Fagin #1348 (Salty Clark) reporting in....

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Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 5/9/2008 10:56 AM (GMT -6)   
well folks I looked up at ole' man death and I poked him in the eye! I said, "Come back another time, I am not ready to go yet." And he politely turned away...
I am still not aware exactly what caused me to be 2 pints low on the blood supply the night of my surgery ..there wasn't anything to indicate any problem during the procedure as everything was accomplished just as planned as discussed in our consult the PM before. A possible answer is my age cause, let me tell you folks if you are not already informed, this surgery thing is a young man's game not for old pharts like me. And the fact that I was a medical risk ( though never discussed with Dr Fagin. and to his credit that he accepted me) I figured if I had any difficulty it would be my heart but it held up just fine...my only remaining kidney was the culprit when it just said thats enough and shut down and I wasn't putting out any urine. They gave me 5 units of blood and that got it restarted. my blood pressure went down to something like 50-60 over 40. I didn't go into coma so I just lay there and watched the excellent Doctors and nursing staff of the Westlake Hospital scurrying about doing this and doing that and then one of the nurses cried out, "Hey, I see some urine coming out in his bed bag." I asked, "How much?" She responded, "Just a little trickle but that means the kidney has been jump-started!" A doctor explained to me later that a body-defense mechanism allows the kidney to shut down when it is surrounded in blood. I received 5 pints of blood and my pressure started to climb...it was just not my time...
I stayed on in intensive care until discharged on 6 May. My wife and I saw Dr Fagin and had the catheter removed and got the Path report. While waiting for Dr Fagin to come in with the report I was preparing the wife for what I fully expected to be a less than favorable report and I had resigned myself to returning to El Paso and to continue some other type treatment options for the spreading disease. My pre-op Gleason of 4+ 4=8 weighed heavily on my mind. Then Fagin arrived with the glorious news that not only were my margins clear but the Gleason had been downgraded to a 3+4=7.
Path finding:
The right and left seminal vesicles and ampulla are free of tumor.
The distal margin of the prostate is free of tumor.
There is an adenocarcinoma in the prostate. It is a conventional acinar type. It is present in both sides of the prostate. On the right side it is present in five out of 10 levels. In the left side it is present in nine out of 10 levels. The predominant Gleason grade is 3. There are smaller areas of Gleason pattern 4. This is a Gleason's 3+4=7. THE TUMOR IS CONFINED TO THE PROSTATE . It DOES NOT extend into the extraprostatic tissue. The surgical margin is NEGATIVE. Stage pT2c. Needless to say there were a few tears and neck hugging and an almost disbelief of our good fortune. After being reassured that this was indeed the case then the sheer reality of the moment captured us all and the hugging continued. I am sure that this fine human being and superior Doctor has experienced these types of scenes in his illustrious career many times over in previous encounters with his many patients. He said no further treatment required. He told me to go home and rest. set in the sun and recover....
My wife and I returned yesterday the 8th to El Paso. Today is my birthday...yes 76 today and hopefully there will be a few more. So, I am sitting here soaked as I have started the battle now of continence...another hill to climb for this old soldier...
Thanks everyone for all your kind words and prayers...and..an especially great "Thanks" to Kris...We have shared the same foxhole...Thank you Friend.

P.S. Just before surgery I asked Dr Fagin what number I was...he checked some sort of hand held gadget and told me I was number 1348 that he has operated on with the da Vinci...that has become my lucky number.
Age 75
DRE positive with nodule 15 Jan 08
PSA 3.8 18 Jan 08
Biopsy 11 Mar 08 Gleason 8 (4+4) on the right 3 out of 12 positive <5%.  Gleason 7 (4+3) on the left 1 out of 11 positive <5%.
Bone scan and CT scan Negative 12 Mar 08
Robot Assisted da Vinci prostectomy with Dr Fagin in Austin scheduled for 30 April 08.

James C.
Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4462
   Posted 5/9/2008 11:04 AM (GMT -6)   
Good news and good deal.  It's always sweet when you can kick death around.  Glad you are home and recovering.  Hopefully the hard part is over and you can concentrate on healing....Good luck

James C.  
Help support the forums so they can support you:  http://www.healingwell.com/donate  
Age 60 
4/19/07   PSA 7.6, referred to Urologist, recheck 6.7
7/11/07   Biopsy- 16 core samples, size of gland around 76 cc. Staging pT2c
7/17/07   Path report:  3 of 16 PCa, 5% involved, left lobe , GS 3/3:6. 
9/24/07   (Open) Retropubic Radical Prostatectomy performed 
9/26/07   Post-op Path Report: GS 3+3=6 Staging pT2c, 110gms, margins clear
10/15/07  ED- begin 50mg Viagra and Vacurect pump nightly, Fully continent
1/14/08   Caverject started/stopped, aching.  2/24/08 .5ml Bimix started-success
5/7/08     ED- Viagra, pump, no response- Trimix .075ml continues
              Post-surgery PSA's:  3 mt:0, 6 mt:0,

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 162
   Posted 5/9/2008 11:30 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Salty,
Happy Birthday and wishing you many more to come.
Great you arrived home safely and in good spirits. Will call you later.
My regards to your family
Biopsy done 3/2008
Pathology report: Gleason 6 (3+3), involving left lobe
DRE=15gm with indurated left base and mid prostate
Cores positive: left base medial, left base lateral, left mid medial and left mid lateral (4 of 12)
Clinical stage t2b.
Prostate Carcinorna 185
DaVinci Surgery on 4/21/2008 in Austin by Dr Randy Fagin.
Pathologist report upgraded to a Gleason 7 (3+4)
Clinical stage upgraded also to a T3a
Margins Clear

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 94
   Posted 5/9/2008 12:02 PM (GMT -6)   
salty,,great news --and what a winning atitude.

good luck man

age 68
diag 10/07/2007
Gleason 3+3=6
prostate 66gm
13biopsies, 3pos.
Trying to make up mind about having davinci or cryosurgery


Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 48
   Posted 5/9/2008 12:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Salty, good news glad to hear another old timer is puttering on. That Dr Fagin must be a marvelous man and I dare say a good number of the 1348 seem to be on this board..
Age 70 -  Diagnosed late March
PSA 5.52 - stage T2b,T2c
Gleason 7 (4+3)
quad heart bipass 4/06
surgery on 4/28/2008, Greensboro NC by David Grapey
path report showed  lymph nodes clear cancer has spread to the margins gleason (4+3)
catheter removed 5/8

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1464
   Posted 5/9/2008 12:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Salty,

They just can't get rid of us old guys. Congrats on a great path report too...

Age 73. Diagnosed 11/03/06. PSA 7.05. Stage T2C Gleason 3+3.
RRP 12/7/06. Nerves and nodes okay.
Catheter out on 12/13/06.  Dry on 12/14/06.
Pathological stage: T2C N0 MX. Gleason 3+4.
50 mg Viagra + 1000 mg L-Arginine + .03 cc Trimix = Excellent Results
PSAs from  1/3/07 - 1/17/08 0.00. 
Next PSA test on 7/17/08
"Patience is essential, attitude is everything."

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 338
   Posted 5/9/2008 1:07 PM (GMT -6)   

yeah  Good to see ya old soldier, Sir!

I was at one time a high basketball star at Ysleta High School out in the days when it was called the Valley.

Last time I was back there was 1997 for my 40th homecoming reunion. 

I lived with my coach Gordon 'Buddy' Moore after my mother died from cancer.  His son was the coach for many years at Clint High School.

Anyway, the best to you and your family and again so good to hear your good news.

Richard yeah yeah yeah

Retired USAF Richard & Debbie on The Shores of Toledo Bend Lake Louisiana
Neg Bios 1997 & 2000 PSA within considered normal range
11/06 PSA 1.9 PSA 11/07 was 4.9 PSA 12/07 was 7.7 MDA 2/12/08 3.3 On Proscar so shud be doubled
Biospy 1/10/08 Gleason 10, Stage T1C  8 of 12 samples positive all Less Than 5% 
Bone scan 1/17/08 hot spot on ribs, CT shows rib enjury CT CHest 1/30/08 Clear
M.D. Anderson 2/12/08 Gleason 9 - CT Abdomin & Pelvis Clear Recommended Hormone&Radiation
2/19/08 Dr Fagin, Austin, TX did not recommend surgery based on medical history
2/22/08 Contacted U of Florida Proton Therapy Institute - Appt 3/13/08 
3/24/08 PET Scan Indicated possible lyphm node involvement
4/1/08 Prostascint Scan indicates no lyphm node involvement
UFPTI  3 day workup April 29th and 30th and May 1st.
Urologist feels nodule during Proton marker seed implant Stage T2A
5/2/2008 LUPRON & Casodex
IMRT to start 5/15/2008 for approx 4 weeks with Proton to follow for approx 4 weeks
Turn Stumbling Blocks into Steping Stones and Keep Smiling

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 400
   Posted 5/9/2008 1:25 PM (GMT -6)   
So glad to hear that, even with all of the problems you incurred, you came out with a great path report.  Continued wishes for your recovery.    Dutch

Diagnosed Feb 2001  (Age 65)  Currently 72
PSA 4.8      Gleason 3+3=6      Stage   T2b
Completed Proton Therapy @ Loma Linda - 2001 - No side effects.  My journey is at: http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=35&m=727565
7yr PSA - 0.2
Our responsibility now is to educate men about Pca, PSA and the importance of early detection. 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 621
   Posted 5/9/2008 5:31 PM (GMT -6)   

Wow Salty - amazing journey you've been on . . so glad you made it okay.  Thanks for checking in, we've all been awaiting your return.

;o) Linda & Bob

Bob (62) - Laproscopic Prostate Removal Sept 27, 2006 at age 60.
2 of 12 malignant biopsy samples - gleason 3 + 3 = 6.
Pathology - Gleeson 3 + 4; stage T2; cancer completely contained, even a second more aggressive, previously undetected cancer) PSA UNDETECTABLE Nov 2006; Feb, May, Oct 2007; May 2008.  WHOOO HOOOO! 
Bob also has two secondary conditions -- Polycythemia (elevated red & white cells & platelets) and . . Myelofibrosis) -- If anyone has experience with or information on these, please email us.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 762
   Posted 5/9/2008 6:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Salty,

What an incredible ordeal! However what a terrific result for you too with the downgrading of the Gleeson. Happy birthday and we hope you have a wonderful, wonderful celebration today and always! Best wishes to you and your family. Lana & CJ
Creed_three (Lana & CJ)
Husband CJ aged 50 yrs (49 years at diagnosis and surgery)
PSA (2002) 2.1.  PSA (2006) 3.5.  1 x (5%) core of 12 positive at biopsy. 11 cores negative. Open Radical Prostatectomy with nerve sparing, on 17th April 2007 (Sydney, Australia).
Gleeson 3 + 4 = 7.  Cancer confined. 1st PSA 0.01 (June 07) 2nd PSA 0.02 (Oct 07) undetectable. 3rd PSA 0.02 (April 08) undetectable.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 308
   Posted 5/9/2008 11:02 PM (GMT -6)   


Man O Man, gee wiz and Holy Cow.  Your situation was amazing.  What an example of True Grit.  I am so happy for you and your family.  I hope your recovery goes very well you deserve it.

Happy Birthday and God Bless


Diagnosed 01-08-08 @ 53 years old 
DRE normal - High PSA for 5 or more years
2004 Biospy negative - 2008 Biopsy positive (01-08-08)
10 cores, 1 positive and at 1% of that one core
Current PSA 6 - Bone and Ct scans negative
clinicalg Staged at T1C - Gleason 3+3 = 6
Robotic Da Vinci performed March 27th, 2008
University of Chicago,5 hour surgery , 3 hour recovery
Unexpected Cardiac issues appear and disappear?
Hospital stay 30 hours - Catheter out in 7 days  normaly expected leakage - Erectile funtion back on line 9 days 
Post Pathology T2C, Gleason 7, 10 % of both portions of prostate, Seminal vessels clear, fat tissue clear,Tumor on top of prostate distal from apex. 1 positve margin at urethra and bladder.
Six week PSA < 0.05 Ya Ba Da Ba Dooooooooooo.  Put a steak on the grill Wilma!!!!
Oncologist to discuss case with Urologist and Radiation Oncologist to consider radiation.

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 234
   Posted 5/10/2008 12:49 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi Salty,

I am so glad everthing went well for you. Its rare to hear of a Gleason being downgraded, That is wonderful news. I am glad you and your wife are back home and recovering. Its so nice to be prepared the worst and pleasantly surprised with good news. I wish you all the best and a very speedy recovery.



Rick & Diana
Age 68/ 67@ Dx
6-30-06  PSA 2.54
1-22-07  PSA 4.98
1-26-07  PSA 5.09
Diag: 2-14-07 Gleason 8 Stage T1c PSA 5.09
Bone Scan 3-1-07 Clear
3-6-07 Triple Spinal Fusion (due to old back injury)
Radical retropubic surgery 4-2-07  Post surgery Gleason 9 Stage T3a Positive margins
4-29-07 PSA 0.02
6-9-07   PSA 0.02
7-6-07   PSA 0.03
8-1-07   CT Scan & Chest X-Ray   Clean
 9-26-2007 PSA 0.07
11/1/07 PSA 0.1
11/30/07 PSA 0.12
01/31/2008 PSA 0.3
03/01/2008 PSA 0.3
04/28/08 PSA 0.6

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 474
   Posted 5/10/2008 8:25 AM (GMT -6)   
Congrats on the numbers, clear report, and being back home!

I know you were ready to leave Westlake, for sure, but isn't it a great place?

Now you can get down to business and carry on!
Husband: Age 67
PSA had doubled in 14 mos to 4.3/Gleason 6
da Vinci 8/06 in Austin with Dr. Randy Fagin
Post surgical path shows encapsular penetration; possible bladder neck involvement.
PSAs remain undetectable; no further treatment at this time.
Next PSA: April 08

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 82
   Posted 5/10/2008 12:04 PM (GMT -6)   
What an inspiration to us "younger guys" recovering from surgery. I'm glad to hear things are working out for you.
Age 59 - diagnosed in Jan. 08 after biopsy
da Vinci Robotic Prostatectomy 4/11/08 - both nerves spared
Catheter removed 4/25/08
Prostate Pathology:
Gleason Grade 6 (3+3)
Apex: neg
Base: positive (tumor present at right and left base)
Peripheral Margins: neg
No extra postatic extension seen
Tumor corresponds to a AJCC/pTMN stage II
High-grade HGPIN present
Continence: 1 pad night, 2 during day

Tim G
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2331
   Posted 5/10/2008 6:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Congratulations on Number 76 and Number 1348!  Hope you have a quick recovery and good test result.   Three cheers for Salty!  \0/ \0/ \0/ 
Age 59  PSA quadrupled in 1 yr (0.6 to 2.5) 
DRE neg  1 of 12 biopsies pos (5%) 
Open surgery June 2006 
Cancer confined to prostate (1 pea-sized area) 
T2a  Gleason 5 (3+2)  PSA < 0.1  

Doting Daughter
Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1064
   Posted 5/10/2008 9:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Happy birthday and congrats!!!
Father's Information
DX July 15, 2007
Age 62 (now 63)
PSA 5.5
Original Gleason 3+4=7
Post Surgery Gleason- 4+3=7
DaVinci Surgery Aug 31, 2007
Focally Positive Right Margin
One positive node
Bone Scan/CT Negative (Sept. 10, 2007)
T3a N1 M0
Oct. 17 PSA 0.07
Nov. 13 PSA 0.05
Casodex adm. Nov 07
Lupron beg. Dec 03, 2007 2 yr
Radiation started March 03-April 22, 2008- 8 weeks 5x a week
8 weeks of radiation down!!!
Praying for a cured dad. First PSA 3 months!

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