Today is September 10, 2007, I was diagnosed PCa about 15 days ago, my Gleason Grade is not very clear to me, it may be 7 or 6, I have an appointment with Dr. Randy Fagin at Austin, Texas the next 18th of September, and have programed a Robotic Prostatectomy for September the 20th, I am a little (or a lot) nervous right now. I will have you up to date after surgery. (sorry for my English).
First of all, I want to say thanks to all the people that e-Mailed giving me some advices, they encouraged me to investigate more cautiously about what my chances are. Special thanks to Georg Z. from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and to Terry H. from Melbourne, Australia.
Because I had omitted that I had been monitoring my PSA for the last 3 years, I want to tell you that part of the story:
MARCH 19, 2004 2.71 ng/ml
SEPTEMBER 30, 2004 3.43 ng/ml
FEBRUARY 15, 2005 4.85 ng/ml
APRIL 7, 2005 5.20 ng/ml
JUNE 6, 2005 5.87 ng/ml
After June 6 results, I visited a Urologist, he practiced an ECHO of prostate, and gave me some papers with information about BPH and Chronic Prostatitis. I supposed then, that was my Diagnostic. (I think I got relaxed cause, as you may notice, I stopped monitoring my PSA for 18 months)
NOVEMBER 1, 2006 6.69 ng/ml
FEBRUARY 8, 2007 6.26 ng/ml
MAY 7, 2007 9.99 ng/ml
JUNE 6, 2007 11.38 ng/ml
JULY 2, 2007 8.91 ng/ml
AUGUST 2, 2007 9.43 ng/ml 0.79 FREE (8%)
After August 2 results, I visited again the same Urologist, he made a rectal examination and prescribed Avodart and Cipro, told me my prostate was not too big and gave me an appointment for one or two months later.
I then decided to have another opinion and visited Dr. Raul Mireles in Laredo, Texas, He told he recommended strongly to have a biopsy, had it done the next day, and had the results mentioned above. He told me all the choices of treatment available, said he could perform all but the Robotic, gave me some information for me to search different options on the internet or by phone.
After a week of research and communication with some other YANA mentors, done by myself and my two daughters, we arrived to the conclusion that the best treatment in my case was the Robotic Surgery.
The following week I called to Doctor Mireles, communicated of my decision, and he congratulated me, he said he thinks I took the best decision, and added "Don't forget to get me up to date".
SEPTEMBER 13, 2007 9.92 ng/ml (I took this PSA just to take it to Dr. Fagin) Finally, and after meeting Dr. Fagin at his office yesterday, and analyzing the statistics in different treatment choices, my decision continued to be having Robotic Prostatectomy tomorrow at 1:00 p.m., I am very confident that the results will be very acceptable. Dr. Fagin is a nice young person who shows knowledge and experience (700 Laparoscopic and Robotic Surgeries in 3 years), even though he told us about all the bad consequences, We feel we will get good results. I will have you up to date in a few days.
Today is Wednesday, September 26, 2007, I just arrived home in Monterrey, Mexico. I couldn't wait to be seated in front of my computer to update my story, let me start where I left my last update.
On Thursday 20th, At North Austin Medical Center, I had my prostatectomy beginning at 1 p.m., things could not be better, the same day by 10 p.m. I was walking thru the aisles of the hospital accompanied always by an excellent nurse (whom I want to exalt for his professionalism and dedication) called Carlos Flores, and a member of my family. Later on by 6 a.m. I walked again. About an hour later Dr. Fagin came into my room and asked whether I wanted to leave the hospital or stay one more night, being from out of town, I chose staying till next day, and continued walking three times on Friday, recovery was so easy that I now forgot the little bothering of the catheter. The other nurses in the hospital called me "The Walker".
Saturday morning Dr. Fagin let me go, we went to Laredo, TX and spent three days there, Tuesday afternoon we came back to Austin, and Wednesday morning (TODAY) I had x-Ray and their report said the appearance of my bladder was unremarkable.
Today by 1:00 p.m. we visited Dr. Fagin's office for removing the catheter off my urethra, also for getting the news about the biopsy. When Dr. Fagin told us that Cancer was confined into the prostate and that the probability of recurrence is less than 1%, my family started cheering and calling to all the relatives and friends who were supporting me with their calls and prayers.
I want to thank Dr. Fagin, who is not only an excellent Doctor, but also he is a great person. I also want to mention the three persons from Dr. Fagin's team who were in contact with me, first it was Lynn, with whom I made the first arrangements. Later she contacted me with Berta (Spanish speaking), Berta took care of any changes in scheduling during our phone conversations. After we arrived in Austin for the first in person interview, we met Cristina, who was also very kind, and today (when we were just coming to Monterrey) she expressed her joy with the results, we were all sobbing of happiness.
Thanks also to Dr. Raul Mireles from Laredo, who strongly recommended Prostatectomy as the best option in my case, although he knew he was not going to do it.
Thanks also to my Mom (she is 94), to my four brothers and seven sisters and their families, who were always supporting and praying. To all my "compadres and comadres", to all my relatives and friends.
I apologize for being so long, but I am so inspired because of the results.
Also I want to give thanks to all YANA mentors who contacted me, it helped me a lot having the opportunity of sharing experiences with another people who had my same problem.
I want to specially distinguish my wife and children for they unconditional support, I LOVE THEM, Diana and my children Enrique & Olinda, Diana & Mario, Denisse & Eliud, and Jose, all of them traveled to Austin and accompanied me. Of course, that includes my three grandchildren Jose Andres, Diana and Fatima. Without them it wouldn't seem so easy to overcome this horrible, but short, nightmare. I LOVE YOU !!!!
Finally, I want to thank GOD, We solved our human side of the problem, but God did his very important part.
Going back to the medical situation, let me say that, right now, I am not wearing any pad, I wore one during the flight, and I almost did not wet it, in fact, I have gone to urinate 3 times during the last 5 hours, my underwear is completely dry. Of course I will wear a pad for sleeping, and also tomorrow when I go to my office. I hope everything will continue the same. I have my next appointment with Dr. Fagin within 8 weeks, I will then take my first PSA after surgery, hopefully, it will be below 0.1. After that, I will update again.
November 5, 2007
NOT SO GOOD NEWS. Something happened during the first three days at home, we arrived home on Wednesday 26th, Thursday feeling better and getting a wider flow when I went to urinate, and with total urinating control, Friday I continued controlling my urine, went to my office only after noon both days, had a normal life, just eating different things but almost nothing with any kind of meat, I ate very little beef Thursday evening, and on Friday I had two pieces of charbroiled chicken for lunch, most of my meals were broth, gelatin and fruit. For drinking I have only taken non gas liquids, I have had apple juice, chamomile tea, orange juice, lemonade and plenty of water.
The only thing I did that could have caused trouble is that I drove my car for about an hour on Saturday the 29th traveling to a close city named Saltillo (Almost all my driving was done feeling a strong pain in my bladder).
After arriving in Saltillo, I continued having the pain in my bladder or between the bladder and penis, also started bleeding a little before urinating, and after that, I could not control my urine and started having incontinency.
As you noticed in my September 26 update, I was very excited cause I thought I had overcame the incontinency. That is why I got very disappointed when I started having incontinency. I called Dr. Fagin and he he said the bleeding and de incontinency was normal, and told me I just needed to have patience. Also, recommended to continue with Kegel exercises.
I strongly recommend anyone going thru prostatectomy to be more cautious, at least during the first 21 days after surgery. (It is better if you can hold for 40 days)
Right now, I still have the incontinency, but the level is like the one I had at the beginning (very little), I hope this will last not too long.
THE GOOD NEWS.
The good news is that I am not having any problem with erection, we tried for the first time 42 days after surgery, and it was successful not only for me, but also for my wife. Although we had talked about not giving it too much interest, we were both very happy with the results (in fact, it was very important for me).
I will have my follow up appointment with Dr. Fagin on November 21st, I will then update again.
UPDATE, FEB. 25, 2008
Three days ago, I had my follow up appointment with Dr. Raul Mireles in Laredo.
Dr. Mireles is the one who diagnosed my PCa on Aug. 29, 2007, I had my Robotic Prostatectomy 22 days later (Sept. 21-2007) at Austin with Dr. Randy Fagin, later I had a follow up appointment with Dr. Fagin and agreed that my following appointments, every six months will be with Dr. Mireles in Laredo (closer to my hometown).
The results of my last 3 PSAs have been 0.008 (undetectable), I know I do not have to worry as far as it is not over 0.100, anyway, I asked Dr. Mireles if I there is a reason to worry if it moves over 0.008, and he said "Yes, there would be a reason to worry, but do not think to much about it, I think it will not grow any more".
My incontinency is almost nothing, I wear a pad only when I have strong cough or when I drink alcohol.
About my erections, I have not had any problem, they are always between 90 to 100 percent, always with satisfaction for both of us (my wife and me).
I do not know if it is that I am getting used to it, or if it is a fact, but I feel my orgasms are exactly the same as before surgery (they have been improving as time goes by). There might be a reason for our satisfaction, would it be how much we love each other?
I have read some stories about some PCa survivors who said they have no more interest in sex and no more satisfaction, that is why I ask the question, would it have connection with love? My wife has never said it, but I have noticed she has done an extra effort to have satisfaction for her and for me. And that gives me an extra motivation to have my own satisfaction.
UPDATE, DEC 25, 2008
All my PSA readings after surgery had been <0.008, that is why I was a little concerned about it when the first one was above that. It was on July 23, 2008, then I took three more on August 18, September 10 and Nov 5, and all of them read the same (0.01), so I got relaxed. Anyway, I will take another one before my next appointment with Doctor Mireles, which will be next January 2009.
LAST 5 PSA READINGS
JUN 13, 2008 0.008
JUL 23, 2008 0.01
AUG 18, 2008 0.01
SEP 10, 2008 0.01
NOV 5, 2008 0.01
About my Incontinency, it is nothing, and, in connection with that, we can say, right now I am almost totally recovered, THANKS GOD.
I want to recommend a site I discovered, which I think could be helpful not only for prostate cancer survivors but also for any kind of cancer patients - Hippocrates Health Institute. There is also a recommendation for the use of Wheatgrass. [These recommendations are those of Jose. There is very little evidence of the value of supplements such as these.]
Best regards to all of you.
Here I am, my PSA readings continue to be 0.01 every six months. My Doctor told me I had nothing to worry if my PSA is not over 0.10.
During the first two and a half years after surgery my PSA readings had always been 0.01 or under, now, I am a little bit worried cause on July 17, 2010 it was 0.03, and yesterday September 30, 2010 it is 0.04. After surgery, Doctor Fagin told me I had nothing to worry if my PSA is under 0.10, my concern is that the tendency is to continue growing. [I have suggested to Jose that he reads the piece on Ultra Sensitive PSA - variances are not unusual].
I will wait for a new result within one month, if it continues growing I will immediately visit with my doctor. I do not do it right now cause I live in Mexico, and my doctor is in the USA. Hopefully, my PSA will not continue growing.
If anyone has had an experience like this after surgery, please contact me. [There was in interesting discussion on PSA after surgery on the Yana Forum]
Thank you and God bless you all.
First of all, HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OF YOU!
Although I have been told not to worry about my PSA readings growing, cause they are too little, my worries are that the tendency is to continue always growing. I remember that Dr. Fagin (the one who performed surgery) on year 2007 told me not to worry as long as the reading is below 0.1, the reading today Jan. 5, 2012 is 0.1. However, On June 2011, when my reading was 0.07, Dr. Mireles (my current doctor) told me I had nothing to worry. Now, I would like to know if somebody has had any situation similar to this and what the results have been.
On my last posting (October 2010), Terry suggested to me reading the piece on Ultra Sensitive PSA, and that reading gave me some comfort. [Since then there has been a study, published in November 2011 and now included on the page. That study concludes: "Until the significance of ultrasensitive prostate specific antigen doubling time is better characterized, the decision to proceed with salvage therapy should not be based on prostate specific antigen doubling time calculated using ultrasensitive prostate specific antigen values."] Anyway, the tendency on my last readings are the they are growing 0.02 every two months [This is not a correct statement, as the table below demonstrates] my question is... what will happen if within 10 months my reading is 0.2?
Here are my readings since I last posted them:
JAN 18-2009 0.020
FEB 17-2009 0.010
APR 9-2009 0.020
MAY 8-2009 0.010
JUL 21-2009 0.010
DEC 11-2009 0.010
JUL 17-2010 0.030
SEP 30-2010 0.040
NOV 18-2010 0.050
FEB 25-2011 0.060
JUN 11-2011 0.070
NOV 3-2011 0.090
JAN 5-2012 0.100
I will be visiting with my doctor during the next few weeks (I live in Mexico and he is in the USA) I wish the best for you all during 2012 and always.
Later: Thanks Terry for correcting my estimation, in fact, according to the tendency from July 17th, 2010 to Jan 5th, 2012, it might take about 25 months to double my current reading (from 0.1 to 0.2), I strongly hope it will not happen [Emphasis should be on the might. We humans tend to spend to much time worrying about the word 'might'! - as if worrying alone can change the future. The present - now - is so much more important.]
Si alguien quiere contactarme en Espaņol... es bienvenido, also in English.
Everything going OK, just reporting I am here.
Here I am yet, I do not have any problem, I will only mention a little worry about my PSA; reading, it is 0.29, it is a little high considering that my prostate was taken off 6 years ago. In fact I am not really worried about it, if anyone knows something helpful, please E-mail me.
Besides of that, my life is as always, I am not taking any treatment, my sexual performance is normal, a little incontinency only when I drink alcohol.
The reason why I chose Robotic Laparoscopy is because I wanted to eliminate any possibility of recurrence.
Terry, I apollogyze for taking so long to update my story, also, please send me updated info for sending a donation.
7 years since my Robotic Prostatectomy. Just reporting I am here, my life continues normal, little incontinence only when drinking alcohol, normal sexual performance. No treatment. Last month PSA reading 0.43
Sorry for not sending my up to date story, right now I am enjoying life and I do not have any concern about my PCa.
Of course, I have been checking my PSA reading, and there is nothing to worry about right now.
I had some worries before, but right now, after cheking with several Doctors, I am glad with the results.
Jose's e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org