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.
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.
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.