Hello from the other side of the bridge!
I was totally shocked when the doctor told me Prostate Cancer..... I too had a case of on again /off again prostatitis for 4 1/2 years after hernia surgery. They thought my PSA rising was just infection caused.
Had a biospy to be be "sure". It was in 4 out of 20 samples.
I decided on daVinci surgery at UCSF Medical Center in San Francisco. I never had to go on nerve meds but I was very "down". about a month after my diagnosis my mother unexpectedly passed away. This didn't help suddenly having things to take care of 2/3 the way across the country from here.
I was always wanting sex. After diagnosis and the depression setting in, I lost interest. Then I felt I should "make hay while the sun shone". I did some but not nearly like before.
I had surgery in the afternoon on July 24, 2008. I was in the hospital 2 days. On the second morning I woke up to a partial erection on the catheter. So I knew I wasn't totally "broke"!!!!
I have gotten along very well. My life is about back to normal already. I can get erections without Viagra although I have it to help and I am supposed to use it several times a week for increasing bloodflow.
I rarely leak anymore and what I do is very minimal. I still wear pads when I am gone from home just in case. There are times when laughing causes a slight problem.
What to do before surgery? Study up on this as much as you can. The knowledge will come in handy. You will not panic if you know this or that might happen, etc.
I dreaded having a catheter. That was wasted worrying. Sure it was wasn't a great thing but it was very liveable. I used the bedside bag in the late evening and night. I used the leg bag in the morning after my shower.
I went to church and numerous public functions and never had any problems at all. Things didn't "show" through my pants and the leg bag worked great. One tip: Take extremely loose pants to the hospital to wear home.... I was swelled up from the surgery and then the catheter and leg bag on top of it. I had taken my favorite pair of Docker Pants. Normally they fit just fairly loose and they were really tight..... And I had to use the bus to the train, train for an hour, then ride on in the car for another hour. Other than unbuttoning my pants and letting my belt cover the unbuttoned area, the entire trip was uneventful.
I never used anything extra to help tie down the catheter or the leg bag. I was given several catheter clamps that adhered to my legs that held the catheter. The built in velcro straps on the leg bag held securely. I could walk OK. The "full" feeling came and went on me. Some times I could get that to go away by very gently wiggling the catheter.
Another tip: You will be told to bring a pad to wear after the catheter is removed. I looked at my "mart" pharmacy, my supermarket pharmacy, and my local drugstore for male incontinence pads. Basically all I could find was a bulky looking type that kind of goes from the front to way underneath. I did find online and at a drug store with Aid in their name that they carried a brand that is triangular and just fit in the front of a pair of brief type underwear. That has really helped. Other than being a bit warm, they have not been bulky or hard to live with.
My doctor was not a big fan of me returning to work quickly so I have been off 2 months and will return shortly. I am fortunate to have a job that will allow this time off and he felt I could recover better long term this way.
I am now nine weeks out and can basically get along without any pads. I usually only have problems late in the day when I am getting tired. I have had maybe two or three drops when I laugh or when I have gotten up out of a chair. I was not allowed to lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk for over six weeks. Only lately have I been lifting and so far have had no leakage with that.
My wife feels that sex life is actually improved. I know I do not have any problems especially if I use Viagra. It may take a bit more to get aroused without Viagra but other than that, no big deal. Something that is mental is I do miss ejaculating. I really am beginning to believe it is nicer not, but even though I had great orgasms, It was just different with nothing visible happening.
Besure you have a doctor who is experienced in using the robot. Experience really does play a part on future erections unless there is cancer near the nerve bundles. I am very glad I choose a hospital and surgeon who has done this several times a week for a number of years. Your doctor sounds great on the internet.
Let me know if I can help more.
4 out of 20 biopsies were cancerous
daVinci Robotic surgery July 24, 2008
Univ of Calif San Francisco Med Center Dr Peter Carroll
In hospital 2 nights altho I had option of leaving the next day but stayed due to distance home.
Contained in prostate, not spread
Six weeks post surgery PSA less than .01