My PSA over the course of 5 years slowly climbed from 1.5 to 5.0 with a jump from 3.2 to 5.0 in the last year. Of course that prompted my primary care physician to send me off to a urologist. Naturally I was quite concerned especially when I found out that a biopsy was required. I had the biopsy done and I admit I found it most unpleasant, mostly the last 4 needles. I discovered that the lidocaine injection or whatever was used was not all that effective on me. The after effects were not all that bad, blood in the urine for a couple of days and just a little sore.
The phone call came 4 days later and yes there was cancer found. It was 1 core with 10 % Gleason 6 cancer. After much research and deliberation I elected to do the active surveillance route knowing that another biopsy was only 18 months away. I had the second biopsy done under sedation. This made the whole affair much easier to take. I thought it was $500 well spent!
The 2nd biopsy revealed 1 core with 30% Gleason 3+4 cancer. I really did not want to hear that. I finally accepted the fact that I was going to end up just like my father if I did nothing. My father died of lung cancer when he was 75 but his prostate cancer was certainly causing issues.
So now I needed to decided on a course of action. My Dr. did an excellent job explaining the options, but a book I read called "The Decision" by Dr. John McHugh really helped me the most, I strongly suggest it.
I elected to have the DaVinci surgery. I had surgery 5 weeks ago. The first week is the most uncomfortable mostly due to the catheter but after that was taken out my recovery has been rapid.
A bit of advice about the catheter removal...take a percocet before hand, it makes it fairly tolerable.
I believe my Dr did an outstanding job. I regained about 80% urinary control within one day after the catheter was removed. I used Depends for a week then just some absorbent pads. Five weeks after surgery I only have to deal with some stress leaking which I am pretty sure should be all but gone in a month or so. The next thing of course is to be able to have an erection again. With as good I am already feeling I am confident that functionality will soon return.
I was back at work full time 2-1/2 weeks after surgery. One more week and I get the first blood test. I am not to concerned about this outcome because the pathology revealed only a small tumor with no indication of any spreading outside of the prostate capsule and the 4 lymph nodes sampled were also clear.
My Dr told me that in my case active surveillance was an OK decision provided I could live with it.
It is a good feeling though not to be carrying around the weight of a cancer brick on the back of my head!
Surgery was a year and 1 month ago. PSA is still zero, urinary control is 100%, and the ever important erectile function is nearly back to pre-surgery level.
Bill's e-mail address is: bjlrheis AT gmail.com (replace "AT" with "@")