traveling for surgery........

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kziz
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 242
   Posted 2/26/2007 8:28 PM (GMT -7)   
We are traveling out of state for surgery in 2 weeks.  Kurt is very eager to gather anything we may need, including ring cushion to sit on, new sweats for after surgery, and of course the anti biotic cream for the tip of the penis.  I read a thread regarding velcro for cath bag, but he is worried that we are not taking all needed.  Any advice?   Thanks Courtney
Kurt & Courtney
47 year old
Great Health prior to dx
Dx on 1/29/07
PSA 4.1
Gleason 3+3=6, both lobes
Stage T2c, I believe
Tumor involves 20% of cores, both lobes
Live in OK
Da Vinci scheduled 3-15-07 in Austin


M. Kat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 715
   Posted 2/27/2007 4:56 AM (GMT -7)   
Courtney, it sounds like you have everything covered. like Dave said, if you really need anything, you can buy it there. I took Jeff's toiletry kit, but he only used the toothbrush and toothpaste. the hospital had shampoo, body wash, etc. remember any prescriptions. the hospital was going to give Jeff his (and I'm sure they would charge a pretty penny), but we told them we had them. for you while you wait, have books, magazines, maybe a neck pillow so you can sleep. Jeff's surgery was at 7 AM, and yes, even though I was worried and nervous, I did fall asleep for a short time. then you'll need something to do while you're sitting around in the hospital room - again, books, magazines etc. hopefully Kurt will not stay there too long. we even took slippers but Jeff did not wear them because he had non-slip socks on that the hospital gave him. are you coming home after surgery or staying in a hotel for a few days? how far are you going? take care and it's true..the unknown is the hardest part...you two will be just fine. 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, 2nd post-surgery PSA test 0.1
no more pads Oct 12, 2006
first "real" erection with use of pump 12/16/06


GreenAcres
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 474
   Posted 2/27/2007 7:05 AM (GMT -7)   
Kziz - there a several great threads here devoted to travel. Since we also went to Austin for Dr. F., I found my old list off one of the past threads:

-Small wastebasket to keep Foley catheter bag upright. (Looked all over for a very small one - finally found one at a "dollar" store with molded handles)
-Surgical gloves (all the catheter info said was to "wash your hands." Gloves really were easier to deal with - in addition to hand washing.)
-Antibiotic ointment - we took it, but the hospital provides a tube.
-Old sheet, washcloths, and towel - hotel sheets are white and there is some blood leakage following surgery. The folded up sheet was for underneath. Laid a washcloth over catheter/penis and then a towel to prevent leakage onto top sheet. At that point, husb. did not feel like wearing pants/pajamas of any type. (Although I had slit an old pair and re-Velcroed for that purpose.)
-Gallon freezer bags - there are simply some things hotel staff do not need to see or deal with. The latex gloves, bloody tissues, and empty enema bottle (from the night before surgery) were stashed in the bags and disposed of at home.
-Generic stool softener - less expensive than prescription type and better to have everything on hand if possible.
-Small bottle of vinegar - for rinsing out leg bag and replacing with overnight bag. Used the leg bag to go from hospital to hotel.

One last thing. We took a small travel bag with a shoulder strap and top opening. If you're self-conscious about leaving the hotel, just run the bag through the pants leg (this style zippered at bottom) and into the travel bag. Can carry by the strap and it's much less obvious.
Husband age 65
PSA on 5/1/06: 4.2 (had doubled in 13 mos. and rising monthly)
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!
Update: 11/1/06 - perhaps bladder neck involvement; 30%-50% chance of recurrence
Future: PSA tests twice-yearly for now
 


Tamu
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 626
   Posted 2/27/2007 8:40 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi There Kurt & Courtney,

I assume that you are driving and having a Da Vinci. Since you are going to be driving a fair distance and it is important that Kurt drink lots of fluids for several days after the surgery you might want to have some in your car. You can not have carbonated drinks or those with caffeine. For me it was a lot of cranberry, apple and other juices. You also will have to stop about every two hours so Kurt can take a 10 minute or so walk. Depending on the weather you may need a couple of pairs of shoes and rain gear. I would make sure that you have a road atlas that tells you where the rest areas are and you can plan your stops that way or just dive off into a town and find a shopping center. Kurt's perineum will become tender after about the first 48 hours and this makes sitting straight up in a car seat uncomfortable even with the donut or pillow underneath. I found it difficult getting the pillow just right so it did not push against the perineum. What worked best for me was just leaning the back of the seat back almost as far as it would go and not having to use any thing to sit on. Drinking all of that juice will probably fill the leg bag up in about the same time that you need to stop and take a walk. My attire for the first week after surgery was basketball pants with the net type of material. These are very light weight and comfortable. The legs are baggy and hide the leg bag without a problem. AS to the hospital stay I brought a robe and slippers and never used them. There is no way you can wear a robe over all of the tubes and the nurses insisted that I had to wear the non slip socks for safety purposes.

Dave is right about not getting any rest. I did not sleep the night before surgery just due to the anxiety and also not the night after surgery. There is just too much going on with IV pumps alarming, leg massagers pulsating and vital checks every three hours. You wives are so supportive that you suffer with us. I tried to get my wife to go to the hotel but she was not going to have any of that. That second night after surgery we stayed in a local motel and we both hit the sack at 7:00 PM and did not wake up until 7:00 AM. By the way, if you are staying at motels during your trip make sure you get a room with two beds or a king bed. That way both of you will get a good night sleep and Kurt can squirm around to find the most comfortable way to sleep.

Finally, I notice that someone mentioned a chest drainage tube. I am not sure why he had a chest drainage tube but I believe those of us that have had the Da Vinci had the drainage tube coming out of one to the four small incisions across the lower abdomen. Mine was coming out of the one that was to the far left side.

Good luck and we look forward to hearing from you when you are on the other side.

Tamu
Diagnosed 7/6/06
1 of 10 core samples, 40%
Stage T1c, Gleason 3+3
Da Vinci on 11/01/06
Catheter out on 11/13/06
56 Years Old
Post Op Path
Gleason 3+3
Approx. 5% of prostate involved
Prostate Confined, margins clear
Undetectable PSA on 12/18/06
No more pads as of 1/13/07


Dutch
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 400
   Posted 2/27/2007 2:44 PM (GMT -7)   

AMEN to bless the wives  --- and Kurt & Courtney have a safe trip.

Best wishes.

Dutch

 


Diagnosed Feb 2001  (Age 65)
PSA 4.8
Gleason 3 + 3 = 6
T2b
Completed Proton therapy @ Loma Linda - Aug 2001
5yr PSA   0.17
Have had no side effects.


bluebird
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 2542
   Posted 3/8/2007 9:18 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Courtney & Kurt,

 

Partial Quote from above…:  Any advice?

      

                                 Yes ~ Stop and Take a Nice Deep Breath.

 

You are ready!!!  yeah  

You’ve done all that is necessary ~ now it’s time to let the mind relax… and get ready for surgery.  The hospital will provide what you need and if you feel you need velcro at a later time you can get it. 

 

Take time now to continue your exercise and make sure that little sphincter muscle knows what his job is going to be……  tongue  

 

Kurt ~ Here’s a special HUG just for you….  You’ve done great

 

Courtney ~ You are a sweetheart and so loving.... This HUG is for you!!!

 

Thank you both for sharing your journey and allowing us to walk with you.  Remember ~ we are right next to you on this “waiting” stone.  Ready to move forward soon! Onto the Recover/Healing stone. 

 

Go in with a STRONG healthy body and mind.

Do not hesitate to have your doctor prescribe a mild sedative to get the right amount of sleep leading up to surgery.  (We may have already discussed this….)  But ~ it truly will make a difference.

 

Miss Courtney ~ remember…. You must take care of YOU!!!!  So…you can be strong in mind and body.  If you are strong then you can share that strength with Kurt. 

 

And both of you remember this also……… Pull STRENGTH as you need it ~ from all of us!!

We are "all" here for you!  :-)  

 

Keeping you extra close in thoughts and prayers.

In Friendship ~ Lee & Buddy

 


mama bluebird - Lee & Buddy… from North Carolina

Link to our personal journey…>>>     Our Journey ~ Sharing is Caring 

April 3, 2006  53 on surgery day

RRP / Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy with "wide excision"

PSA 4.6   Gleason  3+3=6    T2a   Confined to Prostate

2nd PSA 02-06-2007 Less than 0.1 Non-Detectable :)


biker90
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1463
   Posted 3/8/2007 10:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey Courtney,

Best of luck and our prayers are with you and Kurt. You have all the bases covered and are the best prepared I've ever heard. Your care and concern are truly heartwarming. Now try to relax a bit and let events happen. It will all be good...

Jim


Age 72. Diagnosed 11/03/06. PSA 7.05. Stage T2B Gleason 3+3.
RRP 12/7/06. Nerves and nodes okay.
Pathological stage: T2B. Gleason 3+4. Cancer confined to prostate.
PSA on 1/3/07 - 0.04.  Next PSA on 4/4/07.
 
 "Cancer feeds on fear - starve it to death."


kziz
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 242
   Posted 3/9/2007 3:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you bluebird and Jim, we are taking your advice and enjoying the weekend with the kids. They have been truly great through all of this and so have all of you. I don't know where we would be today, had we not found this site. We feel very blessed to have you all with us. Courtney
Kurt & Courtney
47 year old
Great Health prior to dx
Dx on 1/29/07
PSA 4.1
Gleason 3+3=6, both lobes
Stage T2c, I believe
Tumor involves 20% of cores, both lobes
Live in OK
Da Vinci scheduled 3-15-07 in Austin


bluebird
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 2542
   Posted 3/11/2007 8:04 PM (GMT -7)   

Courtney & Kurt,

 

Hey ~ not sure where my post went.... but when I was looking back to see when you leave.... for Austin... I noticed my 2nd post never made it here.

 

I'm sure you've already got your bags packed and ready to go!!!!  But thought I'd throw this out for you.

 

You guys have been a pleasure to walk with and we so look forward to continuing this journey with you.

Keep right on posting until you walk out the door... tongue    We are "all" here for you!!!

 

Courtney.... I chose to stay in the room and I even took my pj's.  Changed into them and slept when Buddy slept and never felt drained.  Most important thing is ~ you take care of you too!!!!!!!  Eat & Sleep... is a must!  yeah

 

We are keeping you extra close to our hearts.... Remembering the walk we walked and smile with the memories of each as we read new postings. 

 

In Friendship ~ Lee & Buddy

 

(direct link ~ just click on the title!  Reminder to click on the REFRESH icon once there)

Our Journey ~ Sharing is Caring

 

Excerpt from  Our Journey ~ Sharing is Caring

 

Items to have on hand before surgery:

Head Brace:  I took 2 very soft ankle socks and stuffed them with soft material. The pillows in the hospital are really not very good.  I placed them on the sides of Buddy's head so when he slept his neck was not strained, as his head would roll to the side.  This really helped!! 

Leg Lotion: I massaged Buddy's calves.  It really seemed to help him after the pressure cuffs were taken off. 

Blanket: Used while I slept in the chair at the hospital.

Neck Pillow:  Used while I slept in the chair at the hospital and Buddy continues to use it today while recovering in his new lounge chair J  Helps relax his body while he reads.  It was a lifesaver coming home from the hospital too!

Lounge Chair:  We bought 2 and they were the best investment!!  One that allows you to lean back.  This helps keep pressure off the incision.

Donut Pillow: Used when sitting at the computer (not in the lounge chair)… this really helps take the pressure off.  We have since…found that placing a soft pillow over the donut gives it an extra soft cushion.

Prescriptions: Ask doctor for “all” prescriptions ahead of time so you have them at home before you head out the door for surgery.  (Pain med, stool softener, bladder spasm, antibiotics, etc.)

 

BE PREPARED:  Coming home with a catheter?

 

see link for more information... :-)


mama bluebird - Lee & Buddy… from North Carolina

Link to our personal journey…>>>     Our Journey ~ Sharing is Caring 

April 3, 2006  53 on surgery day

RRP / Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy with "wide excision"

PSA 4.6   Gleason  3+3=6    T2a   Confined to Prostate

2nd PSA 02-06-2007 Less than 0.1 Non-Detectable :)


Dutch
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 400
   Posted 3/12/2007 5:37 PM (GMT -7)   

Kurt & Courtney:

 

Safe travels.  Next it will be traveling down

the recovery road.

 

Best wishes,

Dutch


Diagnosed Feb 2001  (Age 65)  Currently 71
PSA 4.8
Gleason 3 + 3 = 6
T2b
Completed Proton therapy @ Loma Linda - Aug 2001
5yr PSA   0.17
Have had no side effects.


TonyB
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 3/13/2007 4:42 AM (GMT -7)   
Best wishes! :-)

norskie
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 376
   Posted 3/13/2007 8:27 AM (GMT -7)   
Kziz

Good luck and best wishes for a great out come with your surgery this week. It will be over before you know it and you will be long on your way to recovery. It was 9 weeks ago today I had the Da Vinci and I can't belive how fast that time has went.

norskie
norskie
Age 49, PSA 6.22 on 9-26-06
Biopsy 11-01-06, 2 of 13 cores 10% cancer, 2 other cores abnormal Up-dated 20% prostate cancerous
Gleason score 3+3=6 After Pathology report 3+4=7 some agressive 5 cells found
Da Vinci surgery 01-09-07 UW Madison
Pathology Report- cancer 100 % capsual contained 1-18-07
Catheter removed 1-18-07 suffered bladder spasms Catheter reattached 1-18-07
Catheter removed 2nd time 1-24-07
1st Post PSA Blood Test Scheduled for 3-22-07 


djhouston
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 68
   Posted 3/13/2007 9:04 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Folks,
Have an easy and safe trip, and best wishes for a comfortable recovery. We're with you.
dj
dj's stats:
PSA (10/04): 2.9; PSA (2/06):4.4, on Androgel (serum T about 450) at age 56; negative DRE, no symptoms.
PSA (5/06):5.7 with a free PSA% of 8, OFF Androgel (serum T 163). 
Biopsy (5/06): 4/12 samples positive; postitive samples only on right side; max Gleason 4+3=7 (in 2 of the 4 -from area nearest bladder.
DaVinci robotic-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy + bladder lift + Right nerve plastic surgery (8/23/06).
Catheter out 4 weeks postop, due to internal pinhole leak at bladder-urethra junction.
Final pathology report:T2c-both sides,but in capsule; neg. margins, neg. lymph nodes, neg. seminal vesicles; final max Gleason still 4+3=7.
Follow-up PSA (11/06): <0.008; serum T: 195 OFF Androgel (at present).

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