I purchased a dozen blue wrist bands from the Prostate Cancer Foundation that signal prostate cancer awareness. I've been wearing one since I received them and will continue to do so until the day I die.
Today, while standing in line at a coffee shop, a guy behind me asked what the blue wrist band signified. I told him and also was openly honest about my surgery. I was stunned at his reply. Basically, and I paraphrase, he told me that "prostate surgery is pretty common and not all that difficult to recover from." Instantly I had to calm myself and put this guy straight about the fallacy he had just related to me. When I asked him if he had had a PSA test recently (I judged him to be in his late 50s), he told me, "I'm in perfectly good health, good shape, and feel fine. I don't even get a physical." I don't know if I changed his mind, but I implored him to please get a PSA test, and told him this cancer was completely arbitrary. I was in top shape too, felt fine, but ended up with an aggressive cancer that, by all indications, was caught early enough. Somehow I don't think he'll get a PSA test, and it just goes to show how much ignorance there is out there about this cancer that has affected us here.
Angry and sad.
Diagnosed: March 25, 2007
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.