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This member is a YANA Mentor This is his Country or State Flag

Picarmy P lives in Idaho, USA. He was 43 when he was diagnosed in July, 2015. His initial PSA was 4.10 ng/ml, his Gleason Score was 7a, and he was staged Unknown. His choice of treatment was Surgery (Robotic Laparoscopic Prostatectomy). Here is his story.

This road for me started in 2010 when I was detected with a 4.1 PSA level. I knew already that this ran in my family since my father had and survived prostate cancer. He is now 85 years old. I never thought I will be on the same road, but I am at 43. Every doctor said to me you're too young to have this issue, but here I am.

In 2010 when I begin this adventure the doctor could make head to tail of why my PSA level were high. We tried medication for inflammation, infection, you named and my PSA level stayed the same. Last result he did a biopsy. Which came negative and no sign of cancer. But one thing happen after the Biopsy my PSA level increase to 5 and thru the years it climb to 6.3.

Last year I began to notice what you call incontinence and dribble when I urinate which raise that red flag. I had moved to another state so no I was in search for a new urology doctor. I found two in town and I decided to go for the older Doctor. I figure he got to be more knowledgeable and less greedy. Not saying that doctor are greedy at all. But it just happen that after two visit with him. He told me I don't know what to do with you. You are too young for this (I heard that before). But he did one thing I unexpected, he refer me to the Utah Cancer Institute where he believe and indeed find what is wrong with me.

At the cancer institute they performed a MRI and find a gray area on my left lobe of my prostate. The doctor said… it looks like cancer, but I can't confirmed until I make a biopsy. But the good news if it is cancer it hasn't spread anywhere. He said that in a joke tone. I was like ok, but laughing too.

I did the biopsy which took 4 days to get the results and end up being cancer. Not the best news you can get, but somehow I felt release… weird huh… finally I know who I am facing and what I must do.

Now I am waiting for the doctor's appointment to hear my options for treatment. Since I got some time to kill I am researching more about prostate cancer which lead me to this site and share my story.

More to follow and thanks for reading.

UPDATED

July 2015

Finally I saw the doctor last week to talk about my options. But to be honest I already knew what I wanted to have done after hearing, reading and learning the side effects of whatever procedure I am about to choose.

I took the time to read a lot of the stories in this site. It gave me a great deal of what is to come depending the decision I was taking. I also ask to a lot of my friends, family and people that have gone through and going thru this struggle. It bring me not only comfort but a clarity of mind.

To my surprise the Doctor advise me to seek surgery. Due to the type of cancer and stage. So it was no brainer that I ended up choosing robotic laparoscopic prostatectomy, due to the fact that I am young and the cancer has not spread outside the prostate still. I had 7 cores out of 14 positive with cancer. I rather live 10, 15, 20 year more and a chance to see 100 years with diaper and side effects and all than a few years.

Before I took the decision, I talk to my wife and children since they are all in this rocky road I have ahead. They were all in on my decision and focus on the finish line.

The next thing on this adventure is Surgery day. I am schedule on September 10, 2015 at the Huntsman Cancer Institute with Dr. Lawrence. I can tell you that I am anxious… who is not! Right.

I have been reading a lot to help my surgery day and recovery. One thing the doctor ask me is to hold my urine in the middle of the flow and stop my urine from getting out to strengthen the muscle. This will allow to minimize incontinence.

That's it for now! See you all after September 10.

UPDATED

September 2015

Surgery day is here… Took my hospital bag and drove to the Huntsman Cancer Institute to have my prostate removed with the robotic surgery. Prior to the surgery the Doctors went over how my procedure was going to be done, the prescriptions I was going to take for pain control, how the pain will feel and catheter care.

Then they wheel me in to the surgery room and transfer me into the table which has a weird position where my lower abdomen is raised. The doctor then told me to begin breathing normal and the anesthesia will start and that sit, I was gone with the wind.

The surgery last 3 hours and 30 minutes. When I wake up I did not feel a thing since I was still under the effects of the anesthesia. Once I was fully awake they move me to a private room where my sister who was with me was waiting. My biggest fear in this whole journey was the catheter, now that I have it on I kind of like it, since I don't have to go to the toilet every hour or so. The irony on this kills me. Although I am looking forward to have it removed on the 28 of September. So I am having this thing on me for 18 days.

My sister told me that the surgery went fine and the cancer was still in the prostate according with the doctors. I was happy to hear that. As for pain after the surgery I had a problem that I could not feel my legs. They were asleep not a good feeling. The Doctors said that this was due to the position I was in and that I pinch a nerve and it will take a while to regain feeling. It is my 3rd day after the surgery and now I feel my legs, but still feel some numb areas but at least I can walk now. I was using a walker to move around. Although I don't needed anymore to walk I keep using it for support and protection from my little ones.

My first bowel movement... uff… Get ready for your experience on that. I know now what would it feel having a baby. It was painful. Plain and simple. I scream like someone was killing me. But when it was over trust me you will feel like a big load has been taken from you.

The bladder spasms feel just like a huge feeling of peeing for me with the pain that comes from holding it too long. The pill medication does help but it take about 30 minutes to take effect so all I can tell you is plan for it and enjoy the ride. Also walk it helps I am doing it three times a day. Also I am eating really light to ease the pain when I go to the restroom. Like toast, apple sauce.

See you next time when they pull my catheter out.

UPDATED

November 2015

The catheter is finally off and it has been a few weeks since then. I just wanted to give enough time to see and feel the effects of having it off. So my advice is when you get it off is just relax. For me it felt like 2 second of pressure with a pain level of 2 on a scale of 1 to 10.

Once is off you will feel relieved of not having to carry that bag everywhere you go and an indescribable happiness. But it will come crash soon once you realize you had to move to the next stage. MAN GUARD PADS BABY! This will be your guard from having a nice pancake on your pants. On my first week I start using heavy pads since pretty much I was leaking on just the thought of it. On the second week to the third I had a pretty good idea that I needed to go to the restroom more and empty my bladder every hour a half to control my leakage. After a month I started to control my leakage better in the morning but as the day go by so do the control. I figure the muscle just got tired to keep holding on.

I have been changing thin pads about 3 times a day and using the heavy one for night. Also at the beginning I was spotting a little bit of blood but it went away after a week.

I have been experiencing also pain while I urinate which for me feels like a 2 to a 3 on the pain scale and just recently I had a kidney infection no sure how connected it is to my current condition, but most likely it is. I just haven't had the time to talk to my urologist.

Talking about my erectile dysfunction well that department is pretty much dead for me, even while taking Viagra. I have been able to experience orgasm without an erection but that is has far as it goes. At least it beats having cancer any day of the week.

The good news is that I just received the news that my PSA level went from 6.5 to .01 undetectable. So I am officially on remission and surgery was a total success for me.

Next checkup will be on December, see you all until then.

UPDATED

April 2016

Well it has been about 7 months since my robotic surgery and sadly my PSA levels are on the rise since then. Right after the surgery it was .01 and on March 2016 my PSA results went to .07. Honestly, I was upset to hear those news. I never expected to be this early, maybe in 5 years or so, but not this early.

All I can really say is CANCER does not own me. I own him and choose to rejected and fight it. So I am at it again. My doctor recommend me to do the hormone treatment with radiation therapy. So I am on Firmagon to stop testosterone to stop cancer from growing and pending to start my radiation.

Some of the side effects I experienced was not able to think clear but after the second day I had feel much better. The ones that stuck is pain in the abdominal area and feeling tired. To describe the word tired is like when you had have a nice workout and the you just want to chill afterward. Well imagine that feeling all day long and it just doesn't go away. No matter how much you rest. That is pretty much how I feel.

But thankfully I am pretty active not even in sickness. The only way to stop me from doing things I like is if I am bound to a bed or dead.

That is it for now. I let you know how I feel when I get the radiation treatment. I am guessing even more tired for what I am reading.

Until then stay positive, happy and keep living!

UPDATED

August 2016

Time flies when you're having fun. To summarize, I finished my radiation therapy (IGRT). The side effect that I experience was a minor to none discomfort in the genital area, but nothing bad. Also, I experience fatigue on the pelvis area, to explain the sensation it felt like it takes a minimal effort to stand up, because it felt like straining on the bones in that area.

I am still receiving the hormone treatment and the biggest side effect yet is tiredness, the dull pain and rash that still happen in next three days after the shot. I have gotten use too and it doesn't bother me anymore. The doctor ask me if I want to change the hormone and I said I rather deal with the devil I know than the devil I don't know (LOL).

Well that is it. I will be on hormones for two years. It was suppose to be till May 2017, but my radiation oncologist suggested that I should be for two years on hormones since it has shown in studies a better success rates for keeping this beast in remission. So that is the plan, till May of 2018, I will be in hormones and with my finger cross that my next update is I am free of cancer once again.

God Speed! Keep on fighting!

UPDATED

September 2016

I have been noticing some side effects such as urgency and a relapse of incontinence. I am getting anxious to get my PSA taken to get a sense that the treatment is working. I had been trying to get my mind busy with work and home projects. One month has passed, two to go to get my PSA done and really know where I am.

UPDATED

May 2017

It is May! That means I had been on ADT for a year. The hormone treatment I am under is Firmagon, if you ever wonder. All I can tell you is that it has been hard and easy. I have gotten used to the side effects, but this weight gain is killing me now. So it is time to start going to the GYM. I have gain about 60 pounds slowly throughout the past year. But I did not help to stop it either. Life, that's all I can say, right now. Too busy, too tired, and don't give it a... well you get the picture.

Maybe I suffering from depression and don't even know it. Also my PSA is creeping slowly up. The Doctor said it is probably the lab sensitivity on the testing. So he had me test on another lab and it tested at a lower number. So for now we still on watchful waiting...

Just wanted to check in and say that I am still alive and kicking. One year down and one year to go on hormone treatment. That is if this fatness doesn't kill me first.

Hang in there and stay strong! We all struggle!

Picarmy's e-mail address is: latin24 AT hotmail.com (replace "AT" with "@")


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