Any last minute advice?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 66
   Posted 5/8/2007 8:13 AM (GMT -6)   
Curt's surgery is Friday. Does anyone have any last minute advice for us?

Thanks to all of you for being here!

Age 52
Diagnosed 2/19/07
10 of 24 cores positive
Gleason 3+3=6
DaVinci Prostatectomy scheduled for May 11, 2007
Stage: T2a
Father and uncle had prostate cancer

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 5/8/2007 8:42 AM (GMT -6)   

Vicky and Curt,

I think you are both ready and know what to expect but please speak out and ask questions of the physicians if you do not understand.  Vicky, you will be the one that has to listen closely as Curt may not remember what he is told as he may be foggy.

I wish you both peace.  My prayers will be offered for you. 

A wise man once said:

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other one thing.
Abraham Lincoln, 16th US president

You will make this procedure successful and healing.
Gentle Hugs
RN CCRN, Critical Care and Emergency Department Manager for 26 years.
Depression 25 years, Husband Crohns Disease 30 years
My Father and 5 siblings all died of Cancer. It is a subject close to my heart to help people with Cancer.
"If you doubt you can accomplish something, then you can’t accomplish it. You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through.”
Rosalyn Carter

Cedar Chopper
Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 432
   Posted 5/8/2007 9:42 AM (GMT -6)   

Curt & Vicky,

I've had many surgeries involving general anesthesia.  I feel the two most important things are:

  • Get up and walk (with catheter & IV) ASAP.  A little more each time - several times a day.  Keep walking daily until you are back to yourself again.
  • Start drinking a lot of water as soon as the doctor allows it.  The more you drink for the next several months the better (except maybe when you get the catheter pulled and you want to learn the "new discipline..."), as drinking more water will help flush the anesthesia out of your system.  I feel a subtle mental grogginess for several months after general anesthesia - but then I get drunk on one beer..... :->

I agree with Kitt.  It always helps to have a family member in the hospital room to be there when the physician comes in.    While they are there they can also: answer the phone, empty the foley bag, help reach for items, and generally put the nursing staff's mind at ease as they focus on their tasks. 

(Kitt, I enjoy your quotes.  Thanks for the encouraging words! tongue   They mean a lot to me.)

Keeping you in good thoughts.  ICTHUS


2 Years of PSA between 4 and 5.5
Biopsy 23DEC06 
Only 5 percent cancer in one of 8 samples.
Gleeson 3+3=6
Radical Prostatectomy 16FEB07 at age 54.
1+" tumor - touching inside edge of gland.
Texas Hill Country
FRESH Produce Department Manager
Have you had your 5 colors today?

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 94
   Posted 5/8/2007 9:43 AM (GMT -6)   
Vicky and Curt

First Good luck as to any last minute advice. Bring patience, a sense of humor and understanding. If it Goes for you like it went for me you won't even think a second has gone by and it will be over. I'm sure you will get through it with flying colors. Once you get home gets some good reading material and movies to watch daytime TV is the pits. for vicky get something to eat during the operation and get some sleep he will need you at your best and this is just as stressful on you as it is on him. My wife was as good as gold and I'm very grateful she was there.

Once again good luck

Age: 48
Diagnosed: 02/19/07
PSA: 4.5
Gleason: 3+3=6
Surgery: April 09, 2007
Path results: 7% of prostate involved.  Margins clean 3+3=6
catheder to be removed April 19 07.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 411
   Posted 5/8/2007 11:18 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Vickie and Curt,

Keep a notebook handy-for keeping notes and those "last-minute" questions that pop-up so you remember to ask everything at discharge, etc.

I brought a book, but just ended up just reading the same paragraph over and over. So maybe bring some of your own magazines (then can leave behind for others in the waiting room). The ones in the waiting room aren't always that great. I wish I would have brought a few of my own magazines, because I couldn't really focus on the plot line of my book and reading three issues of "pregancy and health" is kinda useless when THAT ain't gonna be happening :).

I would definitely recommend picking up your post-surgery meds beforehand, if you haven't already.

All our best wishes and postive thoughts are with you!

Tanya and Ken
Age: 63
Diagnosed: 10/30/06
PSA: 3.7 (2005: 3.4, 2004: 4.0)
Biopsy: 1/10 cancerous, 5% of one core, right apex.
Gleason: 3+3=6
Da Vinci: April 10, 2007
Path results: 1% of prostate involved. Very small tumors on both right and left apex. Negative margins, negative seminal vessicles, lymph nodes left intact. Gleason upgraded 3+4=7.
1st PSA Scheduled: May 10, 2007

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1732
   Posted 5/8/2007 2:46 PM (GMT -6)   
No advise For you Curt and Vicky but thoughts and prayers are with you both for a safe surgery and a wonderful outcome.

God Bless, Vickie / Paul

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 1219
   Posted 5/8/2007 2:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Curt & Vicky,

I'm sure you're mostly prepared.

One thing I think is helpful...meditate in whatever way you feel comfortable with. Be still, do slow, deep breathing and focus on what brings you joy. No, it's not always easy and takes some practice but it's well worth it.

We'll be thinking of you and looking for your good outcome.

Husband Diagnosed 11/17/05 Age: 63 No Symptoms
PSA: 7.96, Positive DRE
Biopsy Right: 6 of 6 Cores Positive Biopsy Left: 1 of 6 Cores Positive
Gleason: 4+3 = 7 Stage: T2B N0 MX
2/09/06: LRP Restage: T3A NX MX
3 mo. PSA Post Surgery: 11.8, 12.9, 13.9 Bone scan, CT scan, Endorectal MRI, Chest XR - neg.
9/06/06: 6 mo. PSA: 18.8 CT shows distant lymph node involvement Start HT Lupron 3 mo. shots
12/06/06: PSA 0.8
03/07/07 - PSA 0.3

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 114
   Posted 5/8/2007 2:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey guys- I had my surgery last friday the 4th. My only advice is to be patient and do what the nurses tell you. Dont be shy of the pain meds. and relaize its gonna take a little while to get to 100%. I wish you speedy recovery god bless. Peace Pete
Diagnosed 1/26/07
Stage Tc1
Gleason 6
PSA 3.8
12 samples, positive in one 15%
Age 51
Surgery (robotic) scheduled for May 4 2007 City of Hope

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 626
   Posted 5/8/2007 5:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Curt & Vicky,

I am sure that you have already read all of the post about what to have with you. If you can get as much rest as possible before Friday, actually before Thursday. The prep and anxiety kept me up all night before surgery and the night after surgery there was too much going on to sleep so I just got up and walked all night. The third night though I slept like a baby.

I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers on Friday.

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
Began injections in April '07

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 448
   Posted 5/8/2007 7:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Curt & Vicky,

All the above is great advice... I only remember being wheeled into the operating room and then waking up in the recovery room. Avis always wanted to be by my bedside, and I really had to talk her into going to the cafeteria and getting something to eat. As we were 40 miles away from home, we had also rented a room in a hotel attached to the hospital for two nights.. the night before the operation and the second nite so Avis would have a quiet place to sleep. I sent her to the room around 10pm. Vicky, take good care of yourself in both eating and sleeping to stay healthy and alert... as that will enable you to give the best support you can to Curt!

I was pretty awake the nite after the operation, with all the hospital noises from the hall and somebody across the hall having a tough time coughing all night. The 2am nurse partially shut the room door and then I got some good sleep. I would have asked this earlier if I knew it could be done. I also lucked out by being the only person in a double room. I also never read any of the books I brought. In and out so fast, I never had time too!

We had a 6:30 pre-surgery chenk-in, operation started at 8:30-8:40, recovery room at 11:10am. I had got up and walked around at 7pm and 11pm the night after the operation and again at 8am the next day. Doctor's assistants came by at aropund 7am and the doctor at 8am to check in on how I was doing. We were discharged at 11:30am and drove home.

Make sure you get some good directions and training from the nurses on the catheter bag... How to support/fasten, how much fluids you should be passing, what problems to watch out for. They had a "catheter instruction sheet" for checkout, and we just added our other notes and answers to our questions to it so it was all in one place. They should give you a leg bag and "big" bag for night. I never did like the leg bag and used the big bag all the time. I would near fill a 2 liter big bag over a long night, so we bought a 4 liter bag ($12) at a pharmacy for uninterupted sleep. We also bought some velcro style straps that minimized the taping we had to do/redo. And lubrication for the end of the penis as the catheter will move in/out a little while walking.

As mentioned above, it is good to get your go home prescriptions early... pain killer and stool softeners... I had Percoset (sp) which was tylenol and oxy-codeine (sp?) for pain and Ducoset (sp?) for stool softener (while taking narcotic pain killers)... I switched to plain Tylenol after 3-4 days home.

And it is handy to have a small pillow around to hold tightly against your stomach in case you need to sneeze, cough, or laugh!!!

Take care and wishing you the best...

God Bless!

Ray & Avis
Age 59 y/o
Last 3-4 years of annual general health checkups - PSA 5-6 but Free PSA Ratio 21-24%, suggesting "benign" so I did not seek immediate followup urologist referral
3/7/2007 - Went to urologist -No DRE abnormalities but scheduled screening biopsy
3/13/2007 - 12 point biopsy - Left OK  Right Core Gleason 3+3
Consisting of single less than 1mm focus at tip of 1 core. Diagnosed as T1c
4/24/2007 - DaVinci performed at Virginia Mason hospital in Seattle
5/2/2007 - Catheter Out! Got copy of pathology report:
Gleason 6  T2c Nx Mx   approx 20% of prostate involved
Positive margin, but 2 places where a focal point of only 2 cells were touching edge, the right apex and right posterior. Perineural Invasion present. Seminal Vesicle and Lymphatic/Vascular not identified. Doctor was not concerned about that at all and Final Diognosis of T2c "suggests" organ confined.  Stats for no re-occurance are 96% for 5 years and 95% for 7 years. No further treatment other than PSA watch.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 883
   Posted 5/8/2007 9:44 PM (GMT -6)   
I would keep a notepad handy to have someone write down what the Dr. says when he visit's you. You can write down any questions you may have also. Make sure to get a Big cath bag to take home too. I didn't and wished I would have. Take it easy and don't rush back to doing anything. Give your body time to heal. Talk the wife (if married) into the new Hi-Def TV if you don't have one already....I did...heheheh

Good luck,

    PSA 5.7 - Discovered during Annual Physical with Family Practice Dr.
    Gleason 7
    Biopsy - 3 of 12 positive (up to 75%) all on left side of prostate
    RRP on Oct. 17, 2006 - Nerves on right side saved.
    All Lab's clear.  No Cancer outside prostate
    Cathiter in for 3 weeks due to complications in healing. Removed Nov. 9, 2006
    First Post op PSA on Dec. 11, 2006  Undetectable 0.00
    Office visit on Jan. 19th due to continued excessive urine leakage.
    Feb.20th Cystoscope and 2nd Post Op PSA. Another 0.00.....:)
    Dr. said everything looks fine.  Continue to work Kegeal's. Leaking appears to have improved  after Cystoscope?!?!?!  Down to 3-4 pads per day!
    March 1st  Leaking has crept back up to 6 - 8 pads a day ??????? 
    March 8th Started Detrol LA to see if it helps with the leaking?
    March 29th Collagen injection into sphincter / bladder neck area to control excessive leaking.  Worked for a couple of days then back to leaking.
    April 17th (Six Months Post Op) 2nd Collagen Injection to control excessive leaking.  Leaking started back next day at work!
    May 14th Second Opinion about my leaking and Options at OU Medical Center.
    May 30th Follow up and 3rd Post Op PSA

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 66
   Posted 5/9/2007 7:19 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks everyone! I'm going to make notes of your notes to put in my purse so I don't forget certain things.
We are leaving tomorrow and spending the night before surgery in the hospital hotel at Univ. of Mich.
We were both up and awake at 3:30 this morning. Ack! We're having a problem with a recliner that we bought last month specifically for Curt's recovery and have been getting the run around. I ended up blowing my stack on the phone at the furniture company yesterday. They are supposed to follow through this morning at 9:00 a.m., so I am trying to chill out. We did buy Patrick Walsh's book and I am finding a lot of useful information in that. I know now that all we can do is move forward and beyond.....
Thanks again for your support and prayers. This group has made things so much easier.
Vicky & Curt
Age 52
Diagnosed 2/19/07
10 of 24 cores positive
Gleason 3+3=6
DaVinci Prostatectomy scheduled for May 11, 2007
Stage: T2a
Father and uncle had prostate cancer

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 621
   Posted 5/9/2007 7:57 AM (GMT -6)   
Vicky & Curt - All the best to you both; you will be in our prayers and we look forward to your posts with the surgery behind you.

;o) Bob & Linda
Bob (60) had laproscopic prostate surgery on Sept 27, 2006 - 2/12 malignant biopsy samples - gleason 3 + 3 = 6. Follow up PSA results and pathology results received Nov 14th are NO MORE CANCER! Gleason changed to a 3 + 4; cancer completely confined to prostate; (even a second more aggressive, previously undetected cancer) PSA UNDETECTABLE November 2006 AND February 2007.

Bob also takes Hydroxyurea to control Polycythemia (elevated red & white cells & platelets) has secondary condition . . Myelofibrosis) -- If anyone has experience or knowledge of these, please post us

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