Our walk with PCa has been helped greatly from this forum. I thought I would give a bit of our story so far. This account is 2 weeks post-op.
My husband Tim, is 57. His PSAs have always been in the low range, so we have never really worried about it. Last fall it was 6.4. His primary care doc suggested he see a urologist. The uro suggested a biopsy, but offered Tim an option of waiting 3 months and take another PSA to see if the numbers would decline. We waited. After 3 months it did fall, but not enough at 5.8. A biopsy was not negotiable now. Results were 2 of 12 samples positive, Gleason 3+3=6. We were shocked to hear he had prostate cancer. Now we had to get a crash course on this dreaded disease. This is where this friendly forum comes into the picture. I started reading up on the members in this forums account of what they've been through. It gave us hope, encouragement and information.
After we had *the talk* with the urologist/surgeon, his best recommendation was surgery or radiation seeds. He suggested we make an appointment with a radiologist to discuss their treatment. We never got that far, as surgery was the option Tim (and I) wanted from the get-go because he wanted the beast out of his body...... And as soon as possible.
Tim wanted to have the open procedure because of what our urologist/surgeon and others have said about getting the feel of the prostate. Our choice was enhanced by the fact that the hospital that it would be preformed at was just 1/2 mile from our house. Our urologist/surgeon has done DAVinci surgery but it isn't available at the hospital of our choice. Tim's urologist/surgeon is very knowledgeable about prostate cancer, but does not have a ton of open procedures under his belt. His assistant however, did. We felt confident that we wanted them to do the surgery. So, the next step was to arrange for the soonest date to have it done. Feb. 13, 2007 was to be the big day.
Tim was nervous, but ready. Surprisingly, he didn't have to do any bowel prep the night before. Just a fast.
The surgery went without a hitch. Textbook prostatectomy. Very low loss of blood.
Surgeon says he thinks he got it all.
Recovery was normal. He used the morphine pump often on the first night, but the pain was never overwhelming. He used it less and less the next day until he was only on oral pain meds. He did have a few minor bladder spasms. He was given the okay for discharge after the second night if he wished, but chose to stay a third night just to be on the safe side.
Back at home it didn't take long to get adjusted to the catheter. Tim used the leg bag the whole time by choice, getting up at night a few times to empty it. He had trouble sleeping with it being so restrictive and it basically was a nuisance. He was glad when it came time to have it removed 13 days after surgery. Removal was not painful.
Continence is not a big issue. So far Tim has stayed dry at night from the first night (still getting up during the night, tho). During the day is an occasional dribble. He uses one pad a day cut in half. He is trying to get back that familiar urge to know when it's time to go. He is practicing his Kegals.
Tim is tired at times but feels 70% after 2 weeks. We never got the prescription for Vicodin filled. Just over the counter meds as needed and only used the first 2 days at home (for unrelated headaches). There is soreness where the prostate used to be. Every day he feels better. The incision is healing well.
The pathology results surprised the urologist. 50% of the prostate had cancer. The Gleason stayed the same.
Over all, we are surprise that, so far, this is not the nightmare we thought it was going to be when we first got the bad news. We took it one step at a time. The decisions fell into place and we didn't look back.
We still have the future PSA's to be concerned about but we are hopeful that this was indeed caught early and it is over and done with. It helps to have a ton of people praying for us as well. We will move on. Life is good.