In February 2003 I found out that my father had prostate cancer which had metastasized to his bones. At the same time I learned that my grandfather had died from prostate cancer at age 70. After a year of much pain, my father died in March 2004.
Since age 50, I have had regular physicals which included blood work for PSA. At age 50, my PSA was 2.6 ng/ml. By April 2006 the reading was 3.7 ng/ml. Given my family history and increasing PSA scores, I decided to visit an urologist. My GP referred me to Dr. Bevan-Thomas who practices in San Ramon and Fremont, CA.
During my initial appointment with Dr. Bevan-Thomas, he indicated that my scores were borderline (or below). He indicated that I could start the "watchful waiting" or have a biopsy. I chose to have the biopsy which was performed on July 31, 2006. On August 4th, I had my appointment to review the results of the biopsy. To quote the Doctor,"Bummer, they found something!". Of the 12 samples, they found 8 contained cancer.
That started the research project. I contacted friends and clients within the medical community and received great suggestions and recommendations. One recommendation, from a venture capitalist who underwent surgery about 2 years ago, was to purchase the book written by Dr. Patrick Walsh, "Guide to Surviving Prostate Cancer", and read it from cover to cover. I did that and continue to use it as a reference. I consulted with Dr. Brooks at the Stanford Medical Center, Dr. Carroll at University of San Francisco Medical Center, and others. I also spoke to many fellow prostate cancer patients who had gone through various treatments. I found these men to be more than helpful. It was almost like I had become a member of an exclusive club where the members were more than willing to provide aid and comfort. After considering the various options and doctors, I decided to have the Robotic Laparoscopic Surgery and have Dr. Bevan-Thomas perform it. Dr. Bevan-Thomas has been performing this type of surgery since 2002 and had a very confident manner without being arrogant.
I had the surgery on November 10th beginning at about 8:00am. The surgery lasted about 2 1/2 hours and recovery took about an hour. On the trip from recover to the hospital room, I experienced pain from the bladder spasm. Shortly after taking the appropriate medication, the pain was gone. I spent the night in the hospital and was released the next day around mid-morning.
Within 3 days following the surgery, I worked from home for 3 to 4 hours per day with no problems. I also began walking about 1/2 hour each day around the neighborhood. The catheter was removed 5 days after the surgery. The removal was more discomfort than painful. I returned to cardio workouts 3 weeks after surgery and very light weight training as of yesterday.
Continence has been an issue since the removal of the catheter but has improved steadily. I have gone from 6 to 7 pads a day to 2 to 3 now. I do the Kegels regularly. The leakage is more a problem while exercising.
ED has also been a problem. 2 weeks following the removal of the catheter, I started taking Viagra and Levitra. So far, the results have been very minimal, although orgasms are possible.
I have my first post-op blood test and appointment on December 27th.
My first post-op blood test results had my PSA at 0.1 ng/ml. Apparently my doctor was expecting something under 0.1 so has ordered an ultra-sensitive PSA test for a few weeks out.
I am sorry for failing to provide an update. It is funny how life gets in the way of so many things.
Anyway, yesterday marked the 18 month anniversary of my surgery. My quarterly blood test reveals a PSA result of less than 0.1 so everyone is happy. Since a couple of weeks after the surgery I have not experienced any issue with leakage. Again, everyone is happy about that.
The ED issue, unfortunately, is still an issue. Although things on that front have improved, especially recently, it still causes much frustration! While Viagra seems to be helping, it does not produce the results one would expect from the commercials.
All things considered, I am still pleased with the choice I made. I believe it was the right one for me.
Thank you for your interest.
I am approaching three years since the surgery. My PSA continues to be 0.1 and below of which I am quite happy about.
The ED continues to be a bit of an issue. I have just started using the daily Cialis which seems to be more effective than any of the other products.
Other than that, everything is going great.
My PSA continues to be around 0.10. I have no problems to report. Life is back to where it was prior to the surgery.
Best, Dave Arterburn
My PSA continues at or below 0.1 ng/ml and and the side-effects are negligible.
My PSA continues at or below 0.1 ng/ml and and the side-effects are still negligible.
Things are pretty much the same as the last update.
No change since last update.
It has been over 10 years since my surgery. Everything has remained the same for several years now.
Dave's e-mail address is: dave AT awcpa.com (replace "AT" with "@")