Ideas to not worry, be happy?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 293
   Posted 9/25/2007 8:48 AM (GMT -6)   
Two weeks from today I will be having the Da vinci surgery, I have read lots of the latest books, most of the threads on this web site, searched the web, and as a result I'm suffering from TMI, too much information! We love our Doc, and feel 99% comfortable with the decision, but the waiting since the end of July has been bad. I know the results will be up to the Lord and the Pac Man operator across the room. How do some of you push the thought of the upcoming cancer operation out of your minds?    Beachbum50
Age 52
PSA 10
Gleason 3+3 = 6
CAT scan clear
Bone Scan clear
Di Vinci set for 12:30 on 10/09/07

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 152
   Posted 9/25/2007 9:09 AM (GMT -6)   
I had a week of vaction prior to my surgery to help get my mind off it, but other than that I stayed busy with my wife and kid's. I was so busy tying up loose ends at work and such I didn't really think about it too much. When I did think about my surgery I just talked about it with family or friends and they would help ease my mind. The DiVinci surgery is a breeze so try not to worry too much. You will do great just relax and take care of yourself.
Age 44
PSA 4.8
Gleason 3+3=6
Biopsy - 3 of 12 (2@20% / 1@80%
Da Vinci 7/31/07 @ Duke
2.5 hr. surgery, released from Duke with in 14 hrs.
Saved both nerve bundles. 
Foley out 8/10/08
Positive Pathology Report 
Near left side nerve bundle
New Gleason 7
Oncology visit in the near future for radiation
Back to work 3 weeks following surgery - Sales
9/13/07 - 1 Post PSA Undetectable less than 0.1 
9/17/07 - Pad Free! 

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 60
   Posted 9/25/2007 9:59 AM (GMT -6)   
kdnole has it right. Family is the best answer.

Prostate surgery is a breeze. Post surgery can be a chore, so it is important to be prepared to rest. If you have questions, ask here. Having caring loved ones to handle everything else will help tremendously.

Stay away from the web, or I should say all the "statistics". HealingWell is the place to be. LOTS of positive folks here.
Age: 57 (49 when diagnosed)
PSA 100+ 3/1999
Biopsy 03/1999
Bone Scan and CT negative 4/1999
Radical prostatectomy and bladder neck removed 04/19/1999
HT - 05/1999 (Lupron every 3 months for 9 months)
RT - 16/1995
PSA 0.0-0.2 until 2001
Casodex 150mg 2001 until 2006
Casodex 100mg 2006-present
PSA 0.4-0.6 2001-2007

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1015
   Posted 9/25/2007 10:34 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi beachbum,

My wife used to have to pull me away from the computer because I would study too much and get overwhelmed (that's the engineer in me). 

You have a big positive step coming up soon, which is your own, personal first step to healing!  It will be over so quickly, you won't believe it!  My da Vinci surgery went very, very well.  I know everyone is different, but you have an excellent chance of having a good experience like most of us here.  Once you're done with your surgery, you feel good that you've done something for yourself that gives you extra time with your loved ones and friends.  Remember that all that studying is about statistics and those stats are not you.  You are in the driver's seat and will make your own history.

I'm looking forward to hear some great things about you, following the surgery.

I wish you all the best!



Da Vinci Surgery July 31, 2007… 54 on surgery day
PSA 4.3  Gleason 3+3=6  T2a  Confined to Prostate

PSA 0.04 (undetectable) 9/11/2007

Web site:


Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 626
   Posted 9/25/2007 12:01 PM (GMT -6)   

The upcoming surgery will be on your mind and there is not anything that will take it off of it but there are things that make it less mindboggling. As others mention be open about it with family and friends. If you try to ignore it then you just become more anxious. I had four focused activities that I did prior to surgery that helped me.

1. Spiritual peace. Praying and interacting with my church members.
2. Physical readiness. I concentrated a lot on getting my body in as good a shape as I
could for the surgery. I walked 5 miles a day everyday.
3. Brain Exercise. My wife got me several Soduko puzzle books and I found that doing these
at night helped take my mind off of the surgery.
4. Networking. This forum, when I found it, filled my hunger for information and connection to
other victims. The knowledge and support received here was like a comforting quilt and I
no longer had that feeling of being alone.

I will admit that the last week prior to the surgery was tough for me. More so that I had never had surgery before then from the prostate cancer. I believe that due to this surgery phobia when I woke up in recovery and had no pain I was so thrilled that I was talking to the nurses and feeling really good. That euphoria continued for the next couple of days.

Good luck!!

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
Undetectable PSA on 6/25/07

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 823
   Posted 9/25/2007 6:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Beachbum50.

If you have everything ready, find other ways to occupy your mind. There have been some good suggestions here. I took no time off work before the surgery but I have seen some people take a good vacation. I had my family and friends around me on the day of surgery. We even walked across the street to the hospital together and they walked with me as far as the hospital would allow. Prayer is a good thing too. I talked with the Dr's and nurses and was very comfortable when I was taken into surgery and even joked with them. It does you no good to cry at that point.

Take care. It will be over with soon and you can get on with the rest of your life. Let us know if we can offer more support for you or your family.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 741
   Posted 9/25/2007 8:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Do all that you can to help yourself. Diet, exercise, learning, whatever. The rest is beyond your control, so Try to ignore it. Not so easy, but practice helps.


August of 2006, PSA up to 4.2 from 2.7 one year ago. 
October free and total PSA 12% free and 5.0 total.
A month, or so later, 4.7.
Late in the year decide on Image Guided IMRT.
Begin 43 treatments on January 23, 2007 and finish on March 23.
Four month post treatment PSA is 1.9.  (This is a very good result.)
No side, or after effects.  None.
I have aged a year and am now 63.  How did that happen?

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 152
   Posted 9/25/2007 8:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Beach, one more thing. The day of surgery you'll be fine because you are going to be so darn hungry you will be begging for the Dr.'s to hurry things up so you can eat. My surgery was at 5:00 p.m. and after the bowel prep the day before and not eating for two days I was ready to go medieval on some of the people in the waiting room just to get a granola bar.
Also, seeing your screen name is beachbum - go to the beach, it definitely helped me.     
Age 44
PSA 4.8
Gleason 3+3=6
Biopsy - 3 of 12 (2@20% / 1@80%
Da Vinci 7/31/07 @ Duke
2.5 hr. surgery, released from Duke with in 14 hrs.
Saved both nerve bundles. 
Foley out 8/10/08
Positive Pathology Report 
Near left side nerve bundle
New Gleason 7
Oncology visit in the near future for radiation
Back to work 3 weeks following surgery - Sales
9/13/07 - 1 Post PSA Undetectable less than 0.1 
9/17/07 - Pad Free! 

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 338
   Posted 9/25/2007 9:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Excellent, excellent comments, especially regarding the hardships of war.  I thought the same when reading "The Greatest Generation".  I hate to follow that with a lightweight question, but I actually was wondering what would be an appropriate first meal after surgery, considering the condition of the system at that point.  I suppose that the decision will be made for me in the hospital, but what should I plan on eating when I get home?  I understand about no straining, but you wouldn't want to overdo it in the other direction either.  Based on past experience and a little experimentation we will figure it out I guess.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 9/25/2007 10:03 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi BeachBum

        I can relate very well to your post - my surgery is Oct 22d. I am going through the same thought process. Although I have been through surgery before (shoulders/knees) - I am looking at this surgery much differently as I should. Here is what I am doing. I work every day and will do so up to day of surgery - it really keeps me occupied and realizing that we must and will go on with our lives after surgery. I am watching my diet and working out to be in the best possible shape to help me through the surgery and recovery. Exercise is also a good way to relax and helps me find peace of mind. Most importantly, is attitude - like everything else in life - "this too will pass" - this surgery is to help us treat and beat our condition. Being positive and "believing" in your decision, surgeon and the Lord is what keeps me going. I like what TAMU and the others had to say - this Forum is the best. Beachbum  you will be fine - I look forward to trading stories with you post surgery.


Gleason 6 (3+3) - PSA-2.7 - T2a - Age 66
Diagnosed July 23, 2007
Da Vinci surgery scheduled - Oct 22, 2007

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 293
   Posted 9/27/2007 10:32 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi CPB, looks like I will meet the robot before you, so I will give you a report as soon as I can when I get home. To anyone that knows me, I have been rock steady about the diagnosis and decisions on treatment. 90% of the time I am fine with it, its the other 10% that can jolt me! This forum has really been great to vent a little of the subliminal fear that I don't want to put on my wonderful wife or friends. At 52, I seem to be the first in a rather large circle of friends to have PCa, so I guess I will become a teacher/preacher of men's health issues! I always fear for myself, but how things could affect my family. Having PCa is what it is, and I look forward to beginning to remove it and putting it behind me, one step at a time. Thanks to all of you for your thoughts and prayers.


PSA 10



Bone scan Normal

Cat scan Normal

Di Venci for 10/09/07 12:30 PM

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 338
   Posted 9/28/2007 7:10 PM (GMT -6)   
I'll just be five days before you so I'll let you know how it goes.  I've received great answers to all of my questions so far except why they call it Davinci, but who cares as long as Robbie does a good job.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 818
   Posted 9/28/2007 8:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello Beachbum,

Think of something to reward yourself with after the surgery. This will be a positve goal to look foward too, and a cause for celebration. I wanted a big BBQ rib dinner w/all the fixings. Those were the best ribs I ever ate.

Diagnosed at age 60
PSA went from 2.2 to 3.8 in 14 months
2 of 14 cores positive at 10%
Gleason 6(3+3), negative DRE, neg. margins
DaVinci surgery on 02/23/06
Last PSA 08/26/07 @ 18 months "0"

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 1219
   Posted 9/28/2007 9:18 PM (GMT -6)   

It is a life (sanity) saver to be able to come to this site and "talk" freely about anything.

I really can't add anything to the great advice already given by the wonderful members here.

I just wanted to say that I'll be thinking of you and I'm sure you'll be ready to hit the beach again before too long!

All the best,
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
3 mo. PSA Post LRP Surgery: 11.8, 12.9, 13.9 Bone scan, CT scan, Endorectal MRI, Chest XR - neg.
09/06/06: 6 mo. PSA: 18.8 Distant lymph node involvement Start HT Lupron 3 mo. shots
12/06/06: PSA 0.8
03/07/07: PSA 0.3
06/06/07: PSA 0.1
09/05/07: PSA 0.1

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 448
   Posted 9/28/2007 11:16 PM (GMT -6)   


Things I did to chill the last week:

1. prayer...  from church, home groups, and family/friends...  and personal prayer and devotional time

2. a one hour massage

3. a nice dinner out with the wife...  also with some great wine

4. exercise walking/hiking and kegles...

5. getting books and games for post-op

6. ... and watched a lot of texas hold'em poker and deadliest catch TV...  :-) 


And for gtmrivera... (why called da Vinci?)

I do love google...  :-)

Q. Why is the product called the da Vinci® Surgical System?

A. The product is called "da Vinci" in part because Leonardo da Vinci invented the first robot. He also used unparalleled anatomical accuracy and three-dimensional details to bring his masterpieces to life. The da Vinci Surgical System similarly provides physicians with such enhanced detail and precision that the System can simulate an open surgical environment while allowing operation through tiny incisions.

P.S. The surgery really is a snap!  And many folks who you may not even know will be praying for you...  :-)

God Bless,




Age 59 y/o - Last 3-4 years of annual general health checkups - PSA 5-6
3/13/2007 - 12 point biopsy - Left 0/6  Right 1/6 Gleason 3+3 Diagnosed as T1c
4/24/2007 - DaVinci performed at Virginia Mason hospital in Seattle
5/2/2007 - Catheter Out! Final pathology of Gleason 6  T2c Nx Mx,   approx 20% of prostate involved, positive margin, but only at 2 focal points.  
6/28/2007 9 weeks post-op incontinance... Overnite, went from 4-6 soaked pads a day from prev 8 weeks to 2 barely wet pads a day.
7/12/2007 11 weeks post-op  Minimal leakage...  one small pad a day
7/18/2007 First Post-Op PSA...  0.01 !!! 
7/30/2007 ED improved to about 60% erection and "functional". Only using 50mg Viagra generic every 2-3 days.
9/10/2007 Ran out of pads one day and had no dribbles all day...  Now pad free. :-)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 242
   Posted 9/29/2007 8:08 AM (GMT -6)   
Beachbum, as usual, you've received some great advice here. I was very fortunate in that I had a very supportive wife, and had my three sisters, mother and father travel 1,000 miles to be here with me for my surgery. We had a big cookout on both Saturday and Sunday before my surgery on Monday and that helped tremendously. Just to give you hope for a successful surgery, I never had any gas pains, bladder spasms or took any pain pills. In fact, my surgeon called me the "poster boy for DaVinci surgery." Stay positive, you're going to be just fine. See you on the other side, brother.
Age: 49
Diagnosed: March 25, 2007
PSA: 3.0
Biopsy: Gleason 6, 5 out of 12 core samples positive for cancer with <5% on all 5. Staged at T1c
DaVinci Surgery: May 21, 2007 at Florida Hospital, Orlando. Surgery took 1 hour and 45 minutes. According to my surgeon, prostate peeled away nicely and everything went text book. Nerves spared.
Pathology Report: Upgraded to Gleason 7 (3+4), Negative margins, seminal vesicles negative, no capsular penetration, lymph nodes left intact, 15% of prostate involved by cancer.
1st Post-op PSA: <0.01
2nd Post-op PSA: Scheduled September 27, 2007.
Continence: Out of pads 5 weeks post-op. Still have some minor stress incontinence from time to time but it's not an issue.
Erections: Yes! With the assistance of Cialis.
Family History: Father diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1997 at age 67. Prostate removed and has had a <0.1 PSA ever since.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 2542
   Posted 10/6/2007 6:47 PM (GMT -6)   

I’m a little late sending this due to traveling and now getting caught up with all the Newbies who have come to us…  We are sure glad you found us when you did.

After reading all of your thread/postings… you’ve truly found your way around!  That’s a really good thing!   It’s never to late to receive a warm fuzzy “hug”… so here’s yours!!


  tongue   Hi  ~ Beachbum  & Loved Ones,


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