue (fat) can be difficult, time consuming (the less time on the table the better for the patient) and recovery is much faster with fewer complications.

If you want a contact in Tennessee or Texas for a second opinion drop me a note.

Either way, good luck. My daVinci is scheduled for 30 Sep.

lewvino's picture
lewvino
Posts: 1010
Joined: May 2009

Good luck on your upcoming surgery. Before my surgery I went on a 3 month diet and was able to drop 35 pounds by surgery Day. I wanted to be in the best shape I could be. It wasn't easy but I feel better with loosing the weight. Today is 12th day post surgery and I've dropped another three pounds.

SubicSquid
Posts: 11
Joined: Aug 2009

Unfortunately, I am in Hawaii and travel is not an option. I also am under Tricare and am restricted to the military hospital here since I use a military facility for my primary care. My surgeon did not rule out DaVinci because of my weight, but he feels that based on my high Gleason scores that he will be able to do a more thourogh job with open surgery. He is DaVinci trained, but seems to be more comfortable with open surgery even though it is harder on an obese man. He trained at Memorial Sloan-Kettering and I have confidence in him. I will have another meeting with him prior to finalizing everything before the actual surgery and we will discuss all the options again.

novaguy
Posts: 76
Joined: Jul 2009

I used to be on Tricare Prime, and didn't have a lot of options as to surgeon or facility, they basically wanted to do open. So I switched to standard and found an experienced da vinci surgeon. In your case, if you and your surgeon are comfortable with open, that's fine. However, if your surgeon doesn't feel as comfortable doing da vinci in your case, I would never choose that, because that's a signal that he may not get all the cancer out.

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