One year ago yesterday I had a radical prostatectomy and since I used this site prior to my operation I thought it would only be right to fill everyone in what the last year has been like:
The first 3 weeks were very depressing dealing with the catheter, peeing blood, and dealing with diapers. After 3 weeks things do finally get somewhat momal except for peeing in your pants. By the way; "When is somebody gonna invent a diaper that does not allow the horrible sweating and/ or peeing odors (disgusting smells)"? Anyway, For the next month I had to wear a diaper. Finally after a month of that I was able to switch to pads. Pads for another 6 weeks before I realized I needed them only when I was doing something physical - such as golf (Bummer). " Hey guys, I'll be right back - gotta change my pad". Good news is just in the last month I've improved and don't need pads for playing golf.
I'm what they call in Florida a "SNOWBIRD". Live in Ohio 7 months and Florida the other 5. I rationalized having my prostatectomy done in Florida because where else would they have more experience. My dr had performed over 1000 compared to less than 100 back home. Even though I can't complain about the operation (no post-op infections etc.) I became very disenchanted with my follow-up visits. After healing enough to go home (3 weeks) I would get my PSA checked every 3 months and send the results down to the Fl dr. My first 3 results showed PSA at 1. Consequently, the dr said he was quite concerned since the PSA should be 0. In November (8 months post-op) I flew back down to Fl at the drs request. He immediately has me get another PSA plus a CAT scan of my bowel area. This time I'm told my PSA is <.1 or less than one. As it turns out, most blood test facilities don't use the < sign unless they are told since most testing labs can't record this accurately. To make a long story short "my PSA was always < .1 (less than one). Now that I know my PSA is good I'm told the CT scan also showed I have a rather large kidney stone, gall stones, and a calcification across the front of my stomach. I was told to have my kidney stone blown up (lasered) in my spare time. They then told to have another CT scan in 3 months and if no changes then all should be fine. After 3 months the new CT scan showed no changes but was advised I should have one of their surgeons check out the calcification. In other words cut me open and take a sample. This isn't gonna happen and that is when I decided to no longer give them my business. I transferred all info to my dr back home in Ohio of which I have an appt in a few weeks. I'm convinced these drs down here prey on the old to increase their bottom line. Disgusting!
I'm running out of room so I better finish my report. Even though my contientcy is 95% I'm still impotent. Got the pump 1 month after op and used frequently and have to admit it was amazing. I pumped that baby up and got a bigger woody than what I believed to have pre-op. Snap the ring down and have sex is not a problem. However, I'm still not getting a erection on my own - but my wife can play around with it enough to reach 90% of the size but not hard enough for sex. I'm still hopeful this will improve within the next year. A big plus is the sensation is there and when I get off there's no mess. All the drs i saw told me I would have normal erections in 9 months especially since I could get a Woody even on windy days.
I gotta go but sure hope I've helped somebody what they might have to go thru should they decide to have this done. I do believe I would still have it done since I am cancer free and if I didn't I would always suspect it would progress into other areas.
Diagnosed @ 62
PSA 3.5 biopsy 1/22/10
4 of 12 cores positive, 1 at 90%
Gleason 3+3=6, neg bone scan
Da Vinci surgery April 19, 2010 at Specialists in Urology, Naples, Fl
nerve bundles saved, lymph nodes negative
final pathology GS 3+4=7
catheter out April 27, 2010