Pre Op Hospital Visit - Reality has hit!

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 35
   Posted 10/29/2010 7:36 AM (GMT -6)   
My RP surgery is booked for 9AM on Wednesday November 3rd. Went to the hospital on Monday Oct 25th for my pre op exams. I have know I have cancer for over 18 months and have known surgery was coming for a few weeks and I thought I was dealing with it very well. I thought going to the hospital would be routine but instead it was a total shock to my system. Entering the hospital it all of a sudden became very real and I was having a hard time dealing with it. When they took my blood pressure it was off the map and I dont have an issue with blood pressure. I could feel my heart pounding and felt dizzy most of the time I was there. I have requested a sedative be given when I arrive for the surgery as I am sure I will be stressed out. This is the first time I am having surgery and I guess I am not dealing with it very well.
Jan/09: PSA 3.48 / Free PSA 10%
Feb/09 - Biopsy - cancer diagnosed - age 55
PSA at time of Biopsy - 3.48
DRE: Nornal
Trus volume: 34cc
3 out of 10 cores positive

Gleeson 3+3
On active surveillance for 18 months then had first follow up biopsy
Sept 1/10 - biopsy - 3 cores positive 2 @ G6 (20% & 50%) & 1 @ G7 (70%)
Surgery booked for Nov 3/10

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 2679
   Posted 10/29/2010 7:44 AM (GMT -6)   
Sounds familiar. Like you, I have "white coat syndrome" when it comes to blood pressure. Mine would hit 160/100 in a medical setting, whereas it's usually more like 120/65. I think medical folks see that a lot.

This was my first surgery, and I was nervous, too, but I hope it works out for you as it did for me. By the time the actual day of surgery arrived, I was in a bubble of calm. It was all beyond my control, and my mind just let the professionals do what they do. Things were happening so fast, there was no time to be nervous, and I just wanted to get it over with.

I hope it works out that way for you. You'll have a lot of us pulling for you from afar.
Age 65
Dx in June 2010.
PSA gradually rising for 3 years to 6.2
Biopsy confirmed cancer in 6 of 12 cores, all on left side
Gleason 7 (3 + 4)
Bone scan, CT scan, rib x-rays all negative.
DaVinci surgery late August at Advocate Condell, Libertyville IL
Negative margins; negative seminal vesicles
Smooth recovery; 18 holes of golf at 4 weeks.
Continence OK after 7 weeks. ED continues

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 1152
   Posted 10/29/2010 7:50 AM (GMT -6)   
If you have never had surgery before the idea of surgery can be very daunting. Also the reality of surgery makes the cancer more real all of a sudden, it's not some theoretical thing that's happened to you but something causing change in your life.
Your reaction would be very common, I think you are doing the right thing by acknowledging it and preparing for your possible reaction at surgery time.
There is every reason for this surgery to go well a big plus for your recovery is your age. And we are here for you, there are many threads helping you with all the logistics of what to buy pre-surgery and you may even find the August and October threads useful references as to what to expect both pre and post surgery.
I wish you the very best,
Husband's age: 52. Sydney Australia.
Family history: Mat. grandfather died of PC at 72. Mat. uncle died of PC at 60. He has hereditary PC.
PSA: Aug07 - 2.5|Feb08 - 1.7|Oct09 - 3.67 (free PSA 27%)|Feb10 - 4.03 (free PSA 31%) |Jun10 - 2.69. DRE normal.
Biopsy 28Apr10: negative for a diagnosis of PC however 3 focal ASAPs “atypical, suspicious but not diagnostic” for PC. Review of biopsy by experienced pathologist, 1/12 core: 10% 3+3 (left transitional), 1/12 core: ASAP (left apex)
Nerve sparing RP, 20Aug10 with Dr Stricker. Post-op path: 3+4 (ISUP 2005). Neg margins, seminal vesicles, extraprostatic extension. Multifocal, with involvement in the peripheral, apex, fibro-muscular and transitional zones.
Post RP PSA, Sep10 – 0.02

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 7078
   Posted 10/29/2010 7:54 AM (GMT -6)   
I can't remember my first hosp/ER visit - there have been a few. My DaVinci was one of the less "exciting". At least this time everything was intact and I walked in under my own power in street clothes.
Try to get a good night's sleep, exercise that prostate, and remember that everyone is there to help you. Just relax, and do what the nurses direct. From walking in the door to being out like a light was not a big deal. You'll do fine.
We will be waiting for news.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 91
   Posted 10/29/2010 7:59 AM (GMT -6)   

Just got through it myself. One moment I was sitting in my preop chair in the surgical room. A second later I woke up feeling really hungry and my wife smiling down at me..was that it!?? I asked.

You are young. Don't worry, this will be like falling asleep during a commercial break.

PS: My BP was REALLY high, too. Normally it's 117/65
54 year old 188 Lb. 6 ft.
Diagnosed July 1, '10 with PC,
PSA 3.88 Gleason 3+3=6, 2 out of 12 samples positive
DaVinci Oct 1 '10
Cath/JP Drain out Oct.16, '10


Post Edited (Alegar) : 10/29/2010 7:02:30 AM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 2243
   Posted 10/29/2010 8:01 AM (GMT -6)   
That hospital setting will get our BP up frequently. The good news is that by the time I did my own pre-op tasks such as the dreaded fleet, I was too tired to be anxious. You will be fine and look forward to seeing you on the other side.
Dx with PCA 12/08 2 out of 12 cores positive 4.5 psa
59 yo when diagnosed, 61 yo 2010
Robotic surgery 5/09 Atlanta, Ga
Catheter out after 10 days
Gleason upgraded to 3+5, volume less than 10%
2 pads per day, 1 depends but getting better,
 started ED tx 7/17, slow go
Post op dx of neuropathy
T2C left lateral and left posterior margins involved
3 months psa.01, 6 month psa.4, 6 1/2 month psa.5 on 11/28/10
Starting IMRT on 1/18/10, Completed 39 tx at 70 gys on 3/12/10
6 week Post IMRT PSA .44 a drop from .5 but maybe more
Great family and friends

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2845
   Posted 10/29/2010 8:10 AM (GMT -6)   
Optomist - wishing you all the best for your surgery and post-op recovery...
Age: 55 -gay with spouse, Steve - live in Peteborough, Ontario, Canada
PSA: 10/06/2009 - 3.86
Biopsy: 10/16/2009- 6 of 12 cancerous samples, Gleason 7 (4+3)
Radical Prostatectomy: 11/18/2009
Pathology: pT3a- gleason 7 -extraprostatic extension -perineural invasion -prostate weight -34.1 gm
Post Surgery-PSA: April 8, 2010 - 0.05 -I am in the ZERO CLUB
Sept 23, 2010 -0.05 - again -hoorah !

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 2679
   Posted 10/29/2010 8:12 AM (GMT -6)   

This is strictly from my personal eperience and may or may not apply to you Optimist, but what really led to my feeling of calm was a visit to my local clergyman for what used to be called the Last Rites, but which is now called the Sacrament of Anointing.  If religion is an important part of your life, you might consider this.  I did this the day before surgery and was calm from that point on.  I found out later my sister had done the same thing prior to thyroid surgery and had a similar eperience. 

Let me be clear that I'm not pushing this or making any curative claims:  just saying it had a calming effect for me.

If you don't like the relgious approach, a visit to some other type of counselor or a trusted friend miight provide the same sort of reassurance.

The last thing I remember pre-surgery was seeing the nurse anesthetist putting something into my IV.  I asked her what it was, and she said it was just a little something to get me ready for surgery.  Well, my wife says I started blabbing like an idiot after that as they wheeled me away, but I don't remember a thing until I woke up in recovery.  I'm sure your medical team will be just as competent and reassuring.  As Dan Rather would say, "Courage!"

Worried Guy
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 3739
   Posted 10/29/2010 8:13 AM (GMT -6)   

You are not the first person to feel this way. You will walk into the hospital like everyone else, just like you did yesterday. You'll sit in the waiting room for a few minutes reading a 6 month old Time magazine. If you are early in the schedule (I was first) you might even still be sleepy from the night before.

You have nothing to do but what they tell you. No yard work, no business deals, no nothing like a beach vacation without the sand. Just go with the flow. A little more sedative. The Surgeon will talk to you for 30 seconds and then you might feel yourself moving to the OR. Relax... That's it. Easy.
When you wake up, your penis prostate will be gone.

Good luck to you,

Jeff (Been there, done that - got the T-shirt)

2 time survivor
New Member

Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 10/29/2010 8:19 AM (GMT -6)   
Piece of cake! I have to admit I was pretty nervous walking in to that hospital on Oct 12th, but once i got in to the capable hands hands of the prep people, I forgot most of my fear and relaxed. Very good people took very good care of me.
You'll be fine and see you on the other side.
Age: 61

Gleason score 3 + 3
PSA 9.6

DaVinci RRP 10/12/10 contained, clear margins,Both nerve bundles spared
5 yr survivor of vocal chord cancer

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 10/29/2010 8:22 AM (GMT -6)   
Hope you have some hot nurses while you are in the hospital to take your mind off everything. That worked for me.
Age 49 years old with no family history of PCa. but had testicular cancer in 1985.

PSA on 3-8-2010 was a 5.6
PSA re-take on 3-17-2010 was a 4.4
Biopsy collected on 4-17-2010 showed 2 of 12 cores malignant with Gleason scores of 3+3 Stage T1C.
RALP surgery 7-21-2010 at Hopkins.
Pathology report revealed that the cancer was organ confined, all margins negative and a Gleason score of 6.

mr bill
Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 707
   Posted 10/29/2010 8:33 AM (GMT -6)   
It is natural to be apprehensive about something new such as this. I went through the same feelings and issues you are having. As has been said, next thing I woke up in my hosptial room. Do not even remember the recovery room.

The tests are probably the worse of the process.

Your mind is a poweful tool.
Age 66
BPH since 2000. at least three negative biopsies Erie. Uro did not prescribe finasteride
2007 acute urine retention photoselective vaporize Clev. Clinic
8-9-10 Aug PSA rose to 10.14 with finasteride positive biopsy Cleveland gleason 9, cat & bone scan negative
9-8-10 Robotic prostatectomy at Cleveland. Biopsy 9 nodes, 2 positive,seminal & vas deferens
PSA 3 week .06

Steve n Dallas
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 4848
   Posted 10/29/2010 8:51 AM (GMT -6)   
You'll be just fine...
You'll be given a  sedative when the time comes..."Mr. HAPPY" as my surgical nurses called him will drug you up.  
I'm sure you've already been told - DO NOT take anything yourself for your nerves or anything else for that matter.
Hope everything comes out all right - pun intended...We'll see you on the other side.
Age 55 - 5'11" 215lbs
Overall Heath Condition - Good
PSA - July 2007 & Jan 2008 -> 1.3
Biopsy - 03/04/08 -> Gleason 6
06/25/08 - Da Vinci robotic laparoscopy
05/14/09 - 4th Quarter PSA -> less then .01
11/20/09 - 18 Month PSA -> less then .01
05/18/10 - 24 Month PSA -> less then .01
Surgeon - Keith A. Waguespack, M.D.
Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional..

Elite Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25393
   Posted 10/29/2010 10:04 AM (GMT -6)   
good luck, you been given a lot of good advice here and i hope it helps. look forward to seeing you on the other side

i have had at least 14 surgeries since age 29, first one was the scariest, last one was the hardest. once you are sedated, you wont
have a worry in the world, enjoy that moment of bliss

Age: 58, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 7 of 7 Positive, 40-90%, Gleason 4+3
open RP: 11/08, on catheters for 101 days
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos marg
Incont & ED: None
Post Surgery PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Post SRT PSA: 1/10 .12, 4/8 .04, 8/6 .06 11/10 Not taking it
Latest: 6 Corr Surgeries to Bladder Neck, SP Catheter since 10/1/9, SRT 39 Sess/72 gy ended 11/09, 21 Catheters, Ileal Conduit Surgery 9/23/10

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 245
   Posted 10/29/2010 10:06 AM (GMT -6)   

So much supportive energy here for you!  Hope you can feel it...

Hubby HAS high blood pressure and with his nervousness during his pre-op tests had forgotten to take his lisinopril.  The nurse immediately became concerned since his BP had sky-rocketed to around 190 over 100-something. I knew right away and asked him if he'd forgotten to take his pill.  "Oh." was the answer.

The night before the surgery he didn't sleep a wink.  At one point had his fists pressed into his eye sockets chanting "I can't do this, I can't do this".  We'd never done this, but I grabbed his hand and started an act of contrition (Catholic prayer), and a few others.  Later on we used his prostate one last time.  To say it was a bizzare night, would be an understatement.  But he went through it like all the other men here and came out the other side, as will you.  A wonderful post from Swimom so many years after her husband's treatment might help calm you with a look at life on the other side.

Every man here has a huge advantage over so many others.  You're all communicators.  Unlike many guys who don't talk about their personal "stuff", you're willing to share and to help your brothers with your own experiences, your own hard sought research.  Research has shown that women have the advantage of  healthy sharing and sense of community and it is an asset for a long life, more happily lived.  That just emphasizes how special are the men in this group.  I have enormous respect for all of you.     

Trevor T.
New Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 10/29/2010 10:48 AM (GMT -6)   

I had the same feeling. I was diagnosed in June and made the decision to have surgery in August But I set the surgery for October. Until I walked into the pre-op appointment I hadn't given the surgery a thought, other than in an abstract manner to debate AS vs Surgery. When I did the pre-op appointment my heart sank into my stomach.

I have to control everything and I have a hard time handing control for anything to someone else. I'm worried that they'll screw things up. But, I coped with the two weeks between pre-op and surgery by telling myself that I'd done a ton of research, understood exactly what was going to go on, and selected one of the very best surgeons available at a national cancer center; it was time to give up control and place my confidence in the medical team. I couldn't really relax about the operation until I was able to give up control. When I did that - everything was fine.

The fact that you're on these sites means that you've done a good job researching your options and that you've selected the best that you can find. Now, give up control and relax. This operation has been done over and over, and those who do a lot of them are good at it. You'll be fine. I'm actually surprised at how easy it was. And, the catheter is really only a nuisance and nothing else. Once you get the hang of it, it becomes like a "side kick."

I wish you well. This whole thing sucks. But, it's better than dying a slow and painful death.

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 148
   Posted 10/29/2010 11:04 AM (GMT -6)   
you are going to be fine. A bit of advice- i don't know how the nurses do it your neck of the woods but while you are laying there and know you are getting ready to walk again a pretty little nurse is going to ask you "how is your pain" they want a number from one to ten, one being mild discomfort and ten being screaming out of your mind kind of pain. Always exagerate a little. It makes the walking easier. I was in from Friday to Sunday. Good luck.
Age 48 w/diagnosed
10/06 PSA 3.0
11/06 PSA FREE %13.2
10/07 PSA 3.4
12/07 Biopsy-neg
1/09 PSA 4.6
6/09 psa 5.8
2/10 psa 8.7
7/10 PSA 10.8
8/2010 GG 3+3=6, one of eight cores -2%
Lap 8/22/10 Dr. Troxel
Path- Neg Margins, Gleason 6, Nerves spared
next appt 11/2

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 3887
   Posted 10/29/2010 12:06 PM (GMT -6)   
The surgery itself is NOTHING!! You will not remember anything about it. You go to sleep, you wake up, that's it.....The pre-op bowel prep is the worst part! You are going to feel pretty crappy the first day or two at home as your appetite and mobility slowly return. A week later, it's just a fading memory...Walk, walk,walk!!
Age 68.
PSA at age 55: 3.5, DRE normal. Advice, "Keep an eye on it".
age 58: 4.5
age 61: 5.2
age 64: 7.5, DRE "Abnormal"
age 65: 8.5, " normal", biopsy, 12 core, negative...
age 66 9.0 "normal", 2ed biopsy, negative, BPH, Proscar
age 67 4.5 DRE "normal"
age 68 7.0 third biopsy positive, 4 out of 12, G-6,7, 9
RRP Sept 3 2010, pos margin, one pos vesicle nodes neg. Post Op PSA 0.9

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 1162
   Posted 10/29/2010 12:41 PM (GMT -6)   

I just went through the pre-op stuff the other day myself. It really is when reality sets in.

My surgery is set for Tuesday, so I'm a day ahead of you. Good luck to both of us, although I think we'll be just fine. Everybody is right; surgery itself is nothing. Getting out of bed will be an adventure for the first several days after surgery, and the catheter is likely to be a pain, but I'm sure we'll get through it.

Hang in there and don't lose your sense of humor. I'll see you back here next weekend.

Age 55

8/09 2.69
7/10 4.00
8/10 4.11

Biopsy 8/10
Three of 14 cores positive: 10%, 60% & 80%
Stage T1C
Gleason 6

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 254
   Posted 10/29/2010 1:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Its been nine months since my surgery.  I was a nervous wreck the weeks before leading up to the surgery - unable to sleep at night.  Someone here recommended that I ask doc for something for the nerves - got a good night sleep and from then to surgery felt much better.
For me the surgery was really a non event.  I remember the check in and being wheeled into the room , moving onto the op table, being told to breathe into a mask and then waking up in the recovery room wondering if they had even started the operation.  There was very minimal (almost non existent ) pain.  The cath is an annoyance at first but not that bad.
Good luck

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 35
   Posted 10/29/2010 1:40 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks to everyone for the comments and good wishes. I am so glad I have this forum to express my feelings. It is great to have interaction with people that have gone ahead of you on this journey and can give insight. Hope you all have a nice weekend. Regards.
Jan/09: PSA 3.48 / Free PSA 10%
Feb/09 - Biopsy - cancer diagnosed - age 55
PSA at time of Biopsy - 3.48
DRE: Nornal
Trus volume: 34cc
3 out of 10 cores positive

Gleeson 3+3
On active surveillance for 18 months then had first follow up biopsy
Sept 1/10 - biopsy - 3 cores positive 2 @ G6 (20% & 50%) & 1 @ G7 (70%)
Surgery booked for Nov 3/10

Tony Crispino
Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 8128
   Posted 10/29/2010 1:48 PM (GMT -6)   
You obviously are not alone. My RP was my first surgery as well. But because I was coming to Los Angeles from Vegas we did as much prep as possible over the phone and when I got there to the City of Hope we immediately did the scans and tests and came back two days later for the surgery. That was Valentines day 2007.

But I did very well with the surgery and I was nervous for nothing as I was indeed in good hands.

Advanced Prostate Cancer at age 44 (I am 48 now)
pT3b,N0,Mx (original PSA was 19.8) EPE, PM, SVI. Gleason 4+3=7

RALP ~ 2/17/2007 at the City of Hope near Los Angeles.
Adjuvant Radiation Therapy ~ IMRT Completed 8/07
Adjuvant Hormone Therapy ~ 28 months on Casodex and Lupron.

"I beat up this disease and took its lunch money! I am in remission."
I am currently not being treated, but I do have regular oncology visits.
I am the president of an UsTOO chapter in Las Vegas

Blog :

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 3172
   Posted 10/29/2010 1:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Good luck, again, in your next phase...

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 83
   Posted 10/29/2010 2:16 PM (GMT -6)   
This is the hardest time, a week or two pre- surgery, try reading something that has nothing to do with PC. or your condition, just to give your mind a rest. I told myself that all I had to do is get to the hospital and the rest was someone elses problem.
                         Your almost there.  good luck   Tim
58 yrs.
PSA 6.94 12/10
Bio. 8 of 12 cores pos. 2/1
Gleason 3+4=7
Da Vinci 4/14
Tumor volume 9%
Extraprostatic extension- within margins
Margins clear
T2c NO Mx
PSA. 6wks. surgery .01
PSA. 4 1/2 months .01

Cajun Jeff
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 4119
   Posted 10/29/2010 3:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Clocknut shoot me an e-mail. I want to tell you something but not on the board.

Cajun JEFF
9/08 PSA 5.4 referred to Urologist
9/08 Biopsy: GS 3+4=7 1 positive core in 12 1% cancer core
10/08 Nerve-Sparing open radicalSurgery Path Report Downgrade 3+3=6 GS Stage pT2c margins clea
r3 month: PSA <0.1
19th month: PSA <0.1
Only issue at this time is ED
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