Posted 11/5/2008 10:20 PM (GMT -7)
It's been one year since my robotic radical prostatectomy. I couldn't have asked for better results, and I hope that my experience will give hope to those going through the same procedure, especially the younger guys.
My PSA was again 0.01 ng/ml which I am very thankful for. Some of you might remember my posts about possibly switching to the "standard" sensitivity PSA test so that I could avoid seeing the background "noise" and resulting anxiety of (hopefully) transient blips in PSA level. This turned out to be harder than anticipated. I first contacted my primary physician. He said that he thought the sensitivity level was "0.4, I think" at his lab. Sure. I called the lab directly, but they would not speak to patients. I also asked my uro's office, and the nurse said "sure, we can do the standard test if you wish." What I got was the same old ultrasensitive test. When I went in to see the uro for an office visit, I planned to ask him if he could just tell me if the latest blood result was <0.1. When I got to the patient room, lo and behold, there was my latest result smack in front of me on the door in plain sight along with the rest of my file. I just couldn't help looking and was relieved it was again 0.01. Wouldn't you know it, my uro then misquoted the result verbally to me as "0.1" in the office. I have been shocked at the lack of basic math skills and misunderstanding around the PSA tests and hope your experience is better than mine in this regard. Sorry to rant, though I really do focus on the good result as opposed my experiences with PSA reporting vagaries.
I have also been very blessed with my outcome in regards to continence and ED. For this, I thank God, my surgeon (Dr. Patel) and luck. Continence has been perfect. The only time I have leaked at all was after a couple glasses of wine AND being hit in the stomach by my four-year old, and that only resulted in maybe a drop of urine. On the potency front, erections have been great, maybe too great, while I am still on Cialis. I honestly have more and better sex now than before the surgery, so I am frankly not in any hurry to ween myself off of the little yellow pill.
I know that surgery is not for everyone, but great outcomes are indeed possible. I hope this does not come across as boastful in any way. My hope is that those facing surgery will take comfort in a possible positive outcome while also weighing the inherent risks. Thanks to everyone who has read and answered my questions in the past. This forum is a tremendous resource, and the collective knowledge here is truly amazing.
Age:45 (44 when diagnosed)
Father diagnosed and cured at age 52.
08/21/07: Diagnosed with T1c cancer
1 of 12 biopsy cores positive; 10% tissue
Gleason score: 3+3=6
PSA level prior to biopsy: 4.3 (velocity < 0.4ng/ml)
10/19/07: da Vinci prostatectomy by Dr. Vipul Patel
Difficult surgery due to prostate inflammation.
Both nerve bundles spared.
Spongy erections began within 24hrs of surgery!
10/24/07: Catheter out; down to 1 Serenity pad/day next day.
Final pathology: neg margins, no capsular penetration,
Gleason 3+3=6, 5% tumor involvement, multi-focal.
11/04/07 First usable erection with Cialis
11/22/07 Thanksgiving - Bye-bye, pads
01/17/08 First post-surgery PSA result: < 0.008 ng/ml
03/17/08 Erection quality mostly back to pre-surgery levels with Cialis;
have not tried without meds yet.
04/23/08 Second post-surgery PSA result: < 0.008 ng/ml
07/30/08 Third PSA: 0.01 ng/ml
11/04/08 One year PSA: 0.01
Still taking 10mg Cialis every other day - enjoying the results
too much to stop yet.