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YANA - YOU ARE NOT ALONE NOW

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This member is a YANA Mentor This is his Country or State Flag

Ray Lovelace and Jean live in Oklahoma, USA. He was 65 when he was diagnosed in September, 2007. His initial PSA was 31.00 ng/ml, his Gleason Score was 7, and he was staged T2b. His choice of treatment was Surgery (Robotic Laparoscopic Prostatectomy). Here is his story.

Starting in 2000 I was having trouble with my urinary flow the usual weak stream, getting up three or four times at night and the feeling of never getting my bladder empty.

I went to see my GP and he gave me an prescription for what he thought was a infection in the bladder. I stayed on that for about a month till the pills ran out. I still had the same problem so back to the GP once more. He did a DRE at that time and told me that I had an enlarged prostate and that I should see a urologist. He gave me the name of a doctor and set up an appointment for me some time in September of 2000.

The urologist agreed with the GP that I had BPH (Benign Prostate Hyperplasia) and set me up for a biopsy later that same month. He took six samples on each side and the test report came back benign.

At that time my PSA was 12.4 ng/ml. He told me the reason for the high numbers on the PSA was due to BPH. At that time he put me on Flomax to help with pee flow. That seemed to help with the pee problem for the time being so he put me on watchful waiting and PSA's every six months.

As time went on and the PSA count kept climbing, at 18.1 ng/ml he did another biopsy and test still came back benign. At that time we discussed the procedure of a TURP (Transurethral Resection of the Prostate aka Roto rooter) and he said that I could get off Flomax and we could do some more watchful waiting. I had the TURP done in April of 2002 and the first PSA taken was down to 3.8ng/ml which was not what I had hoped for but it was better than 18.1 ng/ml. For the next five years my urine flow was like it was when I was in my teens. I was off all meds and kept track of my PSA numbers about once a year.

Each time the numbers was on the rise again but I didn't think much about it because the test results back from the TURP was also benign.

In June of 2007 I had a PSA taken at work while donating Blood to Oklahoma Blood Institute and two weeks later they sent the test results back to me by mail advising me to see a doctor as my PSA was 31.8ng/ml.

I went back to my urologist and he did another DRE and found a hard spot on the ole prostate. He advised another biopsy and two days later he took six samples on each side and sent them to Bostwick laboratory for a reading. Ten days later on Sept.6 2007 I got the results back and you guessed it "Cancer". Most of the cancer was on the left side where the lump was found on the last DRE.

Needless to say my wife and I were in so much shock it was hard to keep the tears from flowing at the doctors office. The Doc gave me a Lupron shot the next day, good for three months. He also set up a CT and bone scan for the next week at a hospital in our home town. Test results came back favorable that the cancer was still contained in the prostate. There was a darkening on the bottom of the bladder, the scans couldn't tell if it was cancerous or not.

So back to the Urologist and he wanted to do Radiation treatments. So my wife and I decided to get a second opinion before we went any further. My wife got on the Internet and did research for a good doctor within our driving range from our hometown. She found a urologist in Oklahoma City that passed her standards (hee,hee). We got an appointment on the 14th of November, 2007.

We really liked his attitude and after about 20 minutes of answering his questions he recommended Robotic laparoscopic radical prostatectomy. We concurred and a surgery date was set up for November 30, 2007.

Thanks for reading this rather lengthy post and I will update after the surgery. God bless all my other brothers on this web site as we all have the same battle to fight.

Later, Ray L.

UPDATED

December 2007

Hello to all my brothers worldwide.

After three months of waiting and sifting through all the red tape I finally meet a Doctor in Oklahoma City who could do the Robotic Laparoscopic Prostatectomy.

His name is C.Wong, associated with OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma USA. My wife and I met Dr. Wong on 14th day of November 2007 and after reviewing all of my medical history he wanted to know why I came to see him and I told that I wanted the best, he just smiled.

He suggested Robotic Laparoscopic Prostatectomy. He did an ultrasound of my prostate. He told me the prostate was small (due to the Lupron) and that would make his job easier. On that note we decided to set up the first day he had open to do the surgery, as luck would have it someone called in to cancel their surgery date for the 30th of November. He ask if I wanted that day and I agreed.

I had to under go a lot of screening that day, and the usual pre-op stuff. He sent us to Midwest Regional Hospital to do my pre-admittance, this hospital is in Midwest City, just East of Oklahoma City.

Friday November 30th 2007

I was in surgery for about 3 hours and recovery for just a little over an hour. When I awoke it was just like I expected, dry mouth and some pain. On the pain scale of 10 it was around an 8. So the nurse gave me something for pain. Late that afternoon they sat me in a chair for two hours. Clear liquids for food that night.

Saturday December 1st 2007

Had a fair nights sleep as they were coming in to check my vitals every two hours. At breakfast I got to eat chicken broth, and jello. I even got a cup of coffee. I did OK the rest of the day, just sitting around and passing all that gas that they pump into your stomach to have room to work. They started walking me and that really helped.

Dr.C Wong is the finest surgeon that there is. He and his team of doctors and nurses are the symbol of excellence in Oklahoma. Also the staff at Midwest Regional Hospital was of the highest standard.

I was discharged at six p.m. with the JP drain in my right side, and yes that good old Foley catheter. So far I'm doing well. I have had stuff in my lungs that I've been coughing up. They said it was a side effect from being under for so long. I go back in a few days to get the drain and catheter out. I'm looking forward to that, and to getting the pathology reports.

Will post again as time goes by. Remember that you are not alone. Keep the faith strong. Any questions I will help all I can.

UPDATED

January 2008

Hi to everyone. On December 6, 2007 six days post-op had the catheter and drain tube removed. Was able to hold my bladder contents fairly good but some leaking of urine was happening for the first 15 days after that.

The Dr. told me that the pathology report came back good.The capsule was contained and the margins looked ok. I was truly blessed to say the least.

On January 16, 2008 I got my first PSA numbers back and I'm happy to report a .01 ng/ml reading. My urologist/surgeon Dr.C Wong was satisfied with all the positive results five weeks post-op. I'm 100% continent at this time.

On the ED front still no signs of improvement but he gave me a prescription for Cialis 10mg and a penis pump to try and help things along.

I had very little discomfort from the surgery. My biggest problem was with acid reflux in my upper part of my stomach. Had to take Nexium and Gaviscon liquid antacid to get over this. It was about ten days to see me thru this. So far so good. Will have a PSA test in about six weeks.

I hope everyone is doing good and I'll update in about 3 months. Keep the faith up as I have, God bless all of you.

Ray and Jean Lovelace, Oklahoma USA

UPDATED

February 2008

Hi to everyone; Just a quick update on my progress since surgery on November 30 '07. This is my second PSA reading of 0.1 ng/ml and I'm still doing good. I'm back to work since January 2, '08. I went to see my Doctor this week and he was pleased with my progress. He also said that we would keep up the PSA test every three months for the next two years.

If there is any change in my PSA numbers I will post it. Keep the faith as I have and God will do the rest.

Ray

UPDATED

June 2008

Just updating my progress as of June 5, '08. Saw my Doctor today and reporting good news as my PSA was still 0.1 ng/ml. This is 6 month post-op. Everything is going good and it looks promising thus far.

I still work full time as it seems to help me get over the fear of this awful ordeal. I truly hope all my brothers on this website have as good of a blessing as I have had.

Remember to keep the faith, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Ray

UPDATED

October 2008

Hi everyone.

Just to give an update (9 months post op). Had my PSA blood work done in September and it came back 0.01 which is still good. I hope everyone out there has as good of progress as I have. Just keep the faith and the LORD will bless you.

Ray

UPDATED

May 2009

Just a update. It has been 18 months since my surgery. My last PSA check was 0.03 ng/ml which was taken March 10, 2009. It seems as if the numbers keep climbing. My Doctor is going to put me on low dose radiation for 38 treatments.

My next PSA check will be in June and if it has increased I will start my treatments around the last of that month.

Hope that you'all are improving and getting better. Will update soon.

Keep the faith brothers.

Ray

UPDATED

July 2009

Just an update on my concerns about rising PSA readings. On 6/12/09 I got my last PSA and it was 0.04.

My doctor decided to hold off the low dose radiation treatments till sometime in September 2009 because the numbers had not increased at a rapid rate in the last 3 months.

And on another note I had a heart attack on June 21, 2009 and am currently doing very well recovering day by day. I had 3 stents implanted in the main artery going to my heart.

I'm on a low sodium fat free diet which is good for all my health problems. I still plan on returning to work which I believe is good for the mind to keep busy and not think about all the health problems so much.

I still keep the faith and hope you'all do the same. If I can help anybody just email me and I'll do what I can.

Just remember that YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!

God bless. Ray Lovelace

UPDATED

January 2010

Just to give an update, I'm two years post-op and my PSA numbers keep climbing a little every 90 days. So my Doctor had me to do a cat and bone scan on December 30, 2009. Won't know the results till I see Doctor in March.

It sure is a comfort to know that the Lord is watching out for me. I still work so I can stay busy as that seems to help me cope with the stress. I hope all my brothers on this website are making progress fighting this battle.

Will update as I get more info.

Thanks to all for the support, Ray.

UPDATED

August 2010

Hi - here is an update on my condition so far.

As I said in my last post on December 12, 2009 I had a CAT and bone scan done and the results came back clear for the most part. They did have some concerns in an area of my left shoulder joint so my doctor ordered a MRI to determine what was wrong with the left shoulder. The MRI came back with a dark spot that was suspicious.

So with that kind of information the doctor had a bone biopsy taken to see if I might have cancer in the bone. As it turned out the biopsy came back clear no cancer detected. So the old doc sent me to a Radiation doctor and he recommended this latest round of a Lupron shot, then wait 6 weeks to check my PSA level then do the radiation treatments (38)in all.

Will post an update as I get more info. Take care and remember YANA.

God bless us all. Ray Lovelace.

UPDATED

February 2011

As the story goes I had to go through 38 treatments of radiation at Oklahoma University Medical Center in Oklahoma city,Oklahoma.

I finished up on October 30, 2010 with no side effects that I know of right now. Had my PSA checked right before Thanksgiving 2010 and it was 0.001. I still have a lot of night sweats and I have to get up to pee around 5 times a night. I'm still continent and I guess that's a blessing in its self. Just a waiting game from here on out.

May the Lord take care of all of my brothers who have this cancer. If I can help anyone just E-mail me.

Ray

UPDATED

May 2012

I had my PSA checked in April of this year (04-10-12) and it came back undetectable which was good news for a change. And the only other problem I have is there is no progress on the erection situation. I went to a doctor in January and he suggested that I have an implant put in my penis sort of like a pump up devise and I declined after I had read some reviews on the procedure which not good. So far I have not had to bad a time as I get my PSA; checked twice a year and that kind of lets me know how things are going.

Good luck to all and may the Lord shine his light on you.

UPDATED

June 2013

Just to say that I'm doing ok with PSA test 2 times a year. Undetectable so far. Night sweats all the time. Some incontinence issues. Sex is a thing of the past, but hell I'm alive and I guess that's all that matters. Just keeping the faith is whats important cause in the end the Lord still loves you. Wishing all my brothers good health.

UPDATED

December 2013

Just an update on my progress. I have a PSA blood check and a visit with my doctor twice a year. So far no signs of cancer. Undetectable is what the PSA results give me. It's been 6 years since I had my prostate removed. Keep the faith brothers and God bless.

UPDATED

December 2014

Just an update here. All is well so far. I'm 7yrs post-op and other than no sex drive doing good. Just want to say to all my brothers keep the faith strong and the Lord will be with you. If I can help anyone just shoot me an email.

UPDATED

December 2015

Doing good so far. Have my PSA; checked two or three times a year. All is well.

UPDATED

January 2017

Doing well so far I'm about 7yrs post-op. Other than not being able to get a stiff willie no side effects of any kind. Still have yearly PSA checkups and I am pleased that they all come back undetectable. Sail on brothers it is all in Gods hands. Have a good 2017.

Ray's e-mail address is: jeanlovelace@sbcglobal.net


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