Hello Towers and welcome. I am also sorry you have to be here and I am terribly sorry your hubby has prostate cancer.
First all of, lest I be cast as non-supportive, let me say that I wish you and your husband well whatever procedure and timeline you select. However, if I understand the timing of your husband's disease, I gather that it has barely been two weeks since his diagnosis and that you have already made a major decision that may affect him for the rest of his life. As one of our posters is fond of saying, "...most people spend more time deciding which car or furniture to buy...". My point is that this is VERY quick for such a life-altering decision, especially since it seems hubby is still in shock as evidenced by his reluctance to even discuss this with you.
With his PSA and a G6 you both likely have considerably more time to make a decision. I will be one of the ones that Garth references that recommends that you get more opinions. Have you spoken with a radiation oncologist? How about a prostate oncologist? Have you read Dr. Peter Scardino's recent advice that he does not recommend surgery for early stage prostate cancer? Does your husband really understand the possible changes in his quality of life from prostate cancer surgery?
Hopefully this does not sound either presumptive or disrespecful...however, I do mean it to be blunt, straightforward and heartfelt.
I suppose, just hang around until he is ready to talk.
Or bop him over the head and tell him that there are men out there (me, for one) who went through this alone and would have given anything to have someone to talk to.
Greetings, Mrs. Towers. My stats were very similar to your husbands. I had just had my 55th birthday, fairly low PSA and involvement in 4 of 12 biopsies. I had never had surgery, a broken bone, never even had a stitch! I, too, had open surgery from a very experienced surgeon (couple of thousand open surgeries). I understand the magic number is 300 so anything over that is great. Sounds as if you are in good hands. Looks like the biggest difference in our situation is the age of our children - mine were 29 and 33 at that point.
I tend to internalize things and want to do my research (I'm an accountant) which I started doing. My wife was with me every step of the way from the day we got the news to today. She was with me and a vital part of everything that has happened - doesn't mean I didn't do some things on my own. My wife and my son are both nurses so they know more than the average person. One example - we went in to get the results of the biopsies on Christmas Eve 2007. I heard my wife tell someone just a couple of months ago "I knew we were not going to get good news when they put us in a conference room rather than an exam room." At that meeting the doc gave us a book to read - I started reading that day and finished on Christmas day and the next day was at Barnes and Noble buying 2 more books that were recommended in the original book.
We met with a surgeon who was recommended by my doc and really liked him. While the skill of your surgeon is the most important factor, it doesn't hurt if you like him as well. He spent an hour with us going over all the details and all the possibilities. After we made our decision to have the open surgery we had another 4 weeks until the actual surgery. I travel quite a bit and during those 4 weeks my wife was right with me and that was very beneficial to me. You have received good advise about things to do in preparation and I'd agree with what has been said about preparing for various things related to the surgery.
There is one thing that hasn't been mentioned here and I know we are all different when it comes to intimacy but I thought it might be helpful to hear our experience. My wife and I have always had a very enjoyable, regular intimate life. We had been married 34 years at that point and know each other well. I don't know if it is the unknown related to the many things that can happen with surgery, but we were like newleyweds that entire month. Maybe we didn't know when the next time might be (if ever for some guys), but we certainly stored up for the future in that month!
I am one of the fortunate ones that didn't really have big issues with incontinence and impotence. We'll hope that your husband will continue on the same path that I was on and have the same results in those areas as well. One thing that my doc suggested related to kegels was rather than doing the traditional kegel everytime I urinated I should stop my flow 4 or 5 times and each time I stopped the flow I should hold it for a count of 3. I did that every time I urinated for the month prior to surgery and then when I had the catheter out I continued for the next month. I basically had no incontinence.
One final thought that I would say because it sounds as if your husband and I are a lot alike. My doc said in advance he would want me to take an ED drug (he prefers levitra or cialis). I didn't have many ED issues so didn't take the pills - big mistake. While I had good results almost immediately I never got back to 100% and in fact started to regress. Once I started taking the levitra consistently I was quickly back to 100% of presurgery. Tell him there is nothing wrong with taking the drug - with what he has been through the drug just helps compensate for what he no longer has inside his body to do for himself. You will read this in the books as well, but he will need a lot more stimulation but from reading your message, I feel confident you will do what is needed in that department.
Probably more than you wanted, but with our stats so similar, I just thought it might be helpful to give you some very straightforward information. Please keep us posted and if there is anything you think we might could help with feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. I know my wife would be glad to talk with you if you thought that would be helpful. We're all in this together and will be praying for you and your husband in the days to come. David
April '08 PSA 4.8 ("free PSA" 7.9), up from 3.5 year prior
June '08 had biopsy, 2 days later told results positive but in less than 1% of sample
Developed sepsis 2 days post-biopsy, seriously ill in hospital for 3 days
Dr. recommended robotic removal using da Vinci
Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago, IL
Dr. Robert Nadler, Urologist/Surgeon
Post-op Gleason's: 3+3, Tertiary 4
Bladder & Urethral: Free
Seminal vesicles: Not involved
Lymphatic/Vascular Invasion: Not involved
Tumor: T2c; Location: Bilateral; Volume: 20%
Catheter: Removed 12-days after surgery
Incontinent: Yes (1/2 light pads per day)
Combination of Cialis and MUSE (alprostadil) three times weekly started 9-27-08
Returned to work 9-29-08 (18-19 days post-op)
PSA test result, post-op, 10/08: 0.0; 12/08: 0.0; 4/09: 0.0; 9/09: 0.0
This truly is the place to be!!!
Buddy and I invite you to visit our thread listed in our signature below…
pull from “all of us”…. Things that will help make “YOUR JOURNEY” smoother.
Knowledge is Power ~ and you will be touched by many here willing to share their journey in hopes that it makes someone else’s a little easier.
Take your time and keep moving forward…. in a positive frame of mind.
Take time to read a few “Journey's”… and know you are not alone. We all continue to walk the path with friends. Some oldies, Newbies, and New Newbies!!
Here’s a gentle hug ~ to help when you think the clouds will overtake you!!! They can’t… the sun always shines so pull from all of us ~ the strength that we share will help move them away so you can see a little clearer.
Walk over and give that man of yours a HUG from all of us here at HealingWell.
WOW… it must be a time for “old-timers” for sure… good to see GreenAcres here! Something pulled me here today also….
In Friendship ~
*bluebird ~ Lee, Buddy, & Murphy from North Carolina
Link to our personal journey…>>> Our Journey ~ Sharing is Caring
Age 53 on February 2, 2006
April 3, 2006 Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy
7th PSA August 2009 less than 0.1 NON-DETECTABLE