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John Fisher and Beth live in Florida, USA. He was 54 when he was diagnosed in December, 2008. His initial PSA was 1.25 ng/ml, his Gleason Score was 6, and he was staged T2a. His choice of treatment was Surgery (Robotic Laparoscopic Prostatectomy). Here is his story.

Initial DRE exam performed by my GP as part of a physical. Stating he felt something "unusual", I appointed with a local urologist. He confirmed the nodule and was scheduled for a biopsy. Fretting this procedure for two weeks, it turned out to be nothing more than a little uncomfortable. Well, the results were back about two weeks later ...... three cores showed cancer (5 - 50%) .... Gleason of 3+3=6.

The news I wasn't expecting was now a reality! CANCER ... how can I deal with that? Urologist suggested complete removal without nerve sparring. WHOA! Let's talk this over.

Upon consult with surgeon (400 robotics in 4 years), he felt confident he could "spare the nerves". No promises except that he said he'd do the best that he can ... at least he's honest. Surgery has just been scheduled for February 11th in Ocala, Florida. After extensive reading, this site has been a great help, I'm actually not real worried. Concerned, but no longer "knocking at Death's door" (I don't think). Anyway, I still have three weeks+ until surgery.

I'll check back at a later date.

THANX to all!

UPDATED

February 2009

OK, February 12th and I'm home from the hospital after Robotic surgery yesterday.

Went in at 11 AM, prepped, joked with the nurses and was feeling "Really Good" by my 1 PM surgery time. I floated in and out of consciousness, but do remember catching a glimpse of the Da Vinci and console. Next moment I remember was being in my room with my wife, son and grand daughter, although my doctor claims I held an at length conversation in recovery of how quickly I planned on testing his nerve sparring skills.

I still haven't felt any real pain, lots of discomfort .... sore stomach, Foley tube annoying and the stomach drain removal was just a strange sensation. I was up walking at midnight, only because I was bored to tears .... you might think they'd let you rest a little, but nurses were checking on me every half hour.

Anyway, I'm home, glad and hopefully cancer-free. If you're planning on the DaVinci surgery, email me and I'll answer any questions or concerns .... . but so far .... not a big deal!

Later: February 22nd .... eleven days since surgery and I feel almost 100%. Foley was removed on February 18th, again another non-issue ... removal was STRANGE, but definitely NOT painful at all. All in all .... no pain, almost no discomfort at all, a little leakage, but I think only when I attempt to do too much. I wear a pad for peace of mind, but mostly because I really don't even think about it and don't want any "accidents".

Haven't really addressed the ED issue, although I have awakened to several erections and the right thoughts seem to stimulate the right areas ... a REAL GOOD sign, I think.

Will see my surgeon on Tuesday and should get all the results and do's and don'ts of what I can be doing. I'm attempting to get back to work tomorrow on a limited basis. I'm a house painter and work with my son, so needless to say, Jon will be doing ~90% of the work. I guess I'm just getting antsy and basically will just go through the motions ... don't expect any issues.

In general, this experience has been a real non-issue. The initial cancer shock has been the worst part of the whole ordeal. The testing, surgery, recovery, etc. has been pretty much uneventful. I haven't really worried or thought about anything in particular ... just want to get back to life as I knew it ... Normal! My next big hurdle is to be able to get back to fishing for Redfish with my son on our Sterling Flats boat. If I can get to that point, then all will be well.

Thanks again to Terry and this website for answering the numerous questions & concerns I had throughout. I think this had been the biggest tool in helping me through this time and the support and concern of some many members has been GREAT. I can only hope that I can return the favor and help others who face the same.

THANKS AGAIN!!!

UPDATED

April 2009

April 14th and all couldn't be better.

I had some concerns two weeks out of surgery (Feb 11, 09) about "getting back to normal" but that disappeared quickly. I've been back to work (house painter) for almost six weeks now. A little slow at first, but didn't take long to shake the feeling that I was going to "mess something up" down there. My stamina has finally regained and I've been able to put in the usual 10 hour days w/o any weakness at all.

As far as the incontinence and ED problems .... happy to say I have none ... well almost none. The incontinence is basically not an issue, no pads or worries - occasionally there may be a drop leak out. Sometimes it feels as if I'm leaking only to find nothing when I check ... still a little paranoid I think.

On the ED .... full erections with the help of Levitra 20mg. Actually the 1st attempt I split the pill and everything was great, but I was just really, really ready at that time. I've been using 20mg since (purchased generic out of India, through Canada ... works just as good at a third of the cost). Without the pill, I'm still kinda "short", but I'm not complaining in the least bit.

Mentally I think I have put this whole ordeal out of my mind. A close friend who was diagnosed ~2 years ago with breast cancer passed away on Monday and that really has me appreciating my scenario. I guess I'm one of the REAL LUCKY ones and believe me I AM THANKFUL!!!

Once again, Thanx to Terry & YANA, it's been a great inspiration to overcome not only the PCa, but the fear of the PCa.

GOOD LUCK TO ALL l!!!!!!

UPDATED

October 2009

Well it's been eight months since surgery and all is well. I had my first PSA check and it was undetectable. No complaints, no concerns at this point. It's been quite some time since I really even thought about this ordeal.

No incontinence, ED is minimal .... changed to Viagra, but only use it occasionally, and not really for any reason except that I want to be sure "it works". Erections without "help" are usually about 90%, but have had some GREAT 100% ers. I still swear I lost some length, something I surely couldn't afford to begin with.

But ... no complaints, considering the alternative. Again, and I can't stress this enough .... I was one of the fortunate ones. Never any problems from day one. Quick recovery, no lasting problems. Can't say enough GOOD things about RALP and my surgeon, Dr. Harvey Taub, located in "The Villages" in Central Florida. I believe a positive attitude without dwelling on the negative aspects is key to a positive, quality recovery ... but that's just my opinion!

Best Wishes to all who are contemplating how to proceed after diagnosis and to all who are well on their way to a cancer free life! Terry ... again a big THANK YOU!!

UPDATED

February 2010

Today is my one year anniversary of being cancer free. I had my Da Vinci surgery on this date (February 11th, 2009) in Ocala, Florida. Everything couldn't be better. Recovery was quick and I have been back to almost 100% in all aspects for quite some time now.

Six month PSA was undetectable, one year blood work coming soon. No incontinence at all, really was never an issue. ED only challenges me occasionally, full (although seems to me, smaller) erections majority of the time, several lately w/o help (Levitra or Viagra). I'm thinking this might have been the norm for me anyway, but who knows ... I'm certainly not complaining.

Anyway, to keep it short, all's well here, I've really been fortunate enough to not even have to think about it anymore. I hope all goes well for anyone reading through these posts.

Thanks Terry and Good Luck to all !!!!

UPDATED

June 2011

First, I'd like to apologize for not updating in recent months. I guess I kinda forgot all about this little event in my life, but I shouldn't have. I just didn't realize how important it is for others who are curious to see how we progress after treatment and for that I am truly sorry! So, anyway, just recently had a check-up with my Urologist in April 2011, still has me on six month visits, and everything is GRAND. PSA is undetectable, no problems, at least nothing serious.

As for physical symptoms ... never really had any problems from day one. No leakage what-so-ever! ED thing is an issue, but not a real big deal. Have no problems the vast majority of times without any drug help. Not the same as when I was in my early twenties, but then again, I don't think it would have been any different for me at my age, cancer surgery or not. Viagra, Cialis and Levitra help, but with me not a big enough difference to spend the $$$.

Tried the Vacurect. Works GREAT, but getting the retention ring off is a hassle. I have been taking a supplement called "RigiRX" that seems to help improve the "situation". Maybe a little quicker to get to attention and more stamina, so for ~$42/month, I keep taking it.

Actually, after two+ years, I don't even think about this anymore. It really is a non-issue in my life. Everything is basically normal and like I said before, I think any minimal symptoms I have now are more age related than PC related. Again, I can't stress enough how fortunate I have been with all this.

I realize I'm one of the lucky ones, but I honestly feel with a positive outlook and determination, a lot of potential problems can be avoided. I went into this thinking and expecting nothing less than the results I got and couldn't be any more content with my situation. It is what it is and we all have to deal with it in our own way!! Think positive!! Life is short .... go fishing, enjoy a national park, see a movie ... whatever makes you happy!!

UPDATED

August 2012

August, 2012 and I can't even tell you how long it's been since my surgery. As I stated in my previous updates, this ordeal has basically been a non-issue in my life. I really don't even think about it anymore. I do everything I did before the surgery and feel GREAT! I've suffered no ill effects what-so-ever except a touch of ED. But, I'm really thinking I'd have had this problem even w/o the surgery. At times, I have no problems what-so-ever, so, in my opinion, the surgery was a great success or those occasions would not exist. Again, as I stated before, I believe a strong positive attitude is key to recovery. I realize I'm one of the fortunate ones to come out of this basically unscathed, but I'm a big believer in making the best out of what you're given. Hope all who read this will not just wish for the best, but make the best out of whatever the result. Thanx and God speed to all!

UPDATED

October 2013

Sorry for not updating. Again, I'm a lucky one, I don't even think about this episode in my life anymore. The only time I even remember is when I get the email to update my story. Since my last update I've been eating correctly and along with working as a house painter, I get enough exercise to have lost 30+ pounds. This has all but corrected the ED issues I have talked about in the past. Apparently my surgeon did a bang-up job saving the nerves. All-in-all what can I say? Everything is good, no complaints about anything. And now, I'll be able to get health insurance. After my surgery, my insurance ($10,000 deductible) sky-rocketed to almost $500/month. It paid nothing, zilch, zero, until I had spent the first 10 Grand in health costs. Now I'm insurable with a decent "Silver" plan for both me and my wife at ~$475/month. At least I'll have coverage!! Please, don't take this as a political message ... it's not about politics .... it's about helping people be well.

To all who are facing this PC deal, don't fret! Not the end of the world, seek advise .... especially from those here, move forward with a positive attitude and do what you need to do! Although I know it's a difficult time, but keep the faith, plan for the best and move on! My best wishes to all !!!

UPDATED

January 2015

Sorry for the delay in updating, but this is really a non-issue for me! The only time I even think about having had prostate cancer is when I receive an email to update my story. As of this time I have no issues associated with the cancer or the treatment. The ED I experienced in the past has improved, mostly from weight loss, I believe. It ain't perfect, but at 60, it's pretty damn good. As I said in past updates, I believe the treatment had only a temporary effect on my ED issues.

Again, I apologize for my delay in updating. I can only offer that anyone diagnosed think positive!! There will be a set-back, but with a positive attitude, a great surgeon and time, I believe in most cases, all will be OK and life moves on.

Thanx for checking back with me and, please, if I can be of any help, in any manner, please contact me.

UPDATED

April 2016

OK, I don't even know how long it's been since treatment. Reading my initial bio, surgery was in February, 2009, six years ago, WOW! Like I've said in past updates, no issues what-so-ever! Still experiencing some ED, but I believe not at all related to the surgery, as I've had great erections since w/o any chemical or physical help. All in all, I AM LUCKY, realize it and appreciate everyone who has been there for me through this.

PLEASE contact me for any info or concerns you may have. If you need some positive feedback, I'm your guy. Nothing bad to say here except for the idea that I HAD cancer.

Good Luck with your procedure and may your results be as GREAT as mine!

THANX YANA!

UPDATED

May 2017

Seven years since treatment (robotic surgery) and all is well. No problems, no complaints. As I've stated over & over again, this has been a non-issue for me for several years. I don't even think about this episode of my life unless YANA asks for an update or someone mentions PC. I realize I'm very fortunate and am thankful that this has had no negative effects on me what-so-ever.

Again, if you need someone to chat with regarding your situation, please feel free to email me if I can be of any help.

John's e-mail address is: fisherpainting AT yahoo.com (replace "AT" with "@")


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