I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in June of 2007. With a PSA of 12.6 ng/ml and a Gleason score of 9, and rated at a T2c. Second biopsy was 4+3=7 with 50% of core on right base and left base 3% of core with 3+3=7, did not take a PSA for 2nd biopsy, all other sample were negative.
I saw four doctors a surgeon a radiation therapist an oncologist and a cryotherapist. All four Doctors gave me recommendations, the first Doctor, the surgeon, suggested surgery with radiation, the second Doctor, the radiation therapist recommended seed implant therapy and IMRT. The third doctor recommended IMRT chemo therapy and hormone treatment. The fourth doctor recommended cryotherapy or HIFU, (High Intensity focused ultrasound). All 4 Doctors gave me 70-80% chance of being cancer free in 10 years, (I promised my wife that I would be with her until our 50th wedding anniversary with 18 years to go).
All the doctors were very kind and gentle and gave me as much time as I needed to answer all of the questions I had. The radiation therapist was extremely helpful with giving me a week or so to absorb everything and then called me at home about a week after our first appointment and spent roughly another hour on the phone to answer my questions and concerns and which time she recommended that I go to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. She was great, she set the appointment up, got me in touch with the Doctors at Mayo Clinic and made sure all of records got to the right people before my appointment. Wow what a blessing to do that off.
After the shock of the big C word and the crying and the lost feeling of hope, I finally got my life back in order got my hope back and realized I had to fight this thing to survive. My loving and caring wife and I started a strict vegetarian diet, (nothing processed), vitamins and minerals that were approved by the nutritionalist. 40 minuets of exercise daily and at least 64 ounces of water per day and also 3-6 cups of green tea daily. I figured that I need to remove the cancer but I also need to do something to help so that it does not come back.
Now comes the decision, of what to do with the cancer growing inside of me. Currently I am leaning towards laparoscopic surgery or the da Vinci. I will probably go with what the Doctors at the Mayo Clinic recommend since they are the experts, and should suggest the best possible treatment for me.
The appointment is for August 30, 2007 and I will update after the appointment.
Our appointment at the Mayo clinic went very well. Talked with the Doctors and they recommended that I have surgery. Before we left town (Rochester, MN.) I made an appointment for the robotic laparoscopic surgery. That is set for October 26, 2007.
I had my appointment at the Mayo Clinic and that went very well. They re-evaluated my Gleason Score from a 9 to a 7, and my PSA had dropped from 12.6 ng/ml to 10.2 ng/ml. Talk about getting some good news for once.
The doctor I have chosen to do the robotic laparoscopic surgery at the end of October has done over 600 of the these procedures, so I do feel very confident in his ability to do an excellent surgery. I would have liked to have the surgery done right away but the Mayo Clinic was booked up until then.
Now comes the waiting game. Two months. Some days my thoughts go wild with apprehension and worry, I have never had ulcers but this could give me one, and others days it seems to be OK, more good than bad. If I did not have my faith to fall back onto I would be in a world of hurt.
After surgery I will update again. Good bye for now Steve.
Well surgery went very well. I awoke to the urge of having to urinate extremely badly. My wife told me as I was drifting in and out, after surgery; all I could do was ask people to take me to the bathroom. My understanding, this was caused by the bladder spasms.
My pathology report came back good, all areas came back negative, and the cancer did exit the prostate on the left side and was into the nerve bundle they had to take part of the nerve bundle on the left side. The surgeon said that he was able to spare some of the nerve bundle on the left side which is good news.
Pain level was very low from surgery extra strength Tylenol took care of that. For bladder spasms a relaxer was used for that and a little bit stronger pain medication was used at night just to help me sleep a little longer. Sitting around for 12 days about drove me crazy. So I figured what the heck take something to help me sleep to pass some of the time.
A screw up between my two doctors - the surgeon that performed the surgery at the Mayo Clinic and the follow-up surgeon in Billings Montana caused me to carry the catheter for an extra two days a total of twelve days.
I am now 24 hours out from the catheter removal and my bladder control is coming back. Last night I awoke twice to go to the bathroom and this morning the diaper (big boys is what my brother in law calls them), were not very wet at all. Good news again. The big boys have been dry all day today. Will probably start wearing pads tomorrow. Started doing Kegel exercises about 2 months ago and maybe that has helped.
Started back at work half days today - work for 4 hours a day. Next week I am going to get back to 8 hours days the Lord willing. I do have a follow up check up, the 26th of Nov. Lord willing it will be all good news. I will up date again after that check up As always life's short so keep smiling Steve
Well just had my 30 day check up, all seems to be well.
Some parts of my body are starting to wake up slowly. The pain is all but gone. Still feel a little different when I have a full bladder more of a pain then a pressure, just different. Holding a bowel movement or holding back gas causes a little pain but that gets better every day. That feels more like the pain when I had the prostate biopsies. The bladder control seems fine a little leakage now and than mostly when I pass gas but not very much at all. Have not worn pads or the big boy diapers for quite awhile now.
When I think back on all this, the worry at the beginning and the stress and the process of choosing the best procedure for me, I thank God that it is over and now I can get moving on with the healing.
For those of you just starting out, just remember that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and all is not hopeless. You will be around for a while longer so enjoy life and what God has given you in life. I will up-date again after my January 25 appointment.
Remember God is in control. Life is short so keep smiling.
Best wishes to all. Had my 3 month PSA test on January 25 did not receive results until the 29th of February. Thank God it came back "0", that was what I was praying for. The week long wait for results about gave me a nervous breakdown.
Now for the last 3 months, wow what a roller coaster of emotions. When I am alone with my thoughts I question if the physical and emotional result of surgery was worth it. I have to answer yes to that but I still question it. I think back to when I was first diagnosed with prostate cancer and the depression and despair that I went into seems so far away now. I just hope that I could have words to say for the newly diagnosed men, I don't, so all I can do is give encouragement to the ones that e-mail me.
I am still doing great as far as leakage I do leak a little but it keeps getting less and less. As for erections, that part is still not working as well as I would like, I get a partial erection. They have me on Cialis 2 times per week and a V.E.D (Vacuum Erection Device). The V.E.D. is not very comfortable but if it will help keep the fibrosis away than I am willing to try it. They have tried me on Viagra and Levitra but Cialis seems to work better. I will update again after my six month PSA; check up.
I did find a V.E.D. device on eBay for $40.00, the doctor said that it would be about $300-$400, I thought I would try the $40.00 one first it seems to work fine, what ever fine is with that contraption.
My best wishes to all and remember life is short so keep smiling it gives people something to look at.
I had my 6 month check up at the Mayo clinic April 25. My Psa was at 0. Praise the Lord.
I also had a falling out with my follow-up surgeon. He was not very happy with the fact that I went to the Mayo clinic for my surgery, and his care was not to the standard that I requested.
I requested that my 3 month PSA results be called into me as soon as they arrived I did explain to him about the anxiety that I was having over this first PSA test and if he could please call me as soon as the results were in.
I received no word from the follow-up doctor for 10 days with daily calls for results. I finally did receive the results in the mail.
If you have a Doctor you are not satisfied with do not be afraid to look elsewhere for a quality caring surgeon.
The last 6 months have been a wake up call for me. I have realized just how short my life with friends and family really is. I cherish the time I spend with my wife children and grandchildren and friends. What a blessing they are.
Until my 9 month PSA test God bless and remember to smile it gives your face something to do.
My 9 month PSA test was at the Big O. That is what I was praying for and what the good Lord gave me.
When I am alone with my thoughts thinking about all that has happened in the last year that is when the depression creeps in, then I look to all that God has blessed me with a loving wife, grandchildren and 3 lovely daughters that love and respect me. With all that God has blessed me with, how can I stay depressed for very long? I think back to when all this started and all I wanted was 18 more years to make it to our 50th wedding anniversary, now I am just thankful for 1 more day to see the smiles on the faces of the people that mean so much to me, or hear the voices of the ones I care for so deeply.
Still hanging in there and smiling, this gives my face something to do besides frown.
Well a year has come and gone since my prostate and I parted ways. Just got the results back from my yearly physical and my PSA was at 0 which is good news.
Life is coming back ever so slowly in the ED area. Sometimes I get discouraged and my wife also has issues now and again but she is very understanding and we keep the doors to communication open. Sometimes she feels that I do not care anymore for her or find her exciting when in reality it is my body that I am frustrated with and not her.
I do look at my wife, my children and my grandchildren and realize what a blessing they are how time is so much more precious I have read some reports that have really touched my heart and have brought tears to my eyes. I still go back and read everyone that gets posted. I usually wait until the end of the month and scroll through every posting that has had something posted to it for the month. It is very heart warming to see so many posting and to see that some men are having the same issues that I have which gives me some kind of hope to the fact that I am not alone in this and that I am not crazy for feeling this way.
So thanks to all that keep up the posting even after years after treatment. When I see a person that has survived after diagnosis, this relieves some tension and despair on my side and I can breathe a little bit easier.
So for the next six months before my next PSA test keep smiling people will wonder what you are up to and it always gives your face something to do.
I had my 18 month PSA test and the results came back at 0. Praise the Lord. Life goes on my wife and children and grandchildren and friends are becoming more precious to me everyday. What blessing they are.
The ED issue that is slow to recover. I thought I was fine but trying for the last three months without the happy pill has been a little bit of a disappointment. So I called for a refill and back on the happy pill. It seems that I if I am the least bit tired the less chance of it working. Mornings it seems, is the best time for possibility of things working without the happy pill. I do make sure that I reduce my liquid intake before sex to reduce the chance of leakage during sex. I read a posting, which I do not remember who it was, but he referenced to getting excited and the leakage to being like a little puppy, which would get excited and pee all over the place. [What Steve is referring to here is Climacturia - the leakage of urine that can occur when climaxing after surgery. It is rarely reported or discussed, but some commentators believe that it is widespread - and may even be almost universal. More than one-third of respondents in a MiniPoll said they had this side effect]
I want to say a special thank you to all that keep up their posting you have no idea how much it has helped me.
My next test will be at my two year mark in Oct 2009. So for now I am off to enjoy the summer. So for the next 6 months keep posting and keep well.
Remember to smile people will wonder what you are up to.
Well it has been 6 months since my last posting. Had PSA done in October that came back at Zero. The surgeon recommends yearly test from now on. I feel that I will still stay at 6 month testing until my 5 year mark. Praise God for that Zero.
As far as the ED issues are going had a bad side effect with Cialis it would give bouts of vertigo and I could not get out of bed without falling over, Viagra was not near as bad but I would get headaches from it. The doctor recommended Levitra so I am now on Levitra. The ED drugs do the job they are intended to do, but with out them things do not work very well.
Leakage has been minimal. Usually when passing gas or straining just right.
Life goes on and I need to continue to remind myself what I have gone through so that I continue to take time for the important things in life like breathing and watching a sunset now and then. Looking at my wife and children and grandchildren and telling them of how lucky I am to have them around and how important they are to me.
Life is good. Life is very short and I am seeing how important my friends and family are to me. For all those that are posting keep it up. It really gives us a glimmer of hope and inspiration.
God bless and keep smiling it gives your face something to do.
Well it has been eight months since my last update and three years since I was diagnosed with cancer and two years and eight months since surgery.
My wife was feeling a little nervous about waiting until Oct to have my PSA checked so to make Moma happy and everyone else, you know what they say about Moma being happy, So I had my PSA checked.
Life is good.
Still taking the time to enjoy what God has given me.
PSA is still at Zero. I have had to stop using all 3 ED medications because of complications. Erections do happen but are not what it used to be and not as long as before surgery. I feel more like my wife feels about sex it is not as important about quantity as it is about quality.
Keep up the good fight and do not give up. So to all of you keep smiling.
Well it has now been roughly three and a half years since surgery. My PSA is at 0.10. Thank God.
ED still there to a point. Do not take any medication because of side effects and cost. Cialis gave me dizzy spells, Viagra gave me major headaches. Levitra worked but also gave me headaches but not as bad. Leakage is very minor when I cough or pass gas with a full bladder. So I just go to the bathroom more often.
Life is good so to all "Have a good life and smile. It confuses people."
Well had my four year check up. Came back 0. Thank you God. I also found out my general doctor had prostate surgery nine years ago and he is doing fine.
Still have issues with ED but we seem to be able to work through that. Leakage is very minor. Life goes on and just keeps getting better. Keep your chin up and smile.
4.5 years since surgery and all is well. PSA at 0.0. ED still problem but it still works.
I thank God for 0 on the PSA; and for the many people that have prayed and pray for me. After 4.5 years I still find comfort in reading the stories posted on this site.
All of you involved in keeping this site going THANK YOU it helps so many of us.
It has been 5-1/2 years since I had surgery. just got my test results back and the PSA is at 0. Great news.
Still have ED problems. After awhile you learn to live with the problem. Leakage is so minor that it is just the way things are.
Life is great and continues to get better everyday. I have the wife and kids and grandkids for support and of course the people that are in the shadows supporting me, Betty Jo and Karen my daughters 2 good friends and of course my good friend Rick that has stood by my side through out this whole ordeal.
I sit back and think of the last 5-1/2 years and the roller coaster of emotions that I have taken from despair to thanking God everyday of just how blessed I am. So until the next PSA take care and God Bless.
As of November 2013 I am still cancer free. 6 years. PSA at zero. the good Lord still continues to bless me everyday. ED issues are still present but. I have learned to deal with them.
A good friend of mine has been diagnosed with cancer that is spreading and all they say they can do is help keep him comfortable, how sad, I continue to pray.
Well until next PSA test God bless and keep the faith. Keep smiling, that's why they have no idea what you are up to.
Well another year and all Is well. Got my spa done at my annual doctor visit and it came back at 0. what great news. Still get nervous every year waiting for the results and when it comes back at zero it just thank God for all he has done. Normal issues with Ed and some slight leakage however my 3 daughters tell have a few kids and that is normal.
A close friend of our family passed away from prostate cancer recently. He was 72, I have another friend that is 101 and was treated for prostate cancer and is doing fine.
So keep your chin up and remember to smile.
God bless until next year.
it has been a little over a year since my last PSA test and the test came back <.1 excellent report. Still have ED and the pills just give me a severe headache. A friend of mine who had prostate surgery 30 years ago passe away in November, he was 101 years old. sad see him go.
Still have slight leakage as my wife and daughters say, have a few children if you want to experience leakage. So until next year stay strong and smile.
June will be 10 years since I was diagnosed with prostate cancer and my decision to have surgery. Side effects are very slight leakage and some ED issues but seem to be able to work around all of that. Got my test results back today and my PSA is at zero again praise God for all he has done until next year take care and be safe and remember smile.
Steve's e-mail address is: fepmredlodge AT gmail.com (replace "AT" with "@")