Post-OP info-I made it through

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James C.
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Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4463
   Posted 9/28/2007 1:46 PM (GMT -6)   
At Bluebirds suggestion, I will post this to a new topic, rather than leave it buried in the original thread.
  As you can see, I made it though to the other side.  The surgery went well, with a few surprises, but good ones.  The doc said my prostate was the largest he had ever removed.  He had to make a larger incision and do much more cutting of the supporting structures, plus I did get a right inguinal (sp) hernia repair, which has made it 3 times as sore.  lol  Good news was the urether and the bladder neck matched prefectly and was stitched easily, with what he hoped was little likehood of strictures later.  Also, he said the external spincter was already closing and trying to control the flow of urine while they were still stitching it onto the bladder neck.  The kegels and stairs must have done some good...Unless he is blowing smoke, I have an excellant chance at full recovery of function.  My recovery will be a little longer and more painful than I/we expected, but that's ok.  The removed gland showed no sign of breaking through, was smooth and still healthy looking, albit huge size.  110 grams, 2.2"x2.2"x1.75" size.  He said it was the size of a small orange, rather than the normal walnut.  I forgot to get the cc size of it.  Ultrasound at biopsy was 76cc.  If I gotta suffer, then I want the Maybe it will be in the Pathology report, which I should get Friday or Monday. The lymph nodes and seminal vessels appeared not to have anything unusual on them.  He removed 4 lymph nodes.  One thing I hadn't read about , maybe it's because mine was bigger, was gravity is a bad law in this case, as standing up allows things to drop down into what was an filled cavity, but now is open, raw and freshly cut.  That makes for some awesome pain.  He also speculated that because of it's size, it had maybe stretched the nerve bundles, because when he began the removel the bundles just fell away from the gland and he had to do little touching or moving of the nerve bundles.   lol  He said if I had gone to Vanderbilt, if they would had taken me because of the size, I would still have had to have theconventional cutting, but would have been 300 miles away from home and still cut open.  He says that if we are in pain we aren't healing as fast, so is making me take my pain medicines for pain and bladder spasms. 
I haven't ever been much to fight pain to be macho man, so I am pleased with the Percocet.
My wife is happily taking care of me, as she finally has something that she can do in my care, rather than just waiting.  She is much relieved, as I am.  I will post further details in my Journey section later... 
Just got the Post-Op pathology report.  Gleeson Score 3+3=6 (unchanged) Stage pT2c..No evidence of spread to lymph nodes or seminal vessels.....We will have a full discussion of the report when I go to get the catheter out (next Friday)
 Again, thanks for the concern, prayers and love that that was given to a stranger by bunch of stranger bound only by our shared disease..

Post not edited ~ extra white (blank) spacing at the bottom was deleted

Post Edited By Moderator (bluebird) : 9/28/2007 10:53:31 PM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 2542
   Posted 9/28/2007 4:45 PM (GMT -6)   

tongue  Hi ~ James,

Yes!!  This posting above...originally posted to Group Hugs for JamesC... Surgery Day ~ September 24th, 2007 definitely needed to be on a thread started by you!!!!  Thank you!   :-)  


Helping to keep this “Journey” together!!  :)  Threads started by James *James C.

08-23-07  Journey- James C.

09-02-07  Kegels and stairs and such

09-20-07  Question about wearing a catheter bag

08-29-07  Alright - a challenge (and opportunity) for you folks to support HW


v      bluebird ~  Moderator for Prostate Cancer Forum  : )

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 448
   Posted 9/28/2007 11:32 PM (GMT -6)   


Great to hear you are on the other side and in good shape!  Now you and your wife can jointly work on the recovery phase...  Remember that Mr. Hang is your friend for the next week, but he may get grouchy or ornery a few times...

Remember, do not let any funny friends visit you and do not watch comedies for the next week...  Unless you have a pillow to squeeze against your stomach...  :-)

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. :-)

Post not edited ~ extra white (blank) spacing between name & signature has been deleted :)

Post Edited By Moderator (bluebird) : 9/28/2007 10:51:03 PM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1015
   Posted 9/28/2007 11:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi James,
Thanks for making this a new post and congatulations on your pathology report.  Good news!!!
I wish you the very best in your near term recovery and we're looking for a log of good things from you in the future.
All the best,

"Idaho" ~ Barry


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

1st PSA 0.04 (undetectable) 9/11/2007

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 242
   Posted 9/29/2007 7:55 AM (GMT -6)   
Grand news, James! Glad the surgery went well. Now that you're on the other side, remember the two Ps- Patience and Perseverance!
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 Apr 2007
Total Posts : 823
   Posted 9/30/2007 5:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi James. Glad to see you on the other side. Now just don't overdo it and take care of yourself. Keep us informed on your recovery.


James C.
Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4463
   Posted 10/1/2007 3:47 PM (GMT -6)   

Just a short update.  I am recovering from the recovery now.  I have been with a low grade fever (99.2 ave. ) since I was discharged.  Saturday was my worse day/night.  I really got sick Sat. night and had a miserable night.  I had reach a state where I chilled almost all the time, and I didn't have enough strength to take the string from a small kitten.   Sunday I decided to change my approach, and dropped the pain meds, the bladder spasm pills, the stool softner and added a Cipro antibiotic to the other kind I was already on, along with ibuprofin in place of extra strength Tylenol.  This made a big change in things, the ibuprofin really helped to gain control of the fever, the extra antibiotic seems to be working now.  The first few days back, I felt bloated, swelled, and "hot" in my abdomen and that all seemed to go away within a day.  I also wasn't sleeping well, wrestling with that bag and waking to make sure I hadn't tangled in it.  Sunday I switched to the leg bag, for once properly adjusted, and slept with it last night, my first good nights sleep since before surgery.  It's my 3rd day without Percocet, or any of the others, my fever is gone for 24 hrs now, but I am still hot flashing and sweating periodically.  (What gives with that?)  I began a more strenous walking schedule and have walked until I am really tired today.  MY appetite had also been off, I usaully and first for seconds, but was unable to take half of my firsts as the fever developed.  After the Cipro and ibuprofin kicked in yesterday afternoon, I went my Dear Wife to our favoirte Mexican resturant and got a taco sald, chips and salsa.  I figured it had been a full week of cold turky from mexican food, and maybe part of it was withdrawal, so I ate the whole thing, amazing myself and all around me.  The more I ate, the better my appetite became.  I sorta suspected I might pay for that last night, but it didn't bother me, I slept like a baby, and woke this morning to a new day.  cool

I still have to fight the cathater until 1030am Friday morning, but it is finally tolerable, and I am sticking with the leg bag.  The hot flashes continue, without any fever though.  All in all I am a very different man than I was Sunday morning.  Sorry this isn't the classic "I had the surgery and then 3rd day played the front nine" story.  yeah

James C. 
Help support the forums so they can support you: 
Age 60 
4/19/07  PSA 7.6 , referred to Urologist
4/26/07  Urologist prescribes 3 weeks of antibiotics/anti-inflam. due to past history of Prostatis.  DRE- nothing detected but 'gross enlargement"
6/5/07    Recheck of PSA: 6.7, biopsy scheduled.
7/11/07   Biopsy- 16 core samples, ultrasound size of gland around 76 cc. Staging pT2c
7/17/07   Pathlogy report:  3 of 16 cancerous/ 5% involved, left lobe top, center, bottom, Gleason 3/3:6. 
8/3/07     Decision made for conventional RP surgery, scheduled for Sept. 24.
9/24/07  Conventional  Radical Retropubic surgery performed 
9/26/07 Post-op Path Report: Gleason unchanged 3+3=6 Staging pT2c,
Prostate 110 gms, 2.2"x2.2"x1.75"

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 60
   Posted 10/1/2007 5:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi James C.,

I might suggest elevating the head of your bed (I used two 2X4s under each bed post). It helps the catheter to drain, and might help you sleep.
Age: 57 (49 when diagnosed)
PSA 100+ 3/1999
Biopsy -positive, both nodes 03/1999
Bone Scan and CAT scan negative 4/1999
Radical prostatectomy and bladder neck removed 04/19/1999
HT - 05/1999 (Lupron every 3 months for 9 months)
RT - 6/1999
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 May 2006
Total Posts : 2542
   Posted 10/1/2007 7:47 PM (GMT -6)   
tongue  Hey ~ James…

Why in the world would you want to be the same as others!!   You are allowed to be different!  Leg bag… gutsy guy in my opinion but hey!!! that works best for you… and that is all that matters… RIGHT  : )  Just a word of caution…. Don’t allow it to back drain…..

Mexican food…. Oh my gosh!!! Eeekkkkkk…..  again ~ it works for you. 


Really glad to hear the fever broke and you’re getting some much needed sleep!!!   Thank you for sharing exactly what you did to combat it…. this will help others to know what worked for you ~ might work for them.  Again ~ it’s having the options to pick and choose what works best in each persons journey.


cool   Glad to read where you’ve stopped fighting with Mr. Hang… he has a very important job to do and it really will benefit you in the long run so “Be Nice”….  (giggle~giggle)   tongue  


As Mika stated…. When the time is right ~ a get-together would be nice.  It is a wonderful feeling for sure.  Buddy & I have had the privilege to meet and HUG….. Jim & MaryLu *Biker90, Puget, Ray & Avis *Pasayten…. And Ohhhhh what a wonderful feeling to carry with us ~ each and every~day!!!!!!!  Precious memories for sure… yeah


Now ~ continue to take care of you.  Our thoughts are with you as you move forward.  We are here with you and are so happy you are staying close!!!  In Friendship ~ Lee & Buddy

mama bluebird - Lee & Buddy… from North Carolina


v          We invite you to visit our personal thread:  Click Here:  “Our Journey” ~ Sharing is Caring 

April 3, 2006  53 on surgery day

RRP / Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy

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

3rd PSA 08-07-2007 Less than 0.1 Non-Detectable :)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 1219
   Posted 10/1/2007 7:49 PM (GMT -6)   

You had a tough weekend but seem to be getting along much better. I don't think there are too many "front 9 stories" - I know Don didn't have one!
I'm glad your path report came back with such good numbers.

New days are great, aren't they?


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 Jun 2007
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 10/1/2007 8:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello James,

I'm sending you lots of get well wishes, hugs, and prayers!!!!


Maria Teresa
Husband Age 55 Maria Teresa age 44
Total PSA 8 on 05/21/07
DRE: prostate bumpy
Biopsy on 07/16/07: 5 out of 8 cores positive, Gleason Score 8 (3+4+5)**
CT of the abd/pelvis; Bone Scan; Xrays done on 08/13/07: Normal
Robotic Surgery Scheduled for September 11, 2007 - Cancelled due to anesthesia complications
Robotic Surgery September 25, 2007

**"Report to the Nation on Prostate Cancer" published by the Prostate Cancer Foundation, page 11: "In some cases, the pathologist might identify a third pattern, which is less common but that has a higher grade than either of the first two patterns that comprised the Gleason score. The presence of this third pattern might indicate that the tumor is more aggressive than the Gleason score would otherwise imply. For example, if a Gleason 4+3 tumor also has some grade 5 cells, the cancer would be considered as being of higher grade disease overall."

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 237
   Posted 10/1/2007 10:38 PM (GMT -6)   
WOW! 110 grams IS a whopper. Mine was something like 96 grams, which was one of the largest my dr had seen. Sorry you've had a bit of a rough time. Have you called your dr? I would. Fever and chills were two of the things I was told to call about. Can't hurt. Hang in there, and stay in touch and let us know how you're doing.

60 years old
Dx March 2007
Pre-Surgery Gleason 3+3 = 6
Clinical Stage: T1c
Biopsy: 1 in 10 positive
Da Vinci: June 7, 2007 
Post-Surgery Gleason 3+3 = 6
   Clear at margins
First Post-PSA Sept 07 = <.01 (Hooray!!)

James C.
Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4463
   Posted 10/5/2007 1:12 PM (GMT -6)   

Another milestone passed. 10 days past surgery and the catheter is out.  Just a wierd tickling, slight painful sensation during removal.  First thing out was a few drops of light blood tinged urine.  We waited for a couple minutes, (picture 3 adults sitting staring at one poor pitiful penis, talk about performance anxiety lol) no drops, no leaks.  On went the pad, the too tight underwear and some normal non-sleepwear clothes.  Ah, the feeling to be dressed regularly again.  A short ride home, less than 15 minutes, and still no leak.  I was standing there and tried to make the pee function that I knew, and felt a little 'maybe leak', so decided to go ahead and try.  I pee'd maybe 3 ounces, it stung a little-similar how to a slight bladder infection feels- and I was able to close it off just fine. I did have a little dribble at the end to completely empty, but was able to close it back down easily.  We decided to go grocery shopping, so I noticed the time and went 1 hr. and 20 minutes before I felt any sense of an urge to pee.  In the bathroom, again no leaks or drips, a good stream,a little stinging,  and a little amount of dribbling to complete the bladder emptying.  Home for lunch, had a 20 oz. water, and it's been 2 1/2 hrs, and am just now getting the urge to pee again.  I see this is gonna be a learning experience, adjusting to the new signals and sensations, but so far , so good. I'll feel better about it if it holds for a full week, though.  I noticed immediately after the removal that I automatically tightened up, an unconscious effort.  I would describe it as similar to when you suck in your gut, but lower and more rearward.  It does feel a little strange to have the 'sucked in gut' feeling all the time, but that's something I can live with... eyes I gotta figure out just what some of these new feeling mean in relation to my continence.

On another note, Doc said the 'probable microscopic margin' description was the best example of hedging and covering all bases that he had seen in a long time.   lol  He said he would let the PSA' determine whether we need to be concerned, to just enjoy things now that I was recovering so well. 

 I've got up to 2 miles a day walking, although it still tires me out, so I walk, then come home to the vibrating and heat recliner for a half hr. or so, it does feel good to be active again.  I hope to add a mile or so each week until I get back to normal, by then I will be able to get back to the gym and a normal routine, hopefully.

First PSA Nov. 15.   (6 weeks) 



James C. 
Help support the forums so they can support you: 
Age 60 
4/19/07  PSA 7.6 , referred to Urologist
4/26/07  Urologist prescribes 3 weeks of antibiotics/anti-inflam. due to past history of Prostatis.  DRE- nothing detected but 'gross enlargement"
6/5/07    Recheck of PSA: 6.7, biopsy scheduled.
7/11/07   Biopsy- 16 core samples, ultrasound size of gland around 76 cc. Staging pT2c
7/17/07   Pathlogy report:  3 of 16 cancerous/ 5% involved, left lobe top, center, bottom, Gleason 3/3:6. 
8/3/07     Decision made for conventional RP surgery, scheduled for Sept. 24.
9/24/07  Conventional  Radical Retropubic surgery performed 
9/26/07 Post-op Path Report: Gleason unchanged 3+3=6 Staging pT2c,
Prostate 110 gms, 2.2"x2.2"x1.75"

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 242
   Posted 10/5/2007 1:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Sounds like you're well on your way to total continence, James. Congratulations. I agree, it sure is a weird sensation urinating without a prostate. We no longer have that safety net of the sphincter that used to be located there and now must rely on the sole remaining one we have left. I will say it does feel good to urinate without the obstruction of an enlarged prostate. I'm peeing like I was twelve years old again!

Age: 49
Diagnosed: March 25, 2007
PSA: 3.0
Biopsy: Gleason 6. Five of twelve core samples positive with <5% each. No perineural invasion seen.
DaVinci Surgery: May 21, 2007 at Florida Hospital, Orlando, Florida. Surgery took one hour and 45 minutes. According to my surgeon, everything went textbook and the prostate peeled away nicely.
Post-op Pathology Report: Upgraded to Gleason 7 (3+4), negative margins, negative capsular penetration, negative seminal vesicles, lymph nodes left intact, multifocal perinural invasion, 15% of prosate involving cancer in both lobes.
Continence: Out of the pads at five weeks. Still have some very minor stress incontinence at times but it's not an issue. Still Kegel every day and will continue to do so.
Erections: Yes! With the assistance of Cialis.
1st Post-op PSA: <0.1
2nd Post-op PSA: <0.1
Family history: My Father had his prostate removed at age 67 in 1997 and has had a <0.1 PSA for the past 10 years. I was diagnosed at a much earlier age and had a more agressive cancer than my father. Go figure.

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 219
   Posted 10/5/2007 7:59 PM (GMT -6)   


Great news. You give us all hope. Keep up the hard work and let your success be our success. Keep us posted on everything and let your voice be heard to all that need a ray of hope. A job well done.

Love ya man and........................War Eagle.


Age: 54
PSA 43 7/2005
Biopsy 12/14 Gleason 7 & 9
Divinci 9/2005 - spread to bladder
HT - 10/2005 (Eligard every 6 months)
RT - 10/2005 (38 treatments)
PSA 0.12 to 1.9 2/2007
Bone Scan and CT 4/2007
Casodex 4/2007
Spread to Spine (L4 & T5), rib, and pelvis
Zometa infusions 4/2007
PSA 4.9 8/2007
PSA 4.9 9/2007
"I will persist without exception - I will find a way where there is no way"

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