History: My father died of prostrate cancer in 1985 at age 81. I was 51 at that time and began having annual PSA tests with my yearly physical exams. All was well until August 2006 when my PSA jumped from 5.1 to 7.1. The first biopsy in September showed some suspicious areas so a second test was done in October. The results on 11/3/06 showed a T2B cancer.
Plan: My wife and I decided on RRP. This decision was reached considering that surgery was the fastest and surest way to get the cancer gone. We decided that a few weeks of discomfort followed by the possible incontinence and impotence was worth the risk.
Surgery: RRP was performed on 12/7/06. The lymph nodes were clean and the surgeon saved nerves. I was in the hospital for two days.
Pain: The anesthesiologist put some morphine in the spinal and I had absolutely no pain for the first two days after surgery. I took hydrocordone on day 3 and day 4, then nothing from then on. The problems with morphine were a lot of itching (relieved with frequent body rubs with lotion by my dear wife) and vomiting during the first day after surgery. These problems were gone by day 4 but I had severe drug withdrawal (monkey on my back) for about 3 hours on night 4.
Emotional: The days spent waiting for the results of the second biopsy were the most anxious of the whole process. On that day the doctor said I had cancer but that my outlook for longevity was excellent. From then on, I have had no fear or anxiety about the process or outcome. (Probably a holdover from my “bulletproof” days.) But more than that, the support from the HealingWell forum and the prayers and support from my family, friends and neighbors have been invaluable. While I was being prepped for surgery, Fr. Michael from the hospital chapel administered the prayers for the sick. I felt a great surge of confidence and carried it into the operating room.
Future: The staples and catheter come out tomorrow, 12/13/06. I feel strength in my sphincter and look forward to regaining continence soon. The catheter has caused no problems at all but “carrying the bag” is not my idea of a great way to live.