After having a dream about my prostate I've asked my GP about testing for prostate cancer.
I was told at 41 (and with no family history of prostate problems)I was still too young for DRE, but was offered PSA test next time I did a blood test.
Few weeks later decided to check my cholesterol level and my PSA came back at 8.1 ng/ml. DRE was performed and detected prostate enlargement.
I was refered to urologist, another DRE was performed and antibiotics prescribed.
Two weeks later PSA gone up to 9.1 ng/ml, so biopsy was performed. On the 6th of October 2006 I was informed that I have prostate cancer.
Currently waiting for robotic prostatectomy due on 21st November.
I had my surgery on 21st November 2006 as planned at Epworth Hospital in Melbourne, Victoria. By Prof. A. Costello. Surgery went well and lasted just over 3 hours.
Recovered pretty good, but few hours later had quite severe bladder spasm. Painkillers were administered, but they made me very nauseous for the next 12 hours. Following day I felt much better, eating and walking without much problem. I was discharged from hospital on 23rd November and after spending one night in a hotel in Melbourne flew back home following day.
Surprisingly I had very little discomfort with catheter which was removed on 29th November. Over the next couple of days I had very little control over my bladder during the day, but stayed completely dry at night. Very quickly I regain the control and have been down to one pad a day for the past 10 days.
Found a fair bit of the blood in my urine about 10 days after surgery, but was informed it was quite normal and most likely caused by blood clots being expelled from my body. It has settled very quickly, within next few hours.
The wounds have healed very quickly, very little pain or discomfort, probably helped by occasional Panadol or Voltaren.
As far as erections go it is still very quiet, but I have managed to have a successful intercourse 18 days after surgery. Overall I am extremely happy with my progress. I believe it is due to skill of my surgeon, few weeks of Kegels and Chinese herbs/acupuncture prior to surgery.
As an added bonus, after the biopsy of prostate, my Gleason score was downgraded from 4+3=7 to 3+4=7 and staging from T2b to T2a.
Since December 2006 my recovery was proceeding very well. My first PSA test after surgery was < 0.05. Huge relief. About two months after surgery I was pads free. I probably could've stop using them earlier, but did not have the confidence at the time. The erections improved as well. I was using a pump for a few weeks, but found it bit cumbersome. I've also used Cialis and Levitra (supplied for free by my doctor in "sample packs") . Biggest help came from my wife, who was extremely understanding and supportive. I think I was very self conscious in the early days. Once I've overcome this, things returned to "normal" very quickly.
In February I had my second PSA test - < 0.01.! I'd also noticed my urine flow started to decrease quite suddenly day by day. I contacted my urologist and two days later I had cystoscopy. Apparently I was healing "too well" and the scar tissue started closing my urethra. I was nearly fully blocked.
The procedure took 45 minutes. I was home two days later. Had to wear catheter for the next seven days. This was little bit more uncomfortable then catheter after initial surgery. After catheter was removed things returned to normal very quickly. The procedure did not seem to impact on continence at all. I was told that it was likely I might undergo this procedure in the future. What joy Next few months very pretty uneventful, until May.
My urine flow started to decrease yet again. After consultation with my urologist it was decided I needed another cystoscopy, this time bit more aggressive.
As before, I was home 2 days later. This time catheter was even more uncomfortable. I've also had more blood in my urine. Five days later my catheter appeared to have blocked due to the blood clot. Back to hospital, where it was removed. After overnight stay I went home without any problems. I wore pads for a couple of days, "just in case", but realized I didn't need them at all. I guess doing plenty of Kegel exercises was paying its dividends.
My following PSA tests (in May and August) came under 0.01 again.
In August I've underwent an inguinal hernia surgery on left side of my groin. I was warned that my happen. Apparently if you are prone to getting hernia robotic prostatectomy might accelerate this happening.
Since then everything has been going really well. My last (December 2007) PSA reading was under 0.01.
Life been pretty good since my last update.
I fully recovered from inguinal hernia surgery. The incontinence issue has also been resolved - no more problems with the urethra scarring. No issues with ED either - everything is working perfectly.
My last PSA in February this year again came under 0.01.
Next PSA check is due in August.
My last PSA in August came under 0.01 again. My specialist recommended I see my local GP from now on as there is no need for me to see him. Life is back to normal, no issues whatsoever.
Next on the agenda is weight loss - I've put few kilos on since surgery. Other than that life's good.
Had my yearly blood test last week - my PSA is still under 0.01. I have no side effects whatsoever with leakage or erections, everything is back to normal with no need for medications or further treatment. Life's good.
Not much to report, all is good cancer wise. I'm waiting for my yearly blood test to send an update, due in August. Thanks a lot for continuing with your website - it is a great help. I've sent quite few men there and they all commented how helpful it was to read real stories.
All good here.
My last blood test was in August 2011 and PSA came under 0.01 again.
No side effect or problems of any kind.
Lats week I had my yearly health check up and that included full blood test.
PSA came back under 0.01.
Everything else is fine too, no side effects of any kind.
Over 5 years have past and surgery is now a distant memory.
Had my blood test last week and my PSA is under 0.03
I've used a different lab this time - that my explain reading of < 0.03 instead of previous readings <0.01
Life is still good, everything is working perfectly.
The only significant change came last year when I was medically retired from my job of 26 years after a workplace injury.
Now I spend much more time at home with my wife and my dogs enjoying life.
Had my latest annual blood test and the news is still great - PSA under 0.01
Nothing else to report, all is well and working as it should.
Had my annual blood test last week and no change from last year - PSA still under 0.01 - undetectable.
Everything else is fine too, no side effects or issues of any kind.
Life is good.
Another year has passed so it's time for an update.
Had my yearly health check up and that included full blood test.
PSA came back under 0.01.
One year since my last update and am happy to report that my PSA remains undetectable.
No problems of any kind, no side effects and all functions well.
Until next time, take care and keep fighting.
Arek's e-mail address is: flyeroz AT gmail.com (replace "AT" with "@")