Home and overall doing well. I know that every man is different but this is my take on things.
Tuesday - Day before surgery. Took the scenic route to Nashville to see some of the back country, Had lunch at Olive Garden with the wife (her favorite place). Pulled into the Parking garage at Vanderbilt on the 4th floor and the Car Broke down! Looked down and the temp gauge was in the red with steam coming off the engine! My wife and I literally pushed the car into the parking spot! I had checked all fluids before leaving home. Said I can't worry about this now. Went in and did all the pre-hospital stuff, paperwork, blood work, weight, ekg, etc. etc. By the way my blood pressure was thru the roof so I had told the nurse about the car break down! Two hours later was done and asked at the parking garage if someone could help us. They had a maintenance truck come by, put in 1 gallon of water, No leaks and the car started right up. Drove about 1 mile to the hotel. Checked in and water level was fine. about 5pm my wife and I walked to downtown Nashville, had my last meal (Salmon Salad) walked by the original Grand Ole Opry building and back to hotel. about a 3 mile round trip walk. Tuesday night - bowel prep and lots of hugs and talking to the wife.
Wednesday - Car started up and got to hospital fine. Checked in. Placed in the surgical waiting pod they call it. met with nurses, They had trouble starting my IV and had to try 3 times since my vein kept 'blowing out'. Als talked to three different anesthesologists that would put me under. Talked to Dr. Smith, Talked to his 4th year intern. Very young guy. I asked him if he got to play with the robot and he said yes, that he would make all the incisions and close me up but then Dr. Smith would take over the controls for the critical parts. Glad those young ones know there video games! When I talked to Dr. Smith before surgery he asked if I had any more questions, I said how to you know if you can spare the nerves. This was a BIG concern to me since I had 3 cores at biopsy of Gleason 4+3. He told me that he will probably have to take that nerve since it is more severe then a 3+4 but we want to get the cancer. Next they rolled me down the hall to the surgery room and transferred me to the table.
I remember asking where the robot was and they pointed it out to me over in the corner. They then asked are you ready? I said as ready as I will ever be, I saw him push a syringe into the IV Line and place a mask over my face. He asked to start counting and I was out before getting to 2. Surgery took 3.5 hours and was in recovery room for 2 more hours. Dr. Smith met with my wife in a private consult room which she was very glad to meet with him since I had been gone so long! Rest of Tuesday afternoon was pretty bad. The Pain was far more severe then I thought it would be. Every person is different and I have talked to some men that have no pain meds. They started me on morphine for pain, then switched to something else which my wife (A nurse) Said is stronger then morphine. about six hours post surgery I insisted on taking my first walk. Luckily the night nurse was a huge guy. We only went a very short distance due to the pain and it was very slow going. This was when they decided to upgrade the pain meds since if they touched my abdomen or moved the sheet I was pretty much hitting the roof. I estimated the pain at a scale 7-8 based on their scale of 1-10. The one thing that surprised me was they would not give me ANY LIGUIDS until the next morning! They did give me a sponge to wet my mouth with.
Wed. Morning. No Hospital rooms were available so they actually had to keep me in the pre-surgery pod areas, Very small rooms but OK. No windows, I started walking again at 6 am and did a lot better. The only problem was that I had to have them disconnect the IV since it was hooked to the bed since it wasn't a regular hospital bed, I could not lower it or the rails, always had to call the nurse but they were very responsive and took good care of me. At 8 they brought me a liguid diet, juice, milk, some type of a cream broth I think it was suppose to be oatmeal, and a container of water. The water was gone in 10 minutes! I then walked every hr and 1/2 and they upped my pain meds to oxycotin. Dr.Smith came by and saw me Tuesday evening around 7 and again wednesday morning. That was a chance encounter since I was still in the pre surgery area out on a walk and he stopped and talked to me in the hall on his way to another surgery. Tuesday evening he told us that he had not seen any signs of the cancer outside of the prostate. But that the proof and final word would be in the lab results. I'll post once I find out what they say. God is good and Dr. Smith told me that on the one side he spared 100% of the nerve bundle. On the other side where the cancer was he estimated that he had spared 50 - 70% of the nerve bundle! I was overwhelmed with the news since I was more worried about erection issues then the cancer being 54.
Early in the afternoon they discharged me and we had the three hour drive back home. That was not pleasant and in case you are wondering the car made it home with NO PROBLEMS! That includes going up over Mt. Eagle in Tn. If you have every gone down I-24 from Nashville you know the Mountain. Truckers hate it and it has to run way truck ramps on it for truckers if they loose there brakes. We stopped at the base of the mountain for a rest, checked water levels etc and all was good!
Friday - Saturday. Doing much better, Can get up and down out of bed by myself now, in and out of the chair, walking circles in the house, been out on the front porch 2 times. Haven't tried the front steps yet. Came in the back door which is only 2 small steps. Last Oxycotin I took was last night at about 10pm. Have been doing over the counter pain pills today but I am about ready for another oxycotin. The only 'bad news' was Dr. Smith wants me to wear the cath for 12 days instead of 10. It has not been as bad as I thought it would be but I'm getting tired of it on day 3 with 9 more days to go.
Last night I don't know if it was a dream or not but I had some pretty good sensations down below and told my wife if it wasn't a semi night time erection at least it was a VERY GOOD DREAM!!!
They sent me home with Over $200.00 worth of Levitra to start taking once the Cath comes out so am optimistic on that. The bowel had no control for the first day or two but they said that was from the pure liguid diet. The hospital called yesterday and told me start on more solid foods so things are sounding like good old rusty pipes down below with things starting to wake up and things working there way through the bowels.
I appreciate EVERYONES advice, prayers, concerns and thoughts. THANKS AGAIN ALL.
Age at diagnosis 54, PSA 5.1
Father treated for Prostate Cancer in 1997 with Proton
Biopsy 04/08 12 cores, 5 positive
Gleason 3 Cores at 4+3=7
2 Cores at 3+4=7
Perineural Invasion Noted on biopsy
Robotic surgery Scheduled 08/12/09 at Vanderbilt, Nashville TN.