The PSA results from my December 2005 physical indicated an increase to 6.4 versus the 3.2 during my June 2005 checkup. My Doctor sent me to a Urologist who performed a Prostate biopsy. The end result was a Gleason scale 6 and a cancerous tumor on the left side.
I received notification of the results while on a stakeout. All the Agents with me immediately opened their laptops and began research. By the end of our shift I had decided on the type surgery (Robotic), the facility and the surgeon. I never once considered Chemo or Radiation which were two viable alternatives. My line of thinking was simply that this was alien to my body and we needed to get it out as soon as possible.
April 11th I had the procedure performed by Dr. Craig Hall at High Point Regional Medical Hospital in North Carolina. As I had been told, this procedure vs standard open surgery, tends to take a couple hours longer due to their (surgeon's) lack of hands-on feel. I was surprised 9 hours later when I awoke and was told my bladder was not in the "normal" position and a couple more hours were required to complete the procedure. The Surgeon said everything looked good and as far as they could tell at this point, the entire cancerous tumor was concentrated inside the left side of my prostate and they got it all. No tenacles appeared to be present and the ultimate pathology reports would indicate whether any other organs had been infected.
The first thing I noticed was a buring and stinging sensation in my penis. This was my first experience with a catheter and I can assure you I hope it will be my last. I highly recommend the Robotic surgery versus standard open procedures, but that darn catheter gave me a fit for the next 7 days.
Thursday April 20th I returned to the doctor, had the catheter removed (not as painful as I had been told) and was given samples of Urelle, a drug designed to lessen the burning sensation when you urinate and control bladder spasms. As with all type drugs of this nature it changes the color of your urine, in this case, green. I was also told all the pathology reports had been returned and were negative. While this was obvious music to my ears, the fact that the catheter was now in a trash-can was much more well received.
The surgeon advised me to practice kegel exercises as often as I felt up to it and walk as much as possible, but under no circumstances was I to lift anything of consequence. He also asked me not to come back to his office in my pajamas again. I reminded him of my former friend the catheter and the assorted challenges it presented, whether walking or dressing. He furhter stated that incontenance would be experienced for a period of time that seemed to differ with each patient but if I maintained a rigorous kegel routine, it shouldn't last over a few weeks.
My first experience at losing total control was the trace of splattered urine I left on his spit-shined shoes as I leaned over to standup upon my departure. The second was the soiled spot on the carpet in his beautiful office foyer.
On the way home I asked my wife to stop at a store and purchase some briefs (I normally wear boxers) and some of those mini (maxi in my case) pads for men. Upon her return to the car she said the smallest size they had was a quantity of 52. I shared that we could always use those left over to polish the cars with. It is now Saturday the 21st and I am on my second pack of 52. And second pack of briefs.
In the 48 hours I have been home from having the catheter removed I have managed to piss on everything below waist level within sight, including Snowball, our basic (formerly) white cat. I'm sure if she can maintain that lime green sheen now on her fur, she'll be the center-piece at the next St. Patrick's Day celebration. Looking forward to taking a shower minus the cumbersome catheter, I stepped out and loving Snowball was waiting to rub my leg and welcome me home. Everytime I now standup or exit the shower, Snowball scutes under some nearby piece of furniture. If I haven't exhausted all my benefits I hope there is enough coverage remaining this year to cover her kitty shrink treatments.
During the exam Thursday I was able to stop and start the urine flow pretty well. However, I now let a shot go everytime I sit up, sit down, standup or cough, and sometimes for no logical reason. I am now looking forward to regaining my contenance and practice kegel every time I think of it. Another suggestion for those experiencing this procedure is to walk, walk, walk, even taking stairs when they are available.
I spoke with 5 friends who have had this surgery and their recoup period was 2-3 weeks versus those who had the standard open type surgery (6 to 10 months). A friend who is an attorney had his open surgery November 4th and he can only work 1-2 day's per week and is still having problems with incontenance. I am planning on returning to work Monday April 24th. In addition to the spy equipment I normally carry I have added 104 pads and 3 packs of briefs.
Selecting surgery as a course of action was a no-brainer. Selecting Robotic procedures was a very fortunate option available to me.
Good luck to all and if you see a lime green fat cat in your neighborhood she prefers white tuna packed in water.