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Good News Story - Diagnosis to Surgery

TucNav
Posts: 8
Joined: Aug 2009

I was diagnosed in July 09 when my PSA went from 3.9 in June 08 to 6.0 in May 09. The biopsy showed 3 of 12 with RLB: 35%, RLM: 75% and RA: 50%. My Gleason scores were all 3+3. RLB and RLM showed perinueral invasion. After visiting 4 urologists and discussing all the options, my wife and I decided that a robotic assisted radical prostecomy was the best option for us. There were a couple of reasons, first I wanted the cancer out of me and the Docs were all optimistic that, based on my diagnosis, they could get the cancer. Second, I wanted to have an option if the cancer came back…with surgery I could have radiation therapy later if I needed it. In addition, we decided that the urinary and ED concerns were secondary to getting the cancer out. There are numerous therapeutic options for the ED and urinary problems…pumps, shots, pills, etc :-).

I chose an experienced DaVinci surgeon in Phoenix. As one of the Docs told me, “the tools are important but it’s who is mastering those tools that is critical”. I had my surgery on October 6, 2009. The Doc was extremely pleased with the outcome. First, he did not have to reconstruct the bladder neck so the urinary problems and leakage during recovery have been minor. Second, he was able to save both nerve bundles so the ED should resolve itself in the near future. I am having partial erections using the Levitra every other day and the orgasms are as intense as before the surgery without the mess!

The post surgery biopsy came back with a Gleason of 4+3 but with no cancer in the margins. Therefore the cancer was completely contained in the prostate. BTW: I did opt for a bone scan and CT prior to surgery just to ease my mind. The Docs did not think it would be necessary based on my diagnosis but I wanted it for peace of mind ;-).

After about 3 weeks, I was able to make it through the night without a pad. Still up a couple of times, but my urinary stream is much stronger than before surgery. I use a light pad at work and when I am out and about as I still have some leakage with coughing, laughing, etc. but nothing significant. I do have problems when I drink coffee or soda with frequent urges. However, the Doc says that should ease up as I continue the exercises. In addition, as I had an enlarged prostate before the surgery, my bladder may be contributing to the symptoms as it would have been fighting the prostate for all those years. This too, should come to pass.

I did have some blood and clots in my urine for about 4 weeks, especially after straining with a bowel movement. Take your stool softener, eat fiber, and drink lots of water to ensure you don’t have problems with your bowels.

I had my post surgery PSA on December 2 and it came back <.01 (non detectable) so they got it all and that is what my original goal was in the first place. So far I have been very lucky: early detection, good surgeon, excellent surgical results and a speedy recovery with only minor complications. So you can get through this without a lot of the stress that I have seen posted on the web. You just need to stay positive, lean on your friends and family, find a good doctor and then, as my grandson said in his card to me on the day of my surgery, “kick the crap out of your cancer”. I wish we weren’t brothers in this morbid fraternity, but I at least wanted you to know that there are a few “good news” stories. You will survive and remember “that which does not kill us, make us stronger.” Best of luck and here’s to a full and quick recovery.

fathersson's picture
fathersson
Posts: 121
Joined: Nov 2009

Good for you. I meet with Dr next Monday to review my options. I am a gleason 6, 1 core out f 12 hot. Dr. believes cancer contained in prostate. I am not that upset with this situation as I know it is very treatable and likely curable. This in in contrast to my fathers aggressive PC which when discovered, was a Gleason 9 and outside his prostate. It took him in 3 or 4 years.

jhagerup
Posts: 68
Joined: Oct 2009

My story is almost identical to yours. I'm very pleased with the outcome, especially the fact that I was continent almost immediately.

jminnj's picture
jminnj
Posts: 129
Joined: Nov 2009

Thank you for your story. Like fathersson I am 1 core positive and Gleason 6. I am having my surgery on Jan 21 and it is always good to hear good, positive, stories. Wishing you well on your road to recovery and a very happy 2010.

LBlanks's picture
LBlanks
Posts: 44
Joined: Oct 2009

And you are having a happy one with such a fantastic report.

Sounds like you made all good decisions.

Good luck on the continued success.

Larry B

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