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Patrick Moran and Nancy live in Pennsylvania, USA. He was 46 when he was diagnosed in January, 2008. His initial PSA was 6.90 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.

I am 47 years old and have been married to my wife Nancy for 20 years. We have two teenage sons. There is a strong family history of prostate cancer in my family. My father was 58 and my brother was 42 when diagnosed with prostate cancer. Today my father is 72 and my brother is 49 both are cancer free.

After my brother's cancer I began to take every supplement to prevent prostate cancer. I spent thousands of dollars over six years and maybe they worked or delayed my cancer.

I went for my annual check up in September of 07 and received the bad news my PSA went from 2.9 to 6.9 in just one year. I made an appointment at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. I had another PSA and it went down to 5.1 but I needed a biopsy.

In January of 08 I had my biopsy. The doctor said he did not see anything abnormal on my prostate so he took random samples. That gave me hope that maybe I only had a high PSA. My fears of six years were realized on January 22. The doctor informed my wife and I that 5 out of 12 samples we positive for cancer.

My doctor said that the surgery could wait till our planned vacation in June was over. Having five month till the surgery was good and bad. I now had a daily count down but my wife and I did have four years worth of sex in just five months. By the time of my surgery my wife was more than ready for it to happen.

I arrived at the hospital at 6am and was discharged at 6pm the next day. The surgery began at 9:30 and the doctor was talking to my wife at 12:45. They tried to stand me up at around 8pm and I proceeded to throw up and pass out. I am glad my nurse was strong because I am 6'4 210lbs. That first night was the worst pain that I ever felt. I was very sore in the stomach area. The robotic procedure makes five small incisions and pulls the prostate out through the belly button. The gas pains were very intense because they pump a small amount of gas into your stomach during the operation and the anesthesia put your bowels to sleep.

The next day I walked the hall and passed a small amount of gas by 7pm I was home. I slept on the couch and the recliner till my catheter was removed. I was very sore for about three weeks. The catheter is a pain and is hard to walk with sometimes. When you have a bowel movement some urine will come out from the head of the penis that is normal. My first bowel movement was not for three days after my surgery.

I put Neosporin on the head of my penis and around the tube of the catheter three times a day to keep from getting raw. I also became very black and blue from my groin to the upper part of my right side. I needed to ice my scrotum area three times a day for five days because my balls became the size of a softball.

My catheter was removed on July 21. The nurse disconnects your bag and then fills your tube with saline solution that in turn fills your bladder and then she pulls it out. I then put on a Depends diaper. There is nothing more humbling that being back in diapers at age 47. I could not hold my bladder at all for the first several days and that really got to me but over time and doing a million Kegels my bladder has gotten better. It is August 18th and I am finally in Depends guards for men. Before the surgery all of your pubic hair is shaved and I have kept it shaved until my bladder is close to 100% the reason it that your pubic hair traps the urine in the hair and leads to urine smell. Without the hair I can use an adult wipe and then use baby power to keep that area clean and dry every time I go to the bathroom. It also helps if you use a penis pump not to have hair in that area.

There is sex after prostate cancer. My doctor gave me Viagra to get blood to that area not to get an erection. To my surprise with a little self help I got a 50% erection and had my first dry ejaculation after only five weeks. I have also used a penis pump and get about 80% of an erection so I am feeling pretty good about the sex life.

Finally, If you have prostate cancer and are in your 40's or 50's and it is contained to the prostate that you need to have this cancer removed from your body and go on with your life.

I received my final pathology report and all of my cancer was contained to the prostate. My lymph nodes were clear and the surgical boundaries were all negative. My Gleason Score went from 3+3 to 3+4. My tumor only involved 18% of my prostate. The doctor said my cure rate was 99%. It is time to begin my new normal.

UPDATED

October 2008

It is October 20th and just had my first PSA follow-up after my July surgery and was thrilled when the doctor said my PSA was less than 0.01. It has not been that low since conception!!

In August I did not think that I would ever get out of diapers but by September 15 I no longer needed anything. It was 78 days that I either had something in or on my penis. I never thought just wearing underwear could feel so good.

The ED front is another matter. The pump that I was using makes your penis look like the same old erect penis until you let the pressure off and then it shrinks faster than being in 50 degree water. The blue pill works with stimulation but does not get me hard enough for intercourse. If I do attempt to be frisky I need to make sure that my bladder is empty or I'll pee all over the place like a excited puppy. Having booze and then trying to get hard do not mix.

I can get about 60% hard with pills and 30% without and have no real trouble coming. My doctor said I am doing great and that it might take up to 18 months to 24 months to get back to a normal sex life. I just look around and see that I am blessed with a great wife,kids and family. There are so many people that have it much worse than me how can I complain that my penis is not what it use to be. I am sure in time that everything will return to normal.

I told my doctor about the web site and he said he would check it out. He said that I do not need another PSA for 6 months. I had a great day I found out that I am cancer free and my son had a touch down catch to win his football game today. Life is good just look for the positives.

If anyone ever has a question please Email me.

UPDATED

April 2009

I just received my 9 month PSA results and it was a 0.01. I needed some great news since my company just went out of business after 80 years. One positive my stress level has gone way down.

I feel great and now get to the gym 3 times a week with no bladder issues. Why is it that I can lift 225 pounds and not leak but try to get frisky with my wife an leak all over the bed??

It has been 9 months since my operation and still can not get hard enough to have sex. My wife and I always had a great sex life and not being able to have that closeness does have a effect on the marriage. She never complains but I know it bothers her and not being able to perform is hard on the male ego. My doctor said it could take up to two years for things to get better.

I may look into the shots soon I hear that they can be very successful. I can only get 48 Viagra pills a year after that it is $20 a pill. Hopefully my next up date in October will produce a smile and a Zero PSA.

Stay positive and keep the faith!!

UPDATED

June 2010

Let's Talk Sex!!

My prostate surgery will be two years this July 10th. I have heard many men talk about sex but I wanted to talk about my experience and what I have tried.

After my surgery while attempting my first bowel movement I noticed that my penis became bigger while trying to go to the bathroom. This gave me hope for a quick recovery ... Wrong!! My Doctor gave me Viagra to take for the first month after surgery as therapy to get blood to the penis. I never saw any results and medical plan would only give me 10 pills for every 90 days. I decided that time would be the only real way to heal and to regain my Mojo.

The first time that I had penetration sex was almost one year to my surgical date. I tried the pump and it looks big and hard in the plastic tube until you take the pressure off but before you can do that you need to put on the penis clamp which is about one two inch circle and fit it on to a 6 inch circle. Make sure that you work out before attempting this. Now the fun part begins deflating the tube from air will make your penis hard but you need to make it hurt to get it big and then push on the clamp around the basis of the penis. Deflate the tube and you are ready to go. Don't worry about foreplay you are on the clock. Do your business and hope that you can last long enough to please you wife or partner. I have to say that the first time I used it I lasted 15 to 20 minutes but I had an orgasm within 2 minutes but the penis ring kept me up. I tried to use the pump two weeks later but with foreplay after 10 minutes I was soft and we both left frustrated.

I decided in September of 2009 that I would go back to my local Urologist that I used before going to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. What the hell was I thinking!! I wanted to try the shots that are put directly into the penis and usually have great results. My doctor asked me very few questions and gave me a prescription for a drug called Edex. It come in 10, 20 and 40 mg. guess which dose he started me off with?? That's right - 40mg! He gave me the shot and said he would be back in 5 minutes to check up on me. So I am standing bare ass naked with my pants at my feet and my wife watching to see the results. Within two minutes I had something that I had not seen in 14 months a hard penis.

My Doctor came in and gave it a nice hard squeeze and said, "I know you and your wife want to get out of here and try it out". Yes we did, but we had some questions like what happens if I does not go down or what side effects are involved. He rushed out some answers and he guided us to the check-out area. Long story short my penis was sooo hard that it hurt like hell to have sex and it did not go down for 3-1/2 hours. You know that ad that talks about a hard penis for 4 hours and we smart ass men say "I wish" - NO YOU DON'T!!! I then tried the 10mg shot but it did not make me very hard. So I gave up and decided to wait it out.

My surgeon said that it would take between 18 and 24 months to regain a erection that I could use with out drugs and he was right on. I had my first natural erection in March of this year 20 months after surgery and it has gotten better with each passing month. There are a few issues it does not look like it use to. I have the same thickness at the base but thins out and wants to make a left hand turn. [It seems likely from what Patrick says that he has what is termed Peyronie's Disease. This is a common side effect - see the MiniPoll results] I call it my bent penis my guess it has taken that shape because of the way my nerves have healed. I also have an issue with having an orgasm within two minutes. This is something that I will go back to Jefferson and find out what can be done.

It has been a long two years for my wife and I and am thankful for her support because it does not only affect me and most men feel like it is all about us after surgery. My doctor said it best before my surgery. "Will you be able to please your partner, yes. Will it be the same, no." I have never once doubted having the surgery at age 47. At age 49 I have a whole life to look forward to and men sex is important but that can not be the only reason not to have this surgery. I have learned that there is much more to life. My wife, kids, friends just live and enjoy what you have and not what you use to have.

Don't look back only forward. [It is sometimes worth glancing back to see how far you've traveled, but it is never worth dwelling on the past which cannot be changed]

UPDATED

March 2011

I has now been 32 month and just had my PSA taken - 0.01.

On the ED front I now have no issues with having an erection. Viagra is not needed and have 80 to 90% hardness on my own. I was having an issue with having an orgasm too quickly but that has become much better. It seems that time is the best way to heal. I did not want to hear that and I tried everything to be normal again but I found that most of my recovery came after the 24 months and continues to improve. Do not get me wrong my erection is not like it use to be but now I can react with just a touch or visual stimulation. It is great not to have to use a pump or needle to get hard again.

I know many men get discouraged but time for me was how I recovered.

UPDATED

April 2012

Time really flys it has been almost 4 years since my prostate cancer surgery and all is well. Back in January of 2012 I had by latest PSA and it was 0.01 and I hope it will always stay that way. I am going to Thomas Jefferson Hospital on April 19th to become a mentor for men who have become recently diagnosed with prostate cancer and will join the buddy system. I really have not lasting side effects to the surgery. I have no ED issues except I do not last very long and it is not as had as it use to be but it is a small price to pay to be cancer free. KEEP THE FAITH AND GOD BLESS!!

UPDATED

July 2012

Just had my 4 year PSA, I am age 51, and it was zero!! Health wise I have more issues with my knees than my prostate so that is always good news. I am currently working with Jefferson University Hospitals Buddy Program for men who have been recently diagnosed with prostate cancer and are trying to decide their next steps. My Father is 18 years age 76 and my brother 12 years age 54 out from their prostate cancer so I can tell you that my family has lived health lives after prostate cancer.

I have mentored many men about this and the main issue is about ED please do not allow that to stop you from getting the proper treatment. There are down times after treatment but life goes on and my family and friends were a huge help for me. You can either live in your sexual past or move on to the new normal. Sex might never be quite the same but there is too much life to look forward and I have never doubted my treatment. Keep the faith and enjoy your life!! Please feel free to email me anytime with questions.

UPDATED

August 2013

I have just celebrated my 5 year anniversary since my prostate cancer surgery and my PSA is zero. I have been having my PSA taken every 6 month for the past 5 years so I was being being a little on on safe side now I can finally have my blood work done every 12 months. I read that the success rate for men treated for prostate cancer that is detected early is 99% for 5 years out 97% for 10 years and 93% for 15 years from surgery I am sure that different articles will have various numbers but overall the cancer is very treatable and we can live long happy and health lives. I have mentored over 75 men and their families and I believe that I was to take a negative time in my life and share with others the fact that this cancer is very treatable and yes it is life changing in some ways you might not always be able to hold your bladder when you cough or turn a certain way and you will most likely not be the same power house in bed like you were before the surgery but simply that's life. The fastest way to stop feeling sorry for yourself is to think about a children's hospital and the very young patients who will never see their next birthdays, sports, school, prom night, marriage, having children, just life. I believe that we all take life for granted until something like cancer enter our lives I know I did but I cannot focus on what was I have to look forward and see what life has in store for me next. I am happy to report that my father who ha PC at 58 will turn 77 this month and my brother who had PC at age 43 will be 53 this month so please be aware that you might have down and depressing times during your recovery but I love life more now that I ever have. God bless all of my brothers and their familes that are battling Prostate Cancer you have much to live for!!

UPDATED

October 2014

Year number 6 and PSA Is Zero. I always like to update my Dad and Brother both are at Zero as well. I can honesty say that life is good and I have no regrets about having the surgery. Some ED issues, and will never be more than 70% hard and my staying power sucks without help but that's life. Hang in there my Prostate-less brothers or soon to be!

UPDATED

May 2016

It has been a little while since I last reported. I just turned 55 and it has been almost 8 years since my surgery, life is good. Yes, I still have ED issues and my best friend down there has never been quite the same that is why there is ESPN, LOL. I have never regretted my decision and this was just a bump In the road of life. I had issues with heart A Fib since I turned 50 and had heart ablation surgery last June. After 11 month since surgery I have gone from having daily heart racing, palpitations and sometimes being admitted to the hospital with full blown A Fib to having a very normal heart, thank the Lord!

My father is almost 80 and still going strong after 2 bouts of Prostate Cancer it has been 22 years since his surgery and 14 years since relapse. My brother now 56 is 14 years out and has been never looked back. For all of my new brothers with this cancer please believe me when detected in the early to mid stages this cancer is very curable. It is fine to be upset, angry, depressed and even cry some, yes real men cry. They will be ED issues and sex most likely will never be quite the same. Believe me that part does suck especially if you're in your 40's or early 50's but there are ED specialist that can help you have a more normal sex life. Please feel free to teach out any time.

God Bless and hang in there life will get better!

UPDATED

July 2017

It has now been 9 years since my prostate cancer surgery. I have no regrets about having the surgery. I have had the honor of communicating with over 100 men and several woman about the decision making before and after the surgery. I can only give my opinion but I do come form a family of prostate cancer survivors. A quick update on my Dad and brother who had prostate cancer as well. My Dad now 81 has been cancer free for 23 years and my brother 58 cancer free for 15 years. I am sad to report my 50 year old cousin who had a PSA of 11 four years ago never followed up with his doctor for 4 years. He was having back trouble for 2 years long story short his PSA was 333 and now has stage 4 prostate cancer that is now in his spine. With radiation and hormone therapy it is now zero but they can only treat the cancer. He has a 20% survivor rate of 2 year maybe 5 at best. This is why it is imperative that you ask questions from your doctor. If your PSA is over 4 you want further testing done do not wait!! Too many men want to stick their heads in the ground and say it will not happen to me do not let that be you.

The main concern from all men continues to be ED issues. I have not had a proper erection for 9 years and I never will. I was only 47 years old when I lost my ability to have real sex but that is not what makes me a man. Being a father, husband and friend is what defines us as men not the ability to have an erection. I will always miss that part of my life and it is 100% natural to feel concerned about it but do not allow it to consume you life. My attitude has always there is nothing I can do about so I will not dwell on what I can not control. Please feel free to reach out anytime.

Patrick's e-mail address is: plmoran31 AT yahoo.com (replace "AT" with "@")


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