Da Vinci'd and Ready for the next Step

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Tamu
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 626
   Posted 11/3/2006 12:29 PM (GMT -7)   
Pca Friends and Supporters,
 
Life is Good!!  Here is a rundown of my week.
 
Tuesday - Began bowel prep.  No fun but what the heck!  Got a call from my surgeon's office at 5;00 PM.  My surgery has been moved up from 10:00 AM to 8:00 AM because the 8:00 AM had an EKG problem.  The drive to Nashville is two hours.  I have to check in at 6:30 AM that means leaving at 4:30 AM.  All in all, between the schedule change, anxiety and apprehension I do not get any sleep Tuesday night.
 
Wednesday - Check in for surgery at 6:15 AM.  Taken to holding area at 6:30 AM.  Meet many people: anesthesiologist, tech prep, nurse anesthetist, two recovery room nurses.  Was asked by all what procedure was being done on me.  They want to make sure that no mistakes are being made.  My surgeon's assistant then comes in and places her initials on my abdomen where the main incision is going to be and shows me where the others will be located at.  At 7:30 AM was told they were ready.  Kissed my wife.  They said here comes the valium and I was gone.  Wake up at 11:30 AM in recovery.  Although several men that have had the Da Vinci said they did not have any pain I was surprised to wake up and not have any.  I did have a bladder spasm and they took care of that right away.  Waited in recovery until a room opened up.  It was a very busy morning and there were a lot of men in recovery.  At 2:30 PM was taken to room.  My wife had been told at 11:30 AM that I was in recovery and I would be there for two hours.  As I was being taken to my room they were going to stop by and get my wife on the way.  We met her as she was coming donw the hall to check with the recovery nurse.  I can tell you that was one of the moments when my wife looked like an angel. 
 
In room at 2;30 PM and leg air bags are hooked up and turned on.  One thing of note for those that will be going through surgery the air bags pulsate every few seconds and they also have a warm and cool setting.  I did not know this until later that night.  The nurses are used to patients coming out of surgery cold and they have the bags set on warm.  I am a warm nature guy and they leg bags were really heating me up until I found out about the cool setting and they switched it.  Had another bladder spasm and they gave me a pill for it and it immediately went away.  The side effect of the bladder spasm medication is a severe dry mouth.  Given that you are already dry from surgery and I was not allowed anything by mouth incuding ice chips I felt like I had chewed cotton.  They did bring me a sponge on the end of a plastic handle and allowed me to take some water and wet my mouth.  This was the last spasm that I had.  I felt really good and had no pain or nausea.  I began calling relatives and giving them an update.  Needless to say, they were all surprised to be talking to me just a few hours after surgery.  At this point I began to survey my abdomen and the catheter.  First impression was that the catheter was a lot bigger then what I was expecting.  The incisions were about what I expected.  Since I was already out when they shaved me this was the first time I saw that I was shaved from just below my sternum to right above the pubic bone and all the way across.  I am a fairly hairy guy so this was somewhat a contrast.  I do not know if they give you anything to wake you up but I was pumped and not sleepy.  The nurses came around about 4:00 PM that said that they would be getting me up to walk.  I told them I was ready to get up now.  At 8:00 PM they did get me up.  I did fairly good but got nauseous and dry heaved.  Felt better and did not get nauseous again.  As Dawgfan noted you cannot sleep with those air bags going so I just got up and walked all night.  I would do three laps around the area and then rest for about an hour and a half and go again.  Kind of got a kick out of it!  One of the male nurses kidded me that I was going too fast and I needed to slow down.  I challenged him to a race if he would insert a catheter and hook up an IV and grab a stand.  He said that no way was he going to do that.
 
Thursday - Allowed a liquid diet.  Ate some of the liquid breakfast.  I am not a big fan of cream of wheat.  The coffee though was great!!  Kept walking.  They set up a video on the room TV that showed my wife and I how to take care of the Foley(hang!!).  This was a big help.  The only problem I was having was that the Statlock that clamps the catheter onto my leg was not in the right position.  It was okay when I was laying dwon or standing up but when I was sitting it pulled and has made the end of my penis sore.  My abdomen was fairly sore and they provided an abdomen binder that helped supply support especially when I was walking.  My surgeon came.  Good news in that he did not see any evidence of cancer in the lymph nodes or seminal vessels are the margins of the prostate.  Path report will be back on the 13th and will know more then.  My prostate was enlarged and he said because of that he took some extra time making sure that he did the best he could.  He has done over 800 Da Vinci's so I feel that I got the best that I could.  His nurse practitioner then began the discharge procedure.  The last thing that was done was the removal of the JP drain.  She told me that men said that it did not hurt but felt weird because it came across your abdomen.  She told me to take a deep breath and blow it out and she pulled it out.  As I was blowing out it did hurt and I was telling her that the other men had lied.  Despite that the pian went away quickly.  Checked out and discharged at 2:30 PM exactly 24 hours after I had gone to my room.  We stayed that night at a local motel.  I did eat some soup.  I started passing gas this day right after getting back on liquids and had a BM which made me feel a lot better.  Thursday night had another BM, passed a lot of gas.  After two nights of no sleep I was ready for a decent night.  A couple of Tylenol PM's and a few pages in the novel I am reading and off I go to have a good night's sleep.
 
Friday - Got up and cleaned up.  A little dizzy.  Ate breakfast at the motel and headed home.  Surgeon's nurse practitioner calls and checks on me.  Home and on the computer letting you guys know my experience.
 
This is a little long and detailed but I wanted to provide as much as I could for those that follow in my footsteps.  Now it is on to getting rid of Hang on the 13th and seeing what my level of continence will be.  Already have the prescriptions for Viagra and the schedule for penile rehabilitation which will start three weeks to the day from the date of surgery.
 
Step by step - here we go!!
 
Tamu

lawink
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 621
   Posted 11/3/2006 12:53 PM (GMT -7)   
Way to go Tamu! Your report of your experience is so interesting (even being on the other side of it) and for anyone still "looking forward" to theirs, your insight can do nothing but help them all. Keep us posted . . . continuing to think about you and wish you well.
;o) Linda
Husband (Bob) had laproscopic prostate surgery on Sept 27, 2006 - 2/12 malignant biopsy samples - gleason 3 + 3 = 6.  Follow up PSA results and pathology results due Nov 14, 2006.
 
Also taking Hydroxyurea to control Polycythemia (elevated red & white cells & platlets) has secondary condition . . Myelofibrosis)


Swimom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1732
   Posted 11/3/2006 1:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Tamu,

Good to hear form you too! Sounds like everything is good.

Enjoy the arm chair position you have now. It isn't often you can just watch sports and not get smoozed into doing chores!

Be well, Swim

dawgfan
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 148
   Posted 11/3/2006 3:09 PM (GMT -7)   

Way to go Tamu,

Sounds like you've weathered the storm too. Don't over do it and keep your cath lubed. Best of luck!


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


56pontiac
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 230
   Posted 11/3/2006 4:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Welcome to the other side. Now do as the doctor tells you and get lots of rest. Glad to hear it went well.

daveed
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 172
   Posted 11/3/2006 4:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Great Post Tamu. Sounds like we are going through the exact same things. It certainly was strange having the drain tube taken out, could feel where it started. Heal well and fast my freind
Daveed

SaraMurphy
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 11/3/2006 5:01 PM (GMT -7)   

Hey Tamu!!!!

So glad to hear from you, and that all went well. We will be praying for a speedy recovery for you. Thank you so much for the detailed account! It helps so much to know what is in store, by someone who has been through it.

Blessings to you and your wife,

Dennis and Sara


SJC
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 113
   Posted 11/3/2006 5:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Each week you will get stronger. Take some walks each day. As you progress, the distance will increase and the pace will quicken.

Letty
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 80
   Posted 11/3/2006 5:21 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Tamu,

Thats quite a week you've had!  Glad you're back and everything went well.  Wishing you a speedy recovery!


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!


bluebird
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 2542
   Posted 11/3/2006 6:36 PM (GMT -7)   

Tamu ~ Welcome Home……… Life is Good!!!!!!!!

 

This is a wonderful journal entry of Your Journey…..others can read and begin to understand what the day-to-day happenings are.  It will make things a little less scary for others who are where you use to be and to see where you are today!  Amazing isn’t it!!

 

If possible can you continue to add your journal entries here…. It makes it so much easier to follow and for newbies to see the whole picture!!!  ( Just my opinion J )

 

You sound great!!!……  Now make sure you take a page out of Spinbiscuit’s journey…. DON’T OVER DO IT………….  You have a lot of healing to take place over a period of time!!

 

Take care and thanks for sharing.

In Friendship, Lee & her Buddy


mama bluebird - Lee & Buddy… 53 on surgery day

RRP April 3, 2006   PSA 4.6 Gleason  3+3=6  T2a   Confined to Prostate

June 29th PSA Less than 0.1 Non-detectable


spinbiscuit
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 818
   Posted 11/3/2006 7:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Tamu,

I bet it felt good to be home and in your own bed. Now all that's left for you to do is rest, and watch foot ball. Oh yea; you need to eat protein to help you body recover. Nobody had to force me to eat steak, burgers, or pork BBQ. So have a great relaxing week-end. Thanks for that wonderfully detailed account of your DaVinci week.

Glen

Tamu
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 626
   Posted 11/3/2006 8:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks to all,

I have followed orders to the letter today. I have stayed on a soft diet although I would rather have had the BBQ that Glen suggested. I took about a half mile walk which went well. The best thing today was the nice warm shower. Felt like a new guy afterwards. Tip of penus is still touchy from the pulling when the Foley was not set right. Got that fixed and it is getting better. Taking Tylenol every four hours and that is handling the discomfort fine. No bladder spasms. Urine is clear with no blood at all. The bleeding that I was having around the catheter has now stopped and I am not having any urine leakage. When they showed me how to handle the catheter for showering they told me to install the plug provided until finished showering. That does not work as I started having urine leakage when it backed up. I did like most of the post have indicated and just let it dump into the shower. Continue to pass gas which is good. No indications of any constipation. In fact, I am still on the loose side. I have not taken any stool softener because I have had several BM's and they all have been loose. The perineum has gotten tender as I was told it would especially when passing gas and at BM's. I am glad that my BM's have been loose as it would be a little painful if I was straining. Looking forward to breakfast in the morning. I will pick the diet up some tomorrow to a little more solid foods and see how the bowel handles it. Oh yea, the most important thing to do!! I am drinking lots of liquid. The moon is full tonight and there is brightness in this the other side. I will keep you posted.

Tamu

jetguy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 741
   Posted 11/3/2006 10:00 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the info. Much appreciated. I sure hope all continues to go well.

Regards,

Bill

Tamu
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 626
   Posted 11/4/2006 9:13 AM (GMT -7)   
Okay, I promised to keep this journal of my experience going so here is the latest.

Surgery completed at 11:30 AM almost exactly three days ago. Last night I slept very well. Took two Tylenol PM's about 8:45 PM and was a sleep in my bed about 9:30 PM. about 3:00 AM I decided to roll over to my left side. Immediately began to get a discomfort just above the perineum where the prostate was located. Turned back on my back and it got better. Did not want to wake my wife up so I got up and took a couple more Tylenol PM's and back to bed. Those hit in about 15 minutes and went back to sleep and did not budge until a friend from NYC called about 8:30 AM. Had a BM this morning and that is getting back to normal. I feel a little weak and light headed and believe that when I pick the diet up today with more solid food that will get better.

For those coming up on surgery I forgot to mention in my initial post here that as soon as I woke up in recovery they gave me a device to suck on to expand my lungs and prevent pneumonia. I was not expecting this as they did not tell me about it. It was easy to use and I wanted out of that recovery room as fast as possible so I sucked as hard as I could and they corrected me to breathe in and keep the indicator between the arrows. I had to use this several times while I was in the hospital and I continue to use it here at home. If you have surgery coming up one thing that you might want to think about is having the pneumonia vaccine shot. I had the flu shot a couple of weeks ago but did not take the pneumonia as they said it was only recommended for those over 60 and I am 56. During surgery prep the they asked me if I had had it and I told them that I did not because of the age recommendation. It was not a big deal but I got the impression that they would have liked it if I had had the vaccine. Be sure to ask your surgeon's office about having the vaccine.

Tamu

Rybak
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 11/4/2006 12:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, Tamu for the info with regards to DaVinci surgery...

I just joined the group and am planning to have DaVinci at end of November in Seattle, Swedish Medical Center. My stats, 50yrs old, 3+3, PSA 4.5. Your detailed explanation helps to know what to expect. Thanks, Mikhail1956

JayMan56
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 61
   Posted 11/4/2006 12:31 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Tamu,

Your post is excellent in giving us all insight in the pre-op and post-op phases of the procedure. I was diagnosed 2.5 weeks ago. It feels like 2.5 years ago. I've learned so much it's incredible.

I've selected a surgeon who has over 200 procedures. He's supposed to be great... however, I nearly fell off my chair when his secretary told me I am scheduled for my DaVinci prostatectomy surgery on February 6th. FEBRUARY???? I was not a happy camper about this. The only silver lining is that 1) I have alot of time to prepare and 2) It must mean the doctors do not feel my cancer is all that agressive to lead me out 3 months in advance. In any case, I have some pull down here in Miami and I'm trying to do a little arm twisting to get the surgery scheduled for December. What the hell.......

Tamu, keep the posts coming...... thanks a million!!!

Jay

M. Kat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 715
   Posted 11/4/2006 1:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Tamu,

way to go! I'm so glad you are doing so well. thanks for sharing the details. it's nice for the newbies to know exactly what's going to happen.

here's wishing you continued recovery. 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
pathology report - all clear - cancer gone
1st post-surgery PSA test 0.1
no more pads Oct 12, 2006


Tamu
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 626
   Posted 11/4/2006 2:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Jay,

My surgeon is approaching 900 Da Vinci's and when I got on his schedule it was three months out just like you. They made me comfortable about the timing given that my stage was T1c with a Gleason of 3+3. Being on the other side as it is called here I can tell you that choosing an experienced surgeon is more important then the quickness of getting it done. These guys are good because they have refined their procedure. While a lot of it is science there is enough art involved that you want someone that has the experience. You will do fine. I look forward to hearing your story.

Tamu

bluebird
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 2542
   Posted 11/4/2006 6:38 PM (GMT -7)   

Partial Quote from Tamu's posting above:

The moon is full tonight and there is brightness in this the other side. 

 

Isn’t it amazing to know that we are all under the same moon, stars, and sun!!

And to realize that the sun never stops shining….  Even when the clouds hide it…. It is still there.

Keeping you all close in thoughts and prayers.

 

 

 

Tamu ~  The little things are soooo important.  Thank you for taking time to document everything. 

 

In Friendship,  Lee & Buddy

 

Personal Threads: If you pull 1 thing from our journey that helps you on your journey…… it will truly make our hearts happy!!! 

Our Journey ~ Sharing is Caring, A Special Note for Loved Ones (Wives, Partners, & Caregivers), Give Yourself a Second Opinion, and Murphy ~ Our Special Helper.

 


mama bluebird - Lee & Buddy… 53 on surgery day

RRP April 3, 2006   PSA 4.6 Gleason  3+3=6  T2a   Confined to Prostate

June 29th PSA Less than 0.1 Non-detectable


jetguy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 741
   Posted 11/4/2006 9:27 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes, thanks much for all the info. I sure hope you continue to recover quickly.

Regards,

Bill

Tamu
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 626
   Posted 11/5/2006 8:03 AM (GMT -7)   
Fourth Day Post Op

I slept very well last night. I was able to turn on my side without the discomfort I had the night before. I did take the Tylenol PM's before going to bed. Yesterday afternoon I did get tired and as Swimom has constantly reminded all of us that you have been through major surgery and just because you feel good on the outside does not mean that the inside is not having to handle some trauma. I did pick up the diet. Friends brought over food(chicken stew) and it was very good. With the more solid food the dizziness I had been having went away along with the weakness. I did go to the grocery store with my wife and it felt good to do something normal.

I got a little concern yesterday around noon when I began to feel some tingling and numbing in my right foot and hand. The concern for blood clots was raised very high by my surgeon. This went away after I got up and walkled around for a while. I was told to not sit with my feet on the floor for more then an hour and a half without getting up and walking around.

This morning I got up and was able to handle hang all by myself. Getting the hang of hang!! The soreness continues to improve. The only incision that is sore now is the large one right above my navel. In my case the incisions were closed with glue on the outside. I was told not to put anything on the incisions. The bruising showed up overnight and I have a nice yellow area below my navel. Just wondering if any of you that have already passed this way did anything to your incisions to make them feel better? The bloatness is beginning to go down some. The small amount of swelling that I had in my scrotum and penis has now gone away. Of course, the penis does not like what has happened to it and is hiding. Thanks to this forum and others I knew that this was going to happen. I have seen a few blood clouts in the Foley bag but they have been small and just one or two.

I will not be separated from hang until the 13th. A couple of reasons for this is that the surgeons office was going to allow the local urologist that I used to do it. That urologist has since closed his practice here and moved to the larger city close by. When I told them that I wanted to come back to the surgeon's office to have it removed then it became a scheduling problem. My surgeon is conservative and he opts to keep the catheter in longer then others have experienced on this forum. He generally sets it at 10 days. Of course I would rather have it out sooner but at this point it is not as much of a nuisance as I was expecting.

Okay, that is the latest update. I probably will not post another update until after the 13th but I will post replies and will answer any questions that are posted.

Daveed, hope all is going well with your recovery. It is comforting knowing that we are hanging together.

Tamu

lawink
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 621
   Posted 11/5/2006 8:28 AM (GMT -7)   
Tamu - hubby and I have found your posts tremendously interesting. I for one would enjoy a continued diary of your journey.

When do you get the pathology results??

We get Bob's on November 14th which is also his first PSA result. I know it's a long time until receiving news, but just the way our Canadian scheduling works.

Some things take a long time but cost wise it can't be beat . . . not one single dollar out of our own pocket for any of this.

Also, the doctor was certain the cancer was contained, so the waiting isn't that bad . .although one needs to here the "official" report.

Take care and keep us posted.

;o) Linda
Husband (Bob) had laproscopic prostate surgery on Sept 27, 2006 - 2/12 malignant biopsy samples - gleason 3 + 3 = 6.  Follow up PSA results and pathology results due Nov 14, 2006.
 
Also taking Hydroxyurea to control Polycythemia (elevated red & white cells & platlets) has secondary condition . . Myelofibrosis)


Tamu
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 626
   Posted 11/5/2006 10:44 AM (GMT -7)   
lawink,

I will get the path results the same day that the Foley is removed which will be on the 13th. Sounds like Bob and I had about the same level of PCa. Of course I will start getting anxious and apprehensive on that morning. The next step of continency will begin that day. We all know that the degree of continency upon removal of Foley varies greatly and is totally individual based. I have received comfort in both the stories of men that have reach continency quicklyand those that have reached it after several months. My surgeon has managed my expectations by telling me that on average his patients have return to continency after two to three months. I will keep up the diary. I know how I felt wanting to knw as much as possible after being diagnosed and feel obligated to help those that follow in our footsteps.

Thanks for your interest.

Tamu

spinbiscuit
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 818
   Posted 11/5/2006 4:12 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Tamu,

I know about the worry & relief of getting Mr. Foley aka. Hang out, but no matter what you're going to do just fine. Take it from one of the slow learners; my urologist told me that in 3 months he expected me to be totally dry, and thats just about how long it was. I do hope we're way off, and you walk out of the doctor's office dry. That does happen, but maybe you'll win the Power Ball Lottery for $100 million too. My point is don't get discouraged if a miracle is not at hand, sometimes it happends in small increments. In any case I wish you good luck on the 13th.

Glen


Diagnosed at age 60
PSA went from 2.2 to 3.8 in 14 months
2 ot 14 cores positive at 10%
Gleason 6(3+3), negative DRE, neg. boundaries
DaVinci surgery on 02/23/06
 


2busymom
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 118
   Posted 11/5/2006 7:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi. I'm a new member (just found the site today) and have already found it be very helpful. I wanted to specifically comment to JayMan56 - please do whatever you can to have your surgery as soon as possible..Back in July my husband (age 45) had a routine exam and the Dr. thought he felt a nodule on his prostate. His PSA score was only 2.5, elevated from his last score, but not anything extreme. They gave him a series of antibiotics, and his score dropped to 2.1. They decided to schedule a biopsy - I guess that was about the 2nd or 3rd week in August. Our appt. to find our the results was Aug. 25th. The week before that my 20 year old son was fond to have protein and blood in his urine, and was advised to see a nephrologist to find out if he had kidney disease. On the 22nd we found out that my dad's adenoid cystic carcinoma had returned with a vengeance, invading almost the entire inside of the right side of his face. I honestly didn't expect my husband's biopsy to turn up anything, but it did. Out of 12 samples, 2 showed cancer - one 3%, the other 4%. His gleason score was 6 - what the pathology report indicated was low risk. His prostate was not enlarged and he'd had no symptoms of any kind of prostate trouble. The cancer was not found at the nodule site.

Needless to say, I was very emotional - the Dr. reassured us that with my husband's age, physical condition and the pathology report, we had a great chance of recovery. My husband had already decided that if the biopsy came back positive, he wanted surgery. Our 18 year old son was leaving for USMC bootcamp 2 days later, & would be graduating the day before Thanksgiving. Since the cancer appeared to be non-aggressive and the Dr. said the pathology wouldn't change a whole lot even going in to Jan., we initially thought we'd wait until after the holidays. Part of our decision was based on my husband being self employed in Construction, and we needed to set money aside for the weeks of work he'd be missing (at least 6 weeks because of the lifting he does).

We went to church that Sunday and the pastor was speaking on God's will, and why bad things happen to good people. He mentioned both the situation with my dad and my husband. After the service so many people came up to us, encouraging us with information about their own family members who had experienced the same thing, and how well they did. But over and over people kept telling us not to wait. One lady whose dad is recovering from prostate cancer told us money was no object, that they would take care of my husband's pay. We were stunned. The next day our pastor called and said he'd had 5 families that had come up and offered to help cover my husband's wages, they didn't want finances to influence when we scheduled the surgery. In the end we received 6 weeks of wages plus an extra $3,000.00. We figured maybe God was trying to tell us something about the date of the surgery. So we told the Dr. we wanted it done in Oct. - now we just had to see what was happening with my son and my dad.

My son's subsequent blood and urine work showed no sign of kidney disease, although he still had blood in his urine. Our nephrologist told us he'd worry aobut the kidneys, we had enough to take care of. So at this point we were waiting on what the Dr.s said about my dad. He was referred to a specialis at USC (he's in CA, we're in NC). Initially they decided to do an extremely invasive surgery, basically removing half of his face, then rebuilding it. The insurance approved it, but they had to do a full body scan also. While we were waiting for that to happen, our Dr. called to schedule the surgery for Oct. 6th. I panicked, knowing that I would be needed to help care for my dad, and my husband. For a week we were on the phone with the Dr., trying to reschedule for later in the month. I thought for sure they would get my dad in as soon as possible because the cancer was so close to his brain. Our Dr. came through with a date of Oct. 17th. Now we were still playing the waiting game with my dad, and the schedule was getting tighter.

He then got back the results for his body scan. The cancer had spread to his liver, lungs, spine and hip. We were devastated. He was relieved. He was so worried about the surgery - it's 8 months to a year to totally recover. The Dr.s decided to treat his hip with radiation, and his face with cyber knife radiation - very cutting edge. The cancer in his lungs and liver is in multiple spots, but very small.. When his spine starts to bother him, they will hit that too. They said if they requested all of it the insurance would deny it, saying he's too far gone. They told him that he had a year plus, and that they can get his quality of life back to what it was. Since then the cancer grew rapidly in his face, pinching the optic nerve so that he lost his vision, and putting him in escruciating pain because of the swelling. Fortunately they started the cyberknife last week, and after one treatment the cancer visibly shrank, so he will be comfortable soon. They also believe he will recover his vision.

So I didn't need to go out to help with recovery, his girlfriend could handle it, and we went ahead as scheduled with my husband's surgery. Everything went great during the surgery, the Dr. was extremely happy with how the nerve sparing part went (and so were we). Having it done laparoscopically made recovery so much easier. But the day after the surgery the pathology report came back. There was more cancer than thought, and on one spot it was in the margin, up against a muscle wall. The Dr. said it was in a very unusual spot - not an area where they typically find it. I know everyone holds their breath as they wait for that first PSA result. We're hoping that what they found in the margin IS all the cancer that there is. But I'm so grateful for our friends and family who pushed us to get the surgery done as soon as possible. 3 more months for it to grow outside the prostate could have really hurt his prognosis.

becky
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