As a guy who exercises almost daily and eats only the healthiest things, PC was a shock beyond anything I've ever faced.
It started with a regular physical with a new doctor in January. Everything was great except my PSA was 2.0 ng/ml. He told me it's likely nothing, but you need to come back in three months and have it tested again. No big deal, I go back for another PSA test and it comes back 3.0 ng/ml. Now he becomes serious and sends me to a urologist. The second DRE shows nothing, so he gives me 30 days of Cipro and says come back for a total PSA test.
The next test shows PSA 4.1 ng/ml, but free PSA of 65%. He says that is a good sign, but said I needed a biopsy. Biopsy showed 2 of 12 cores positive 3% on one side, 15% on the other side. Gleason 3+3. I was devastated, for the next three days I read hundreds of medical research reports online and lost a total of 12 pounds.
I quickly realized that the stress was going to kill me long before the cancer at the rate I was going. So after much research a nd talking to several doctors, I decided surgery is my best shot and have it scheduled for Oct.16th.
I'm very fortunate to have Dr. Larry Bans close by as one of the best prostate cancer surgeons in AZ. (My opinion from my research and talking to his other patients). His site has good general information on treatment options (Much like this site and others).
I'm nervous about the surgery and it's long term effects on my life, but I'm sure it is the right option for me. Cancer has made me enjoy the sunsets and my friends so much more than before. After my diagnosis, my father and brother were tested and short story, my father has PC, and will have surgery as well Nov.1st.
I'll update after my surgery.
Surgery went far better than hoped. I received the pathology report today showing that the prostate was removed with no surgical margins and there was no sign of spread to the 6 Lymph nodes removed also. I'm glad I chose surgery, as there turned out to be 4 tumors growing and at 41, I'm thrilled they are out of me. The sense of it being done is an amazing feeling.
Also, I'm extremely lucky in that I have no incontinence. I did not dribble even once and have complete control on day nine after the catheter came out. My doctor has started me on low dose Viagra and he thinks that it should help me recover erectile function.
My first PSA test won't be for 5 more weeks, I'll update then, wishing all good luck.
Just received results of my first post-surgery PSA test. < .01! What a Christmas present that is. Continence not as good as earlier reported. About 15 days after catheter came out, I started requiring pads. My doctor said swelling from the surgery gave me control right away and when the swelling went down- leaks in the afternoon and evening. Still happy as one pad can usually take care of things and I have no problem at night or in the mornings.
Also, Viagra having some effect, so I'm very hopeful for a full recovery. Looking forward to a cancer free 2008!
Just a quick update, my third PSA test in June 2008 came back < .01.
Incontinence was gone completely by month 6 and I have some erectile function.
All in all, I'm very lucky and believe that I will never have to worry about Prostate Cancer again. I've changed my diet to include far less meat, more soy and nuts, and a little red wine everyday. (I feel better and am about 10 pounds lighter than before the surgery)
Good luck to all dealing with this, feel free to e-mail me anytime if you have any questions.
Today I received the results of my latest PSA test. Undetectable. It's been almost 2 years now since my surgery and things are looking good. I know I'm lucky to have very few side effects from the RP surgery and am doing my best to enjoy life to the fullest and keep a positive attitude. Fortunately, I've had the chance to travel some this year and am enjoying every day. I have changed some things - very little red meat and a glass of red wine each day! (Good for the body in many ways)
I get e-mails from people with questions from time to time who read my story here, and am very happy to answer any question or just listen. A number of people on this site helped me as I was going through the mental hell of deciding on a course of action after my diagnosis and I'm very happy to return the favor to anyone. A relative of mine almost died of Colon Cancer 15+ years ago and she always refers to it as the best thing that happened to her. Her outlook on life changed, she cherishes everyday, and spends weeks each year as a volunteer at a camp for kids with cancer. It's a path I hope to stay on also!
Time flies, it has been over 3 years now and I remain with an undetectable PSA.
It seems I keep meeting people or having friends and clients come to me who are recently diagnosed or deciding what treatment to pursue or have just gone through various treatments. I remind them all to enjoy life, it's the best thing prostate cancer did for me. While my treatment has been successful and good for me with minimal side effects, the whole thing just reminds me that life is just to short to waste time in anger or being stressed out. [Amen to that!]
Also, I remind them that everyone has a different idea about the right way to treat prostate cancer, so just talk to as many people as you can who have gone through various treatments and/or watchful waiting, and make a choice that feels right for you. Then, don't turn back, only look forward, don't spend time on "what if's", they don't matter.
Good luck to all, don't hesitate to email me questions if you like!!
Almost 5 years in, PSA undetectable. Side effects amount to some swelling in groin area, decreased erectile function, but much better than the first 2 years after surgery. As I get older, it becomes very clear how fragile a healthy life is. I certainly eat better, more vegies, much less red meat, and enjoy a glass of red wine quite often. I exercise as much as possible and travel whenever I can. As frightening as the whole experience was, PC changed my life, mostly for the better. Exercise, eat right, and don't forget to live life well! Will answer anyone who has questions, good luck to all.
Almost 5 years since surgery. I know that everyone has different circumstances and results, but I'm very happy with the choice I made. The value of knowing the cancer was removed was worth the time and energy recovering from the surgery. Almost no side effects with complete bladder control. Only slightly diminished sexual function and slight swelling in groin area, but even those seem to improve over time. Living life the best I can, I'm not sure where I'm going, but will be taking my partner on a wonderful vacation to celebrate in the next few months. As a friend recently told me, life happens while we make plans, so dream and plan for the future, but don't forget that it's even more important to enjoy the trip called life.
Just past 5 years, can't believe how fast time goes by. Had my 5 year apt with my Dr., 0 PSA, will not see him again for a year. Eat healthier, continue to exercise, take short vacations when work allows. Looking forward to retirement when I'll be able to travel more, but in no hurry, life is very short, looking much more at trying to enjoy each day. All in all, with my minimal side-effects, prostate cancer was a positive in the way I look at things. Will answer any emails from guys that want to know more about my specific case, good luck to all, and don't forget to think about how to enjoy today.
I can't believe it has been 7 years. I don't think about prostate cancer like I used to, but do every time someone tells me they were diagnosed. Life is good, the agony of deciding treatment (or not) and wondering if I made the right decision is long over. For me, I made the right decision. Others ask me my opinion all the time on various treatments. I'll tell anyone exactly how the surgery effected me, but always qualify that there is no right or wrong, only what is best for you. Thanks again for the people involved in starting and operating this site! Anyone can contact me anytime if they wish information about my exact side effects (fairly limited) and how I made my decision on treatment. Live on in peace!
Time is going by so fast, I turn 50 this year. Enjoying life to the fullest, PCa was a wake up call for me to do that. Few if any side effects now, happy that PSA is undetectable. Always available to answer any questions, drop me a line if you are are pondering options upon diagnosis. My hope is soon that there will be a drug that can treat this and others will not have to stress like I did about what to do. Good luck to all.
Another year seldom thinking about prostate cancer, no detectable PSA. Trying to live life for the little time we have here. No new side effects, only those I previously mentioned. Good luck to all, send me a note if you want to ask me a question, I'd be happy to share.
Ron's e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org