Shocked and Scared

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SaraMurphy
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 10/13/2006 8:46 AM (GMT -7)   
We just heard from the doctor. My husband has prostate cancer. 7 of the 12 samples came back positive. The doctor said they caught it very early, and he wants to schedule a ct and family meeting to discuss treatment options. I don't quite know how to feel right now. I think the best word to describe it is shock. It's not something we expected at the age of 40. I just wanted to update on his test results, and thank everyone again for all of their kind words and support. Thank God we found such a wonderful community.
 
Blessings,
Sara

GreenAcres
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 474
   Posted 10/13/2006 9:54 AM (GMT -7)   
Sara, we know exactly how you feel (as if it was yesterday). This news doesn't get better at any age, believe me. Right now, it's like a freight train just came at you head on. The emotions will run high and you have a lot of talking and research to do. There will be times in the next few days/weeks you're going to fall apart and then pick yourselves up and be determined to carry on in search of a resolution. Remember many of us have been through this stage and we bear it with you. There is the other side to get to - you have to find the path now.
Husband age 65
PSA on 5/1: 4.2 (doubled in 13 mos.; up to 4.3 on 6/1)
DaVinci Surgery 8/2/06
T2a (at biopsy)
T4c (at pathology) w/cancer cell leakage into fatty tissue
Post-Surgical PSA on 10/3/06 - undetectable!
Future: PSA tests twice-yearly


dawgfan
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 148
   Posted 10/13/2006 10:34 AM (GMT -7)   
I prayed that the biopsy was negative, but when it came back with cancer I vowed to play the cards He dealt me as best I could. We are occasionally faced with scary situations; however, I don't believe it is ever more than God thinks you can handle. Hope you find the strength to deal with and the wisdom to choose the best path for your new chapter.


Diagnosed 8/24/06 at age 48
Gleason 6
PSA 3.32
daVinci scheduled 10/20/06

Post Edited (dawgfan) : 10/13/2006 1:47:52 PM (GMT-6)


Wicket
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 316
   Posted 10/13/2006 11:32 AM (GMT -7)   
Sara,
I know exactly how you feel.  It wasn't that long ago Sept 21, 2006, that we found that Curtis had PC..it was a complete shock cause neither of his doctors thought it was cancer until the biopsy came back.  The shock is awful...you'll break down and cry and you need to let it out and then get back on track in doing your research for a solution to the PC. 
Good luck...we're thinking of you and hubby.
Hugs,

Ellen
 
 
Curtis, 63,  Diagnosed Aug 21, 2006
T1C
Gleason 3+3=6, 3+4=7
PSA 4.10
Bone Scan Negative!!
DiVinci surgery done on October 3rd, 2006
Catheter out October, 11, 2006
After surgery T2C and cancer found on both sides instead of just one side.
Pathology report came back clean!!!


daveed
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 172
   Posted 10/13/2006 11:38 AM (GMT -7)   

sara, Sorry to welcome you to this site because of your news but not sorry because this is a great place. We all have giant ears and giant hearts. We listen and help as much as we can. keep us up to date on your progress please.

God bless

Daveed


JustJulie
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 355
   Posted 10/13/2006 1:04 PM (GMT -7)   
Sara:
 
We're right here with you.  I remember getting the news too - my husband was only 44 when diagnosed - I know the shock.  He was stoic in the doctor's office (I realize now he didn't have anything after he heard the word cancer) and I made it to the truck and attempted to hide my tears by looking out the window.  You are facing a scary time but you are not alone.  Each of us has been in your shoes and we will support you.  My best advice to you is to investigate every option, ask questions, get answers and ask more questions until you get the information - get a journal - WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN - you'll get home and try to remember everything and you won't be able to.  The conversation will go something like this:
 
Husband:  What did Dr. X say?
Wife:  He said ....
Husband:  No, he didn't say that ...
Wife:  I'm pretty sure he said that ...
 
That's where the communication will break down.  Get out the journal and review it together.  Sometimes it's easier to cope with it if it's in writing because you can't always trust your memory in times like these.
 
Investigate, pray, cry, do whatever you need to do to get you through this - and you WILL make it through.  My husband is just finishing a six-month treatment with Brachytherapy and he's doing very well.
 
Bless you as you head down this path and know we are here for you.
 
 

sterd82
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 187
   Posted 10/13/2006 1:12 PM (GMT -7)   
You'll get thru this...  You sure don't look for it young (I'm 46 so I can only imagine dealing with this at 40).  Its scary, but its CURABLE.   Your doctor says you're early -- all the better.   This is a good site --- I've found other sites helpful. (drop a post if you'd like to know other on-line resources)   For right now, thank God you guys found this early and you have each other.  Your're in our prayers!
 
Sterd82

Letty
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 80
   Posted 10/13/2006 3:00 PM (GMT -7)   

Sara,

We too are here with and for you and you're husband.  We're so sorry you have to go through this.  It's not easy and there are a lot of ups and downs, especially emotionally.  It can still bring tears to my eyes remembering the day we found out.  "Shocked and scared" are very good words to describe it.  It is scarey, especially when you start letting all the "what ifs" get the better of you. 

You really have to dig in now and do your homework on PC.  The more you learn the better you'll feel, especially about making educated decisions that you'll have to be making to deal with this thing.  I'm so glad that your husband's PC was found so early.  There are so many men in their 40's that don't realize they should be getting checked for PC and don't catch it as early as you have.  Early detection is the key to beating this CURABLE disease.

Remember that your not alone Sara and that there are always people here to talk to on this forum who really care and understand what your going through.  

Sending lots of love, hugs and strength your way,

 


Letty,
 
Husband diagnosed May 2006 at age 50.  RRP performed 13 July 06.
PSA 5.7,  Gleason 3+4=7, Staged T2C, Cancer confined to prostate.
His father diagnosed at age 62 and is currently a 13 year survivor!


spinbiscuit
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 818
   Posted 10/13/2006 4:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Sara,

This is the toughest time for your family, but it is the time that the family grows strong to support each other. Plus you have friends here that have just gone through what you now are facing. Just remember the Doctor said the PCa was detected early, and that is very encouraging news. So good luck with the doctor/family consultation. Please post us when you get a chance.

Glen

Tamu
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 626
   Posted 10/13/2006 6:08 PM (GMT -7)   
Sara,

I am very sorry to hear of the results of the biopsy. I will always remember those words. Whar really made me somewhat angry later was that when the boipsy was done the urologist said based upon the ultrasound he did not see anything that would indicate any problems. This gave my wife and I so much hope that at the appoitment the next week to get the results my wife did not go as something came up with one of our daughters. When I got home and told her it was going through the shock twice. At this stage I believe that all of us that have "been there and done that" would tell you to first know that it is curable and second that you have time to educate yourselves and evlaute treatment options. Many PCa victims on this forum and others have noted how important it is to get a seond opinion. My personal recommendation is to fine a university based medical center that has a good urology clinic for your second opinion. They will be less biased toward any particular treatment then a local urologist. You now have to deal with the prostate cancer trinity; Eliminate the cancer, remain continent and gain back potency. I would strongly recommend that your husband and you go to the web site, www.yananow.net. On that site you will find a section called mentor experiences. There are stories provded by men with PCa and they are categorized by treatment type. I have found that you will learn a lot more about the specifics of the treatment options here then any doctor will tell you. Finally, if you take the time to educate yourselves you will find that the success of the treatment toward all aspects of the prostate trinity is directly proportional to the experience and skill of the doctor or surgeon doing the treatment.

I wish you good luck and God Bless!

Tamu

Swimom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1732
   Posted 10/13/2006 8:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Can I just say...THIS SUCKS!!!!!!

I think everyone else has the rest covered.

Swim

SJC
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 113
   Posted 10/13/2006 8:33 PM (GMT -7)   
I had a relatively high PSA for eight years and four biopsies with the last this past April. Finally I had a core with a positive finding...Gleason 6. I was 50 at the time of diagnosis; a little older than your husband, but still young in the overall scheme of things.

Due to my early stage, negative DRE, my chance for a cure according to the Partin Tables was very high. Since I hope to have a much longer life, I decided take the best path for a cure known today....surgery. I came to this decision after much reading and consultation with an oncologist-friend who specializes in prostate research. My reading and authoritative advice recommended a surgeon with significant experience and exceptional credentials. I searched the leading urologic departments across the country for this type of surgeon. I also checked my insurance plan to determine which of those departments were in my plan's network. I ultimately selected a renowned urological surgeon at Johns Hopkins who performed the surgery early August. I flew to Baltimore for the surgery and flew home three days post surgery. I had a remarkably quick recovery compared to most. I give credit to my relatively young age, my good physical shape pre-surgery, the skill of my surgeon and blessings from God.

Suggest you and your husband buy and read Dr. Patrick Walsh's Guide to Surviving Prostate Cancer. It is not for the light of heart, as some have posted here; however, I found the content informative before surgery and "real life" post surgery.

Given your husband's age and early stage, I foresee a complete cure and recovery. Life will go on as normal as it has for me just a few weeks after surgery. I drove four and half hours today and plan to spend the day tomorrow with friends in Auburn for the Auburn-Florida football game tomorrow night. Think positive and move forward at your own speed. There is no dramatic rush with prostate cancer, a slow grower. This thing is curable!

M. Kat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 715
   Posted 10/14/2006 5:10 AM (GMT -7)   
Sara - don't you just love the support here? I don't have much to add other than to let you know that I know exactly what you're going through. We thought Jeff was young at 56 until we came here and met all these men who were in their 40s. I keep wondering do men get PC earlier now or is it just caught earlier? anyway, please keep posting and don't think any question is a dumb question. right Ellen? my thoughts and prayers are with you.....kat
Husband Jeff 56 years old
diagnosed July 27, 2006
PSA 6.5
2 positive areas in biopsy, Gleason 3+3=6
Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy August 30, 2006


EB02
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 48
   Posted 10/14/2006 5:42 AM (GMT -7)   
Sara - Your post brings back painful memories for all of when they first heard their biopsy news. I think that SJC's post on 10/13 is one of the best I have ever seen on this forum. You have some time to get familiar with options and make educated decisions. I have many friends who just went with whatever the first doctor recommended and let him do the work. They have many horror stories to share. Most health insurance plans have network agreements with the best urological hospitals and physicians in America and you should explore your options thoroughly. This can pay huge quality of life dividends longterm and will be worth whatever additional time, money and/or inconvenience is involved. Focus positive energy into doing your research and making the plan. While you're doing that, this would be a good time for your husband to get into the best physical shape he can - lose weight, tone up, etc. He will have a better treatment and recovery process. This is also a good time to celebrate and enhance intimacy as a couple, even though you may not be in the mood right now. Your plan will be far more successful the more you can shore up closeness now. Finally, although you can't see it right now, in the whole scheme of things, treatment and recovery can be a very fast process. Focus on some positive activities or events that your husband is looking forward to in the short and long term and make it your goal to get there. For me, it was a college football game three weeks after surgery, a convention five weeks after surgery, family Christmas celebration three months after surgery, etc. Getting there in good shape became the focus of the darker days and the events became the benchmarks of my recovery. Each event took on greater significance as I experienced it, thankful to be alive and cancer free. And that is the main point. In a very short time, your husband will be cancer free and life will be great again! God bless you as you move toward that goal.

Swimom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1732
   Posted 10/14/2006 5:43 AM (GMT -7)   
All these men in here who are "too Young" to have prostate cancer, would have been dead men walking only 15 short years ago...Amazing! The development of the PSA has saved all of these young men who would have otherwise not have not been diagnosed soon enough. Thank goodness these men (or a nagging wife like myself!) chose to be healthwise, eh?

Good for Jeff, Kat. Dinner and a movie it is!

Swim

1mikec
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 10/15/2006 3:13 PM (GMT -7)   
If you have an experienced doctor, Robotic Laproscopic is the answer! He should have done at least 200. The robot is much more precise than a human hand. Some benefits of the robotic procedure are:
* Reduced trauma to the body
* Reduced blood loss and need for transfusions
* Less post-operative pain and discomfort
* Less risk of infection
* Shorter hospital stay
* Less Catheter time
* Faster recovery and return to normal daily activities
* Less scarring and improved cosmesis
* And everything I've read says that there are better odds against having a problem with Continence and Potency.
(My original Urologist wanted to do it the old fashioned way so I switched doctors. Don't be afraid to do the same!) Travel if you need to. Do your research!

I had mine on Aug 11, 2006 at St Lukes in Milwaukee, WI.
http://www.aurorahealthcare.org/services/cancer/whatwetreat/prostate-cancer.asp
http://www.aurorahealthcare.org/doctors/display.asp?id=8329

I was feeling good after 3 days. I was feeling great after one week! Only had catheter in for 7 days. Incontinence was minimal right away. I did do "some" Kegel exercises prior to surgery for about a month (not as much as I should have.)

Some sites you could look at:
http://www.henryfordhealth.org/125076.cfm
http://www.or-live.com/memorialhermann/1391/event/webcast.cfm?

Good luck to you all and anyone who reads this in the future.

Mike C

Tamu
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 626
   Posted 10/15/2006 4:27 PM (GMT -7)   
Just as an add-on to the last reply concerning the robotic laprascopic procedure when I met with my surgeon who is the head of the Urology Department at Vanderbilt University Medical Center I told him from what I have learned from my research that I believe that the robotic approach has a better complication rate for incontinence and impotency. He told me that they have not finalized their study as of yet and published it but the data that they have on over 800 robotic and 3,000 open radical prostatectomies that the robotic does have a significant better complication rate. The numbers that were given to me were a 2% severe incontinence rate and a 10% stress incontinence rate. The impotency rate is about 15% complete impotence. I am not sure what the open procedure numbers are but if you read the mentor experiences on www. yananow.net it becomes evident that those that went with the robotic have a lot less complications then those that have the open.

Just for your information.

Tamu

SJC
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 113
   Posted 10/15/2006 5:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Wtih all due respect to Tamu and Mike C., I have a different perspective. I, too, initially believed the robotic approach, the newer procedure, was the way to go when I first realized I needed surgery (see my post above). However, I later changed my mind and sought the highest calibre surgeon, be he robotic/lap or open. There are experts who do the robotic/lap and experts who do the open; however, I could not find a high calibre surgeon at both. That's when I came to the conclusion the type of procedure was not the critical factor. I agree with Mike that the surgeon should have experience. The surgeon I selected does about 200 a year and has been performing the procedure for well over 15 years. My surgery took one hour (yes, I had a prostatectomy). I did not have a transfusion (very little loss of blood during surgery for me). I checked out of the hospital 48 hours after surgery. I had a catheter for 10 days. I used a single pad per day for about four weeks (I changed each day even though the pad was 95% dry each day for three weeks and 99% dry the fourth week). I went pad free the fifth week. (I bought one of those plastic bags that contained about 52 pads, I think. I threw half of the bag away b/c I never had a need to use the leftovers.) I returned to work 12 days after surgery (office job) for 2-3 hours per day the first week, half days the second week, 3/4 days the third week, and full time the fourth week. Started my running regimen at the six week mark. After a week I was up to 5 miles in 47 minutes. I'm now two and a half months post surgery. Ran six miles in 58 minutes both yesterday and today....no problem. I have a scar that no one sees when I wear clothes. And yes, I had an open RRP.

The point I'm trying to make here is that with the right surgeon, the open procedure is very effective. Unfortunately, there are a lot of urologists trying the open procedure who do not possess the necessary experience and credentials to be labeled "expert" according to the criteria I chose to follow when making a selection.

I hope you take my post in the spirit it is intended. I am not an advocate of one procdure over the other. I am an advocate of selecting the finest surgeon out there in terms of experience and credentials, be he rob/lap or open.

1mikec
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 10/15/2006 9:11 PM (GMT -7)   
Dear SJC,
The first 3 rules are Doctor, Doctor, Doctor!

But seriously, You're the first that I've heard of that had open surgery that turned out so great. Congratulations. We are all happy for you.

I was lucky. There was a great Robotic Laproscopic Doctor here where I live in Milwaukee. See him at: http://www.aurorahealthcare.org/doctors/display.asp?id=8329

Mike C

Tamu
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 626
   Posted 10/16/2006 11:09 AM (GMT -7)   
SJC,

I certainly agree with you that the key is a surgeon with well known ability and lots of experience. The surgeon I chose had done over 3,000 of the open procedures before he started doing the robotic. He now has done over 800 of the robotic and does 9 to 11 every week. In contrast the local urologist that did my biopsy only did the open and did only 15 to 20 a year and had done less then 100 in his career. As Mike C. said you obviously chose your surgeon well. I have read about and talked to men that have had the open and the vast majority of them had considerable more complications then the ones that have had the robotic. Of course the reason is probably because they used a local surgeon. The high cost of the Da Vinci robot means that only major medical centers can afford to have it. I feel sorry for those men that make a quick decision to go with a local surgeon because of the convenience instead of seeking out a regional based surgeon with the expertise to provide the best possible outcome be it open or robotic.

Tamu

1mikec
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 10/16/2006 12:06 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey SJC,

Who was your doctor and at what hospital where?
My doctor has only done about 300 and now does 6-8 per week.

Again I'm telling everyone that needs this surgery:
DON'T BE AFRAID TO CHANGE UROLOGISTS. Your original urologist should understand. Mine did.

In fact my original urologist asked permission to come and watch my surgery.
He actually did come and watch.
He's trying to talk his hospital into buying the robot. My doc said the robot was $1,500,00.00

Mike C

56pontiac
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 230
   Posted 10/16/2006 12:40 PM (GMT -7)   
I had the Davinci surgery 4 days ago I am home now after two days (my surgery was in the afternoon) resting comfortably and feeling pretty decent. Sara, I know exactly what you are feeling now well at least I know what your husband is feeling not to sure about you wives. You gals process stuff a lot different at least my wife does. It is not easy anytime to get this news. Do as much research as you can. Hang around this site, a wealth of very very good information is here. Do not be afraid to ask any questions. If you don't like the answers or attitudes and feel uncomfortable with your doctor move on until you do. Hopefully you are with a good group of urologists, that confer with each other and offer more than one opinion. Trust me in this "IT WILL GET BETTER".  Keep us posted as we really do care genuinly about you and yours situation.  Stay strong, you can get through this one.

SJC
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 113
   Posted 10/16/2006 1:26 PM (GMT -7)   
Mike C:

As mentioned above, I went to Johns Hopkins. My surgeon was the Chairman of the Urology Department, Alan Partin.

Rick54
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 40
   Posted 10/16/2006 1:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Sara,
 
I believe that the worst days were the first few after the biopsy results - with uncertainty ahead.  As soon as we chose a treatment plan and got scheduled - it was like weight lifted off our shoulders.
 
I also agree with what most have already said about choosing an experienced surgeon.  My local urologist suggested that there were two in our region who were the best and most experienced at DaVinci robotic.  We chose one, had a consult, and scheduled the surgery.  My surgeon has done 700-900 robotic surgeries.
 
My experience was: surgery at about 2:30 pm (Sep 13), home the next day about noon, walking around the neighborhood (slowly) by day 4, catheter removed on day 6, and back to work after 2-1/2 weeks.  I felt like I could have gone back even sooner.  I am feeling pretty good now - not without minor issues, but generally good.  I have been doing work around the house for the past couple of weeks (we are preparing to sell the house) and mowed the lawn the past two weekends.
 
Point being - there is plenty of life left after prostate surgery!

bluebird
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 2542
   Posted 10/17/2006 9:43 PM (GMT -7)   

Forum Friends…

 

I posted here.... but it was getting away from Sara's original topic so will post a new thread in response to a few comments posted above.

I personally like threads that stay focused on the individuals needs.  We tend to get away from the original topic sometimes…and never get back to "their" needs. 

 

New Thread:  Each Perspective is Different and should not come into question…

 

In Friendship, Lee


mama bluebird - Lee & Buddy 53
RRP April 3, 2006   PSA 4.6 Gleason 3+3=6 T2a   Confined to Prostate
June 29th PSA Less than 0.1 Non-detectable  :)

Post Edited (bluebird) : 10/18/2006 8:20:31 AM (GMT-6)

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