Surgery < 72hrs away

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RTR
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 29
   Posted 11/25/2007 5:46 PM (GMT -7)   
This post can be classified as my "venting".   I prefer that description rather than my "whining & whimpering" which is probably closer to the truth.
 
To the outside world (other than my wife) I'm facing this surgery with my customary confidence, self assured nature.  Inside I'm screaming I can't believe this is actually going to happen.  Less than 72 hours from now I'm going to submit myself to 3-4 hour surgical procedure & wakeup (hopefully) with tubes & whatnot sticking out of me.
 
Currently prostate cancer is the nebulous entity that I've been told that I have.  It causes me no pain or problems.  Intellectually I know I have it, the consequences of not dealing with it, etc.  The idea of not dealing with it & postponing surgery is a tantalizing, albeit evil idea that periodically torments me.
 
I am indeed going to do this because it is the most prudent choice for me.  However, I was wondering if anyone else experiences these misgivings at the eleventh hour or am I going insane?
 
 
 
 

Diagnosed 9/07
Gleason 6  3+3
First PSA 4.1
2nd PSA 3.6
stage T1C
age 46
daVinci sch for 11/28/07
@ Univ of Ala Bham (UAB)


myman
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 1219
   Posted 11/25/2007 5:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Are you kidding??? :-)

Don thought up to the last minute that this wasn't REALLY going to happen. He had no symptoms and so it seemed surgery was an extreme way to deal with...what?

You're perfectly normal in your thinking, RTR. Perfectly normal.

We'll all be waiting to hear as soon as you can post.

Godspeed,

Susan

SJC
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 113
   Posted 11/25/2007 6:22 PM (GMT -7)   

RTR:

Your thoughts are common....we all have them.  However, for those of us who have been down the road, the time comes and goes in a hurry.  Before you know it, you'll be back doing the same things you were doing before surgery. 

I'm guessing you're a Bama native.  So am I.  We're strong-willed folk....smart, too.  You'll be fine.  Keep up the confidence, both inside and out.  I bet your next PSA will be < 0.1, which is why you chose this path.

SJC


Post Edited (SJC) : 11/25/2007 6:28:38 PM (GMT-7)


Cedar Chopper
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 432
   Posted 11/25/2007 7:59 PM (GMT -7)   
RTR,

"Last night I shot an elephant in my pajamas.  How he got in my pajamas, I'll never know. 
   - Of course in Alabama, the Tuskaloosa!"  Groucho Marx

Arcane humor attempts aside, the unknown is very threatening, especially when we hear the statistics about incontinence and erectile dysfunction, not to mention that metestasized cancer thing......
And you are so very young.

You are on the pivot point before a new and fascinating life.
With your stats, odds are that in 6 months you will be continent, cancer free and and choosing your path to overcoming erectile dysfunction.
Your pondering indecisiveness (and Ziggy9's phantasy of just one last hoorah) reminds me of the teenager out in the car alone the first time - not sure which way to turn in an intersection.

Stopping in the middle of the intersection is not an option!  (Nor, I feel compelled to say to Ziggy9, should be the impulse of driving away to Hawaii....)
I hope that you stick with your (well researched and well thought) roadmap
  - as the emotional rollercoaster that comes with the impending treatment of choice is not a good place to make decisions.

Let us hear from you and TAKE IT EASY FOR A MONTH OR TWO AFTER SURGERY!
Use that youthful energy only to walk and do kegel exercises for awhile.

Your friends here are standing with you.

CCedar
ICTHUS!
2 Years of PSA between 4 and 5.5  + Biopsy 23DEC06 
Only 5 percent cancer in one of 8 samples.  +  Gleeson 3+3=6
Radical Prostatectomy 16FEB07 at age 54.
1+" tumor - touching inside edge of gland.  + Confined:)
Pad Free @ 14 weeks.  Six Month PSA <.003  :)
At 6 months, ED treated with Pump Exercises & 50mg Viagra Daily
Texas Hill Country FRESH Produce Department Manager
Have you had your 5 colors today?


bluebird
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 2542
   Posted 11/25/2007 8:27 PM (GMT -7)   

Hey ~ RTR..

 

Time to take a nice deep breath… and another!  Continue moving forward with your decision.  It is a path that many have faced and the walk with friends will certainly make it easier.  Thank you for continuing to reach out to all of us.  It’s important to do so…  Your stepping-stones along your path which makes up "Your Journey" are lined with forum friends to help you along the way. 

 

It is so important for you and for all of us… that you continue reaching out!  No matter what!

 

Vent, whine, whimper….  Fear of the unknown is very powerful.  But ~ Knowledge is Power and Power takes away the fear!!!  You have a solid foundation with your research to cross to the next stepping-stone in less than 72 hours.  Continue to lean on all of us!  Feel our strength!!

http://i206.photobucket.com/albums/bb179/mamabluebird1955/Stepping-StonestoHealingWell.jpg

 

From Day 1… we knew what we wanted and never looked back with our decision!  We continue moving forward with each PSA… and the journey is made easier with our friends beside us. 

Stay Close ~ Okay…

 

We hope  “Our Journey” helps to guide you over at least one stepping-stone on your path. 

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 :)


triker
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 11/25/2007 8:58 PM (GMT -7)   
RTR,
My surgery is scheduled for 24 hours after yours, and I have shared your thoughts. I am definitely not looking forward to the surgery, but I am getting really anxious to having it over with so that I can start putting my thoughts and energy into the recovery. I wish you the best this week. We can compare notes once we get on the other side.

Good luck to you,
Walter

Age 58
10/06 - 1st PSA ever - 4.6
11/06 - PSA retake - 5.3
12/06 - Biopsy, 12 cores - negative
7/07 - PSA - 9.0
7/07 - PSA 13.8 (after 10 days antibiotics)
8/07 - Biopsy, 12 cores, 1 positive @1%; Gleason 3+3=6
9/17/07 - Bone scan - negative
9/18/07 - CT scan - negative
10/12/07 - John Hopkins recheck of biopsy slides Gleason 3+3=6
Da Vinci surgery scheduled for 11/29/07


beachbum50
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 292
   Posted 11/25/2007 9:35 PM (GMT -7)   

RTR, I think ALL of us know how you feel, the waiting almost drove me crazy, acting like I was not concerned, and inside full of doubt. From my experience, it was not anywhere near as bad as I thought it would be. I found that I could accept it better thinking that the operation would be my turn to fight the cancer, hopefully to beat it in one operation, but at least to know where I stood and what needed to be done. You have many friends here to help you, and they offer excellent advice. Take your time in recovering, and keep friends and family close.

 

Beachbum


Beachbum
 
PSA 10 June 2007
Biopsy July 2, 16 of 16 samples positive
T2C
3+3=6
Di Venci 10/09/07, four hours on table, 3 in recovery
Total time in Hospital: 29 hours
Record for Dr. Lance, 65% of prostate had cancer, but NO spread, clean margins
Clean nodes,
First PSA at 5 weeks, UNDETECTABLE!
Catheter out at seven days, dry from hour one!
The Lord has truly Blessed me.


lawink
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 621
   Posted 11/25/2007 10:09 PM (GMT -7)   
RTR we all felt the same way. . . doing nothing would result in having this on your mind always and trust me . . . sitting at 14 months post surgery . . . . with a year's worth of "undetectible" PSA's AND a new grandson born in August prostate cancer is truly a thing of the past. Something that occupies every waking (and sometimes sleeping) moment will take a backseat when it's all behind you and you'll be glad you stuck with it.

Please keep us posted and know that all your Healing Well Friends are praying for you and keeping you close in mind through this time.

;o) Linda & Bob
Bob (61) - Laproscopic Prostate Removal Sept 27, 2006.
2 of 12 malignant biopsy samples - gleason 3 + 3 = 6.
 
Pathology - cancer completely contained, even a second more aggressive, previously undetected cancer)
PSA UNDETECTABLE Nov 2006, Feb, May, Oct2007.  ONE YEAR!!!! WHOOO HOOOO! 

Bob also has two secondary conditions -- Polycythemia (elevated red & white cells & platelets) and . . Myelofibrosis) -- If anyone has experience with or information on these, please email us.


loupdemer
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 11/26/2007 1:26 AM (GMT -7)   
RTR,

As you'll see, my profile is almost identical to yours. I'm struck by how you use almost the same exact words that I did to express the doubt and apprehension I felt before the surgery. I said to my oncologist, I am strong and perfectly healthy, and I'm about to deliberately do this thing to myself that will make my body disfunctional. I seriously considered letting the cancer take its course in order to have a few more years of normalcy. In exchange for a possibly shortened lifespan, true. But who could tell how much shorter? Maybe it would be worth the risk.

One of the things that convinced me: I was reminded that if the tumor were left untreated, it would eventually threaten my normal sexual and urinary function even more than the surgery, in addition to the vague and remote risk of a shortened lifespan. Also, this cancer, when it spreads, can lead to bladder and rectal cancers. Even if one places quality of life above quantity, that reality lends a whole new urgency to doing everything possible to get the cancer out now.

My reality at two months post-op: Still incontinent with no way to know for sure if it is permanent or not. To be honest, I do sometimes doubt if I've done the right thing. But the encouragement received here has helped a lot with that. Especially hearing from those who were still incontinent at my stage but are dry now. Hopefully some of them will chime in here.

Also, remember that your tumor stage and Gleason score prior to surgery are an educated best guess, based on the biopsy. But my pathology report revealed that my tumor stage was T3, not T2a, as we had thought. The tumor had begun to establish itself outside the capsule. So, while I sometimes wish I had not rushed into this, thinking of the pathology report makes me feel glad I didn't put it off another minute. I've discovered it's somehow possible to feel both things at the same time, like trains running on parallel tracks but in opposite directions.

From my experience, the one thing you must have above all is someone you can express your doubts and fears to. Even if that's just the rest of us here on this forum. Like you, I felt unable to share the dark thoughts with family, as they are already scared and stressed. Being able to vent here has been a lifeline for me.

Good luck to you, RTR. Keep us posted and let us know anything that's on your mind.

loup
============================
Positive DRE JAN 2007 at age 47
PSA 2.5
Biposy 21 MAR 2007
Diagnosis 01 APR 2007: 2 of 8 cores positive, Gleason 7 (3+4), stage T2a, focus of perinerual involvement
AUG 2007 PSA 3.3
24 SEP 2007 open Radical Prostatectomy, Bilateral nerve sparing
Surgeon: Dr. Martin Gleave, The Prostate Center at Vancouver General Hospital, Vancouver, Canada
Post-op Day 2 (26 SEP) Home from hospital
Day 6: Bowel movements resume, causing painful bladder spasms, Dr. will not prescribe anti-spasmodic
Day 8: Catheter removed, totally incontinent, began taking Cialis
Day 9: Partial erection
Day 11: Nealy normal erection
Day 12: PATHOLOGY: Negative margins, minor cancerous invasion of periprostatic space
Week 3: Dry when lying or sitting
Week 4: Leakage when standing and walking greatly reduced
Week 4: Suspended taking Cialis. Normal erections on demand. Some urine leakage with orgasm.


JCL
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 242
   Posted 11/26/2007 7:52 AM (GMT -7)   

Can’t add much to what’s been said, RTR, but will confirm that your feelings are not an anomaly at all. Once I made my decision I never, never looked back, and after finding out from the final pathology report than I had a more aggressive cancer than what was revealed in the biopsy, I’m glad I made what was for me, the right decision. It does seem weird - here you are feeling healthy and fine, but yet, your going to subject your body to an invasive procedure. Trust me, it will be over with before you know it and you’ll be on your way to recovery. Focus on the positive. My pre-surgery scores were close to yours and although I was upgraded to a Gleason 7, the cancer was confined. I’m six months post op, continent and having erections.

Good luck and rest assured we’ll be here for you.


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.
 
 
 


RTR
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 29
   Posted 11/26/2007 4:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for all the kind & most importantly positive thoughts.  Hearing from folks that have actually walked the walk is invaluable.  I'll write again post surgery as soon as I'm able.
 
RTR
 
 
Diagnosed 9/07
Gleason 6  3+3
First PSA 4.1
2nd PSA 3.6
stage T1C
age 46
daVinci sch for 11/28/07
@ Univ of Ala Bham (UAB)


Educator
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 11/26/2007 8:43 PM (GMT -7)   

The surgery is the easy part. It will be over before you know it and very little pain. You are young with a lot of life to live. I am only 55 years old but I could not see any other long term solution to the problem. I wanted the cancer out of my body as soon as possible.

I believe you are making the right decision, your profile not much different than mine. I have only been out of surgery about two weeks but I am already feeling good about getting it done. Now I am focusing on getting dry. After that I will focus on the ED issues. Then it will all be back to normal. Probably take six months to get it all behind me. A year from now it will be a distant memory. This is what I hope and what I believe. I will fight to the last breath because I have too much to live for. Get er done you won't regret it.

 

Educator 


 
Diagnosed 10/15/2007
Age 55
PSA 4.2 9/15/2007
PSA 3.9 10/1/2007
Pre Operation TC-1
 
Prostate, Transrectal Needle Biopsy 10/05/2007
 
Results 10/15/2007
 
A-D Right Base, Right Mid, Right Apex, Left Base;
Benign Prostatic Tissue
 
E. Left Mid; Adenocarcinoma, Gleason's Grade 3+3=6, 10% involved
 
F. Left Apex; Adenocarcinoma, Gleason's 3+3=6, Less than 10% involved
 
2 of 12 involved as two samples were taken from each area.
 
Pre-operational PSA 6.5
 
 11/9/2007 Robotic Surgery
11/16/2007 recieved pathology report
 Everything negative for malignancy
 
 Both Nerve Bundles Saved
 
 
 

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