Finding peace in a spectacular day

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Oncas
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 390
   Posted 3/15/2009 5:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Scheduled for open radical surgery on March 26. Still stunned at how a how a few months can dramatically redefine your life perspective and priorities. Enjoyed a beautiful pre spring day in Pennsylvania despite the Gleason 8 elephant in the room. The thoughts of waking up im that hospital room, catheter in place, removed from the good health and ambitious plans that I previously enjoyed, shake me to the bone. But I do get the point of this forum support and the invaluable advice offered by brother in arms. I will fight with education and resolve to best this beast with all the resources available to me. Scared stiff but I will definitely take time to enjoy life along the way. Best wishes to all on the journey.

Oncas (Jim)

Routine PSA 11/18/08 after 3 yr lapse in annual checkups 8.04 (prev 2.7)
Biopsy 1/23/09 12 cores pos 11 cores Gleason 7 1 core Gleason 8
Bone & CAT Scans neg
open rad surg scheduled 3/26/09

Ed C. (Old67)
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 2458
   Posted 3/15/2009 5:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Oncas,
I wish you all the best. Be positive, I had a Gleason 8 and 9 from my biopsy and now I'm on the other side hoping for my first PSA to be a zero. My surgery was quick, one night in the hospital, one week with the catheter, almost dry (one pad per day). ED is another story but the important thing is to get rid of the elephant and the rest is just an inconvenience.
Age: 67
Retired in 2001 and living in Austin TX.
PSA 3.5 free PSA 11%
Dx 12/30/08
2 cores out of 12 were positive Gleason (4+4) and (4+5)
Negative CT scan and bone scan done on 1/16
Robotic surgery performed on Feb 9th
Surgeon: Dr. Randy Fagin, Austin TX.
Post op Pathology report:
Prostate weighed 57 grams
size:5.2 x 5.0 x 4.9 cm
10-20% involved
Bilateral
Gleason 4+4
both nerve bundles removed,
pT3a Nx Mx
Negative margins
Lymph nodes: not dissected
seminal vesicles clean


Purgatory
Elite Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25380
   Posted 3/15/2009 6:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Jim,
Your fear is well understood and respected. If you didn't have any, I would worry about you. Your surgery will be soon upon you, and then you will be on the other side, the recovery side. Hopefully, all your cancer is contained and your surgeon will get it. Then when you are on the mend, you will feel better knowing that you did what you could. Then you too, will anxiously await your first Zero, and we will rejoice with you. You have made your primary treatment choice, and now you just have to wait patiently for the 26th to come and go. I remember how nervous I was the last couple of week before surgery, though I kept myself busy, it was hard not to think about it often. This is a very normal way to feel at this point. We are with you, and hoping nothing but good results for you, brother.

David in SC
Age 56, 56 at DX, PSA 7/7 5.8, 7/8 12.3,9/8 14.5
3rd Biopsy Sept 08: Positive 7 of 7 cores, 40-90%, Gleason 7, 4+3
Open RP surgery 11/14/8, Right nerves spared, 4 days hospital, staples out 11/24/8, 5th cath out on 1/19/9
Post-surgery Pathlogy Report:Gleason 3+4=7, pT2c, 42 grm, tumor 20%, Contained in capsular, clear margins, clear lymph nodes 
First PSA Post Surgery   2/9 .05, 6 month on 5/9
 
 


mvesr
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 823
   Posted 3/15/2009 9:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Jim

Don't be afraid of the open surgery, it will be a breeze. I had it in May of 07 and stayed two nights in the hospital. Keep a good attitude with this thing and everything will be alright. Hope the surgery will get rid of it for good.

Mika
age at dx 54 now 56
psa at dx 4.3
got the bad news 1/29/07
open surgery Duke Medical Center 5-29-07
never more than 2 pads
Tossed the pads this spring
ED still a problem
Got a shot last week and it was great
A year an a half of zero's
 


Tony Crispino
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 8128
   Posted 3/15/2009 9:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Jim,
I felt the same way going in. I have a whole different perspective than I did then. I was able to get through surgery fine. The elephant is fear, I know this for a fact. Cancer grade, stage and all that does not matter as much as fear right now. I find that even with my advanced case I am doing quite well today. And I plan on it for a long time. I believe that you will be just fine. Get passed this point and you start healing.

I can't say my life didn't change but I can say it is better now than before. And I don't have fear anymore.

Peace to you...my friend.

Tony
Age 46 (44 when Dx)
Pre-op PSA was 19.8 : Surgery at The City of Hope on February 16, 2007
Geason 4+3=7, Stage pT3b, N0, Mx
Positive Margins (PM), Extra Prostatic Extension (EPE) : Bilateral Seminal vesicle invasion (SVI)
HT began in May, '07 with Lupron and Casodex 50mg (2 Year ADT)
IMRT radiation for 38 Treatments ending August 3, '07
Current PSA (January 13, 2009): <0.1
 
My Journal is at Tony's Blog  
 
STAY POSITIVE!


biker90
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1464
   Posted 3/15/2009 10:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Jim,

Being apprehensive before treatment and being relative new to this battle with cancer are understood by all of us here on HW. You have done everything you can do and done it right. You have a treatment plan that is best for you. You have a treatment schedule and you have obviously researched your options. Thats what we all did and we all made it through to the "other side". The fear will subside. Nothing defeats fear better than success so celebrate all your small victories on your way to surgery.

As you have noted, cancer changes our lives. Those changes can be for the better or for the worse. The choice is ours. Prostate cancer treatment has some drastic side effects but there are many resources that we can use to overcome them. Read the many success stories here on the forum with regard to overcoming these side effects and making life as good and sometimes even better after treatment.

You mentioned priorities. Facing serious illness does tend to sort out the small stuff that we can get rid of. Here too you have the power to choose what is important to you in your life from now on. Take control - of your priorities, of your treatment and most of all of your attitude. A great attitude is our number one weapon in this fight. With it we can turn the downer days into victory days. We can meet adversity with good cheer for those around us.

You have made an excellent start. Please stay with us and help us on our journeys.

Jim
Age 74. Diagnosed 11/03/06. PSA 7.05. Stage T2C Gleason 3+3.
RRP 12/7/06. Nerves and nodes okay.
Catheter out on 12/13/06. Dry on 12/14/06.
Pathological stage: T2C N0 MX. Gleason 3+4.
50 mg Viagra + .04 cc Trimix = Excellent Results
PSAs from 1/3/07 - 7/17/08 0.00.
PSA on 1/28/09 - 0.02
Lung cancer dxed on 5/16/08. Surgery on 6/25/08 T1N1M0 - Stage IIA Finished 4 cycles of chemo on 11/7/08.
CT scans on 12/2/08 & 2/25/09 - in remission!!!
Next scan in May 09.
Biker90's Journey
Jim's Space
"Patience is essential, attitude is everything."


Bill_Houghton
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 3/16/2009 11:41 AM (GMT -6)   
Hang in there. I'm approaching two months out from a slightly different surgery. I went through some frustrations, but am now, as I put it in an e-mail to friends over the weekend, returning to normally scheduled programming. Everyone's journey's a little different, but keeping your head up helps a lot. At the same time, it's ok to be scared, anxious, frustrated - this ain't tiddlywinks.

Through other contacts, I've been talking with someone who's ten years out from it, and who keeps reminding me that what I'm feeling in this moment will fade into the past as things resolve.

I wish I'd found this forum before my surgery - I'd have learned a lot it would have been good to know beforehand. Come back and ask all your questions all the way along - the doctors DON'T know everything. In particular, unless they've had it themselves, they don't know what daily life is like.
Age 60 at diagnosis, robotic laparoscopy January 20, 2009 at Univ. of California San Francisco
Gleason 4+3 (from pathology), T2A, tumor growing into wall but not extending beyond
Last pre-surgery PSA 4.4


lastcowboy42
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 3/16/2009 11:48 AM (GMT -6)   
 Hello Jim
I Felt the  same way  , we all deal with it in our owen little ways  lol  for me well alot of people were mad but
I went Elk hunting for 2 weeks came back on a sunday and surgery one Tues .
 I was scared of the unknowen but when time came it was easy , took a little over 6 hrs  for mine .
The best feeling is after its over  and the healing   beagines  there may /will be bumps  in the road but thats what this group is hear for the support and  learning from others .
 Take care my friend  and see you on the healing side of this thing :{)
                            Ron
 I am 42 years  young
Psa 11.6
gleasen 4+3=7
Catscan-Neg but for a cyst on liver
Bone scane - Neg
11 out of 17 bio tests came back pos full rt side agressive cancer lft side  core  had 2 bios  pos
had the open RP on Tuesday November 18th of 2008 at 7:45  am , finished at 1:30 and took the 3 pts of blood I gave .
 At Kaiser Sunnyside  in Oregon
Performed by Dr Matthew Forsyth
 Came home on 11-21 , cath and staples out on 12-01
now the real work begins
 


CPA
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 655
   Posted 3/16/2009 1:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Greetings, Jim.  It's natural to be a little apprehensive on the front side of the surgery.  You will do fine and be on the other side before you know it.  Please keep us posted on how things go.  You'll do great!  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


Jstars
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 489
   Posted 3/16/2009 2:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Oncas,

I still remember the apprehension during that week leading up to my open RRP also. I have to say the Pre-op visit does help since it familiarized you with the waiting room and other partiiculars. I guess you are done with that part now.

Here is my funny story about the surgery itself.

I was waiting in the pre-op parking area with the drip line in and just waiting to hit the surgery (feeling OK since they do give you some painkillers even before surgery these days to keep spare the nerves during surgery etc). So the nurse is explaining to me, when you awake from surgery you will be over on the other side of the room in Post-op parking area. Then, the next thing I knew I am hearing "He's waking up" from the nurse and the whole thing was over -- in literally one second as far as i was concerned. darn never even got to count backwards from 100 or see the surgery room and all the shiny equipment or watch them draw the marks on my abdomen! HAH! I was kind of disappointed about all that.

Hey one thing to ask about: Will they use STAPLES on your incision or TAPE (plus the regular sutures of course). Everyone hates the staples -- I was lucky enough to have only TAPE which you can pick off yourself during the second week. Staples look ugly, feel ugly and give you all those extra holes. I think they could do tape because I am thin and had a non-fat tummy -- but I have not asked (although my PA was kind of surprised no staples ). Yeah too late to diet and exercise to a flat tummy now I suppose -- sorry!

jim
Age 58, 192lbs, 6'4", 57 at DX, PSA Aug2008 7 4 ... June2007 4.7 (BPH + LUTS)
Biopsy Nov2008 1 of 12 cores 5%, Gleason 3+3 - Sona showed 140+ cc (110 grams post op) prostate size.
open RP surgery 02/03/9, Nerve sparing both sides, 1 day in hospital, Day 4 first BM,
Post-surgery Pathlogy Report - All margins clear - No Invasive spread - no change in Gleason score.
Cath out on 2/18/9, passed a STONE within hours. To be analyzed by doc.
Using pump (encore) daily since catheter out -- Viagra and Levitra samples now and then (no effect).
03/06/09 Started Levitra 20mg rehabbing.


Purgatory
Elite Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25380
   Posted 3/16/2009 3:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Jim, yours was a good description of how fast a major surgery takes place from the patient's perspective. It's over that fast, as you are gently being awaken in the recovery room. On my open RP, I was barely able to say I remember going into the surgery room, and helping them move me over to the operating table. One person put a mask over me and said breathe normal, and then I was waking up in recovery.

BTW, I had the real staples, 25 of them my wife said, I was happy at day 10 to have them removed virtually painlessly. I hated to touch them while healing, but they did the job, and I never had any leakage or oozing from any of them.

David in SC
Age 56, 56 at DX, PSA 7/7 5.8, 7/8 12.3,9/8 14.5
3rd Biopsy Sept 08: Positive 7 of 7 cores, 40-90%, Gleason 7, 4+3
Open RP surgery 11/14/8, Right nerves spared, 4 days hospital, staples out 11/24/8, 5th cath out on 1/19/9
Post-surgery Pathlogy Report:Gleason 3+4=7, pT2c, 42 grm, tumor 20%, Contained in capsular, clear margins, clear lymph nodes 
First PSA Post Surgery   2/9 .05, 6 month on 5/9
 
 


sandstorm
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 194
   Posted 3/16/2009 7:22 PM (GMT -6)   
I had every apprehension that you do Jim. Had knee surgery in 1969 and Gallbllader removed in 1971. I could only fall back on memories of the excruciating pain, 6 and 8 day hospital stays, a nurse nearly injecting me with penicillin and possibably ending my life. Brother was I in for an awakening. Turned down so many pain shots, they finally told me I was getting one whether I wanted it or not. Up walking the halls 4 hours after surgery and asking when can I walk again? Seeing the beauty of my wifes face smiling back at me when I left recovery. Knowing that I was alive and would continue to be so. Meeting some very effective, hard working and dedicated, caregivers that I now consider to be in a since, friends. Being cancer free, picking up a new tractor tomorrow, no leaks today that I can remember, and and a nice glass of wine before me. Life is not quite the same as before but it is getting better every day. You will not be alone on surgery day, a whole bunch of us will be there with you in thoughts, prayers, and spirit. All will go well for you, my friend.
Age at DX 57
5-18-07 PSA 7.7
5-06-08 PSA 4.6  8% free psa, but stable
10-23-08 PSA 5.65 4% free psa
11-04-08 biopsy
11-11-08 2 of 12 cores positive
Gleason 3+3  6  stage t1c / post-op 3+4  7  stage t2c
CT and Bone scan negative
Da Vinci RRP 01-09-09
Catheter removed 1-15-09
Pathology Report says it's gone!
First Post-op PSA 2-17-09   0.00


kcragman
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 240
   Posted 3/17/2009 12:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Oncas - My experience is that the apprehension is almost ALWAYS worse than the medical event. I've been thru a few surgeries. TRY to relax as much as you can before the big event. The hospital will treat you well. When the event comes, you'll sleep right thru it and won't feel a thing. The first couple of days after are tough, but you just take it minute by minute, hour by hour, and suddenly 3-4 days have gone by, and then you are up and getting around. Then the catheter comes out and suddenly 2-3 weeks have gone by. You discover you can do more and more each day, and you keep pushing the boundaries. Then before you know it 2-3 months have gone by and you realize you are living your old life again with a few adjustments, and hopefully over time those adjustments get smaller and smaller until they just fade away and you are back.

I'm approaching the one year post op mark, and that's kind of how it's working for me.

Good luck,
kcragman
Age: 53; 52 at DX
March 2006: PSA 2.5
Dec 2007: PSA taken for insurance application. I did not see the results until late
Jan '08 - after I was rejected. Their lab said PSA 4.5.
Feb 2008: PSA 3.7.
March 2008: Biopsy. Gleason 7 (4+3) 12 cores taken. 5 on the left side were
cancerous and the 6th was suspect.
May 5, 2008: Da Vinci robotic laparoscopy at GW Hospital, Washington DC.

Post op: Gleason 9 (4+5). 15% of prostate involved. Stage: pT3a. Negative margins. Lymph node and nerve samples taken, and appeared to be cancer free.

July 2008: PSA at 7 weeks was undetectable.
August 2008: PSA at 14 weeks (3 months) was undetectable.
Nov 2008: PSA at 6 months was undetectable.
Feb 2009: PSA at 9 months was undetectable.


smc64
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 40
   Posted 3/17/2009 1:47 PM (GMT -6)   

Oncas

Coincidentally I too am scheduled for an rrp on 3/26.  I called yesterday to schedule the surgery and was given the option of the 26th of March or the end of April.  I want to get as much recovery done as possible before the summer so I opted for next week.  Talk about throwing yourself into the fire,  lol.  It took me a while to be at peace with this decision but for me, at my age, I feel it’s the right thing to do.  Anyway good luck next Thursday, I’ll be in the same boat…hope it works out well for both of us.

To echo Oncas and others, thanks to all who contribute here!  This site and the yana site have been a great resource for information and the personal experiences are invaluable.


Age 44, DX 12/08
Psa 2.6 free 11%
One of twelve cores pos. with 5% pc Gleason 6 3+3


Purgatory
Elite Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25380
   Posted 3/17/2009 2:14 PM (GMT -6)   
SMC,
I am sure you will do fine too, and look forward to see you on the other side, the recovery side.
Best of luck to you and your surgeon.

David in SC
Age 56, 56 at DX, PSA 7/7 5.8, 7/8 12.3,9/8 14.5
3rd Biopsy Sept 08: Positive 7 of 7 cores, 40-90%, Gleason 7, 4+3
Open RP surgery 11/14/8, Right nerves spared, 4 days hospital, staples out 11/24/8, 5th cath out on 1/19/9
Post-surgery Pathlogy Report:Gleason 3+4=7, pT2c, 42 grm, tumor 20%, Contained in capsular, clear margins, clear lymph nodes 
First PSA Post Surgery   2/9 .05, 6 month on 5/9
 
 


sandstorm
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 194
   Posted 3/17/2009 5:05 PM (GMT -6)   
smc64 and Oncas

Got you both down on my calender for 3/26, you guys get special thoughts and prayers from me and I know others here too on that day. You are going to do fine!
Age at DX 57
5-18-07 PSA 7.7
5-06-08 PSA 4.6  8% free psa, but stable
10-23-08 PSA 5.65 4% free psa
11-04-08 biopsy
11-11-08 2 of 12 cores positive
Gleason 3+3  6  stage t1c / post-op 3+4  7  stage t2c
CT and Bone scan negative
Da Vinci RRP 01-09-09
Catheter removed 1-15-09
Pathology Report says it's gone!
First Post-op PSA 2-17-09   0.00

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