Feb 2 Da Vinci surgery scheduled

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Susan R
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   Posted 1/29/2011 8:28 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi all-
Getting last minute preparations for post-surgery. I have read lots for ideas, and have been giving some ideas from this board......hanger/bucket for night cath bag, 3m hanger in shower, shave thighs......would love more hints to make this as easy as possible.

Michael will start fasting on Tuesday at noon, will drink the "clean the system" drink at noon. Jello, chicken broth, any other ideas of stuff to make it through the fasting?

Off that topic, I emailed our Church to have Michael placed on the prayer list and they have since called and want to come be with me during the surgery. I am quite introverted and feel that having someone their that I will feel obligated to "chit chat" with (makes me very uncomfortable) will make the waiting so much worse. I know they think they are helping, but with me, this would not be good. How do I tell them I dont want them to come be with me without being rude? I really do appreciate the willingness to take time from their schedule, but I am not even having family come to the hospital. Help!! How do you turn down help?

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Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 2680
   Posted 1/29/2011 8:52 AM (GMT -6)   
Susan, I think what you've written here explains very well why you would rather be alone during the surgery.  I would tell them exactly what you'[ve told us.  It's very understandable and certainly not rude.
You sound thoroughly prepared.  Good  luck to you and your husband.  We'll be thinking of you.
By the way, I know a lot of Rossmans here in the northern Chicago suburbs.  I've been wondering if you're related.

Ed C. (Old67)
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Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 2461
   Posted 1/29/2011 9:25 AM (GMT -6)   
I had my robotic surgery Feb 09. I had 3 friends from Church plus my wife and children with me when I was rolled into the operating room. It helped me to have so many praying for me. I know how you may feel about it but what does your husband think? Does he know your church friends?
Age: 67 at Dx on 12/30/08 PSA 3.8
2 cores out of 12 were positive Gleason (4+4)
Davinci surgery 2/9/09 Gleason 4+4 EPE,
Margins clear, nerve bundles removed
Prostate weighed 57 grams 10-20% involved
all PSA tests since (2, 5, 8, 11, 15, 18 months) undetectable
Latest PSA test (21 months) .005

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Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 7084
   Posted 1/29/2011 9:31 AM (GMT -6)   
My best wishes for the surgery.
Having been in the waiting room for other surgeries and as an observer, I would agree in not wanting a throng of people around. I've seen some situations where that certainly didn't help the person who needed the help.
You might consider asking just one friend. I did not tell my church group for just that reason. And minimize the visitors if he for some reason should have to stay longer in the hospital. He won't need the exposure to germs and illness, and may not be comfortable with others around.
As to shaving the thighs - be sure and ask the hospital first. If you are too close to the surgical area there could be a problem for some. I have seen reports where it was fine (I was allowed to share mine with an electric razor after the surgery, before they "rigged" my catheter to go home), and others where they got upset and sent the patient home.
I suggest the bucket for the catheter. I considered the hanger, but one night the drain clip opened. Being in the bucket, the carpet was saved.
Hope all goes well. Any questions, let us know.
DaVinci 10/2009
My IGRT journey (2010) -

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Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 7084
   Posted 1/29/2011 9:35 AM (GMT -6)   
You asked about the liquid diet - It is pretty much just jello (any that is NOT RED) and broths.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2845
   Posted 1/29/2011 9:35 AM (GMT -6)   
- they are just extending a welcoming supportive hand to you
- you can reply to them by thanking them and that you are more comfortable by yourself ( they can do long-distance prayers for you in the same time period)
- I expect you will bring books, etc and notes ...you seem to be a well organized person -

-you are not being rude at all.
- I had no trouble with fasting - just followed the list of what the doctor gave us - and just kept myself busy so not to dwell on it ...
-and not to be rude - enjoy the cuddle-time together .... your hubby will be off-limits for a while after his surgery ....

-best wishes to you and your husband -

Age: 55 - gay with spouse of 14 years, Steve
location: Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
PSA: 10/06/09 - 3.86
Biopsy: 10/16/09- 6 of 12 cancerous samples, Gleason 7 (4+3)
Radical Prostatectomy: 11/18/09
Pathology: pT3a -Gleason 7 -extraprostatic extension -perineural invasion -prostate weight -34.1 gm
PSA: 04/08/10 -0.05 -Zero Club
PSA: 09/23/10 -0.05 -Zero Club
PSA: 03/12/11 - TBA

James C.
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Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4463
   Posted 1/29/2011 9:36 AM (GMT -6)   
Susan, you might want to ask beforehand or even not do any shaving before surgery. Some hospitals will not do surgery if the patient is fresh-shaved by themselves or family members. Just a watch-out, as at least 2 here reported having their surgery cancelled because they had shaved themselves. It's a germ thing, I think.

As to church, if you truly don't want any company, just tell them that you would rather not have visitors with you, as you are not that comfortable dealing with others during trying times, such as your husbands surgery. I am sure they will understand. I do quite a lot of surgery visiting and sitting, and usually it's just to provide a physical presence to our friend, rather than a time to chat and visit. If something should go wrong or there be a need for something, it helps to have someone there with the waiting family member. Just a thought.
James C. Age 63
Gonna Make Myself A Better Man tinyurl.com/28e8qcg
4/07: PSA 7.6, 7/07 Biopsy: 3 of 16 PCa, 5% involved, left lobe, GS6
9/07: Nerve Sparing open RP, Path: pT2c, 110 gms., clear except:
Probable microscopic involvement-left apical margin -GS6
3 Years: PSA's .04 each test until 04/10-.06, 09/10-.09, 01/11-.09
ED-total-Bimix 30cc

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 654
   Posted 1/29/2011 10:01 AM (GMT -6)   
Good luck to your husband and yourself, actually it wil likely be harder on you as he will miss most of it. Take care of yourself. I would add that some loose ftting gym or sweat pants with xipper calfs might be helpful.

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 245
   Posted 1/29/2011 10:44 AM (GMT -6)   
We were told no shaving anywhere before surgery and while he was in the hospital. Husband also had to shower with Hiba-cleanse (forgot how often, but more than once) at home prior to surgery.
Some of your post-surg drugs could be purchased (depending on what your surg. wants him to take) beforehand e.g., Senna or Colace.
Orange popsicles were allowed, but then again, we were in the middle of near 100 degree temps when my husband had his RP!
YOU are the one who will be waiting for him to return to recovery. If you're not comfortable with company, tell them you hope they'll pray for him together at home or church. I spent some of my time in the hospital chapel, and the rest in a very comfortable family room, waiting for the surgeon to call when finished. I had enough time after that to call a few family members on my list, and email (computers were in the waiting room too) friends etc. before being allowed to see him. Good luck to the both of you...
Husband 60yrs., no symptms: PSA 10/04 2.73, 12/06 3.64, 5/09 3.9, 10/09 4.6, 1/10 5.0w/ free PSA 24
6 core biop 4/1/10 path rept: rt mid: adnocarc. G=3+3, 5% of core; R apx v. susp. minute ca, R base bnign w/ mod. atrophy, L side atrphy only; 2nd opnion JH confrmd
MRI - 15mm nodule
BiLatRP surg 7/6/10, path: T2c, nodes, sem.ves, extra caps. neg., adenoc both sides G=3+3 cntinent, Viagr-8/27 ED

Elite Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25393
   Posted 1/29/2011 11:01 AM (GMT -6)   
I agree, I had 8 surgeries in the past 2 years, and I was not allowed to do any pre-shaving. That was a big no-no
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 Dec 2009
Total Posts : 130
   Posted 1/29/2011 4:43 PM (GMT -6)   

I agree with clocknut. Maybe visitors after the surgery and after you settle in at home. You just don't need the stress. Maybe just a close family member or friend to keep you company at hospital.

Although most peoples intentions are good, some are just down-right nosey. Avoid that.

You will want company after the procedure.

And clocknut: another chicago guy? Let's chat if you're up to it.

Take care.

Age: 55- good health. Exercise regularly.
DRE 11/08- no lumps, just enlarged prostate
1st PSA, total- 11/08= 6.1
2nd PSA, total- 8/09= 6.6
Needle Biopsy 11/09- 12 samples. 11 OK. Right Lateral Mid- Adenocarcinoma Gleason score 3+3=6 9 involving 5% of specimen.
PSA rising from 7.0 to 8.0 thru 2010.
2nd biopsy- 2 positive cores, one a 3+3=6, 3% and the other a 3+4=7, 20%
Treatment needed.
Feb. 2011

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 2680
   Posted 1/29/2011 4:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Wigged:  I'm up here in Lake County.  My email is available, so drop a line if you like, and see my post elsewhere about Puerto Vallarta.
Susan, I just remembered that my son was supposed to stay with my wife duriing surgery, but he and his wife won a trip to LasVegas at a ballgame the night before, with the requirement that they leave immediately after the game.  I told him he certainly should not turn down a free trip with spending money, so they went, and Beth was alone in the waiting room.  The surgery ran longer than expected, and I'm sure she would have liked some company, but not just anyone.  A close friend, or a close relative, but not a stranger from church, no matter how well-intentioned. 
Very nice of your church to offer, though, and I'm sure they will understand your desire to be alone during the operation.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 407
   Posted 1/29/2011 5:37 PM (GMT -6)   
I haven't been following all of the discussions recently so I don't know if you've asked about and have been provided with ideas or a list for the post-op supplies.  My physician gave me the list and I was prepared before I went into surgery and came home afterwards.  I learned more reading postings here.
I don't know why you'd want to do any shaving.  If that has to be done let the hospital staff do it.
about the church folks:  prayers are helpful but if you don't want one of them present with you then just tell them so, and that you appreciate their offer.  Though, it can be comforting and help to pass the time of surgery if someone is with you.  Procedures are frequently delayed for a variety of reasons and you might be there longer than you expect.
The catheter was a "non issue" for me and I hung the bag - attached it - onto a char placed next to my bed.  I didn't buy any stand or holder. 
My procedure was pretty much uneventful - I didn't feel a thing during the surgery.  I did have a very sore back the night following and asked for some strong pain killer.  Sitting in the car on the ride home from the hospital was uncomfortable - as was sitting in a chair for very long after being home.  Those discomforts minimized the more days that passed.
Best wishes to you both.

Susan R
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Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 511
   Posted 1/30/2011 8:15 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks to you all and your input. I have just sent the email to the "Church lady" about not coming to the hospital. I hope she reads it in the spirit it was written! Will see how that goes.

I think I am more nervous than Michael is, but having the ability to read what you guys share has been great for me. Thank you so much for allowing a "wife" to join in on the conversations. I will keep you updated on how it goes. But in the meantime, more prayer the better. If you believe in prayer, would you please add him to your prayer list on Wednesday and a steady hand for the surgeon! Would be greatly appreciated. And for those that done pray, good thoughts are always welcome as well!!! Thank you all.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 654
   Posted 1/30/2011 10:11 AM (GMT -6)   
I hope things go well both of you, there is one thing I might add about "the bag". However you do it, don't lay it down on something flat like the floor. Reason being is if the bag is not vertical, then the one way valve that prevents urine backflow will not operate reliabily. If urine is allowed to flow back in the wrong direction the system could become non sterile and cause an infection. I wore a leg bag everyday and big floor bag only at night but if you are not sure about how to sanitize the bags between use then leaving the big bag hooked up 24/7 is maybe safer. Good luck and please post to let us know how both of you did.
06-08 1st biopsy neg psa 4
10-09 psa 5.5 2nd biopsy 1/12 pos. 10%, G(4+3) age 65
12-15-09 RRP Tulane NOLA Dr Lee
Path, 1%, clr marg, no EPE, no SVI, nodes cl, G(4+3)
100% incontinent @ 12 months
ED, pre-op severe, post op total
10/10 Dr Boone, Methodist recomended AUS
AUS/ IPP performed 1/11/11 Methodist Houston
post op psa's 0.04,<0.1,<0.1,<0.01@12 mo.
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