Posted 9/24/2008 12:47 PM (GMT -6)
First, a very big thank you to all that responded to my post prior to surgery. I am now home and feeling wonderful...well my little buddy is hanging around and isn't much fun. But other than that, no pain what so ever.
There were some surprises along the way, but I would guess that most of those that go the surgery route would feel also.
My wife and I arrived at the hospital at 5:00 am as scheduled and after a few more blood samples and those enimas that I hate and then was wheeled into the pre-op area. Gosh such a busy place at that hour of the morning. It was the main pre-op area for all types of operations so you can just image the hussle and bussle, everyone doing there specific job none stop. What was really nice was that every nurse, technician, doctor etc called me and my wife by our first name. When they would come in they would talk to us as though we had known each other for a long time. Really put me and my wife at ease.
I was given the usual cocktail and then wheeled into the surgery room on time. As I was moving onto the surgery table which had this blue egg-crate foam I asked if that was the robot. It was covered up so didn't have a good look at it. The technician said yes and pointed out the console located against the wall. I asked what the last calibration date was...as they strapped me down with a belt around my pelvic...and all I remember was a faint laugh.
Surgery took 5 1/2 hours and I awoke in the recovery room. I remember them taking the IV from the back of my left hand and another from the right wrist. I was wearing this mask around my nose and mouth which I assume was the O2. I could hear a machine like noise behind me and above me was another machine. Turned out the machine above me was an x-ray machine checking my lungs. I drifted back into sleep and when I came to, I was still in the same location and this same machine being wheeled back over me again. Talk about deje vu. The nurse told me that they needed another x-ray and as soon as I was cleared I could go see my wife. They took the mask off and replaced it with the standard cannula hose. All in all this process took a total of 3 1/2 hours before I was wheeled into my room.
I was greeted by my teary eyed wife and was given the best kiss a man could ever ask for. I asked her why the tears and she said she was just scared because of some complications, but that the very best news was that I was here and on the road to recovery. She said the doctor had the lymph nodes tested and they came back clear. She also stated that he got all the cancer out and not to worry about a thing.
Thats when I had a chance to survey the damage. Had the usual three holes in the right side, one just above the belly button, two more on the left side, plus another with the JP drain. And then the puzzling one...the port installed on the right side of my neck with several tubes coming out and hooked up to this machine with a bunch of bags hanging above it. I recognized the machine by the sound it made...same sound I heard while in recovery.
I had a rough night that first night. Got sick several times during the night and the onset of terrible pain in my left knee. Go figure...major surgery and I complain about my knee?? By morning the pain was excruciating and I could not make it go away. So I thought if I could just stand up, that might make it better. That is when I got my next surprise. You are gonna laugh at this one...you know how they mention the swelling of the testicles...well yeah they swell...just never imagined just how much. I would make any Texas Longhorn bull proud. There was no way I could stand straight. I had to bend my knees outward and slump over slightly just to keep from crushing them with my legs. And getting off and on the bed was nearly impossible without sitting on them. Anyway the pain in the knee subsided some, so I took my first walk down the hall. I felt really weak and out-of-it during that first walk. So it was just a short one...down and back and then back into bed. That afternoon my surgeon came in and we discussed the current symptoms I was having. He ordered two more units of blood and to stay in bed another 24 hours.
Pain moved to my lower back which I account to the amount of time spent in bed over the coarse of the next several days. Removal of the JP drain was very painful for some reason. I had no idea how long that tube was...but I felt so much better with it gone. By Monday, they were able to remove the port from my neck...and the bruising is something to see. I have a dark black and blue spot about 5" across on the right side of my neck up into my lower jaw...not something you can hide like you can with the cathater. When people asked me what happened...I tell them I had a prostectomy...and do they get a funny look on their face. I joke and tell them they had me facing the wrong way when the robot was hooked up. Actually....how do you explain that big bruise on your neck anyway...I don't even have a clue. Really curious to others...did they have the same thing.
Regardless I am home finally...getting rested up and doing some work remotely here at home. I look forward next week to rid myself of my little buddy. I will let you all know the final path report next week some time.
Again thanks to all here...you all are truly wonderful and caring people I have ever met...even if it is just online. To those that sent emails...I will respond back during the week.
In closing...just a side note...I have read where people say they don't remember anything from the time they are put under before the surgery...until the time afterwards...remembering nothing in between. For me...I do remember something...something very extrodinary happened while in surgery. It was something like a sensation, but not a physical feeling. I was in a place that has no physical attributes, but yet I was a part of everything. There was no form...just a sensation of wonder and awe. I could spend hours trying to describe what that wonderful sensation was...but I don't think I could ever give it true justice so you could understand. You might say it was just the drugs...but I will tell you no...it was far greater than that.
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