Hello everyone. I thought it time for an update, partly for my own piece of mind and partly for those that will follow looking for what to expect. Let's see, I felt like I have done every test known to man..being stuck, prodded, irradiated, photographed from every angle etc. That's OK, I thought that was the case when I had my first deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, but unfortunately discovered that wasnt' the case.
Most of the tests were pretty routine except fo the MRI with endorectal coil. The coil stuff immediately makes one feel uncomfortable, doesn't it. This was well warranted when the specialist conducting the test starts by saying that this will be at least less uncomfortable than the biopsy I had. I replied that I guess that means that he is to administer local anaesthia and that the procedure will be over in less than 10 minutes....well not quite. No anaesthesia and what he told me was going to take 20 minutes seemed more like forever was the result.
At any rate, all of the tests indicated as best they can tell that my cancer is contained within the prostate....hurrah!. Unfortunately, the cancer being shown in 6 out of the 12 samples on one side and up against the capsule wall means that a good part of one nerve will have to go. Well, I guess one out of two is beter than none. Incontinence was my biggest fear and I was told that that should not be a problem....we'll see.
The interesting thing is that my local urologist had done a couple of RALPs while I was going through the tests and in so doing his recommendation for treatment had changed from LRP to RALP. For those of you not used to these acronyms, he now was recommending DaVinci. As he started to describe his reasoning, I told him that he had me at hello (reference movie Jerry McGuire). In other words, that's what I wanted in the first place after fairly extensive research.
He then recommended one Costas Lallas out of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philly as he knew I was after a doctor with lots of experience in that procedure. THUH is rated way up there in terms of urology in US News and World report, which I admit might not be the defacto standard for best hospitals, but none the less made me feel comfortable. The two guys I had tried to schedule elsewhere couldn't even see me until June. Through my urologist's connections, I got a consult the same week and am now scheduled for surgery 5/29 several weeks before the other two recommended could even see me for an initial consult. THUH did the first robotic surgery in the Philly area. Lallas just does DaVinci and seemed a straight up guy. I doubt that anyone has used him on this forum, but if they have, would appreciate feedback.
One word of wisdom here, which may not be a big deal. Only two hospitals here use the MRI with endorectal coil, University of Penn (which my local urologist is affiliated with) and Fox Chase. My guy at Thomas Jefferson doesn't feel like it really tells him a lot and certainly doesn't change his strategy for surgery as cancer penetration outside the prostate at this stage is typcially microscopic and not detectable. I tell everyone this not because maybe you could avoid the discomfot, but because I had to wait for the biopsy to heal before undergoing the ordeal and probably could have scheduled surgery earlier. My local urologist countered by telling me that he had a patient that showed cancer of the bladder with the MRI, which way changed his treatment recommendations. The only other thing that irriated me was that the tests showed that I showed signs of degenerative arthritis at the bottom of my spine. In inquiring what I could really do about
that, my oncologist...who is also my hematologist for the blood clot issue let me know basically nothing as I work out regularly and can't take aspirin as I am on blood thinners....hello why tell me, but doctor's feel obligated to do that it seems.
So now I am a month out from surgery, not having had any surgery more drastic than a tonsilectomy when I was in my early twenties...that was major trama by the way, but Demerol fixed that problem and a couple of weeks later was back to normal. So begins the waiting game. I have worked out continually for most of my life, so am stepping up my workout regimen and have read the Kegel procedures and am starting them today.
PS. I think I might just shoot the next person who tells me that they hear of all the cancers to contract, that prostate is one of the better ones to get and I haven't even had the surgery. Can anyone relate to that?
Gleason: 3 + 4
Cancer in 6 out of 12 samples
RALF Scheduled: 5/29/07
Post Edited (survivor_wannabee) : 4/30/2007 3:53:15 PM (GMT-6)