After several years of up and down bounces in PSA I had three consecutive bumps up from 4.2 to 4.7 to 5.2. Urologist suggested biopsy as DRE (Digital Rectal Examination) showed no signs. Biopsy results came back positive in one of six cores.
I am an academic who is not working during the summer months, so I have devoted full-time to reading and research since initial diagnosis three weeks ago. YANA site has been one of the most helpful. I have read several books as well as many websites in addition to the YANA site. All possible treatment options appear to have much the same side effects, but in differing sequence. I'm troubled by possible long-term effects of radiation options. I'm leaning toward Da Vinci surgery because it is the less invasive surgery option and my urologist has a sterling reputation with the procedure. My wife and I feel this option will remove the dread of potential future recurrence. Still looking at HIFU option, but note that urinary incontinence problems seem to be more frequently reported in experience statements by HIFU patients than others. ED I can live with, but would prefer not to be long-term incontinence sufferer.
Expect to make decision by July 8, so will be back to post that then.
After spending a month doing intense reading and internet searching, plus talking with guys who've been there, I've decided to go with the Da Vinci Robotic surgery. My prostate is somewhat large and would require hormone therapy to shrink to 40cc in order to make HIFU feasible. I just didn't want to go that route. Why add side effects of Lupron to those of the treatment itself? So now I'm awaiting a scheduling session with the surgeon's office.
After my original diagnosis in June of this year (2008), I spent quite some time investigating all available methods of treatment. My urologist encouraged me to take my time and become comfortable with my decision. I eventually selected the DaVinci Robotic Assisted Radical Prostatechtomy. My surgeon was Dr. M. Hugh Solomon at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He has done well over 200 Davincis and among the best liked and most successful urology surgeons in the area.
I had the procedure first thing Monday morning, December 15. I arrived with my wife at the hospital at 5:45am and, after prep and paperwork, was wheeled away to surgery about 7:45am. I have no memory of events until waking up about noon with catheter, tell-tale incisions on my belly and the dreaded drain. I sat up in bed a couple of times on Monday and walked a lot on Tuesday. Came home mid morning on Wednesday. Today, December 24, 2008 my catheter was removed and I am making my transition to diapers and pads. There has been very little pain and my most uncomfortable post-surgery complications have been gas and constipation. I'm a very regular guy and this uncertainty has been very annoying. I'm told that now I can expect progress as I have stopped pain pills altogether.
Pathology report showed more cancer than the biopsy (3+4=7 instead of 3+3=6 Gleason, closer to 20% involvement than the 10% from biopsy) but all margins and lymph nodes were clear. No further treatment indicated.
I'm optimistic about being dry, but will have to wait to see how that develops.
I just went in for my six weeks post op PSA and review with surgeon. PSA was < .01 and all looks good for no further treatment.
Although I still have some leakage during the day when I'm active, I hold urine in spite of this and have good control. One or two pads per day. No leakage at night and I wear small pad "just in case." I've been surprised by erections, which have been good since a day or so after catheter was removed. I do therapy twice a day, take 25mg Viagra every day from stash I built up while awaiting surgery. Pain in testicles/scrotum has only now gone away, making thoughts of sex more inviting.
Thanks to all who have contributed their stories to this site. It was an absolutely wonderful help to me in preparing for this very scary ordeal.
I went in today for my five-months-post-op visit. PSA was not measurable (less than .01)!
In the last week I have given up wearing pads of any sort as my occasional leak is so small that jockey shorts are adequate to absorb it.
Erections are unpredictable, sometimes very good and other times not so good. I'm trying increased dose of Viagra for a while and we will see how/if that helps before looking at other options.
All in all, I'm feeling great and lucky to have had such a good surgeon and such a complete recovery, as well as thankful for now being cancer free!
I have just had my eighteen-months-post-surgery PSA test and doctor's visit.
I feel great and seem to have made a complete recovery. PSA number continues to be 0.0, I no longer have leakage problems, and I manage pretty good, usable erections with the help of a bit of Viagra and a constriction ring to prevent losing it once achieved.
All in all I consider myself a very lucky guy!!
Just recently had my annual visit to urologist and continue to have PSA < 0.000.
Occasionally have a bit of a urine dribble but a folded paper napkin stuck in my briefs is adequate.
Sex with (and sometimes without) Viagra is fine.
Altogether, life is great post prostate cancer.
Three and one-half years after surgery I feel great. PSA continues to be 0. I do blood test every six months and visit urologist/surgeon once a year.
No urine leakage problems to speak of, and erections pretty good for a guy of 70.
I am now 72. For a guy my age it is hard to tell if side effects are age related or are related to my treatment: DaVinci radical surgery. All in all, feeling great.
Occasional small leakage.
PSA testing now annual and reading continues to be 0.00. Aside from some ED problems and occasional urine dripping (a folded paper towel or napkin in my brief is sufficient to absorb it), all is very good. I feel very lucky.
Minor incontinence issues. No longer see urologist annually. Essentially, released by Dr.
Don's e-mail address is: ecopearson AT comcast.net (replace "AT" with "@")