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AndrewJ
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 7/21/2008 3:52 PM (GMT -6)   
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 prostate cancer!
 
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.


myman
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 1219
   Posted 7/21/2008 4:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Andrew,

It's always good news to learn when someone has your kind of progress. It gives hope to those who might be in fear of their outcome. And for those who didn't get the results they hoped for, it is good to know of someone's good fortune.

I wish you all the best for a long and happy life,
Susan
Husband Diagnosed 11/17/05 Age: 63 PSA: 7.96 No Symptoms
2/09/06: LRP - Post Pathology - Gleason 4+3 Stage T2b NO MX
3 mo. PSA: 11.8 Stage T3a
6 mo. PSA: 18.8 Stage IV Systemic w/ distant lymph node involvement
Start HT - Lupron 3 mo. shots
12/06/06: PSA 0.8
03/07/07: PSA 0.3
PSA - Undetectable since 6/07/07

Link to journey:
www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=35&m=826731


James C.
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4462
   Posted 7/21/2008 5:06 PM (GMT -6)   
Good news and an interesting story is always welcomed.  We see too few people returning to update us on their Journey.  Whether they don't think of it anymore or want to avoid thinking about that particular period of time, they deprive us of their good fortune , one that most of us can expect to follow as we move forward.  It is comforting to us to read of their successes as we expect to gain the same.  Thanks for taking the time to update us.....


James C.
Co-Moderator- Prostate Cancer Forum

Age 61
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
7/4/08 ED- Viagra, pump continues, no response- Trimix .10ml x 2 weekly continues
Post Surgery PSA's:  3 mts-0, 6 mts.-0


divo
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 637
   Posted 7/21/2008 6:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Dear Andrew, I am proud of your journey and very Happy for your outcome and especially that you took the time to write about it. You give tremendous hope and good expectations to many many men. You are to be commended....You will also have a very good life....Your woman is lucky to have you by her side Enjoy your life and your family....Don't worry about the future. The power is in the moment..........Di
Husband Pete
dx Jan 2001 age 67 gleason 4 + 3 PSA 16.5
seed implant and conformal radiation Lupron from Jan 2001 to Jan2002
2005 Dec PSA began to rise from .5 to 8 within 6 months
Salvage surgery at MSK 9/06
Fistula operation 2/07 MSK
Many cystoscopies and ER visits with strictures
catheter for one year....Catheter taken out Sept 07..
Total Incontinence since then....
PSA .52 3/07
In line for AUS possibly in Sept 08


norskie
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 376
   Posted 7/21/2008 8:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Andrew

Great news on your 1 year results, it's always good to hear and see those undetectable readings, it gives us hope so we rejoice with you today. Continued great sucess and results my friend!

Norskie
norskie
Age 49, PSA 6.22 on 9-26-06
Biopsy 11-01-06, 2 of 13 cores 10% cancer, 2 other cores abnormal Up-dated 20% prostate cancerous
Gleason score 3+3=6 After Surgery Pathology report 4+3=7 a couple agressive Grade 5 cells found
Da Vinci surgery 01-09-07 UW Madison
Pathology Report- cancer 100 % capsual contained 1-18-07
1st & 2nd Post PSA Blood Test .1 and less - Undetectable
3nd Post PSA Blood Test 01-17-07 .3
March 27th PSA .4 Begin Salvage Radiation April, 14 2008
Incontenence-Pad free since end of May 07 4 1/2 months post surgery 
ED back to 95% prior to surgery - no medication required.


Doting Daughter
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1064
   Posted 7/22/2008 8:53 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for sharing your story Andrew. As many other members have already posted, we love to hear stories like yours. Please continue to share and check in. Best wishes for a lifetime of undetectable PSA's!!

Doting
Father's Age 62 (now 63)
Original Gleason 3+4=7, Post-Op Gleason- 4+3=7,
DaVinci Surgery Aug 31, 2007
Focally Positive Right Margin, One positive node. T3a N1 M0.
Bone Scan/CT Negative (Sept. 10, 2007)
Oct. 17 PSA 0.07
Nov. 13 PSA 0.05
Casodex adm. Nov 07, Lupron beg. Dec 03, 2007 2 yrs
Radiation March 03-April 22, 2008- 8 weeks 5x a week
July 2, 08 PSA <.02
Praying for a cured dad.

Co-Moderator Prostate Cancer Forum


41diagnosed
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 176
   Posted 7/24/2008 8:15 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey Andrew,

Glad to hear the good progress continues. Jealous about your ED success since mine hasn't been as good, but you are right that there is life after PCa and it is something to be celebrated.

I know what you mean about coming back to this site. When your thoughts turn to PCa, it's just a click away to see how others are doing.

Not far behind you and I was growing extremely anxious about my 1 year PSA. My 6 month came back .04 and I wanted .00000. So I had myself worked up waiting for the 1 year mark in Sept. My doc only recommends testing every 6 mos. So Tues was my b-day and I went to my regular doc and got a PSA. Got it back yesterday... was .02. What a relief huh?

Seems like Germany is not that far away with the Internet. Glad to see you are still "lurking" around.

I continue to be amazed at the number of "under 40" guys who are at this site. I also stick around here for the other younger guys that wind up here and are looking for advice from others in the same boat, like you did for me. I recently have been chatting with a guy who is our age and he's emerging from the fog of his diagnosis and feeling more optimistic based on his research. Now he's calling me with updates from the medical community on PCa treatment advances :)

And for the guys who are older here, that's not meant to diminish your input! Your support is just as important.
 
42 yo. now
 
5/07 PSA 4.65 at routine physical
6/07 biopsy positive for cancer...Gleason 3+4...diagnosed at 41 y.o.
6/07-9/07 manic research and interviews with physicians across the country in search of the "right" decision.  I went to Mass General in Boston, Loma Linda, University of Chicago and Northwestern.
9/17/07 - Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy Surgery at Northwestern Memorial in Chicago by Dr. William Catalona.  Thankful the father of the PSA test was right here in Chicago.
 
Post op pathology was Gleason 3+4 with negative margins, no seminal vesicale involvement, no lymphatic or vascular invasion, bladder and urethral free and tumor volume was 5% of 27.3g.  
 
9/27/07 - Catheter removal...let the games begin...
 
12/07 - Threw out the pads.  I only had to use 1 pad per day for protection against minor drips. 
 
I started Trimix 8 weeks after surgery with success.
 
I hope someday I won't need injections, but I hope more that my PSA stays at 0 forever.
 
 
 


M. Kat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 715
   Posted 7/24/2008 6:39 PM (GMT -6)   
that is great news Andrew. it is so interesting how the results can differ so much from man to man. as a wife, I love the fact of having no ejaculation. :) sorry....I had to throw that in here. kat
Husband Jeff 56 years old diagnosed July 27, 2006
PSA 6.5, 2 positive areas in biopsy, Gleason 3+3=6
Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy August 30, 2006
pathology report - all clear - cancer gone
1st post-surgery PSA test <0.1, 2nd post-surgery PSA test <0.1, 3rd PSA <0.1
no more pads Oct 12, 2006
first "real" erection with use of pump 12/16/06
3/07 - occasional dribbles and erections with Cialis and pump
8/07 - 1 yr PSA <0.1
9/1/07 - achieved erection with Viagra - no pump!
3/08 - 18 mo PSA <0.1
switched to Levitra - works much better than Viagra & Cialis - fewer side affects


IdahoSurvivor
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1015
   Posted 7/24/2008 10:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Andrew,
 
The story of your journey and of your success provides courage and hope all those seeing your post, both for members and passers-by.
 
Thank you for your diligence and for sharing your feelings with us.
 
Continued success, brother.
 
All the best,

Barry ~ (a.k.a. "Idaho") - Prostate Cancer Forum Co-Moderator

 

Da Vinci Surgery July 31, 2007… 54 on surgery day
PSA 4.3  Gleason 3+3=6  T2a  Confined to Prostate

1st PSA  09/11/2007  <0.04 (undetectable)

2nd PSA 12/10/2007  <0.04

3rd PSA  03/17/2008  <0.04

4th PSA  06/17/2008  <0.04

My web site: http://pca-info.blogspot.com

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