It was a routine checkup and my doctor felt something on my prostate so he sent me to the urologist who re-examine me and ordered an immediate biopsy that later confirmed that I had a tumor on one half of my prostate and the other half was pin 3. After learning everything that I could about treatment options and survival rates, I decided to go with robotic laparoscopic prostatectomy. This was possible because I was in fairly good physical condition. I advise men to watch the actual surgery on YouTube or a hospital educational channel. My surgery was on Friday, November 14. I was discharged on November 15. All pain vanished. I meet with my doctor on Nov 19 to go over final pathology report and to remove the catheter. There are tons of good information on the Internet and a number of men in your circle who are living testimony that PC is not a death sentence.
After you have the radical prostatectomy, the prostate will be sent to the pathologist for a final report. Your Gleason score and other factors may be revised. My initial Gleason was 4+3 now changed to 3+4, and the cancer was 5 percent and contained in the capsule. No lymph or seminal vessel invasion. One other thing that worried me was the removal of the catheter. It's a piece of cake. So stay positive, rely one your support network and everything will be fine. PC can be defeated. Regardless of the treatment, make sure you research this disease, and get to know your doctors.
My surgery was on Nov 14, discharged on Nov 15, cleared to return to work on Nov 28. I am a professor so my work is not too strenuous. I don't leak a lot but wear a pad just in case. I have not started the exercises namely because I am still sore but getting better. My advice is to take it slow. Walk between 30 to 60 min per day until your strength returns. I will have my first follow up PSA test on Dec 19. Given that all the cancer was contained in 5 percent of the prostate and lymph nodes, bladder, seminal vessels were negative, the PSA should be undetectable but the one thing there are two things that I have learned about prostate cancer is that it can be beaten and early detection is the answer. My advice now to all men over 40 is get tested annually.
Well, I had my first PSA exam. My PSA is not .008. My doctor says that it should fall even lower, so my next check up is in March. I started back exercising, just walking at first, now running. I usually exercise to 2 hours or so. The incontinence is less of a problem than I imagine. I have not gotten around to doing the recommended exercises. But so far it is going well. Good luck everyone!
I had my surgery in November 2014, success, the cancer was contained in the prostate, two lymph nodes removed were negative, final pathology report showed negative margins, Gleason score downgraded from a 4+3 to a 3+4, so it looked good. Still dealing with incontinent issues but they are manageable. First two post PSA test were <0.05. Oh great! However, the next PSA was 0.05. This freaked me out. My doc said that it was either a lab error of that the cancer has returned. My next PSA exam is 1-25, 2016. Can't help but to think about it. But worse case situation is that the cancer has returned and I have to do salvation radiation. If it cannot be cured and it continues to spread it will be years before it takes me out. I am 70 so if it takes 10 years or so to spread I will be close to 80 and the grim reaper will be gassing up to come pay me a visit anyway.
Its been almost a year since my surgery. My last two PSA exams were <001. My most recent one was .05. I will have a follow up exam this month. Some urologists consider this as undetectable so we will see in the next one. My primary doctors considers my cancer cured but we will see. As I had problems maintaining an erection before surgery it does not surprise me now. After all I am 70. Hang in there. One day there will be a cure.
Well, I had my next PSA exam and my score went up from .05 to .07, still undetectable according to some labs, but concerning because it indicates that there is still some cancer remaining. I was told that there could be prostate tissue connected to the nerve bundles that is giving off PSA but I will probably wait for another three months and take another PSA and if it continues to rise I have no choice but to move to salvage radiation. I had negative margins, negative lymph nodes, seminal vessels. Well so long for now.
Based on rising PSA, met with urologist. He referred me to oncologist to discuss options. So it's off to radiation. He said that he is pretty sure that it is with benign prostate or cancer but no way to tell. So it's radiation.
My PSA test results in March was .07, same as in January 2016. Next test was in July, the results were .06, so a slight drop but essentially the same. So we will test again in Oct. Our plan is to monitor every three months until there is a definite rise then make a decision about radiation. I am 70 so the hope is that the rise will be slow and I can run out the clock.
It's been a long time since I have updated my story. I have a detectable PSA of 0.10. My oncologist wants to wait until it reaches 0.19 to undergo surgery although he said that we could do it anytime but we want to make sure that there is a definite rise in PSA. I get tested every three months so there is still plenty of time for the cure. I am 71 now so if I can get another 10 to 15 years in everything else will be gravy. I think that exercise is critically important. I bike for about an hour a day. So take it easy - live your life.
Howard's e-mail address is: howard53545 AT charter.net (replace "AT" with "@")