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me too
Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 12/17/2008 2:07 AM (GMT -6)   
Not sure were to start, I stopped in to my HR dept to get things lined up and check on my ins. I was told if I'm off for more then 30 days my ins. would end. unless I started to pay for it . I tried to explain how would I pay for my ins. if I ha no money coming in and if no ins. does my treatment stop. my next question was. so I go in for the surgery and after have no way to pay for my treament or stay working there answer was we will be thinking of you. does anyone know the fed laws about this I work were there is about 1000 employes
My dr. tells me I will be out of work for 3-6 months. I should be worried about my PC not ins. or if they are going to take my home. I know I need to get off my pitty pot but my wife passed away at 30 I raised my two little boys alone. help pay for there collage
This was too be my turn to live I'm sure I will lose everything I have worked so hard for.
just mad,sad ,
Pat Brick
psa 7-07 0.4
psa 8-08 2.8
free psa 0.2 ratio 0.14
gleason's score 3+3=6
RP for 1-12-09

Tony Crispino
Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 8128
   Posted 12/17/2008 3:00 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Pat,
I hate to be literal but...You raised two boys into college after losing their mother, and your wife. You have no chance of losing everything you worked so hard for after regrouping and taking care of those boys so well. An insurance argument you win or lose can't take that away from you. You can continue any group insurance as well through COBRA. It might be costly but you won't have to sell the house.


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:

Tony Crispino
Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 8128
   Posted 12/17/2008 4:24 AM (GMT -6)   
Ask your surgeon again why you may be out three to six months. That's not my experience.  Make sure he has quite a bit of experience.  Mine for example had over 1,500 chances at this surgery behind him.


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:

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 260
   Posted 12/17/2008 6:33 AM (GMT -6)   


..Yeah, I'm with first question is why your Doc says 3-6 months? And too with the experience, my guy had over 1400 chances behind him as well.....

   age: 53
   Pre-0p PSA  Feb. 08, 5.0
      4.22.08, 4.1
      PSA  spiked once about 8yrs ago to 5.0 three months later
      back to 2.9...then into the 1.2 range until my re-scheduled 
      "missed" appointment this past Feb.
      Biopsy 5.1.08 
      5 of 15 cores positive
      Da Vinci I read somewhere on this 
      site....."the first show of the day"
       DaVinci completed 7.29.08, Bladder Sling installed, hernia repair 
       completed during surgery.    
        Sent home 30hrs,  JP drain in place 7days,
       Path report "cancer fully contained"....Margins clear
        Cath removed 8.8.08(ten days) lightly used pad 24 hours
        ED therapy begins 8.9.08. 100mg viagra three times a week,
        pump everyday and hold for ten minutes.
        8.16.08 switched to Levitra 20mg.......whahoo, got lucky...
        immediate results..... 
        9.15.08 pad free at night, one thin (light) pad during the daytime
        hours. Just because I'm chicken..!
         9.18.08 1st post-0p-PSA-Undetectable...Zero's!  Yes!
           ..."just tryin' to reason with hurricane season"..

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 655
   Posted 12/17/2008 8:22 AM (GMT -6)   

Greetings, Pat.  With all you have been through there is no way you can lose.  You are to be commended on picking yourself up and regrouping and keeping your family on the right track through some difficult circumstances.  Yes, this is another hiccup in the road but I am confident that with your track record you will make it through again with flying colors.

I don't know all the laws but am somewhat familiar with how things work related to insurance.  It would be very unusual that if you can't work for 30 days you are out and that you are out with no insurance.  You might have some unused vacation/sick leave/paid time off that you haven't used that could extend that time period.  You should also ask if you have short term disability coverage through your work.  Even if it were the case that you are out after 30 days, you should be eligible for Cobra (carry-out) coverage.  Yes, you have to pay for it, but it is usually cheaper than an individual policy.  Also it should be guaranteed coverage with no unusual exclusion particularly no exclusion for a preexisting condition such as your prostate cancer.  There are some exceptions to Cobra - for example I work for a religious organization and we are exempt from complying because of church and state issues in the law.  However, our organization voluntarily complies because it is the right thing to do. 

I too would encourage you on the length of time you will need for recovery.  I had the open RRP and went back to work part time after 3 weeks.  I was only on part time for 2 weeks and so after 5 weeks I was back full time.  Yes, I work in an office and if I was out and about doing heavy lifting I probably would have had a different recovery time. 

Pat, hang in there.  You have found friends here and we'll be glad to pitch in and tell you our experiences that hopefully will help you along the way.  David

Age 55
Diagnosed Dec 2007 during annual routine physical
PSA doubled from previous year from 1.5 to 3.2
12 biopsies - 2 positive with 2 marginal
Gleason 3 + 3 = 6
RRP 4 Feb 08
Both nerves spared
Good pathology - no margins - all encapsulated - Gleason 4 + 3 = 7
Catheter out Feb 13 - wore pad for couple of days - pad free Feb 16
Great wife and family who take very good care of me

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 4278
   Posted 12/17/2008 11:28 AM (GMT -6)   

Dear Pat:

I am really sympathetic to your situation and don't blame you for the "mad-sad" commentary as I'm sure most of us would feel the same way.  However, speaking optimistically, there is usually a solution to most problems and I'm sure the good people on this forum will try their best to help you.

One thing from my standpoint is that I am a little confused on several issues from your post.  Do you mean that you will lose your job after 30 days out or keep your job and just have to pay for your insurance?  As others have said, even if you are without the job you almost certainly will be able to keep insurance via COBRA and you certainly want to do stay insured throughout your treatment.

Also, I'm with the others re the 3-6 month question.  Unless there is something very different about your case that is not divulged in your post, it seems that timeframe is way longer than normal.  I did not choose surgery but investigated it thoroughly.  I was told that I should be able to resume normal activites much sooner than the timeframe you indicate.  Again, however, my "normal" may not be as physical and your "normal" so it's hard to assess this without knowing more about your particular situation.

Finally, and this thought may be somewhat controversial and please don't think I'm trying to second guess your treatment decision.  However, by choosing surgery you have made a decision for "invasive" over "non-invasive" and, by defintion, have most likely opted for a longer initial recovery period.  Usually the initial recovery period is only one of many issues men consider when deciding on treatment options.  But, if that becomes your overwhelming issue, you might consider another treatment option if your case permits it.  Again, please don't think I am trying to second guess your decision making...I'm simply trying to help you solve your problem and this treatment option review may or may not be reasonable from your standpoint. 

Please let us know how you progress...

Age 62
Gleason 4 +3 = 7
PSA 4.2
Brachytheraply volume study done on 11/14/08
Brachytherapy December 9, 2008.  73 Iodine-125 seeds.  Procedure went great, catheter out before I went home, only minor discomfort. 

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 308
   Posted 12/17/2008 3:07 PM (GMT -6)   

Dear Pat,

I dont know you but I am sure all of us here feel privileged and hornored to have you come to this site.  I agree with Tony completly.  You have faced so much adversity in your young life and in spite of it all you have found the strength and resolve to continue to do what is right for you and your boys.  No job or bad insurance company is going to be more than a bump in the road for a man with your abilities. 

I was told that I may be off work from 3-6 weeks.  I have a mostly office job and was doing some work at home 3 days post op.  I was going to the mall to do my walking exercises and shopping day 5 through 7 days.  I was back at work part-time day 7.  Full time back at work around day 10, easy job (government work)

I will say however that lifting anything over a gallon of milk is for sure no sooner than 6 weeks minimum.  So if you do heavy labor this may challenge the 6 weeks recomendation. This 3-6 months comment you have I never heard that spoken at all.

So,  your going to be off work for 14 days, by the looks of your history you have a great chance of being cancer free and your insurance will not expire.  Sounds like things should be lookin up. 

Dont hurry into surgery, become informed and educated as to this disease.  Pick Doctors that have conducted the procedure you choose many times, more than 400.  Once the surgery is over you will just simply get back to your life. I do say that some of us get on with our live's with a new found appreciation for the simpler things.

There is a lot of good information on this site.  Stay with us.

All the very best,




Age 54
DRE normal , 2004 Biospy negative - 2008 Biopsy positive (01-08-08)
10 cores, 1 positive and at 1% of that one core
PSA @ surgery 6 
Bone and Ct scans negative
clinicaly Staged at T1C - Gleason 3+3 = 6
Robotic Da Vinci performed March 27th, 2008, University of Chicago.
Catheter out in 7 days normaly expected leakage
Post Pathology T2C, Gleason 7, 10 % of both portions of prostate
Seminal vessels clear, fat tissue clear, single positve margin at apex measuring less than 1/2mm. 
Six week PSA < 0.1 , 4 month PSA <.05 Gen II test. 6 month PSA  <0.01
Watching PSA closely,  will do salvage radiation if necessary.
Fair to Good results with Viagra,  side effects are bothersome at times. 

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 184
   Posted 12/17/2008 5:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Like others have said, COBRA is an option if your employer discontinues your health plan. Additionally, I would push back on your expected time off work. If your job includes heavy manual labor, your employer should have to make reasonable accommodations to allow you to work. It is similar to accommodations employers must make for handicapped employees. For example, lets say you can do you regular job, except for heavy lifting. Your employer should allow you to complete the tasks of your job and assign someone else to tast of the lifting.
Age 50
Pre - Op PSA, 4.3
Gleason 3+4=7
Stage T1C
da Vinci Prostatectomy 8/1/08
No issues with incontinence since day 1 after catheter removal
ED, need a little help from Levitra
First post op PSA 11/11/08, 0.00

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 966
   Posted 12/17/2008 5:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Interesting discussion about insurance here. I once worked many many years ago on commission only. Which meant if I didn't work regardless of the reason, I didn't get paid. Having that said, my portion of the insurance cost was taken out of my commission check each month to pay for the upcoming month. Basically you pay in advance for your insurance. So when the payment was due...if I didn't have a commission check to draw the money from, I had to pay for it out of pocket. This sounds almost like what Pat is up against. He can't be terminated for his surgery...thats plan and simple and the law, but unless he pays the monthly premium then the insurance is dropped. I would just make arrangements to pay the insurance up front ahead for a couple of months and then go about your business and get the treatment done.

Good luck on what ever treatment plan you chose...primary thing is getting cured at all possible.

Edit:  One more thing...if you go short term disability with your work your premiums remain the's only if you go long term disability that premiums could increase.  The premium cost for long term is generally what the Cobra plan costs are.  With your surgery you won't need to be long most short term depending on the type of work you do.  Most of the time any saved vacation time and standard sick leave that you work provides will be more than enough to cover your time away from work.

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 Sept 18, 2008
Pathology October 1,2008
Gleason 7 (4+3) Staged pT2c NO MX
Gland 50 cc
Seminal Vesicles and Lymph Nodes clear
Positive Margins Right Posterior Lobe
4 tumors in prostate - largest being 6 cm 
PSA Oct 08 <.05

Post Edited (LV-TX) : 12/17/2008 4:08:39 PM (GMT-7)

strawberry man
Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 12/17/2008 6:17 PM (GMT -6)   
I was off for 3 weeks with DA Vinci robotic surgery. Not sure why anyone would be off 3 months!

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 235
   Posted 12/18/2008 10:54 AM (GMT -6)   
I was essentially out for 2 weeks with DaVinci. Catheter out in 1 week. No complications, thankfully, and recovery was fast. Now just down to a little incontinence (1pad/day) and ED. Even with open RP, I don't know why the MD is saying 3 - 6 months. Are there other medical issues? If not, I might opt for a second opinion.

Good luck.
50 YO
PSA at Dx: 8.2
DaVinci RALP: 10/31/08
Negative margins, no extra-capsular involvement
One nerve spared
No follow-up PSA yet (next week).

me too
Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 12/18/2008 12:26 PM (GMT -6)   
thank you all, my drs. is saying do to the lifting and hard work I do, he wants to be safe. this is the longest I would be off (plan for it) he wants me to be fully healed I'm having a open rp doesn't want me back in surgery to repair anything My dr. works with a partner he is left handed and the other is right hand they are from the Mayo group have over 1000 surgeries under there belt lets plan for the worest and get the best,for time going back to work. no surprizes

once again thank one and all
ps I just found out my boys are coming home on Sunday smilewinkgrin
can't stay for surgery but boy how the little things can be so sweet.
Pat Brick
psa 7-07 0.4
psa 8-08 2.8
free psa 0.2 ratio 0.14
gleason's score 3+3=6
RP for 1-12-09

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 148
   Posted 12/18/2008 1:47 PM (GMT -6)   
You may want to investigate the robotically-assisted prostatectomy because the recovery time is much quicker than the open procedure. Ask around to see if any other doctors in your area offer the DaVinci robot option. Look online at this site for a doctor near you :
Best of Luck!
DX 8/24/06
Gleason 6
PSA 3.32
stage T1C
age 48 at the time
da Vinci on 10/20/06
Last PSA was ZERO
Husband, Father, Son, Brother, Friend
"Never miss a good chance to listen."

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1382
   Posted 12/18/2008 5:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Pat thanks so much for sharing your concerns. I suppose I share the same thoughts as the group, Why are they saying you will be off three to six months? Is there part of the story we are missing?
I think it is awesome how you picked up the pieces after the loss of your wife and made a special home for those kids. I can assure you regardless what happens the one thing you cannot lose is the love of family. Cobra is certainly an option worth exploring. The main thing now is to find the hope and perseverance that resides in that wonderful heart of yours. Come out with the determination to not only live but thrive.
PLease keep sharing with us and know that you are welcomed and loved by all the HW folks.

peace grace and love
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
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

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