How has cancer changed your life

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livinadream
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1382
   Posted 9/21/2008 7:01 AM (GMT -6)   
Yesterday I was able to talk to several people currently battling this ugly disease and it made me reflect on my own journey.
Cancer has changed my life in some drastic ways namely I now live for the day, I try hard to make sure I appreciate everything and everyone I see or come in contact with. I now realize that there are real people with real problems and if we choose to make a difference we can. I guess I probably over involve myself in cancer awareness programs, but I also find great inner peace in knowing that I am choosing to live with cancer and not die from it. We are all Champions of Hope, and I have met people that I otherwise would not have met. I am sure I would have never been on HW had it not been for cancer. So yes it is a burden, but guess what? it is a blessing to.

peace and love to all
Dale
My PSA at diagnosis was 16.3
age 46 (current)
My gleason score from prostate was 4+5=9 and from the lymph nodes was 4+4=8
I had 44 IMRT's
Casodex
Currently on Lupron
I go to The Cancer Treatment Center of America
Married with two kids
latest PSA 5-27-08 0.11
PSA July 24th, 2008 is 0.04
cancer in 4 of 6 cores
92%
80%
37%
28%
 


don826
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1010
   Posted 9/21/2008 8:21 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Dale,

You have posed a very good question. I am still in a state of flux at the time. Prior to my diagnosis I was fit, healthy (or so I thought), and reasonably happy. I had just retired 01/08 and was working on getting into better shape and returning to some hobbies that I had put by the wayside due to the nature of my work. As soon as the doctor told me I had cancer a cloud seemed to decend on my life. I put everything on hold until I had educated myself about my case, the disease, and it's treatment. The cloud is lifting somewhat these days following treatment but still remains. It has, for lack of a better term and more eloquent language, put a "tint" to my life. I have returned to my workout routine and I am picking up my hobbies again. And, yes, I am happy but not as carefree as before. My plan is to do exactly what I had planned to do before I knew about the cancer. I will adjust to the situation and follow the advice that I have given the fellows I worked with for years. "No whining". This is life and things happen. We can only control our reactions.

Dale, Thanks for the post it has helped me reflect a little and putting it in writing helps to bring perspective to things. I hope you continue to do well.

Best regards,
Don
Diagnosed 04/10/08
Age 58
PSA 21.5 (first and only test resulted from follow up visit to emergency room for kidney stone. first time for kidney stone too)
Gleason 4 + 3
DRE palpable tumor on left side
100% of 12 cores positive for PCa range 35% to 85%
Bone scan clear
Chest x ray clear
CT scan shows potential lymph node involvement in pelvic region
Started Casodex on May 2 and stopped on June 1, 2008
Lupron injection on May 15 and every four months for next two years
PSA test on July 14, 08 after 8 weeks hormone .82
Started IMRT/IGRT on July 10, 2008. 45 treatments scheduled
First 25 to be full pelvic for a total dose of 45 Gray to lymph nodes.
Last 20 to prostate only. Total dose to prostate 81 Gray.
Completed IMRT/IGRT 09/11/08.
Second Lupron shot 09/11/08
Next PSA test by oncologist 03/09
 
 


Navy corpsman
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 61
   Posted 9/21/2008 8:45 AM (GMT -6)   

Dale -

Our cancer journeys are definately life changing and I can relate to what you posted.  Over the last 4 months I have reflected on my life and made some significant changes.  My biggest regret is not going to college.  At the present time I am a full-time student and I am studying architecture.  I'm having the time of my life.  My journey has had a positive effect on my life. 

Try to keep this thread going for a long time. I think it will help a lot of people.

- John


Age:  44
We have a family history of PCa.  My Dad and uncle died from it at 65 and 53. My PSA velocity increased in the last 2 years and I had to talk my GP into refering me to a urologist.
Biopsy results:  5 of 11 cores positive, all 30%. Gleason 6. T1c. PSA 2.53  Date of biopsy 15MAY08.
Open RRP at Johns Hopkins with Dr. Partin on 09JUL08.
Pathology report:  Gleason 6, pT2, neg. margins, 0 lymph node and seminal vessical, organ confined, I lost 1 nerve bundle and 22 lymph nodes.
As of today, about a month after surgery, I feel at about 80%. Urinary control seems to be improving. Little Elvis has taken a nap and has not awakened yet. I hope when he wakes up he is well rested because he is going to get one heck of a workout.
 
 


Tony1951
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 9/21/2008 8:51 AM (GMT -6)   

In response to the question, " how has changed your life?"  I would answer that it made a mess of it.  I'm in an occupation where if you don't work, you don't get paid.  I pay for my own insurance and having type II diabetes made it so expensive I had no choce but to purchase a policy that's really only good after I've paid $20,000.  A day doesn't go by but what I think about how my wife will make it if I'm not around, and if I am around but unable to work how will either of us make it?  I understand that anything could happen to any of us at any moment.  Well, this is the moment and I'm not prepared for it -- when I think about it, I don't really know how I could have been prepared.  I live modestly pay check to pay check with my only retirement money being a life insurance policy for my wife.

How has cancer changed my life?  It's placed a very large magnifying glass over all of my vulnerabilities.   Sorry for the bummer tone -- the greek philosopher Epicticus said, "it isn't things that bother us, but how we interpret those things"  I'm looking at the world through some very dark glasses at the moment.

 


Name: Tony  Born: 1951
Diagnosed PCA 7/23/2008;  Prostate Volume 19 grams
Cancer Location: Right Mid and Right Apex 2 of 12 cores positive
Percentage of tissue involves 14%  Gleason 3+4=7 4+4=8
PSA levels  6/08/08 7.7;  6/30/08 6.8
Began HT Zoladex 8/26/2008
As of 9/11/08 I am waiting to start IMRT IGRT
 


Doting Daughter
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1064
   Posted 9/21/2008 10:13 AM (GMT -6)   
Wow. Cancer has changed my life in a lot of ways. Prostate Cancer specifically has shaken me to the core. I don't even know where to begin. The thought of losing my father is a horrible one, but I know it will happen some day. When the day does come, I want him to go without pain, peacefully. I don't want him to die of cancer.
PC has changed me, because I feel so unbelievably out of control. Yes, I am somewhat of a control freak. :) Despite researching the best treatments, and the best surgeons, I have learned that cancer has a mind of it's own. It doesn't follow a flow chart. This has been a painful lesson to learn. The other hard lessons are watching the expensive treatments for cancer take it's toll on my family. My father is a contractor, therefore, he needs to work to get paid and although my parents make a modest living, I don't know how anyone can be expected to afford the treatments for PC, let alone Surgery, Radiation and HT. Hard lesson number three: Is the cure worse than the disease? My father's life has changed drastically because of the treatment for PC. I am happy because he is here, but sometimes I wonder if he is happy. He now has ED, Hot flashes, loss of muscle, energy and in my opinion, depression. I hope he feels that the treatment was worth it. Maybe I will ask him, now that I am thinking about it.
The positive outcomes of being forced to face cancer: My faith has been strengthened. I am grateful to God for every prayer answered and for giving me the strength to get through this process. (I am not preaching or trying to convert, just my personal experience)
I will never forget the time spent with my father, although difficult, he shared his deepest darkest secrets with me in some of the waiting rooms and I'm grateful to the time. I sure do love my dad.
At the end of the day, Cancer still sucks!
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


Tony Crispino
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 8128
   Posted 9/21/2008 11:31 AM (GMT -6)   

Great Post, Dale,

But first I'm going to reach out to another Tony.  Buddy, you are not alone.  You are very close to the initial shock and soon you will see that you will have some great days ahead.  I remember my first couple months like it was yesterday.  I couldn't sleep, I was scared at times, and I still am.  But not like I was before treatment.  At one point I simply decided to just keep on keepin' on.  I will reflect again on October 3.  That is the day my PSA was near 20, and I have come a long way since.  I know the members that have been here when I came on will agree. 

There is life after cancer.  I don't know if you saw the Last Lecture by Randy Pausch.  I am glad I saw it when I did ~ still in my first year after being diagnosed.  One of the best points he made was from the characters on Winnie the Pooh.  Are you a Tigger or an Eeyore?  What a great point.  I'm a Tigger.  Energetic and outgoing.  No time to be down trodden and negative.  Rest in peace Randy.

I have always been positive and kind of adventureous.  I've always had a good paying job, I had married a great lady, and I've been close to my family values and faith.  But this cancer thing did change my life ~ for the better.  I spend a lot less "me" time and I recognize that I am quite vulnerable.  So what to do?  Pay it forward!  I am a member of many advocacy's for cancer, mainly prostate cancer but I also lost my mother suddenly in March to cancer, and dad's PSA is borderline.  So joining the fight against cancer was not just treating it for me.  I still make the time to get out in my RV and enjoy the beautiful scenes in the Southwest, but visiting fellow HW members is even more wonderful.  And before, you would never find me in a soup line helping the needy.  I encourage you all to do that at least once.  To see the faces of people who thank you from their hearts will touch you. 

Then there is my wife.  Today is our anniverary, #12.  After church today we are doing what we always do.  Breakfast together, watch some football, and tonight dinner at my favorite place (Remember it Jetguy?).  I will also make time to help others with this hideous disease at any of several sites.  I love my wife more than ever.  Through diagnosis, surgery, and during HT and RT, she has stood by me.  ED has done nothing to separate us.  In fact, we are more intimate that ever. 

Life is good!

Tony


Age 46 (44 when Dx)
Pre-op PSA was 19.8
Surgery on Feb 16, 2007 @ The City of Hope
Post-Op Pathology: Gleason 4+3=7, positive margins, Extra Prostatic Extension (EPE)
Bilateral seminal vesicle invasion (SVI); Stage pT3b, N0, Mx
HT began in May, '07 with Lupron and Casodex 50mg (2 Year ADT)
IMRT radiation for 38 Treatments ending August 3, '07
Current PSA (September 17 '08): <0.1 ~ Undetectable!
 
You can visit my Journey at:
 
STAY POSITIVE!
 
 


livinadream
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1382
   Posted 9/21/2008 11:49 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the posting this has been wonderful already. You folks touch my heart and make me realize more than ever how much emotional outreach is needed to deal with this. I love you all.
My PSA at diagnosis was 16.3
age 46 (current)
My gleason score from prostate was 4+5=9 and from the lymph nodes was 4+4=8
I had 44 IMRT's
Casodex
Currently on Lupron
I go to The Cancer Treatment Center of America
Married with two kids
latest PSA 5-27-08 0.11
PSA July 24th, 2008 is 0.04
cancer in 4 of 6 cores
92%
80%
37%
28%
 


maldugs
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 784
   Posted 9/22/2008 2:42 AM (GMT -6)   

How has Pca changed my life? when I was diagnosed, I felt all sorts of emotions, including fear and uncertainty, threw myself quickly into finishing all the jobs I had started including building the new chicken house to completion. It was almost as if I believed that time had compressed itself and I had to urgently get all in order before the operation.

I reviewed my finances, mainly checking that everything was tidy and all would be ok for my wife when I was not there, funnily there was no panic in me, maybe because I have been trained to function under stress, I went to the hospital at 11am after sleeping quite well the night before.

Afterwards I did not cope all that well with the catheter etc. the change in my phyisical condition from what I was before was a real upset, as was and is the ED and all the other things.

My PSA staying at 0.5 concerns me, but don't think about it that much, I am slowly getting back to doing all the things that I did before, I must admit that I am not as carefree and feel a bit sad sometimes, not as confident and sure of myself as I was, but I am determined not to give in, and will try to be as normal as possible.

Thanks for the opportunity to say how I feel

Regards Mal.
age 67 PSA 5.8 DRE slightly firm Rt
Biopsy 2nd July 07 5 out of 12 positive
Gleason 3+4=7  right side tumour adenocarcinoma stage T2a
RP on 30th July,
Post op Pathology, tumour stage T3a 4+3=7, microcsopic evidence of capsular penetration, seminal vessels, bladder neck, free of tumour, lymph nodes clear, no evidence of metastatic malignancy, tumour does not extend to the apical margins.
 
Post op PSA 0.5 26th Sept.
PSA 23rd Oct.0.5 seeing Radiation Onocologist 31st Oct.
Started radiation treatment on 5th Dec, to continue until 24 Jan. 08.
Finished treatment, next PSA on 30th April.
PSA 30th April 0.4
PSA 30th July 0.5


Roger G
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 150
   Posted 9/22/2008 6:09 AM (GMT -6)   
Dale,

I've actually thought about this question for months as PCa has changed my life for both good and bad.

On the bad side:

- Up until last year I was working my way to a third degree black belt in Karate. Because of my dizziness I've had to give this up. Spinning jump kicks dizziness so not mix well.  The dizziness is more depressing than the ED.
- I'm less tolerant of stupidity and poor decisions. In the past if someone wanted to make a moronic boneheaded move I'd just shut my mouth and let them. Now I'm more apt to tell them what I think. Life is too short to suffer fools.
- ED... But I'm learning to cope and live with this.
- Emotional swings. Prior to PCa I was a Man's Man who rarely showed emotion... I'm crying as I type this.


On the Positive side:

- I've replaced my Karate with a Gym membership. I now go to the gym with my two daughters. One is trying to make the provincial finals for wrestling, and the other just made a travel hockey team. My wife has her third degree promotion next month.
- I spend less time at work and more with my family.
- Celebrating my 21st wedding anniversary at a hockey tournament in Columbus Ohio last week. I’m looking forward to many more.
- After being diagnosed I did a complete review of the family saving, and was reassured that my wife and daughter would be fine. Being frugal has finally paid off.


Age: 43 (2008)
DRE Small Ridge on prostate, PSA 1.5
07/2007: Diagnosed cancer, T2c, Gleason 3+4=7
08/2007: Bone Scan found something on my skull. PCa surgery on hold
             Had piece of skull removed to test for PCa.
09/2007: Laparoscopic prostectomy @ Hamilton General, 4 hrs.
             Both nerve bundles spared
             Pathology Report: Tumour confined w/in prostate
             T2c, Gleason is 3+3=6
             Went home with JP drain
10/2007: Made return trip to hospital.  All urine was coming out JP drain.
10/2007: Catheter removed. Next to no leakage
11/2007: 1st PSA <.003.  Started Viagra for ED, no response yet.
             Having some issue with Vertigo from skull operation.
12/2007: Had confidence to go padless!!!!!
12/2007: ED:  Stopped Viagra as it's causing hemroid problems.
01/2008: 2nd PSA <.003 :) ED: next to no response.
             Vertigo is subsiding.
04/2008: 3nd PSA <.003 :) ED: Changed the Viagra prescription.
07/2008: 4nd PSA <.003 :) ED: Still NADA.  Changing to Cialis.
             Dizzy spells are occurring more often
09/2008: Trying Levitra 

Post Edited (Roger G) : 9/22/2008 6:12:14 AM (GMT-6)


RBinCountry
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 270
   Posted 9/22/2008 6:54 AM (GMT -6)   
Terrific Post,
All of us have changed lives or we would not be posting here.

Oddly, I think that is one of the blessings of this otherwise horrid disease. We have all had to deal with the prospect of death. Some posting here are currently worse off then others, but the harsh reality of PC is that it can return to any of us. It is placed us all on the edge in sympathy to one another.

Well, if there is good from it is that we do count our days more important than we use to count them. We look at time, relationships, and spirituality with much more significant importance. In that odd sense, the quality of life has been enhanced. PC for me has served as something of a wake-up call.

Thanks again for the insightful posting.

RB

Age 61
Original data - pre-operation
PSA: 5.1
T1C clinical diagnosis, Needle biopsy - 10 cores, Gleason 7 = 3+4 in 1 core (40%), 7 cores Gleason 6 = 3+3 ranging from 5% to 12%
All scans negative
Lupron administered 4/9/2008 for 4 months (with idea I would undergo external beam radiation followed by seed implants - then I changed my mind).
Robotic DiVinci surgery - Dr. Fagin (Austin) May 19th
Post operative - pathology
pT2c NX MX
Gleason 3+4
Margins - negative
Extraprostatic extension - negative
seminal vesicle invasion - uninvolved
1st Post PSA .04

SDS
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/22/2008 4:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, I'm new to this forum but just thought I'd add the following as the PC (and the op to get rid of it) have made for some changes in my life all, except one, being positive.

I was diagnosed at 53 and had the op to remove it. I was one of the lucky ones where it was found early (almost by accident).

Being a devout coward, the operation was the best option for me in attaining my ambition of lots more days of life.

To put it in perspective, I'm a former international athlete who assumed that years of sport at this level would keep me fit and well forever. Ten years ago the 'red flag' went up when a massive aneurysm was found in my brain. One operation, and then back to normal life. I was back at work within six weeks. (It was our own business).

The kids grew up and excelled at university, the business was very profitable. Then along came the surprise diagnosis of PC.

Compared to the brain surgery, it seemed like the easy option.

Following my recovery from the op, w sold the business and now live in a wonderful location in the Yorkshire Dales here in the UK.

Given the opportunity, I take to the hills on my mountain bike and, I suppose the reason for this post is to say - ignore the bad bits, being alive beats them all.

My only down side is the ED. There are ways to live with that and my greatest hope is that I have lots and lots of years left.

I once heard an old guy being interviewed on the radio following a land mark birthday. (100, I think). When asked if he had any further ambitions to live for, he paused and then said, "To live forever. So far, so good".

I heard that around thirty years ago and it remains my ambition too.

Keep looking on the bright side.

Tony Crispino
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 8128
   Posted 9/22/2008 4:50 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi SDS,
I'm leaning toward football (soccer), but that's not my business and I respect your privacy. When you come here you are our brother in the fight against this hideous disease. And you've kicked another illness to boot (no pun intended). Enjoy the Yorkshire Pudding!, And the Stilton! Good luck in your goals!

Tony
Age 46 (44 when Dx)
Pre-op PSA was 19.8
Surgery on Feb 16, 2007 @ The City of Hope
Post-Op Pathology: Gleason 4+3=7, positive margins, Extra Prostatic Extension (EPE)
Bilateral seminal vesicle invasion (SVI); Stage pT3b, N0, Mx
HT began in May, '07 with Lupron and Casodex 50mg (2 Year ADT)
IMRT radiation for 38 Treatments ending August 3, '07
Current PSA (September 17 '08): <0.1 ~ Undetectable!
 
You can visit my Journey at:
 
STAY POSITIVE!
 
 


Lungman
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 276
   Posted 9/22/2008 5:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for this excellent thread and all of the responses. Being diagnosed with prostate cancer was certainly a defining moment for me and my family. I was convinced that I did not have cancer and opted for the biopsy just to "rest easy" and think that the 9.9 PSA was just resulting from the bladder infection I was recovering from, which is what sent me to the urologist in the first place. I remember vividly sitting there in the office when the "verdict" was read. It was surreal to me, a million thoughts, all reading this will relate. A second opinion and 45 days of waiting and the prostate was gone, and hopefully the prostate cancer as well. I was elated initially to be cancer free. In the following days, with the catheter and limitations on physical activity became difficult. Following the cath removal, I was blessed to be continent, with thoughtful planning. In the weeks and months that followed, however, I became more despondent over the ED, and to this day, feel like less of a man than before surgery. I know the ED can and has been successfully treated with oral meds, and as a fail safe, injections, but somehow I miss the spontaneity I once enjoyed, and as a result have lost interest for the most part. It is my hope that one day, the pre-surgery me will return. On the positive side, I find myself to be more in tune with living a healthier life, watch what I eat, etc. I am in the healthcare business, so I also find myself being more empathetic with my patients and their families, which is a good thing, and enjoy my work more than in recent years. I am thankful for more things now than before, and realize how I took some things for granted. I suppose what really bothers me most, other than the ED, is the almost complete lack of public knowledge about the disease, people trying to be supportive by asking dumb questions, like, "Has the prostate cancer surgery made you impotent?" or statements like "my uncle had "prostrate trouble", just drives me nuts. As someone else mentioned, I am now more likely to say what is on my mind rather than suppressing it. I experienced transient depression, treated it, and now don't take meds for that anymore, thank goodness for them, but I was happy to stop them. The hospital where I work has recently installed a DaVinci system and I hoping to get involved with the group utilizing it for prostate surgery, I think I have something to offer newly diagnosed patients and feel that this will help me give back, if I can help one person then what I have been through will be worth it. I have to say that finding this site, reading all the posts daily, experiencing others joys and heartbreaks, has been a tremendous boost for me, and as I have said before, I Love everyone here and would like to shake hands with all of you if I could, maybe a cyberhandshake, ha. Good Luck to all.
Randy
46 you when diagnosed, now 47
Pre-Op PSA 9.9
1 of 12 cores positive, Gleason 3+3
DaVinci on 9/5/2007
Post-Op Gleason 3+6, Negative Nodes and Margins
Less than 1% of prostate involved with CA
3 Month PSA 0.01, 6 Month PSA 0.01, 9 Month PSA 0.01
Incontinence resolved 9/15/2007, one day after cath removal
ED showing significant improvement.
Cialis 5 mg every night.
Success with BiMix


livinadream
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1382
   Posted 9/22/2008 5:48 PM (GMT -6)   
This post has been such a blessing to me. I love hearing the stories of real life struggles, and emotions. Thank you all for sharing your deepest feelings. Goes to show we all have a story to tell, thoughts to share, shoulders to lean on, and hope for life.
please keep sharing.

peace and love
Dale
My PSA at diagnosis was 16.3
age 46 (current)
My gleason score from prostate was 4+5=9 and from the lymph nodes was 4+4=8
I had 44 IMRT's
Casodex
Currently on Lupron
I go to The Cancer Treatment Center of America
Married with two kids
latest PSA 5-27-08 0.11
PSA July 24th, 2008 is 0.04
cancer in 4 of 6 cores
92%
80%
37%
28%
 


jetguy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 741
   Posted 9/23/2008 7:50 PM (GMT -6)   

I just told my wife about this thread and  we discussed how much my prostate cancer had changed us.  We came to the conclusion - not much.  We are essentially the same.  Our relationship is mostly the same.  We believe in the same.  We have each had a couple of other medical issues that scared us, but seem to be ok.  We were in love and remain so.  Maybe we value each other a bit more, or express our affection more.  Still nuts about the grandson.  Still belive in citizenship and appreciation of country. Maybe more thankful that we are able to take care of the boy and that I am still able to work.  Our basics and core have not changed.

Regards,

Bill


August of 2006, PSA up to 4.2 from 2.7 one year ago. 
October free and total PSA 12% free and 5.0 total.
A month, or so later, 4.7.
Late in the year decide on Image Guided IMRT.
Begin 43 treatments on January 23, 2007 and finish on March 23.
 


nemo57
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 43
   Posted 9/24/2008 7:42 AM (GMT -6)   

I will never forget that afternoon sitting in the Dr. office with my wife and finding out at age 50 I had prostate cancer. My first thoughts were wow this really sucks. The Dr. started talking about treatments. I don't think I heard much of what he said. I just wanted out of his office. We got home and hugged and cried and started researching the best way to treat the cancer. Finding this web site was a blessing. We learned a lot and everyone here have been so helpful. Waiting for the surgery was tough I tried to stay positive but it hard not to know what issues you will have after surgery. First I want to be cancer free. Second how will I handle the incontence issues and Ed. The thought of wearing pads and not being able to make love to my wife was always on my mind. My wife kept telling me everything would be fine and we would work things out as they came along. I could not have made it through all of this without her, she means the world to me. My three children( 23,21,& 19) have been great throughout this and I am very greatful to have such wonderful children. The surgery went well and the path report was good. Its been 7 weeks and I am still using 1-2 pads a day at nite I am fine. I have been lucky that I have not had any ED issues. But its hard not to think about the the way you made love before its intense but dnot the same. I try not to think about it but its not that easy. My first psa test is comming up in Oct. again I am staying positive that the results will be fine and I will not need any further treatment. Yes I think things have changed but you need to have great faith and support from family, friends and this site and we will get through it. Thanks to all.  


New Jersey
Age 51
Psa 0.9
Biospy 1 core positive
Gleason 3+3-6
Surgery date Aug.11, 2008 at Monmouth Medicial Center
Robotic Surgery By Dr. Lanteri And Dr. Esposito
Both nerve bundles saved. Margins clear.
Gleason score stayed at 3+3-6. Cancer contained to prostate.
1-2 pads a day. No problems at night.
ED 25mg viagra at night. Usable erections 1 day after catheter was removed.


SHU93
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 328
   Posted 9/24/2008 8:17 AM (GMT -6)   
"Cancer has not made my life uncertain, it has only exposed me to the uncertainties of life. By putting aside my apprehensions and concerns about tomorrow, I have come to appreciate what I now have and, in a way never before possible, I have found today."
Age Dx 37, 7/2008
First PSA : 4.17 5/2008
Second PSA After 2 weeks of antibiotics : 3.9 6/2008
DRE: Negative 5/2008
Biopsy : 6 out 12 Postive all on right side, Gleason 7 (3+4).
Bone Scan/CAT Scan: Clear 7/2008
Cystoscope: Normal 7/2008
Prostate MRI: Normal 7/2008
Da Vinci Surgery 7/2008
PostOp: T2c (On Both sides), margins clear, seminal clear, nodes, clear. Gleason 6(3+3).
First PostOp PSA 9/2008: <0.01
2nd PSA 12/2008: Praying for <0.01
 


Mike A
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 213
   Posted 9/24/2008 11:16 AM (GMT -6)   
Dale,
What a great thread! When I first had my elevated PSA I was 53, feeling great, and very much in control of my life. I had a negative biopsy the year before my diagnosis, and was sure I'd have another. So I was not prepared for the phone call and hearing the words "You have Cancer."
After the shock wore off, I found myself lying in bed at night cartain that I was literally feeling the cancer eating away my life. When I was preparing for my surgery, I had just had my first grandchild, and I was certain I'd never see her grow up. My youngest daughter was just engaged and she was sure I wouldn't be there for her wedding. Despite my public assurances that I wouldn't miss it, privately I had my doubts.
Post-surgery my outlook evolved. With the gift of finding my friends here at HealingWell, and a good pathology report, I began to feel as though I might win the fight after all. Today, while I know there are no guantarees in life, I am not going to let this cancer beat me!
How has it changed my life? I appreciate every day a little more, and find I don't "sweat the small stuff" as much as I used to. I now have four beautiful Grandchildren, and last July I walked my Daughter down the aisle. Life is good again, despite the lingering ED and occasional urine dribble. That to me is "The Small Stuff." In January I will be a two year cancer survivor, and living with the words I told the Doctor after my surgery - "Until you tell me different, I'm going to consider myself cured."
Best,
Mike
June 2005 - Age 53 PSA 4.8 at regular physical
October 2005 - After several rounds of anti-biotics, PSA 5.2 at Urlogist November 2005 - Biopsy negative
July 2006 - PSA 5.9 at regular Physical October 2006 - After several more rounds of anti-biotics PSA 8.1 November 2006 - Second biopsy - Positive December 2006 - Gleason (3+4=7), Tumor T1c, CT Scan and Bone Scan Negative
January 2, 2007 Robotic Prostatectomy, University of Rochester Medical Center - Tumor confined but larger than thought, only one partial nerve able to be spared. Margins clear.
February 2007 - Three to four pads a day, no erection with viagara.
April 2007 - First Post-Surgical PSA 0.02. Down to one pad a day.
July, 2007 - Six Month Post-op: PSA 0.04 No change in ED.
October, 2007 - Nine Month Post-op: PSA back down to 0.02! Almost totally dry! Only slight improvement in ED - Will try injections if not improved by next appointment.
January 2008: One Year Post-OP PSA 0.02 still dripping, but improving. Tried 500 dose of MUSE for ED, no luck. Will try 1000.
July, 2008 PSA 0.04 again, will recheck in October. Use .15cc Trimix injections, partial success. Will try .20cc.


LV-TX
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 966
   Posted 9/24/2008 12:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Great post Dale...for us, cancer only changed everything the last couple of months. It forced us into doing those things we should have been doing all along...like eating right, getting more exercise...and the big one...getting all those financial things in order and the hard parts like Advanced Directives and Last Will and Testiment recorded. All those unpleasant things, but necessary. But aside of all those things, I have come to a deeper appreciation of each day and to realize that I am not invincible anymore and that tomorrow may never come for me or anyone. So while I am here today...I appreciate everything, and if I am here tomorrow...I will appreciate that day as well. Never ever again will I take things for granted.
Age 58 at Diagnosis
Oct 2006 - PSA 2.6 - DRE Normal
May 2008 - PSA 4.6 - DRE Normal / TRUS normal-Gland 38 cc
July 2008 - Biopsy 4 of 12 Positive 5 - 30% Involved Bilateral (Perineural Invasion present at base)
Gleason (3+3) 6  Stage T1C
August 23 - Bone Scan - Hips, Spine and ribs marked uptake - X-Ray showed clear -Hooray
Sept 9 2nd DRE - questionable - TRUS...shadow in base - Gland now 41 cc
Robotic Surgery scheduled Sept 18, 2008


livinadream
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1382
   Posted 9/24/2008 6:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you all so much for sharing your stories here on HW, I think this post goes to show how much we all appreciate our families, our lives, and each other. I am sure we would all agree that as bad as cancer is, the fact that we have gained friendships on this forum sure does help offset the bad. I am speaking tomorrow night at an event for The American Cancer Society and I am going to share some of the feelings and thoughts from this post.

peace and love to all of you
Dale
My PSA at diagnosis was 16.3
age 46 (current)
My gleason score from prostate was 4+5=9 and from the lymph nodes was 4+4=8
I had 44 IMRT's
Casodex
Currently on Lupron
I go to The Cancer Treatment Center of America
Married with two kids
latest PSA 5-27-08 0.11
PSA July 24th, 2008 is 0.04
cancer in 4 of 6 cores
92%
80%
37%
28%
 


livinadream
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1382
   Posted 9/27/2008 3:22 PM (GMT -6)   
this post is so good I wanted to bump it back up one more time.
My PSA at diagnosis was 16.3
age 46 (current)
My gleason score from prostate was 4+5=9 and from the lymph nodes was 4+4=8
I had 44 IMRT's
Casodex
Currently on Lupron
I go to The Cancer Treatment Center of America
Married with two kids
latest PSA 5-27-08 0.11
PSA July 24th, 2008 is 0.04
cancer in 4 of 6 cores
92%
80%
37%
28%
 


Piano
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 847
   Posted 9/27/2008 11:22 PM (GMT -6)   
How has cancer changed my life? I have to say after all the dust has settled, "not very much". Prior to my prostatectomy, I had a left hemi-colectomy for colon cancer, so have now had two brushes with cancer.

Life continues. In the medium term, I will be seeing two different surgeons every six months for follow-ups, as well as regular blood tests. I pay more attention to diet, (or rather, my wife does!) -- more fruit, vegetables and fiber, and less red meat. Yes it has been a wake up call, and certainly times of turmoil around the surgeries. And I do realize that I have had two lucky escapes.

The only lingering after effect of all this is ED, which really turns out to be not so bad after all -- injections work well. And I still have a faint hope of recovery there too.

Before my brushes with cancer, I was worried about getting cancer.

I am still worried about getting cancer. Statistically I have about a 25% chance of colon or prostate cancer (recurrence) in the next 10 years. I suspect I am no worse off in this regard now than if I never had these cancers. Certainly the medical monitoring will be better, and there is something quite attractive about heading into old age without a prostate, a common source of problems.


Age 63. Other than cancer, in good health; BMI 20
Pre-op: No symptoms; PSA 5.7; Gleason 4+5=9; cancer in 4 of 12 cores
7 March 2008, RRP, non nerve sparing
Two nights in hospital; catheter and staples out after 7 days
Continent, no pads needed from the get-go
Post Op: Stage pT2 M- N-; clear margins and lymph nodes; Gleason 4+4=8; prostate weight: 37gm
6-week PSA: 0 

Post Edited (Piano) : 9/27/2008 11:25:12 PM (GMT-6)


Mavica
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 407
   Posted 9/28/2008 12:32 PM (GMT -6)   
I don't dwell on this, at all. It was a medical problem I had, like others (less serious) I've had before - I took care of it - it's gone - and I'll return to living my life exactly (or almost so) as I lived it before. I feel no more vulnerable today than I did before the diagnosis/removal. I'm fortunate, though, that my situation was less serious than some other people. Just another in a long line of challenges we face in our everyday lives - that's how I deal with the matter.

Age:  59 (58 at diagnosis - June, 2008)

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

Gleason's 3+3=6

Developed sepsis 2 days post-biopsy, seriously ill in hospital for 3 days

Dr. recommended robotic removal using da Vinci

Surgery 9/10/08

Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago, IL

Dr. Robert Nadler, Urologist/Surgeon

Post-op Gleason's:  3+3, Tertiary 4

Margins:  Free

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 (17 days post-op)

Combination of Cialis and MUSE (alprostadil) three times weekly started 9-27-08

Will return to work 9-29-08, 18-19 days post-op

 


Todd1963
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 3208
   Posted 10/28/2008 7:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Cancer has changed my life how? wow!! I have really learned to live and love. I have such a newfound respect for life. ALL LIFE! Sometimes I find it hard to swat a fly or step on an ant. When I was diagnosed I went into the woods and had a great cry. I have hunted and fished my entire life and had never seen a bear in the woods. As I was sitting there this black bear comes wandering up gives me a sniff and walked away. TooCool!! I thought perhaps it was a sign from God so I went home and opened my bible. I had not read it in years. I knew I was going to read psalms but had no idea where at so I just opened it up and put my finger down and read these words. "Bless the lord oh my soul, He who heals my body of all it's diseases" psalms 103 v 1.My urologist and oncologist did not give me a year to live. Sky high P.S.A., nodules in both lungs, bone malignancy. I was a sick boy. I read those words and thought "well, thats good enough for me". I miss wanting to make love with my wife. Viagra makes it work but I miss the desire. I miss being able to take life for granted. Truth be told however had I not gotten sick I would still be existing day to day. I love my life. I love the fact that I have a wonderful family and so many friends. I have beautiful children who have given me perfect grand babies. Before cancer I was lost. I had become a tweeker and had lived that way for three years. I lost my home my family my friends (almost my job ) I even tried to end my life before I got clean. I was clean 9 months before diagnosis but in my heart I was still dead. Knowing that I might actually die gave me a will to live and love and enjoy all that life has to offer. Yes cancer has changed my life in many ways but it has not all been bad. Each day offers it's own blessings and it's own challenges.Sometimes I cry sometimes I laugh. Both relieve the stress but laughing is easier to clean up. I know I am alive today. God willing I will be alive tomorrow. If anyone wants to talk please E-mail me Todd
september 05 Diagnosed with sciatica as the cause of the extreme pain I was in
November 05 Chest xray for pnuemonia revealed a pulminary nodule. Advised not to worry
June 06 After urinating blood for 2 months advised to have a psa test. 3216. chest xray revealed multiple lesions in each lung. Bone scan revealed pelvic bone affected. Biopsy 3-4=7 gleason scale.
Placed on lupron and casodex. Within a year psa had fallen to under 3.0
Feb 08 psa-.09 may 08 psa-.25 july-.44 sept.-.80
Doctor advised no meat but wild game, fish, chicken, and turkey. Advised to eat lots of vegies
10/27/08. P.S.A. 1.34

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