Jack is back...day 3

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 664
   Posted 11/4/2009 9:25 AM (GMT -6)   
Ok…Jack is back! Home last evening. The ride in from St.Louis was more than I wanted. My wife did the best that she could but it is amazing how much you get bumped around when in a car. You just can’t understand how much unless you’ve been surgically assaulted.

The folks at Wash U and Barnes took good care of me. I really can’t add much as related to my experience from what I have read on this site except to say that my post op pain was less than I expected. The incision pain is what caused most of my discomfort oh….and that Foley catheter thing is a constant unpleasant feeling but not so much as to cause me the need to take pain medication. The removal of the JP drain which the young physician informed me terminated in my pelvis, was the most unpleasant procedure that I have had post op to date. But I’m not sure that it was particularly painful or if I was just real anxious or some combo of both. It took place at 6am post op day 1.

As Sleepless has instructed I am drinking, walking, drinking walking… Seems to be working. I am optimistic that by the weekend I’ll be back to near normal status.

The surgeon stated that no gross evidence existed of extension of cancer however cautioned that we need microscopic pathology to actually make that determination.

I still think I made the correct decision but this has been an interesting event. On another note I got home to the news that my water heater has shot craps (surprise!!!). fortunately I have 2 brothers here to get that taken care of. My wife and kids have been very wonderful and have intervened frequently to make sure that I’m taken care of.

Thanks to all of you.

Age: 51 years,
Overall Health: Excellent
PSA: 08/31/2009   6.8
DRE: 09/10/2009 "nothing really" ????
BXY: Scheduled at 08:30 on 09/24/2009
Cores 10 of 12 positive
SURG: da Vinci Scheduled for November 2 2009 

Worried Guy
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 3744
   Posted 11/4/2009 9:33 AM (GMT -6)   
Welcome back Jack,
Don't be too much of a Hero. Relax, annd let your brothers take care of the heater. Believe me they are happy to do it. (Psst, They're thinking right now "Gee, I wonder if this is hereditary?")
Take advantage of the holiday. You've earned it.
DX Age 56. First routine PSA test on April 8th: 17.8.
May PSA: 22.6, 3 weeks later: PSA: 23.2.
Biopsy 6/10/09: 7/12 scores positive, Gleason 6=3+3. Bone scan and C/T scan negative.
RP DaVinci -7/21/2009 @ Univ of Roch Medical Center
Left nerve gone, right partial spared.
Catheter removed - 7/31/2009 Pathology report received:
Gleason 3+4=7 Tumor size: 2.5 x 1.8 cm location: both lobes and apex. No Malignancy in Seminal Vesicle, vasa deferentia, lymph nodes 0/13
Extraprostatic extension present; Perineural invasion: present, extensive
Prostate mass 56 grams. Pathologic Stage: pT3aN0MX
Post Surgery Status:
Potency - 10/31 3 months, Still no activity, nada, zip
Incontinence - 8/20 4 full pads per day
. 9/7 3-4 full pads per day (I'm going to try cutting down on fluids. Bad idea. I know.)
9/17 2 months: Still 3 pads per day.
10/31 14 weeks: Still 3 pads per day. At this rate I'll be fine in 2012.
Post Surgery PSA - 9/3 6 weeks- 0.05, 10/13 3 months- 0.04 undetectable.

Elite Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25394
   Posted 11/4/2009 9:41 AM (GMT -6)   
Glad you are back on the other side, the recovery side, Jack. Sounds like you already had a pretty decent event. Each day forward, you will get better and better.

Yeah, take advantage of being a surgical cripple, at least for a few days, make your eyes get big and sad looking, look pitiful, and you will find friends and family wanting to wait on your hand and foot, loll.

Really glad you are doing so well, heal brother, rest brother.

David in SC
Age: 57, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 7/08 12.3, 9/08 14.5, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 - 7/7 Positive, 40-90% Cancer, Gleason 4+3
Open RP: 11/08, Rht nerves saved, 4 days in hospt, on catheters for 63 days, 5th one out 1/09
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos margin
Post Surgery  PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Latest: 7/9 met 2 rad. oncl, 7/9 cath #6 - blockage, 8/9 2nd corr surgery, 8/9 cath #7 out  38 days, 9/9 - met 3rd rad. oncl., mapped  9/9, 10/1 - 3rd corr. surgery - SP cath/hard dialation, 10/5 - began IMRT SRT - 39 sess/72 gys cath #8 33 days, 11/2- SP Cath #9 in place

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 11/4/2009 9:46 AM (GMT -6)   
any questions, pick up pat walsh's book for 18 $-----he's the Ted Williams of Prostate Cancer. over 7,000 prostate operations. read his book. the very best. don't overdo the kegels.

James C.
Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4463
   Posted 11/4/2009 9:50 AM (GMT -6)   
Good deal, Jack. You've been well prepped for what is to come, so take it easy and let your body determine what you do for a few days.
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
24 mts: PSA's: .04 each test since surgery, Bimix .3ml PRN or Trimix .15ml PRN

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 2448
   Posted 11/4/2009 9:50 AM (GMT -6)   

Welcome home brother. News on your recovery seems really good. Hope and pray that it continues that way for you. I echo David's suggestion heartedly, kick back relax and let others jump in there to assist whenever possible. Your job is the recovery, everything else can be handled by someone else or it is just not as important.

61 years old
PSA 11/07 3.0
PSA 5/09 6.4
Diagnosis confirmed July 9, 2009
12 Needle Biopsy = 9 clear , 3 postive
<5%, 90%, 40%
Gleason Score (3+4) 7 in all positive cores
CT Organ Scan - negative
Nuclear Bone Scan - Negative

da Vinci 9/17/09 Dr. Mani Menon Henry Ford Medical Institute

Post Surgery Pathology:
Gleason: Changed to (4+3) = 7
Stage: T3a
Tumor Volume 12.5%
Margins: focally positive right posterior mid level
Perineural Invasion: present
Seminal Invasion: absent
Venous Invasion: absent
Angiolymphatic Invasion: absent
Left Internal iliac lymph node: reveals zero
Right Internal lymph node: reveals zero

Cajun Jeff
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 4126
   Posted 11/4/2009 11:33 AM (GMT -6)   
Weclome back Jack: I was looking for this report. Sounds like you are on your way.....Take some time to heal....Walk as much as you can with comfort.

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
1year psa <0.01
ED- 5 mg Cialis daily, pump daily, going to try MUSE next. Next step injections.

Tony Crispino
Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 8128
   Posted 11/4/2009 12:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Jack,
Welcome back. Now time to heal up and get back into your life. Good luck in the coming days. Peace to you...

Age 47 (44 when Dx)
Pre-op PSA was 19.8 : Surgery at The City of Hope on February 16, 2007
Gleason 4+3=7, Stage pT3b, N0, Mx
Positive Margins (PM), Extra Prostatic Extension (EPE) : Bilateral Seminal vesicle invasion (SVI)
Hormone Therapy May '07 to September '09 ~ Currently off.
IMRT radiation for 38 Treatments ending August 3, '07
Current PSA (October 7, 2009): <0.1

My journey is at: www.caringbridge.org/visit/tonycrispino

My InfoLink page is at Tony's Prostate Cancer InfoLink Page


O Buddy Boy
Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 106
   Posted 11/4/2009 12:37 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome Back, Jack!

You and I had our surgeries within a month of each other. Brothers and cousins, kinda like the boys up in the hollers of Western Kentucky. ;-) Well only not that gross.

I'll be watching for your post-op biopsy and PSA reports.

At 3-1/2 weeks I'm up to 5 miles a day power walking. You know you can go anaerobic walking? Blew me away 163 HR at 55 yo. Right on the edge of O2 debt.

Stairs, too. They'll let you do stairs pretty quick, too.

10-lb dumbbells is all I'm allowed, but they'll keep me in tone until I'm cleared for more.

Washington U, eh? Good place. I know one heck of a cardiologist there. Gerald Dorn. Smart.

Enjoy yourself.

55 yo
DRE: Susp
PSA: 3.5
Gleason: 3+4/7
6/12 Cores Positive; Sextants were 1%, 3%, 8%, 15%, 12%, 0%
RALP: 10/09/09
Margins: Clear
Lymph Nodes: Clear
Seminal Vesicles: Clear
Gleason: No increase from biopsy 3+4/7
Some perineural and capsule invasion.
Incontinence: Minor. 1 light pad a day. Some days don't need it.
ED: Natural with encouragement. 20mg Cialis and pump just makes things more fun.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 1211
   Posted 11/4/2009 2:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to the other site, Jack. You seam to have things well under control. Now just take it easy for a few week and give your body a chance to heal.
Wishing you a quick and complete recovery.
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 in Jan., 09, = 0.05; July 09, <0.04

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 990
   Posted 11/4/2009 2:26 PM (GMT -6)   
It is great to hear that you have now joined us on the other side. You have been getting good advice but there is always room to add more.

You have been through Major Surgery and just because they only made small holes on the outside doesn’t mean that there weren’t major excavations and re-plumbing on the inside. So listen to your body, not your macho inflamed brain (ask your wife)

Problem solve. There is a lot that the doctors don’t know about the little details of recovery, so what ever your issues are approach then with a positive and innovative attitude. Of course, feel free to ask. (Later on, brother Jeff will explain how to use third order differential equations to make pretty charts of your return to continence that you can hang on your refrigerator.)

Enjoy. That is a strong medicine for healing.
Age at diagnosis 66, PSA 5.5
Biopsy 12/08 12 cores, 8 positive
Gleason 3+4=7
CAT scan, Bone scan 1/09 both negative.

Robotic surgery 03/03/09 Catheter Out 03/08/09
Pathology: Lymph nodes & Seminal vesicles negative
Margins positive, Capsular penetration extensive Gleason 4+3=7
6 weeks: 1 pad/day, 1 pad/night -- mostly dry at night.
10 weeks: no pad at night -- slight leakage day/1 pad.
3 mo. PSA 0.0 - now light pads
6 mo. PSA 0.00 -- 1 light pad/day

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 1267
   Posted 11/4/2009 2:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Hero, now listen up. What you've been told about taking it easy is good advice. Push, sure, but don't over do it. That could set you back. Some guys like OBB can do amazing things. You may too. But recovery is NOT a competition.

Walk, drink, walk, drink, take your pain meds. Do what the doctor tells you.

When you say, "I am optimistic that by the weekend I’ll be back to near normal status," that scares the living daylights out of me. Six weeks from now you be happy if your back to near normal status. da Vinci has ripped you apart inside. As one open surgeon said, "the scar the patient sees on the outside is just a taste of what I did on the inside." da Vinci surgery is the same inside as open.

Prudent pushing is the answer, Jack. No heroics that will set you back --- you hear me?

And, in case I didn't mention it, walk, drink, walk, drink .....

Sheldon AKA Sleepless
Age 67 in Apil '09 at news of 4 of 12 cores positive T2B and Gleason 3 + 3 and 5% to 25% PSA 1.5
Re-read of slides in June said Gleason 3 + 4 same four cores 5% to 15%
June 29 daVinci prostatectomy, Dr. Eric Estey, at Royal Alexandra Hospital Edmonton one night stay
Flew home to Winnipeg on July 3 after 5 nights in Ramada Inn  ---  perfect recovery spot!
Catheter out July 9, so far, so good
Final pathology is 3 + 4 Gleason 7, clear margins, clear nodes, T2C, sugeron says report is "excellent"
First post op PSA Sept 09  less than 0.02
PSA on Oct 23 test again less than 0.02
Oct 1st 09 -- dry at night, during day some stress issues, but better every week. 
Feel free to email me at:  sheldonprostate@yahoo.com    

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 179
   Posted 11/4/2009 2:49 PM (GMT -6)   
billye said...
any questions, pick up pat walsh's book for 18 $-----he's the Ted Williams of Prostate Cancer. over 7,000 prostate operations. read his book. the very best. don't overdo the kegels.
Pat Walsh had his head frozen?????
V10.46 Dx Feb-09
RRP 5-5-09
No adverse SE
PSA 6-19-09 -0-
PSA 9-21-09 -0-
Thriving, not just surviving!

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 179
   Posted 11/4/2009 2:51 PM (GMT -6)   
On another note I got home to the news that my water heater has shot craps (surprise!!!).
When I returned home from the hospital after gall bladder surgery, my furnace decided to call it quits.
The gods do look down on us.
V10.46 Dx Feb-09
RRP 5-5-09
No adverse SE
PSA 6-19-09 -0-
PSA 9-21-09 -0-
Thriving, not just surviving!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 2243
   Posted 11/4/2009 4:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome home Jack. I can recall that ride home in my wife's 4 wheel drive Subura Forrester, and understood why people but BMW's. That 90 mintue trip felt like 4 hours. If you are back to normal by this weekend please let me know as I will have to ask my Surgeon for a partial refund. Do take it easy and enoy relaxing. Take in a good movie at home and walk  every so often. But your report sounds great.
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

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 215
   Posted 11/4/2009 4:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome back home Jack. Everyone heals differently, so it is up to you to determine how you are feeling and what you are up to. Take it slow and let your body recover from your major surgery. It does take time.

In the meantime, you can chat with us.

Keep well,
Pre-Op: Age 64. Diagnosed with Pca January 2009.
PSA 5.6, Gleason 3+3=6, T1c
Biopsy: TRUS biopsies of prostate left adenocarcinoma of prostate involving part of 1/4 biopsy fragments, less than 10% of the surface area involved, CT scan clear.
Treatment choice: Robotic Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy - September 29/09.  Pre-op PSA down to 5.28 which I attribute to visualization techniques and a new vegetarian diet.
Post-Op: Robotic Prostatectomy - 09/29/09, back home 10/02/09.
Pathology - 10/14/09  Gleason Score remained at 3+3 = 6 as it was when originally diagnosed. There were no positive margins. Tumors were found in both lobes and involved 3-5% of the prostate. There was no Seminal Vesicle, Perineural, Lymphovascular or Lymph node involvement, and the bladder neck was also cancer free. 
Continence 10/16/09 - 3-4 pads a day and working on pelvic floor exercises as prescribed.
Potency: 10/16/09 - Zip, nada
State of mind: Excellent - always positive.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 11/4/2009 8:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Glad you're back Jack. I have been looking for your post. Kinda nice your water heater goes out while you're all laid up! Now you don't have to mess with it! Ha ha! Get better!

Daughter worried about dad
Locally advanced prostate cancer
CT scan negative
PSA 7.9
Gleeson 7 (3+4)
Age 54
1 postive margin (seminal vesicle)
Robotic nerve sparing surgery Oct 2009
Scheduling for radiation

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 260
   Posted 11/4/2009 8:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to the healing side, Jack! I just knew you could do it. Now just relax and get better while everyone else does the work.

Best wishes,
Age 70, First ever PSA 7.8 taken June 2008, Biopsy July 2008, 10 of 12 cores positive, Gleason 3+3=6
da Vinci surgery December 10, 2008, catheter removed December 29 2008
St. Lukes Hospital, Bethlehem, Pa.
Dr. Frank Tamarkin
Prostate weight 73.0 grams, Gleason 3+3=6, stage pT3a
Tumor locations: right anterior apex, right posterior apex to mid
left anterior mid to base, left posterior apex to mid
extensive perineural invasion in right anterior apex, right and left posterior apex to mid
seminal vesicles negative
Four PSA tests undetectable, latest Oct 30

Ralph Alfalfa
Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 469
   Posted 11/4/2009 9:06 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome back, Jack
Don't count on being back to normal by the weekend.  Take the time to let other people do the pitying, pout a lot, look miserable, in other words, milk it for all it's worth.  You don't get many chances like this, thank goodness, so take it easy.
 Dx: October,27(the day after my birthday)
 Psa 14.5
 Gleason:(4+3) 7 T1c
 Bone scan:Negative
 Cat scan: Negative
 Biopsy: 4 of 12 positive, left side, pre-cancerous on the right.
 Confined to prostate.
 DaVinci Jan. 19th, No lymph node involvement, all margins clear.
 8 week PSa <0.01
 Gleason downgraded to (3+4)7
 6 month Psa , 0.1 
 9 month Psa,  0.2  Doubled! Criminy!
 Started RT 10/28...one year since diagnosis.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 133
   Posted 11/4/2009 10:01 PM (GMT -6)   


To follow up on "back to normal" comment....NOT. No way in one week or two weeks. Give yourself six to eight weeks to heal internally. There have been several stories on this forum where guys over did it and blew an internal gasket so to speak ending up back on the table.  One nurse said it best, "You were asleep when we put the first catheter in...." Get it? I am sure that I speak for the entire brotherhood when I say that I don't want any more visits to that part of my geography ever again.

And by the way you won't go back to your "old" normal, it is a "new " normal.

Best wishes in a smart recovery,


Age 55, two teens, very fit cyclist (avg 2000+ miles per year) and weight, diet, etc. consistent with good habits. Stressful job as attorney; very supporting wife who is helping me through every stage of this war.
2006 PSA - 1.5
2007 PSA - 2.3
2008 PSA - 5.3 (18 mos.)
2009 Jan. 20 - Biopsy 12 samples
        Feb 3 Dx 2/12 samples positive, low volume  (5% and 7-10%)
Gleason 3+4, later downgraded by second opinion at Johns-Hopkins to 3+3, but "it's still PCa" as my Doc said.
Laproscopic surgery April 9,  University of KY Medical Center, Lexington, 3 days in hospital, catheter removal April 21.
Pathology: clear margins, no cancer in prostate: told that this is very rare and Doc has only seen it in 3 out of over 1400 cases; I rearched the concept of "vanishing cancer" and found a tumor classification of tP0 and asked Doc if it applied to me. He said that it was unlikely because if a pathologist had done a much more detailed analysis of the tissue, he would likely find more foci somewhere, and biopsy found "needle in the haystack as opposed to the tip of the iceberg"; Nevertheless, it is a blessing;
Regardless of the science, my family says "miracle."
Now working w/ post-surgery issues....

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 11/4/2009 10:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Greetings men...I had robotic prostatectomy on 7/14 this summer and all went fairly well...Here I am some 15 weeks after surgery and still have fairly regular blood in my urine. Full urinary control but often quite urgent..no real sign of sexual function returning yet but.we'll see. I am 55 years old Post op gleason score 3/4. Post oppathology was very successful with all cancer contained to the prostate with no invasion of any other tissue or glands and all surgical margins were negative.
Does anyone else have the same or other continuious bleeding issues?
Any redsponse would be apreciated
Buzz in Vancouver BC

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 1858
   Posted 11/5/2009 1:01 AM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to the other side. Take it easy for a week or so and then stretch your self a little more each day. I remember well the feeling of that drain coming out...........not paticularly painful, just odd. But not as odd as the feeling when the cath is removed........you will be well pleased to be rid of it. Best wishes for a speedy recovery and a great pathology report.
1/05 PSA----2.9 3/06-----3.2 3/07-------4.1 5/07------3.9 All negative DREs
Aged 59 when diagnosed
Biopsy 6/07
4 of 10 cores positive for Adenocarcinoma-------bummer!
Core 1 <5%, core 2----50%, core 3----60%, core 4----50%
Biopsy Pathologist's comment:
Gleason 4+3=7 (80% grade 4) Stage T2c
Neither extracapsular nor perineural invasion is identified
CT scan and Bone scan show no evidence of metastases
Da Vinci RP Aug 10th 2007
Post-op pathology:
Positive for perineural invasion and 1 small focal extension
Negative at surgical margins, negative node and negative vesicle involvement
Some 4+4=8 identified ........upgraded to Gleason 8
PSA Oct 07 <0.1 undetectable
PSA Jan 08 <0.1 undetectable
PSA April 08 <0.001 undetectable (disregarded due to lab "misreporting")
PSA August 08 <0.001 undetectable (disregarded due to lab "misreporting")
Post-op pathology rechecked by new lab:
Gleason downgraded to 4+3=7
Focal extension comprised of grade 3 cells
PSA September 08 <0.01 (new lab)
PSA February 09 <0.01
PSA August 09 (2 year mark), <0.01

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