I first have to say thank you to everyone that has contributed to this forum. I found it as part of my search for knowledge, and obtained a tremendous amount of information that has helped with my journey.
I'm 55, extremely active, work out 5-6 times a week, everything from heavy lifting, to High Intensity training. This has contributed to me being very healthy. I don't take prescript
ion meds for any ailments, only regular supplements, I'm somewhat the anomaly...
In June of last year I had a required wellness check due to new health insurance and a monthly discount. Physical check was outstanding, all blood work was good except for PSA. Check 3 years ago PSA was 3.4, this time it was 5.3. New Doc and he said let's take a look at this. Did the customary round of antibiotics for a month, re-checked blood and PSA was 5.6. Doc said to see a Urologist. Just so happens that a former Co-Worker went through PC 5 years ago, so I asked for his advice on a Urologist, he said his "Hero Urologist" is Marc Milsten. So off to see Milsten I go...
First visit with Milsten is pretty normal, although I will say that a Urologist gives a completely different DRE than the GP. He said right side of prostate was a little larger and harder, wants to biopsy. A month later it's biopsy time, wasn't sure what to expect, wasn't terrible, but man do I hate that click and thump of the punch gun. Was told to expect blood in urine and semen for a few weeks, was not prepared what blood in semen really looked like, very unsettling. Didn't really like the idea of wife dealing with it after the fact so we used a condom, or I would finish on a towel, it probably bothered me more than it bothered her.
I had prepared myself(I thought) for news of a positive finding from the biopsy, but I will tell you nothing prepares you for that discussion, nothing...
Results were Gleason 7, 3 samples from right side positive. We discussed treatment options with Dr. Milsten on 11/10, another conversation that seems like a complete blur. I had already decided that I wanted the cancer out of me so DiVinci surgery was the route, the next smack came when I actually scheduled the procedure a couple of weeks later. It gets real when you put a date on it, 12/30/2016.
I now had a month and a half to deal with this. I started researching after the biopsy, bought a couple of good books(Guide to Surviving Prostate Cancer-Walsh, Prostate Book-Scardino), and scoured the internet. After I scheduled the surgery I researched even more. The issue is I didn't want to do the surgery, so I could find information to support my fear. But I always came back to it being the right treatment for me. I would be at peace for a week or two, and then it would start again. Then I found this forum, saw a lot of posts from guys that I would follow down the surgery path that talked about
good results. Talked to Physician Friends that confirmed they thought I was taking the right approach, so I stayed on course. I knew Milsten did a lot of these surgeries, and that seems to be key to the quality of the results, that helped as well.
The clear liquid diet the day before surgery, well it clearly sucks, but I made it through it. The Fleet enemas weren't bad, but I won't partake on a regular basis. The morning of surgery I had to report at 5:30AM, that was one of the hardest trips I've ever made, I was still fighting myself. Checked in and fortunately as soon as I was in my prep room they gave me a little Valium cocktail, at that point I settled in and relaxed. They wheeled me to the OR, I saw the DiVinci, took a few breaths and the next thing I knew I was in recovery. I remember a lot of pain in recovery, and then I was in my room with no real pain.
I slept off and on the remainder of the day, no real pain, the catheter wasn't a new favorite by any means. That night I started passing gas, I thought what have I eaten that is causing this? The gas passed, and passed, there was a lot. The next day I got a solid breakfast, and actually felt pretty good, abdomen was a little sore. The Nurse asked me if I had been passing gas, I told I certainly had been, and she said good, you get to go home. Apparently the gas is absorbed into your system, and you pass it. Had a good lunch, strolled around the floor a couple of times, and began the wait to see the Doc for discharge. All clear by 4PM, nurse removed drain which was a really weird feeling, and we headed home for a very quiet New Years Eve.
I slept in our bed, on my back the first night. Per a suggestion on here I kept the large catheter bag in a 5 gallon bucket, this is nothing short of genius IMO as the first night my wife was trying to empty the bag, and spilled some, right into the bucket, no mess to clean up. The only issue I had with the bucket was the handle folding down, so I secured it upright with some duct tape, that way I didn't have to bend so far to get the handle. The issue with sleeping in the bed was getting out of the bed, with a pretty sore stomach it was difficult to get out, so I decided to spend a few nights in the recliner. Forgot to mention the entire time I am taking a pain pill about
every 3.5 hours.
Sleeping in the recliner is really the way to go for me, I can wake up and take a pain pill, and go back to sleep without disturbing the wife.
I started backing off of the pain meds on Monday 1/2, I took Colace, and Miralax as I knew the pain meds were going to back me up. But Wednesday I was off of them during the day, and only took 2 over night to sleep. After that I was off of the pain meds completely, but lets talk about
Tuesday morning I had my first urge to have a BM(HALLELUJAH). Sat down and it was nothing short of weird because of the catheter. And depending on what I did I would get some leakage from around the tube, so I would just TP myself and deal with it. But that first BM was amazing, followed by a second, and third round within a couple of hours. It actually seemed more comfortable and easy for me to "hover crap" but I eventually got the hang of sitting all the way down. I was regular from Tuesday on, Colace and Miralax everyday.
The rest of the days were good, the catheter is not fun, but it's part of the deal, so I dealt with it. Tuesday and Wednesday I worked from home, the morning went great, but about
1PM I was completely out of steam and took a long 3 hour nap. It also wasn't fun living in gym shorts for the week, when it's been so cold outside.
Another great tip I got on here was the antibiotic cream for the catheter where it exits your penis, it is a requirement. Keep that area clean, and well lubricated, and make sure you don't let the shower stream hit it, you will know when it does, and wont let it happen again.
Yesterday, the day before I get "Tommy the Tube" out, I'm excited, and Tommy is not going away without a little struggle. The catheter was uncomfortable most of the day, mainly an adjustment thing coupled with it being cold, so shrinkage caused Tommy to exit at odd angles, so it was a constant adjustment. The tape/velcro items that secure the tube are mediocre at best, and degrade in the shower, I ended up with one of those, and the rest of the tube secured with medical tape. I was like a kid before Christmas last night, so excited about
getting rid of Tommy that I could barely sleep. Yet I was also apprehensive about
the removal, everyone said it wasn't a big deal, that always concerns me.
I get to the Dr's office this morning, he is out of town so his Nurse is removing the catheter. At this point I don't care, she must be qualified, and Tommy is coming out, so let's get it done. She deflates the "balloon"(that's what that extra port on the catheter is for), and it slides right out, felt a little weird, but really no big deal at all. She gave me a pad for my underwear, and told me to get dressed. I stood up and my bladder immediately evacuated all over the floor of the office. I assumed I would have a little control, but I had none at all. So I cleaned up, and padded up, scheduled my next appointment and went home.
I've been in this mode the remainder of the day, I have no continence, I stand up, I pee, just like clockwork. I'm burning through pads at a good rate, and 2 sets of track pants so far. I'm a little disappointed, but know it's part of the process, and I will get better everyday. So I'm looking forward to tomorrow...
Got my Pathology report today as well, Cancer in all of the Prostate, not just the right side, and clear margins, now that is good news.
So that's where I am, just a guy, without a Prostate, trying not to pee myself every time I stand up!
Post Edited (sks61) : 1/6/2017 7:07:09 PM (GMT-7)