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Lee Pullen and Patti live in California, USA. He was 57 when he was diagnosed in October, 2007. His initial PSA was 4.20 ng/ml, his Gleason Score was 6, and he was staged T1c. His choice of treatment was Surgery (Robotic Laparoscopic Prostatectomy). Here is his story.

We as most were devastated when I got the call that I had prostate cancer. After consulting many, we decided on the Da Vinci procedure. Dr. Neyssan Tebyani performed the surgery at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, California.

I checked in at 5:00 am on January 24th 2008, went into surgery at 8:00 am and got into my room at 4:00 pm. The only trouble/pain I had was from a spasm from the drain tube. I had three of those and it took a bit of morphine to get it relaxed. I spent two nights there and was released at 6:00 pm on Saturday January 26th. I had the drain tube removed the following Monday the 28th.

I started taking short walks every couple of hours as soon as I got home from the hospital. Still did not have any pain from the surgery just a little stiff in the mid section. I did not have any real issues with the catheter or changing from the leg bag to the night bag. I had the catheter removed February 4th 2008. Also got the post op pathology report. Gleason was bumped up to 7 with a positive margin. NOT quite what we wanted to hear. The doctor said to just deal with recovery now. He set up a follow up PSA which will be this coming Monday. I will go back to see him for the results on March 13th.

I was surprised that I stayed dry the first night although I was up every 1 to 1/1/2 hours going to the bathroom. I was changing pads every couple of hours the first few days, but stayed dry at night and while sitting. Sleep at night improved each few days to the point that now I sleep most all night. May get up once. I went back to work on February 25th. Used four pads the first day back, but by last Friday, that number was down to one. I still use more if I am active, but I see improvement each day.

Still have ED issues, but it has only been five weeks so I am not concerned with that. I have had total support from my best friend and wife. She never let me get down or discouraged. I only wish I would have found this site BEFORE surgery. I would not have had so many sleepless nights wondering. Just like now waiting for the first Post OP PSA. Even though I did have a positive margin, after reading through this site, there is still many options.

Thanks to all that have contributed. I'll update as soon as I get the results back.

UPDATED

March 2008

Well, I got my first post op results today. Another good news bad news day, although mostly good. My PSA was < 0.10 and my recovery is still going well. Using 2 pads per day. Still have ED issues so my doctor gave me a prescription for Viagra to be taken 3 times per week.

The bad news is, the cancer was present on the edge of the prostate next the neck of the bladder. They got as close as they could without damage to the bladder. I will need to monitor my PSA monthly. He does not want to start radiation treatments at this time because of the continence and ED issues. He wants to give the nerves as much time as possible to heal. If the PSA starts to rise, then we will look at radiation.

They are doing a clinical study with pomegranate juice. I also read about the study with Vitamin D3 on this site. I may try one or both of those.

The other bad news was that my cure rate went from 90% to 20% according to my doctor.

All in all we are still upbeat and will continue living each day as it comes.

UPDATED

May 2008

Everything has progressed very well since my January 25, 2008 Robotic procedure.

I stopped wearing pads around the end of March. I still have minor leaks playing golf, tennis and riding my dirt bike. I do still wear a thin pad during these activities, mostly for peace of mind.

I had monthly PSA tests through May. All came back <0.1. The tests have been moved to every 2 months and my next appointment to the Urologist is not until November 2008.

Still drinking 8 ounces of Pomegranite juice daily. Quality of life is MUCH better than before surgery. No more getting up at night or really bad uncomfortable urges when the bladder was full. Have been back to my regular exercise routine for about 6 weeks. Running 3 days a week and weights 2 days. Not quite back to the pre-surgery levels of both but almost.

The ED issues are pretty much the same as everyone, works well with the "Blue Pill", but I really don't like the flushed feeling and minor headache. We are not overly concerned with this part of the recovery so we will see where it leads. There are other ways to the same end. I may or may not use the prescription I was given, have not decided. It will depend on how much the insurance company pays.

We are very happy with the progress and would follow the same path again.

Thanks again for this site and all the work maintaining it!!!!!

UPDATED

July 2008

I just received a call from my urologist with the July 1, 6 month PSA results. .01!! Great news!!!

Continence is almost a non issue at his point except for playing tennis and riding a dirt bike. I still wear a pad for these activities, also when playing golf. The pad is always dry after golf, but not so after tennis or dirt biking. Also as a lot of you, I wear one when I know I am going to have more than a couple of drinks.

ED issues still the same. OK with Viagra. My doctor is switching me to something else, I'll find out what that is when I pick it up.

All other quality of life issues are as good as or better than the pre-surgery levels. I would still follow the same path. Once again thanks Terry for this outstanding site.

UPDATED

November 2008

We had our 10 month post surgery lab Nov 5th and Dr. visit Nov 17th. The lab report stated that even though they did the ultra-sensitive test, that PSA values of less than 0.01 cannot be accurately measured and will be reported as <0.01. The test was performed using the DPC IMMULITE 2000 method.

We were pleased with those results. Continence is almost a non-issue. Just a few drops when serving playing tennis or hitting a golf ball, but not always.

ED issues are improving slowly. Still using Viagra, and now my urologist gave me some Levitra to try.

Still drinking 8 to 10 ozs of pomegranite juice every day. To quote the little kid in the insurrance comercials here. "Things are Lookin Up" We are back to a completly normal lifestyle and only think about the "Bump in The Road" every 4 months at test time.

UPDATED

January 2009

Well, here we are 1 year since my da Vinci procedure at Hoag Hospital in Costa Mesa, Ca. With the support of my soulmate Patti, we got throught the year quite well.

I would say that my quality of life is much better that before surgery. No more living my life having to think about the next bathroom visit, then standing there for 10 to 15 minutes slowly going. No physical limitations what so ever.

ED issues about 80% of pre-surgery levels with no medication, and no pads for the past 6 months. The last two PSA tests came back at less than .01.

The best of luck to all who are starting on this unwanted journey. In my case, it was nowhere near as bad as I had imagined. Thanks again Terry for this site and to all who contribute. It really does help to read about others and how they cope.

UPDATED

July 2009

July 2009 test results came back <.01 with a note from my Uro, "Good News, I don't need to see you" No incontinence and minor ED issues. Life is GOOD!!

Still keeping everything in perspective on the march towards the 5 year mark.

Thanks Terry!!

UPDATED

February 2010

We passed the 2 year mark January 24, 2010. February test results just came in at <0.1 along with a "Good News" note from my Uro. All is well on all fronts!! Still drinking a glass of pomegranate juice most every morning. That along with the tests every six months are about all that is different now than pre-surgery. Actually, quality of life is better. No more bathroom urgency problems now!!!

Thanks for your efforts Terry!!

UPDATED

November 2010

I just passed the 3rd year anniversary of my diagnosis. All is well. I would most certainly follow the same path if I had it all to do over.

Thanks Terry and the best of luck to all on your journeys.

UPDATED

January 2011

Well, today marks the 3 year anniversary of my surgery. I am very happy to say that all is VERY good. No continence problems and ED issues very workable. Now for the countdown to 5 years to hopefully get a break on health insurance.

Thanks again Terry for this site.

UPDATED

April 2012

I passed the 4 year mark this past January. All is well and I would travel the same road again. Best wishes to all!!!

UPDATED

February 2013

January 24th 2013 I hit the 5 year mark!! All is good!!!!!!!!!!

UPDATED

March 2014

6 Years since Robotic Surgery and all is well!!!!!!!!!!!!!

UPDATED

April 2015

7 years post DaVinci surgery and all is well!!!

UPDATED

August 2016

It has been 8 years since I had the DaVinci procedure at Hoag Hospital in Costa Mesa Ca. All is well!!!

Lee's e-mail address is: leepullen29 AT outlook.com (replace "AT" with "@")


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