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Cancer: Prostate board


Hello all.

It has been a while since I posted here. It was a long hot summer, but it's over now and I'm ready to update.

Recap: I had radical prostatectomy on 1/26/07. My PSA before surgery was 13.5, Gleasons 3+4=7. After surgery, the lab results showed much more involvement than showed up in the biopsies, with both halves extensively involved. The Gleasons score changed to 4+3=7....slightly worse than expected. I also had positive margins, which indicated the cancer had gone beyond the prostate. All scans were clean.

My PSA a month after surgery was 0.1, and it was determined I should undergo radiation therapy. I began a regimen of 39 treatments in the middle of June, and ended on August 13. One month after that, the PSA had dropped to 0.01....a ten-fold reduction, which is good. So now we wait and watch...next PSA in 3 months.

Continence:I am happy to report that continence is pretty good. I'd say it's at about 95-97% which is fine. I have some slight leakage when I'm tired, when I've been standing or walking for a long time...like a few hours, or if I've been drinking alcohol. Of course any combination of the three and all bets are off!

Potency: I'm VERY happy to report that there has been a great improvement it this area, especially within the last 2 months. I was very determined to get this function back. I started using pills at about 2 months post-op. Viagra seemd to work best for me. I also used a vacuum pump device, as well as rubber constriction rings. I though about trying Cialis again, but I am now able to achieve an erection at about 90% of pre-op rigidity WITH NO MEDS and with no constriction rings! When this first occured I had to actually look at my penis and squeeze it to see if I was really experiencing what I thought I was experiencing! It hadn't been that hard in 8 months!!! The only thing I notice is that it appears to have lost some length, which I assume is due to the surgery and the re-connection of the urethra after the prostate was removed. But I'll keep trying!

I still have not woken with a morning erection. I guess if that happens I'll know for sure that all is well 'down there'!

So now that everything was going well....radiation over....PSA down....potency and continence on the rise....energy levels and bowel function coming back to normal after the radiation....I had to have just one more thing happen: Just last Friday, 10/5/07 I had an appendicitis attack and had surgury that night! So now I'm back out of the game for 4-6 weeks! If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have none at all!

So guys, if you are just starting all this stuff or are at some point in the recovery, keep believing that if the surgery went well, and you are relatively healthy....you WILL get better. You WILL control your bladder. You WILL achieve an erection again. And you WILL continue with a pretty normal life. (Just watch out for your appendix!)

I'll keep you posted

Dan