Posted 10/16/2007 9:12 PM (GMT -7)
A quick update on my progress and...ok guys, and gals in touch with their husband's issues, I've got questions...
I got my cath out on 9/27 10 days post op, and I'm 4 weeks post op. I have had some leaking, but not too bad relative to some here, but clearly not as lucky as those who say they have no incontinence issues.
I get some annoying dripping that seems spontaneous and gets worse in the evening. When I'm up and about, it's like a very slow leaking faucet. Sometimes a bit more leaking depending upon my activities. OK, so I tried doing jumping jacks and that was a big NO NO! :) I tried a bit of quick runs between walking and that wasn't so bad. Walking is ok. Lifting and moving some boxes in the basement was tolerable. Sitting or lying is perfect. I'm only using one small pad a day, but wouldn't feel comfortable at all without it, but it's not saturated either.
Immediately after the cath came out, I felt like I was holding it so tight I could make a diamond in my d*&^. I wondered the first night how I could go to sleep figuring as soon as I did the flood gates would open. But my continence at night was perfect. Completely dry. And getting up and going to the bathroom was fine too. Fortunately, that feeling of holding it constantly has mostly gone away, but I do consciously tighten up before a sneeze or a cough or standing up, etc.
Actually, my continence is best in the morning and I feel rested because I'm not waking up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, except for maybe once.
But the issues I have are as follows...
I feel a lot of discomfort in my penis at times. I can't figure out if it's still from the surgery, the catheter or from the drips, but it's irritating. I think it's the latter. By the end of the day, I feel soreness I can only describe as in my urethra. Has anyone else experienced such discomfort?
It is definitely mild or non-existent in the morning, but builds during they day. I'm not taking any ibuprofen or tylenol at all.
This morning I did try to stop my stream when I went to the bathroom. I was able to do so several times, but then it was somewhat painful followed by a bit of pinkish urine which I really hadn't seen for awhile...bad memories of the bag! Anyone ever have this?
I'll try again in the morning.
On the ED side, I only wish I was having the short term success that some here have had. I have had none yet. I took some Levitra a few times, but no help from that either. Actually, I feel as though I've less blood flow down there in a non-stimulated state than before surgery. Again, has anyone experienced this?
It seems less firm than before in general, though I don't notice any difference in size like some have said (and even better, nor does my wife!
). But since I'm not getting any notable excitement, size really doesn't matter!
On a positive note, I had to see if the engine turned over at all. And I didn't wait 6 weeks like the doctor said. I only waited 2. And it turned over alright. I was surprised with no erection and no ejactulation that I actually felt an orgasm, contractions and even had to catch my breath. Weird but satisfying none-the-less. And then it was a bit painful for a bit, so I wondered what was contracting?
And if I can get this level of sensation, is it a good sign or is it typical?
I rather think it is probably typical, but I'm being hopeful. And the pain wasn't bad enough to keep me from doing it again, and...ok, well not that much!
Anyway, I can't believe I'm typing this but what the heck. It's what everyone is worried about and what everyone wants to know the reality about.
I read some posts and I feel like I'm really lucky. I read others and I'm jealous as heck. But overall I'm feeling good and getting back to normal routines as much as possible.
I'm lucky I work from home when I'm not traveling, and I have been working since the week post surgery. I had moved my office to our guest bedroom and was working on the bed for the first 2 1/2 weeks. Then I forced myself back to my desk when I spilled a cup of coffee on the bed and had to strip the sheets and comforter. My son was so happy to see me back at my desk and beamed that I looked like I was doing really well. That made my day! Of course it was followed by his asking me if it meant that I was ready to do everything I was doing before surgery. I said I didn't think I was ready to ride a bike yet.
I'm going on my first business trip Nov. 1 to Baltimore and then to San Jose the following week. I figure a plane ride should be fine except getting that bag into the overhead bin. Haven't lifted anything up over my head since surgery yet.
Well, that's it on my progress. I keep reading everyone's posts and am so impressed by the dedicated responders on this site. I can't keep up like some of you, but try to make up for it by typing essays when I do get going
Good night everyone.
BTW, for those that are new here...be good to yourselves, as it's a long road to treatment and recovery. At first I was totally depressed and sad over my diagnosis and fearful of choosing the wrong treatment for me and scared to death of the side effects of treatment. Though I have my moments when I wish I had no side effects like the Proton patients, I reread my own post on the decision I made and remind myself why I chose surgery. I am doing so much better emotionally now that I'm on the road to recovery than I was doing when I was trying to make a decision and flipping like a fish from one to another. Be strong and pace yourself. The good days will eventually out-number the bad ones!
Gleason scores from 4 pathologies of the same biopsy with 2 of 12 cores positive for cancer (if this isn't confusing to the patient...):
1) both cores 3+4 (Weiss Memorial)
2) one 3+4 and one 3+3 (Univ. of Chicago Hosp.)
3) both cores 3+3 (Mass General Hosp.)
4) both cores 3+4 (Northwestern Memorial Hosp.)
9/17/07 - Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy Surgery at Northwestern Memorial in Chicago by Dr. William Catalona.
and the winner is...post op Gleason score of 3+4.
Good pathology report with negative margins, no seminal vesicale involvement, no lymphatic or vascular invasion, bladder and urethral free and tumor volume was 5% of 27.3g. Amazing how something so small can cause such problems!
9/27/07 - Catheter removal...let the games begin...