Welcome. You've found a good place to learn, ask questions ... from those of us who've traveled the same highway you find yourself on right now.B
No matter how confident we are before the biopsy results, once the presence of cancer is confirmed and treatment options are outlined ... all the worst thoughts enter our mind. Will we survive? What will the future hold? How will we cope with the substantial changes to our lifestyles? Nothing will be like now ... after this point.
When I found this web forum I just read, read and continued to read the entire archive of discussions ... and I learned so very much. I learned there was more than doom and gloom ahead. There is such a wealth of information here. Not every discussion or answer applied to my circumstances, but there is enough archived here to apply to everyone. To help everyone who looks.
For me the most important thing to do was to make certain I had a team of medical professionals in whom I had complete confidence. From what I've read in the past 2.5 years, I'm probably one of the few guys who has had, from the first minute of the process, who I've trusted. My daVinci procedure went without a hitch. I recovered quickly from the surgery. No complications. I know I'm a lucky guy.
Life isn't the same now. I enjoy it as much. Almost. I'm very happy to be alive, to have had the cancer removed. I'm still incontinent (a little, not a lot). Erectile disfunction is still an issue. Sex isn't the same. It's an even greater challenge for me because I don't have (live with) a loving partner with whom I can work through that particular problem. But I value my life more now, happy to be cancer free. Life is always about trade-offs. Healthy or sick.
If I had one piece of advice to offer you it would be that you should not let this pre-op, the operation and then the post-op time periods too dominantly control your life and thoughts. Don't get too stressed-out with this. Place yourself in the hands of the best professionals you can and let them worry for you. Let them do the 'heavy lifting.' Try to stay as positive as you can. For most of us ... things are better after the surgery than before.
Best wishes for a successful procedure and speedy recovery ... and for a long and productive life.
Age: 61 (58 at diagnosis - June, 2008)
April '08 PSA 4.8 ("free PSA" 7.9), up from 3.5 year prior
June '08 had biopsy, 2 days later told results positive but in less than 1% of sample (Gleason's 3+3=6)
Developed sepsis 2 days post-biopsy, seriously ill in hospital for 3 days
Dr. recommended robotic removal using da Vinci; Surgery 9/10/08
Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago, IL; Dr. Robert Nadler, Urologist/Surgeon
Post-Op Gleason's: 3+3, Tertiary 4; Margins: Free ; Bladder & Urethral: Free
Seminal vesicles: Not involved; Lymphatic/Vascular Invasion: Not involved
location: Bilateral; Volume: 20%; Catheter: Removed 12-days after surgery
Incontinent: Yes (1 to 2 light (woman's style) pad per day)
ED: Combination of Cialis and MUSE (alprostadil) once weekly: started 9-27-08
Returned to work 9-29-08 (18-19 days post-op)
PSA test result, post-op, 10/08: 0.0; 12/08: 0.0; 4/09: 0.0; 9/09: 0.0; 3/10: 0.0; 9/10: 0.0