Last 7 days most horrible of my life; have 3 days to surgery

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Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 259
   Posted 2/28/2011 9:01 PM (GMT -6)   
I have had the worst week of my life.  I was driving my best friend since Jr. High School to WVU Medical Center for his routine luekema blood transfusion.  Orginally he had a failed stem cell transplant one year out and was very weak from chemo.  He was sleeping in the passenger seat and breathing a little heavy.  Suddenly he stopped breathing and became very relaxed with eyes and mouth wide open.  I really freaked out, this is my best friend since childhood and he literally died right beside me.  CPR didn't work nor were the parameds able to kick start the heart.  I'm crushed at this point and proceeded to call the family to break the horrible news.
That was 7 days ago and my PCa robotic surgery is scheduled for 3/03.   I'm a little concerned going into this thing with such a heavy heart.  However, i can't stand waiting any longer knowing this cancer is slowly destroying my life.  I'm still very nervous about this procedure the cath, pain, and after effects.  Like everybody on forum cancer is the most dreaded word in the english language. 
2009 PSA 2.2
2010 PSA 3.2
Biopsy 24 cores 3 positive
Gleason 3 plus 3
Cancer believed to be contained in organ
Robotic Surgery scheduled March 3, 2011 @ 6 am

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 2/28/2011 9:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Dear Viperguy,
So sorry to hear of your best friend's death. I am sure you are devastated. This is alot to handle right before surgery. My husbandrobotic prostatectomy jan 10 2011 and is doing very well. The pain is not that bad with this procedure. My husband took a few narcotic pain pills and then took tylenol. My husband said the catheter was a pain in the ass. He had some discomfort with it but is wasn't that bad. It usually comes out in a week to 10 days. My husband is having some leakage problems which hopefully will resolve in time.Waiting to have surgery is hard but you only have a few more days to wait. In the meantime just hang in there and try to keep a positive attitude that you will come through this just fine. Will be thinking about you March 3 and wish you a speedy recovery.

Elite Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25393
   Posted 2/28/2011 9:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Viper, that is truly a sad and terrible story and experience. I am so sorry to read of it. Don't know what to say. What a burden on your with your pending surgery.

I can' tell you how to do this, or even if it would work with your particular style, but I always put all my issues into seperate boxes so to speak, and deal with each one seperately. Yes, you could delay your surgery, but do you really want to?

If you weren't apprehensive about going into a major complex surgery, I would be worried about you. Those fears are most commonly felt among all of us surgery guys, so no harm - no foul with those thoughts.

We are with you either way, and offer sincere sympathy to the tragic loss of your dear friend.

David in SC
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 2/28/2011 10:08 PM (GMT -6)   

That is tragic. I can only imagine how hurt you feel right now.

If there is a bright spot at all here, you're friend was at your side when he went.

about the only thing I could say about your scheduled surgery, I'd be willing to bet that your best friend would tell you to keep going and get this cancer behind you.

Best to you and I hope whatever decision you make will bring brighter days ahead.

Age: 55- good health. Exercise regularly, 200#.
Needle Biopsy 11/09- 12 samples. 11 OK. Right Lateral Mid- Adenocarcinoma Gleason score 3+3=6 9 involving 5% of specimen.
PSA risingto 8.0 thru 2010.
2nd biopsy- 2 positive cores, one a 3+3=6, 3% and the other a 3+4=7, 20%
Very last PSA- 12
DaVinci 2/14/11 Cath out 2/21/11 Path=10%, Gleason6+7 No lymph, pca contained to organ. Lots of pads.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 990
   Posted 2/28/2011 10:49 PM (GMT -6)   
First know that there are many of us out here who feel your pain and send our care.

Perhaps it is time to focus on the positive. Go to the checklist that is the first topic on this forum and make sure that you are ready to go into surgery and recovery. Get everything that you can control under control. Lists, piles, furniture re-arranged. Oh, and remember that you will be under a 10 pound lifting restriction so if there is any heavy lifting, do it now.
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
9 mo. PSA 0.00 -- 1 light pad/day ED remains
12 mo. PSA 0.00 -- still one light pad and ED
16 mo PSA 0.00 -- light pad just for security, ED still an issue

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 818
   Posted 2/28/2011 11:01 PM (GMT -6)   

That is so sad, I can't imagine it.

Assuming you go ahead with your surgery, remember that your chances of a favorable outcome are quite good. It will have a period of unpleasantness, but that is temporary.

Diagnosis at 53. PSA 2007 about 2; 2008 4.3
Biopsy Sept 2008: 6 of 12 cores pos; Gleason 4+3 = 7
CT & Bone scan neg
Da Vinci at City of Hope Dec 8, 2008
Rad prostatectomy & lymph node dissection
Cath out on 7th day, in on 8th day, out again 14th day after neg cystogram
Path: pT2c; lymph nodes neg; margins involv; 41 grams,
PSA 1/08, 4/09,7/09, 10/09, 11/09,2/10 <0.01, 10/10 0.1, 2/11 0.08

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2845
   Posted 2/28/2011 11:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Please accept my condolences on your loss of your best friend, in essence a member of your extended family all these years.
Grief can weigh you down with the sadness and colour the sense of hope and positive change you are going forward with your upcoming surgery.

Some years back a dear dear friend of my mine passed away (heart attack) in what his family and I described as the happiest place for him to be when he passed away - at his cottage in Northern Ontario and sitting in his new big black truck.

We may not be able to choose when we go but often have thoughts or wishes of where we would like to have our last breath... maybe your friend got his wish and was with someone special like you.

sincere hugs,
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: 03/24/11 - TBA

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 7078
   Posted 2/28/2011 11:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Maybe it was his way of saying goodbye - went with a friend.
If all goes as it did with me (and I had a rougher than normal recovery), you will gripe and moan for a couple of months, but a year out, the worst will be a distant memory. If all goes well, you'll be dry. If not, there are others of us to commiserate with.
See you on the other side -
DaVinci 10/2009
My adjuvant IGRT journey (2010) -

English Alf
Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 2217
   Posted 3/1/2011 2:35 AM (GMT -6)   

How terrible for you and your friend's family, however it seems like he went very quickly and quitely and was not alone, and that sounds to me like a good way to go.

Have you talked to the surgeon about your worries about the surgery, pain etc. As I am sure he and the anaethetist would be able to fill you in on the details about things that can worry a guy, but which can be prevented or avoided using pain meds etc.

Also have you mentioned to your surgeon what you have been through in the last week. I can imagine that a surgeon might think that this had not had a beneficial effect on you.
While I agree that your friend might have wanted you to go ahead with your chosen treatment plan, it might be worth discussing a postponement with the surgeon so that you can recover a bit from what you have just been through.

(Part of my own prepartation invovled having as stress-free a time before surgery as possible and getting plenty of sleep rest and exercise etc. Sounds like you may have had the opposite.) My uro also said that I could call at any time to reschedule things if I wanted.

This sounds like the most ridiculous thing to say, but do try not to worry.

Born Jun ‘60
Apr 09 PSA 8.6
DRE neg
Biop 2 of 12 pos
Gleason 3+3
29 Jul 09 DaVinci AVL-NKI Amsterdam
6 Aug 09 Cath out
PostOp Gleason 3+4 Bladder neck & Left SVI -T3b
No perin’l No vasc invasion Clear margins
Dry at night
21 Sep 09 No pads daytime
17 Nov 09 PSA 0.1
17 Mar 10 PSA 0.4 sent to RT
13 Apr CT
66Gy 28 Apr to 11 Jun 10
Tired + weird BMs
14 Sep 10 PSA <0.1
12 Jan 11 PSA <0.1
Erection OK

Post Edited (English Alf) : 3/1/2011 12:38:11 AM (GMT-7)

Worried Guy
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 3739
   Posted 3/1/2011 2:42 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey Viperguy,
I'm with 142 on this. Your friend went out in his sleep while driving with his best friend.

Geezer gave good advice above. Spend tomorrow making sure you are ready. Let the nesting instinct take over. Read the lists that were prepared by those who walked the path before you. Get all your supplies and put them in a convenient place.
I'll add two more to your to do list:
Put a chair near the bed to act as an extra nightstand; and
Get a good postal scale. (You can skip this one.)

You are first on the schedule. Between the early hours and the Versed the whole day will seem like a weird dream. Just go with it.

We'll leave the light on for ya'.


Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 259
   Posted 3/1/2011 5:42 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks all for the words of comfort and support. I'm a Christian guy and have decided to leave the results up to God and will and go with the surgery on the 3rd. I'm sure my deceased best buddy would want me to get healed ASAP. My poor friend was so sick with Luekema. His brain was damaged by the Chemo and he could hardly walk from being so weak. I think about him and his passing more than my own scheduled surgery.

I will post my surgical experience for others to read. The doc says two days hospital 10 days cath.
2009 PSA 2.2
2010 PSA 3.2
Biopsy 24 cores 3 positive
Gleason 3 plus 3
Cancer believed to be contained in organ
Robotic Surgery scheduled March 3, 2011 @ 6 am

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 3149
   Posted 3/1/2011 7:00 AM (GMT -6)   
Best to you Viperguy, that experience is even hard to fathom from us out here in cyber space. Place your thoughts on the sublime right now. Put it into high gear today!
Dx-2002 total urinary blockage, bPsa 46.6 12/12 biopsies all loaded 75-95% vol.; Gleasons scores 7,8,9's (2-sets), ct and bone scans looked clear- ADT3 5 months prior to radiations neutron/photon 2-machines, cont'd. ADT3, quit after 2 yrs. switched to DES 1-mg, off 1+ yr., controlled well, resumed, used intermittently, resumed again and still working

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 598
   Posted 3/1/2011 7:23 AM (GMT -6)   
So sorry - what a loss. you have a full plate right now mentally and emotionally. The only thing I would ask is that you really be aware of all you're dealing with and ask for professional emotional/mental help - either in the form of medical or a counselor. Many, if not most, men suffer depression as a result of PCa and all its attendant stressors. With the loss of a friend you are dealing with another major life event. Even the anestheic packs a wallop for many guys that lasts for weeks. Take care of yourself.
Founder, Erectile Dysfunction Foundation and creator of The site for erectile dysfunction.

46 at Diagnosis.
Davinci at 47.
Doing fine.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 115
   Posted 3/1/2011 8:58 AM (GMT -6)   
Dear Viperguy:

So sorry for the loss of your friend. What a terrible shock to you and his family. I agree that your friend would want you to go through with your surgery and get well soon.

I am hoping that you will find the surgery and it's recovery time better than expected. Sometimes the dreading is worse than the reality.

Take care and we'll be thinking of you Thursday!
Mr GFM's statistics:
Age 50 at diagnosis
PSA History: 10-05 1.3, 01-07 2.09
8-07 - PSA at Biopsy: 2.26
2 of 12 positive
Gleason Score 3+3 6
11-07 - Robotic surgery hospitalized overnight.
Path Report:
Prostatic adenocardinoma, Gleasons 3+3+6, moderately differentiated
Percent of Prostate involved by tumor 5%
Staging pT2c pNx pMx
Margins free of tumor - no further invasion or extension
Catheter out in about 9 days. No incontinence.
Back to work in 2 weeks
ED - resolved. No meds needed at this time.
Post Op PSA: 03-08 0.01, 10-08 0.02, 7-09 0.04, 1-10 0.04, 7-10 0.04

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 131
   Posted 3/1/2011 9:23 AM (GMT -6)   
Viperguy: My thoughts and prayers go with you as well. I am so sorry to hear the news about your friend.

Everyone here will tell you the surgery is not a walk in the park, but by no means is it horrific or so barbaric that one would have to avoid it all all costs. I say this not having gone through other surgical procedures but with a spouse in nursing who works on a surgical floor, radical prostatectomy is not on the top ten list of complicated recovery processes or extreme pain.

Don't try to think of the entire process at once. Take it one segment at a time. You muster the courage to willingly go into the hospital. They prepare you. You take a "nap." You wake up. You might feel sick to your stomach but they have meds for that. Not much pain really at that point. You see the catheter and the tape on your leg and you feel like you have become Frankensteins monster. You go to your room. You begrudgingly take your first walk. They give you stool softeners. You use the bathroom. They send you home with lots of instructions. As others said have your home ready. Read the list posted on top of the HW first page for Prostate Cancer. It is very helpful.

The surgery wasn't as painful as it was just feeling uncomfortable. Drink lots of fluids with the catheter still attached. Do the leg exercises as though your life depended on it. Keep wearing those fashionable TEDS stockings until your discharge notes tell you to stop. Come back to HW and keep asking questions. We all have advice to give and stories to tell about how to cope. Be patient and let things heal.

You did the best you could for your friend. You honor him by going forward thinking clearly about the surgery you need to do and get through this bad period in your life. Remember it is not all in your hands.

God Bless,

Mike S.
Dx 56
Biopsy: Gleason 3+3=6, PSA 6.6 One core of 12 with 5% T1c
Surgery: July 2010 J. Hopkins
Pathology Gleason 6, Neg Mar, Neg LN, Neg Sem Vesicles
9/15/10 1st post op PSA >0.1 undetectable
3/11/11 PSA - TBD
Incontinence - very slow recovery
Aug -Sept 2010 - 4-5 pads
Oct 2010 3 pads
Nov 2010 2 pads
Dec - Feb 2011 1 pad all day - 1 pad at night
ED: slow improvements

Cajun Jeff
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 4119
   Posted 3/1/2011 9:56 AM (GMT -6)   
Viperguy: Your story touched my heart. So sorry that your friend passed away. As others have said. You are a very lucky man to have had the opportunity to be with him in his final moments. Sounds like the two of you were very close. He seemed to have a very peaceful departure from this world. If we could all be so lucky.

Now about you... The surgery is not as bad as I expected it to be and I had open surgery not the robot which is supposed to be easier. 4 Days after surgery I was at a house party watching the LSU Tigers play football. Sure I was not able to jump up and down but I was with friends and cheering them on. A few of the people at the party asked. "Weren't you going to have surgery?" I replied.. sure did and I have the evidence to prove it want to see my Cath bag. :) "

Get er dun bud you will be glad that it is over.

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
2 year PSA <0.1
Only issue at this time is ED but getting better

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 713
   Posted 3/1/2011 10:21 AM (GMT -6)   
There is not much more I can add to what the good people have said at this site. Sorry to hear about your best friend. Losing those is like losing a family member.
The surgery is no walk in the park but truly not that bad. Pain is minimal. The first nite you can be drugged up so bad you won't care that much. Sitting up and going for that first walk is a little tough.I was able to stop all pain meds in 2 days. The most aggravating part is the incontinence. At first you MAY think it will never stop,but when you make that first trip to the toilet and you have a real stream, you'll know better days are ahead.
Good luck on Thursday.Keep your chin up and pads handy. !
Every minute you fish or ride,adds an hour to your life!

Age 52 Dx age 53 daVinci surgery
prostate volume 24gms
Biopsy 12 cores with 7 positive- left base,right base,left mid gland,right mid gland, left apex.
Gleason score of 7
First PSA 38.7 on10/05/2010
Second PSA 49.9 on11/23/2010
CT negative
Bone scan Negative
daVinci RRP on 01/25/2011 by Dr Mark G Delworth at Bethesda North Hospital.
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