Even 1 year out from surgery (at age 45), I still lurk regularly here. I guess it shows that you can take the prostate out of the boy but you can't take the boy out of worrying about
My surgery was just over a year ago and I've been reliving all those anniversaries in some detail (biopsy, diagnosis, treatment choices, all that stress, surgery, recovery, etc.). The fact of having (had?) PC does change your life and I've been reflecting on that even more so lately. In the midst of it all, I vowed to hold onto the things I'd learned and the new perspective about life it gives you. I've usually managed to do this, but sometimes in complacency I let "little" problems take over again and lose what I gained out of this experience: that my good outcome trumps anything difficult life might throw my way from time to time.
At the time, I wrote about the differences in how the German health system handles PCa. Now, at the one year anniversary, it seems I have had a whole battery of tests which do not seem normal in other systems: I had another bone scan, an MRI and CAT scan among many other tests for various other types of cancer. This on top of 3 monthly PSA tests and I even still have DREs and ultrasound (internal) views of the surgery site. I thought that was all "behind" me! My specialist says this is necessary as some remnants of the seminal vesicles were left after surgery, which slightly increases the chance of recurrence. He wrote to my surgeon who confirmed that this was deliberate (I had told him "if in doubt, don't cut it out"). He told me to Google it and I read some articles about leaving nerves adjacent to the seminal vesicles being important to retain some of the sensation of ejaculation.
I am delighted to say that all my PSAs have been 0.01 and everything else is OK. But, boy is that 3 monthly testing cycle traumatic. Here's strength to anyone coming up on a test date.
The success story in my signature has continued: I was never incontinent and have had no ED issues at all. I take a 1/4 of a tablet of (Indian) Levitra as an insurance, but also know I don't need it. When in a "glass half empty" mood, I mourn the loss of ejaculation, but in "glass half full" moments I celebrate that sex is pretty much as good as before, even better in some aspects.
I am very sensitive to those members who are suffering with these issues, but want to report my outcome to show anyone with a recent diagnosis (especially younger fellas) that the situation is not hopeless. There is (hopefully a long) life after surgery and it can even be very good!
46 years old (45 at diagnosis), Australian living in Germany
PSA: started around 3.5 in 2005, 6.1 at time of surgery
Biopsy: nothing found in 2006, 3 May 2007 3 of 24 cores positive, Gleason 3+3 or 3+4 depending on pathologist
RPE in Munich, Germany on 22 June 2007
Post surgery pathology: organ confined but less than 1mm from margins, Gleason 3+3, pT2c, Lymph nodes removed and clear
First post-surgery PSA 31 July 2007: 0.01 Confirmed in September evry 3 months since. Fully continent immediately after removal of catheter on Day 8.
No potency issues but still taking small doses of generic Levitra "as required" as my security blanket.
This man knows he has been VERY lucky.