Update From Larry,

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 384
   Posted 8/15/2009 5:42 PM (GMT -6)   
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
My Stats
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. 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 2243
   Posted 8/15/2009 5:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome home Larry. Looks like it went pretty well, except for the car. Cath was no fun for me so it is nice that it is only a memory at this point. Eat well and drink fluids as you go along. Look forward to hearing about your progress.
Dx with PCA 12/08 2 out of 12 cores positive
59 yo when diagnosed
Robotic surgery 5/09 Atlanta, Ga
Catheter out after 10 days
Gleason upgraded to 3+5, volume less than 10%
Margins not involved
2 pads per day, 1 depends but getting better,
8/5 1 depend at night only
 started ED tx 7/17, slow go
Great family

Elite Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25393
   Posted 8/15/2009 5:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Larry, glad to have you back on the other side, and in one piece ,the recovery side. you gave a good detailed account, that will help other new friends here when they anticipate their own surgeries. pain is a subjective thing, if you hurt you hurt, thats what the pain meds are for, they will help you heal faster.

12 days on the cath, listen to your dr there, thats for you own good for healing process. if it makes you feel any better, i was on caths for 63 days after surgery, and now 9 months later, i am on my 25th day of another cath due to a complete blockage at the bladder neck. you will make it through the 12 days, brother. if you have any questions on the cath time, please ask away.

time to rest, to heal, your body was just put through surgical hell, listen to the signals your body sends and you will do well. please keep us closely posted, and welcome back brother.

david in sc
Age 57, 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
 Pathlogy Report:Gleason 3+4=7, pT2c, 42 grm, tumor 20%, Contained in capsule, one post. margin, clear lymph nodes 
2009 PSA   2/9 .05, 5/9 .10, 6/9 .11, 8/9 .16
Lastest 7/13 met with Rad. Oncl, considering options, 7/20 Catheter #6 after complete blockage, scarring closed up bladder neck, corrective laser surgery scheduled for 8/18,
meeting with Rad. Oncl on 8/14 about lastest PSA

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 847
   Posted 8/15/2009 6:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome out the other side, Larry. Good news on the ED front too -- if you can get a semi with the catheter still in place, that means things are working well. Onwards and upwards!
Age 63 at diagnosis, now 64.
No symptoms; PSA 5.7; Gleason 4+5=9; cancer in 4 of 12 cores.
Non-nerve sparing RRP on 7 March 2008.
Two nights in hospital; catheter out after 7 days.
Continent; no pads needed from the get-go.
Pathology showed organ confined and negative margins. Gleason downgraded to 4+4=8.
6-week : <0.05
7-month: <0.05
13-month: 0.07 (start of a trend?)
After a learning curve, Bimix injections (0.2ml) are working well. VED also works but we find it inferior to Bimix.
14 months: Occasional nocturnal erections.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 1211
   Posted 8/15/2009 7:37 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Larry,
Congratulations on having come to the other side in relatively good shape. Now don't over due the physical activities and give your body a chance to heal. Some walking and kegels will help you to return to normal.
All the best to you.

Born Sept 1936
PSA 7.9
-ve DRE
Gleason's Score 3+4=7, 2 of 8 positive
open RP 28 Nov 06 (nerve sparing), Post op staging T3a
Gleasons still 3+4=7
Seminal vesicles and lymph nodes clear
Catheter out 15 Dec 06, Dry since 11 Feb 07
All PSA tests in 2007 (4) <.04
PSA tests in 2008: Mar.=.04; Jun.=.05; Sept.=.08; 3 days before Rad Start=0.1
Salvage RT completed (33 sessions - 66 Grays) on the 19th Dec., 08.
PSA on the 26 Jan., 09, =0.05; 17 July 09=<0.04

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1015
   Posted 8/15/2009 9:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Larry,

Welcome to the other side of treatment!

You appear to be doing just fine from your story.

Take it easy and let your body heal. It will take some time. You'll feel like you're doing okay, but there is danger in overdoing it. All the incisions and repairs need time to heal.

Da Vinci LRP July 31, 2007… 54 on surgery day
PSA 4.3 Gleason 3+3=6 T2a Confined to Prostate
6th PSA 06/09 still less than 0.1

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 2692
   Posted 8/15/2009 9:13 PM (GMT -6)   

Great news. Sounds like things went normal for a hospital. Great job on the walking discipline.

Keep up the good work, and just relax now. The hardest part is over. Walk and drink those fluids.

Keep us posted !
Age 58, PSA 4.47 Biopsy - 2/12 cores , Gleason 4 + 5 = 9
Da Vinci, Cleveland Clinic  4/14/09   Nerves spared
0/23 lymph nodes involved  pT3a NO MX
Catheter and 2 stints in ureters for 2 weeks due to anatomical issues with location of ureters with respect to bladder neck.  Try 3 tubes where no tubes are supposed to be for 2 weeks !
Neg Margins, bladder neck negative
Living the Good Life, cancer free  6 week PSA  <.03
3 month PSA <.01 (different lab)

DS Can
Regular Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 195
   Posted 8/15/2009 9:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Glad to hear you are improving. 
Take the pain meds if you need them.
Walk a bit if you can, but don't overdo it.
My favorite spot was in the recliner for the first 2 weeks.
Listening to your favorite music while resting for 20 hours/day is GFMPH.
Keep the stool softener close by.  I still take one about 2 out of 3 days.
Keep healing.  Best wishes for what the future has in store for you.
PSA 01/07 1.2, PSA 01/08 1.9, PSA 01/09 2.5
BIOPSY 02/24/09  PCa DX age 52
Right: 3+3=6, 3/6 cores 10% involved,PNI-Y
Left:  3+3=6, 1/7 cores <5% involved,PNI-N
LARP 04/09/09 nerve sparing. Final pathology:
GS 3+4=7, Margins uninvolved, 2 lymph nodes negative
Catheter out 04/17,1st no-pad day 05/03
25 mg Viagra nightly;100 mg:not ready for prime time
Followup PSA 05/28/09 <0.1

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 476
   Posted 8/15/2009 10:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Good post, Larry. I was amazed how quickly we heal. In another couple of weeks all this business will be a distant memory and with mr. Foley out, you will start the road to recovery. Best of luck.

Father died from poorly differentiated PCa @ 78 - normal PSA and DRE

5 biopsies over 4 years negative while PSA going from 3.8 to 28

Dx Nov 2007, age 46, PSA 29, Gleason 4+4=8

Decided to participate in clinical trial at Duke - 6 rounds of chemo (Taxotere+Avastin)

PSA prior to treatment on 1/8/2008 is 33.90, bounced on 1/31/2008 to 38.20, and down at the end of the treatment (4/24/2008) to 20.60

RRP at Duke (Dr. Moul) on 6/16/2008, Gleason downgraded 4+3=7, T3a N0MX, focal extraprostatic extension, two small positive margins

PSA undetectable for 8 months, then 2/6/2009-0.10, 4/26/2009-0.17, 5/22/2009-0.20, 6/11/2009-0.27

Salvage IMRT + 6 Months ADT: Casodex started 6/12/2009, Lupron 6/22/2009, PSA 6/25/2009-0.1, T=516, 7/23/2009-<0.05, T<10, IMRT to start mid-Aug

James C.
Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4463
   Posted 8/16/2009 8:19 AM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to the other side, fellow. Sure glad to hear you are beginning a near normal recovery. Now, 'git to walking and drink all the water you can while you have a portable bathroom with you. Flush out those toxins, chunks and left overs. Don't be alarmed at what you see coming out of you, and the fact you will see blood in your urine for probably several months as you heal. All normal...
James C. Age 62
Co-Moderator- Prostate Cancer Forum
4/07 PSA 7.6, referred to Urologist, recheck 6.7
7/07 Biopsy: 3 of 16 PCa, 5% involved, left lobe, GS 3/3=6
9/07 Nerve sparing open RRP 110gms.- Path Report: GS 3+3=6 Stg. pT2c, 110gms, margins clear
22 mts: ED- 50 mg Viagra 3X week, pump daily,Trimix 30/1/20-.05ml 2X week continues
PSA's: .04 each test since surgery

Cajun Jeff
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 4119
   Posted 8/16/2009 9:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Larry: Take it easy and get yourself healed. If I can offer one advise "walk walk and walk some more" I found that made my pains go away faster than anything else. Welcome to the otherside.

Jeff T
Jeff T Age 57
9/08 PSA 5.4, referred to Urologist
9/08 Biopsy: GS 3/4=7
10/08 Nerve sparing open RRP- Path Report: GS 3+3=7 Stg. pT2c, margins clear
3 mts: PSA .05 undetectable
 10th month  PSA <0.01
ED- 5 mg Cialis daily, pump daily, going to try MUSE next

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