Recently diagnosed and scheduled for surgery

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truly blessed
New Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 10/18/2007 7:53 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello all:
First of all i must say I am so thankful for this forum. My husband was diagnosed June 25,2007 after to psa readings (5.4 and 5.2) and being biopsied and the cancer confirmed. his gleason scores are 3+3 and he is scheduled for surgery on November 7, 2007 in Hackensack NJ. He is having robotic surgery (which was highly recommended for him because of his age which is 49 and his otherwise good health) and we can't wait until we too are on the otherside. The hospital has given us the to do list, but are there any other things I should kbow about that I should have prepared for him before and after his surgery? Is there any body from the Jersey area who is familiar with Hackensack University?
By the way our 6th wedding anniversary is on November 8th, he should be coming home if god is willing. In the beginning we were both scared to death, but faith and staying positive is keeping us going. We are so thankful to have found this in its early stages.

truly blessed in New Jersey

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 152
   Posted 10/18/2007 10:43 AM (GMT -6)   
Well I guess I'll be the first to welcome you to the board and also say it's unfortunate you all have to join this club. I too am a young one that has successfully made it to the other side and I am doing just fine. We all freak out a bit but as you gain more knowledge and patience you will be good too.
Please don't be shy in asking questions, so just throw it out on the table.
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! 
10/11/07 - ED, Trimix injection .2cc Tooo much but it worked.
No luck with viagra or pump. 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 1219
   Posted 10/18/2007 11:58 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi and welcome, Truly Blessed. You've been fortunate in finding this sight and posting here. This is a wonderful forum with members who are willing to help with some information and give you support. As you can see by kdnole's post there are others who are in the same situaton at a young age. Thank goodness you found out sooner that later.

Just a suggestion, if you go to the second post on the forum there are many helpful tips and information gathered in one spot by one of our moderators, Bluebird.

I know there will be others who post to welcome you as soon as they are able.

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

James C.
Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4463
   Posted 10/18/2007 12:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome, sorry you had to join us.   Ask anything you wish, nothing is off limits or too raw, or to simple.  It's all a learning process for us here. 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 626
   Posted 10/18/2007 1:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Truly Blessed,

You are already an inspiration to me with your ID of Truly Blessed after having to deal with PCa. Happy Anniversary to the both of you by the way. If things go as they should it will be a day of coming home and being free of the monster. Sounds like you have a good feel for preparations but please ask any question to those on this forum as you are among peers.

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

truly blessed
New Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 10/18/2007 1:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the support. :-) I really needed this forum. I do have a couple of pre surgery questions. What type of things are my husband going to need when he comes home from the hospital? I bought a mattress pad for incontience issues and somewhere i read that I should purchase a jock strap to support the catheter? Should I also load up on gas pills and stool softners? How do you hang a catheter while asleep? We are kinda counting the weeks (three weeks to go) and we really can't wait until this is over. Thanks for listening.

truly blessed in New Jersey

James C.
Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4463
   Posted 10/18/2007 2:05 PM (GMT -6)   

I found that wearing shorts or such caused binding of the tube.  I ended up taping the tube to my thigh and not wearing any underwear worked best.  The large bag can be pinned to the side of the mattress.  Some people, myself included slid a plastic or heavy metal coathanger between the mattresses and hooked the bag to that.  The bag can be a aggravation to someone who tosses and turns in their sleep, but if they can sleep on one side, and get to choose the side of the bed so they face outwards, they should sleep better.  My doctor and hospital sent home a prescription for stool softner, antibiotics, pain killer, bladder spasm meds,and gas pills.  You may want to discuss with him beforehand what his procedure will be for you. The gas issue may take care of itself before you even leave the hospital.  In my case, one good bout of bathroom privacy got it out and the bowels kicked in and started functioning normally, so it was a non-issue for me at least.  Start out eating a lighter menu (but something that will add bulk) and slowly increase back to whatever is normal for him.  Once you get past the first bowel movement, then your regular diet is ok.  Cheap pj's that can be thrown out later worked well for me, we cut the leg up to the knee, to allow for the catheter bag and tubing to work properly and to get to the drain properly, also for dressing and undressing.  Plan on him being tired easily, and needing lots of rest/seat time.  But he should try to walk as much as possible, then get down and rest in between, if possible.  I was told if I wasn't walking, I should be sitting or reclining and resting.  Both will help with the recovery and healing process.   He will probably be allowed to shower the day after getting home, and the dressings will probably come off then, usually there will be no wound dressing or care, other than gentle soap and water washing of the incision and drain wound.  Hope some of this is useful for you in preparing. 

 James C.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 2542
   Posted 10/18/2007 2:20 PM (GMT -6)   

   tongue      Hi  ~ truly blessed & Loved Ones,


A   Special   Warm Welcome  to  You!   


I know we can “all” make “Your Journey” smoother ~ just by being here for you!  

Thank you for reaching out!!!  And we're thrilled you started a personal thread : )


You’ve just made your own journey a lot smoother.  There are a lot of Helping Hands here… and just by reaching out like you did ~ you will have a much easier time.  We’ve been where you are now…. Knowing you aren’t alone… makes a big difference in psyche and spirit.


We will always be here for you… This is truly a great forum!!! ~ You have joined! You are now part our forum family ~ a group of wonderful individuals who are so willing to share their journey with you! 


It helps “all of us” ~ to help you ~ if we know where you are on your path.

So ~ Please stay with us and take our hand when you need it!  Keep posting.... OKAY!!   


KNOWLEDGE IS POWER... and POWER conquers fear



~ and ~

Your decision will be the right decision for you!!!



Buddy & I invite you to visit our personal thread “Our Journey”… listed in our signature below.  It will answer a lot of your questions... but continue reading other journeys and pull from all of us ~ to make your pre and post surgery smoother.  Hoping our experience can help you over at least one stepping-stone on your journey.


Our thoughts and prayers will be with you as you continue to move forward in your search for answers… Stay Close!

In Friendship ~ Lee & Buddy

Adding:Threads started by:    truly blessed


10-18-07  Understanding reports

10-18-07  Feeling welcomed

Post edited to add personal threads for future readers…

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 :)

Post Edited (bluebird) : 11/10/2007 9:46:02 PM (GMT-7)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 823
   Posted 10/18/2007 7:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi blessed and welcome to the forum. None of us want to be here but we are all glad we came, and glad you found us too. You have had some good advise and feel free to ask any question you would like. We are all here for you. Just don't overdo it after you get home. I got cabin fever and just had to get out. I didn't like the leg bag and used the large one all the time. Just stick it into one of your wife's shopping bags and no one will know the difference. Take care of yourself and we will be praying for a good surgery and recovery. Let us know how your are doing.


Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 176
   Posted 10/18/2007 8:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Glad you found this site. It has been an awesome resource for lots of us here. And a great way to share your experience and get lots of support from really caring people.

Funny how everyone has their own comfort zones. I didn't like the the large bag at all and always used the leg bag except at night. With the leg bag, I could pull on loose baggy stylish pants with a t-shirt and look totally fine...yes I cared how I looked, so don't all jump on me. :)

I also found flip flops were great because I didn't have to bend over to pull on socks or tie shoes which caused an uncomfortable tug on the cath in a way I didn't want to be tugged.

I would have found a jock uncomfortable but liked boxer briefs because is offered support and kept the cath tube tight against my leg.

At night, i simply put a bucket on the floor next to the bed and hung the night bag on the side of the bucket. That way if I moved it just slid a bit on the floor and didn't cause that annoying tug.

I was pretty active with the cath and went out. When I did, I put a pillow in the bag to take with me so I had something to sit on because sitting on anything hard or uncushioned was uncomfortable.

I too had gotten something for the bed to protect against incontinence, but with the cath, that is really is not an issue. I used it again when I got the cath out and found I didn't need it. But it was security to know it was there.

Stay strong and keep asking questions. We're all here for ya.
42 yo.
PSA 4.65
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 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...

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 376
   Posted 10/18/2007 9:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Truly Blessed

I see you are getting a lot of good advice as to what to expect after surgery and what you might neec etc. So while I won't add any more to that I wish you the best and hopefully things will work out great for you. This truly is a great site with a lot of information and support. As you will see by my signature I am very close to your husband in all regards as far as age and stage etc. and have done well as I come up a on one year ago of being diagnosed with surgery being completed on January 9th of this year. You have a great attitude going into this and reminds me of the way I approched the surgery and recovery. Have him take it easy and give himself a chance to heal, it takes time but the time goes by very quickly, before you know it the surgery will past and the catheter will be but a memory also. Good luck and ask all the questions that you may have, you will be in our prayers.

Age 49, PSA 6.22 on 9-26-06
Biopsy 11-01-06, 2 of 13 cores 10% cancer, 2 other cores abnormal Up-dated 20% prostate cancerous
Gleason score 3+3=6 After Pathology report 3+4=7 some agressive 5 cells found
Da Vinci surgery 01-09-07 UW Madison
Pathology Report- cancer 100 % capsual contained 1-18-07
Catheter removed 1-18-07 suffered bladder spasms Catheter reattached 1-18-07
Catheter removed 2nd time 1-24-07
1st Post PSA Blood Test 3-22-07 <.1 Undetectable
2nd Post PSA Blood Test 7/5/07 <.1 Undetectable
3nd Post PSA Blood Test Scheduled for 11/12/07
Incontenence-Pad free since end of May 07 4 1/2 months post surgery 
ED back to 95% prior to surgery - no medication required.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 2542
   Posted 11/10/2007 11:35 PM (GMT -6)   

Partial Quote…

scheduled for surgery on November 7, 2007 in Hackensack NJ. He is having robotic surgery…


   tongue   Hi ~  Truly Blessed & Loved Ones,


Thinking of you and sending special thoughts your way as you both move onto the stepping-stone to HealingWell…


As time permits please ~ touch base!!


Keeping you close… in thoughts and prayers. 


“Our hands will be on your shoulders”

special words borrowed from hamala


In Friendship,


~~*~~*~~*~~~)*&^%  Group Hug %^&*(~~~*~~*~~*~~


From the 3 of us...

Lee, Buddy, & Murphy

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 Oct 2006
Total Posts : 1211
   Posted 11/11/2007 1:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Truly Blessed,
Welcome to this wonderful site. You've received already some good pointers from others and I'm sure more is to follow.
My experience was very similar to '41diagnosed'. I found boxer shorts worked well for me and I preferred the small bag during the day and the large bag at night. I rested the large bag in a plastic waste basket for support. I also protected my mattress in anticipation of leakage, but found it totally unnecessary since I was dry during the night. After the cath was removed I just wore my regular shorts since they supported the pads well. I found that a lot of walking and stair climbing shortly after the operation helped a lot to speed up the healing. Start out easy and increase activity as you feel up to it, but don't over do any heavy lifting or other heavy work.
Take it easy for a few weeks and give your body a chance to heal.
Congratulations on your wedding anniversary.
Hope you'll have a speedy and complete recovery.

Born Sept., 1936
PSA 7.9
Stage T1C
Gleason's Score 3+4=7
Open RP 28 Nov 06
Dry since early Jan 07
1st PSA result on 15 March 07 = 0
2nd PSA result on 15 June 07 = 0
3rd PSA result on 12 September 07 = 0

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