I was diagnosed through a high PSA reading having gone from 3.47 to 5.07 in one year. My doctor did a free PSA and it was only 11%. The next step was a biopsy. I had a 12 core biopsy June 22, 2010 and received the news I had cancer in 4 of 12 cores @ 10% on the left side.
Like anyone other man I was in shock. I was in great shape, ate healthy, worked out on weights, swam, played ice hockey and was 100 pounds at 5' 10" tall. Cancer doesn't seem to care about these things.
As soon as I found out about my low free PSA the first thing I did was research the internet and read all about the treatments available.
I quickly concluded at age 62 and in excellent health that I wanted the cancer removed with about a 90% chance of a cure. I didn't like radiation, once its in there you have no idea what to expect, the prostate is still there, you never find out if it is indeed gone? The side effects from what I understand get worse as time goes on and the radiation works and the surgery is not normally an option if radiation fails.
The next step and I believe the BIGGEST one was to find an exceptional surgeon to do the job. I found Dr. Neil Fleshner at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto and quickly e mailed his office. They agreed that if I had cancer he would see me once they received my referral.
My surgery was scheduled for Tuesday September 28th, 2010 at 12:30 pm. The operation was three and a half hours and post surgery I had terrible bladder spasms. My son asked them to put me on morphine so when I woke up the next morning I thought all was wonderful.
This didn't last long, the morphine was removed and they gave me two Tylenol at about 6 am. I was ok most of the day but in the late evening the spasms continued and the night was very unpleasant. The nurse gave me Tylenol and Advil through the night and neither helped. I had NO sleep whatsoever.
At 6am Thursday the doctor came in and prescribed me a stronger pain killer. I was released from the hospital that afternoon at 3pm with catheter in tow.
I had bladder spasms due to the catheter for three days and my pain killer was getting less effective each day. I ended up in Emergency Monday afternoon with violent spasms that had me screaming in pain. They gave me opium suppositories and sent me home. I took one at 12 pm the next day and another at 10:30 pm and since then the spasms have subsided.
I went to get my catheter out on Friday October 8, after 10 days, (what a relief) I did not leak a drop :) I wore a small pad home and kept it in for the first night and was dry in the morning. I threw it out the next day and have not wore one since.
So far I feel very lucky, I still have along way to go. My next appointment is on November 16, 2010 to get my pathology report and PSA reading.
I cannot emphasize enough that once diagnosed, if you decide to have surgery go where ever you need to go to get the best surgeon available to do the surgery. I also feel the Da Vinci is far more precise with 10 times magnification.
Good luck to all, I will update again in November.
Well it has been 18 months since my surgery September 28, 2010.
I had my first PSA reading in November 2010 and the surgeon told me my PSA was zero.
It took me at least 6 weeks to get over the feeling of fatigue after the surgery. Even walking for an hour or so left me feeling very tired and I am extremely athletic and fit. After six weeks I was able to start back at the gym doing my weight training and cardio, playing ice hockey and also swimming laps a couple of times a week.
Prior to my surgery I was 5' 11" 175 pounds, lean and athletic with no health problems what so ever, a resting heart rate of 46 so I was hoping for a speedy recovery in regards to ED.
After reading literally dozens of stories I concluded that there was little or no information on the actual recovery of ED. I searched the internet for hours and could find nothing so I have no idea at all how my progress is going. I have detailed my ED progress a little more graphically in the hopes of giving others some idea what is actually happening at each stage. [There are some suggestions for improving the erectile function at Use It Or Lose It.]
February 2011: I had my second PSA reading and once again I was told it was zero. Thank goodness, so far so good. I was prescribed 25mg of Viagra each night before I sleep to assist in the restoration of nocturnal erections. At this point the ED is severe, I can get approximately a third of an erection without anything but only standing up and perhaps 50% with 100mg of Viagra.
May 2011: My third PSA reading and so far still at 0. ED is much the same with very little change, once in a while while standing I get about 3/4 of an erection with 100 mg of viagra but the side affects really bother me, I get really flushed and very stuffed up with head aches.
October 2011: My fourth PSA test, had to have it early as I am heading South for the winter, returning in May. Again PSA is 0.
It has been a year and the ED progress is slow to say the least. I can manage to have sex with my wife but I have to be standing (lying down I get nothing) and the erection is semi firm using 50 mg of Viagra.
I have done extensive reading on this topic and understand it is quite normal for the recovery of the nerves to take up to two years or more. I am trying to do all I can to assist this and my overall health with a healthy diet and a lot of exercise and fitness. I am fortunate to have a young attractive supportive partner and am confident things will improve in time. My next PSA will be in late May when I return to Canada. I will update again soon. Other than the ED life is great.
It has been 10 months since my last update, the good news is that my PSA is zero after two years. I have an appointment at Princess Margaret Hospital in May of this year.
The only problem I am having is ED and it painfully slow, however I am the eternal optimist and feel there is improvement but it is measured in months, not days or weeks.
I can get about 60% of an erection with no drugs but have to be standing up, I get nothing laying down. With 50mg of Viagra I can get about 80% standing up. This is of course with a great deal of stimulation with my partner, I find the brain becomes a much bigger part of the equation than prior to the surgery.
What I am doing now is taking 1/2 or 2/3 of a 100mg Viagra waiting an hour and then using the vacuum pump with an elastic at the base of the penis. It is not great but it is usable and I can use it laying down for a short time.
It is far from ideal but I am grateful to be in good health and I do have a very active sex life. Passion, intimacy and closeness with some intercourse, what more can a man ask :)
I will continue to follow this procedure for the next while, I am experiencing a somewhat semi erection when I wake up some mornings and feel this is a positive sign that things are still mending and improving. I have read many times that it can take up to 4 years for the nerves to heal, so I am optimistic.
I hope this will help others to realize the importance of patience and persistence, sex is a wonderful part of life and worth waiting and fighting for.
Aside from the ED life is great and I am enjoying my retirement immensely.
Until next time, good luck to all.
Other than erectile dysfunction I am doing fine, life is great and I spend a great deal of my time in the tropical islands of the Philippines.
The erectile dysfunction is improving even 2 1/2 years after my surgery. I do have a very active sex life. I use Viagra which gives me terrible side effects, stuffiness, flushed and head ache. I have recently experimented with Levitra and to my surprise I get a better result and not near the side effects that I do get with Viagra.
I had tried Levitra 4 or 5 times in the past and it did nothing for me, so do not stop trying and experimenting. Never give up!! Recently I have seen an improvement in the quality of erections during sex, big difference.
I still get nothing unless standing up. To perform laying down I take a Viagra/Levitra and use a vacuum pump with a restriction ring. It works quite well and my partner and I are both satisfied.
I do believe attitude and a great partner make a huge difference. My wife is much younger than I and so passionate and understanding. She loves me so very much and also loves sex and this has been a tremendous help to me. Many times when I get so depressed and dejected she just kisses me and before I know it all is going well.
Considering being diagnosed with prostate cancer I feel so lucky with my life today and what I have, I still firmly believe it will continue to get better for the next year or two and I am considering experimenting with injections so we can have sex in a very natural way even if its just once a week.
I will keep this updated to let all interested to know the results in the next few months, in the mean time enjoy what you have, be positive and keep on trying.
It has been six months since my last update. It has now been 3 years since my surgery. Not too much has changed, my PSA as of September 18, 2013 was undetectable.
I am still dealing with the ED, I guess as most it is not near what I had hoped for. However I am determined to stay positive and will never give up. I still believe there is improvement although painfully slow. In August after almost 3 years I finally relented and decided to try Trimix injections. My goodness had I know it was so painless with amazing results I would have done it two years ago.
I had my first injection .2mg in the doctors office after a thorough demonstration and instruction on how and where to inject. I got about 80% of an erection that lasted about 90 minutes. The doctor said that with stimulation it would get to 100%
I experimented three times with a lesser dosage and finally settled on .2 mg. Each vile contains 4mg. so I get 20 injections per vile and the cost is about $50.00 total.
The first time I tried an injection with my wife it was really amazing, I used .2 and I was erect for about 2-1/2 hours so these injections do work and are an amazing solution to those who are struggling with ED. Not the spontaneity that most would like but believe me after 3 years of struggling to get half an erection this feels like winning the lottery.
Aside from this I am in good health, for the moment cancer free and enjoying life each and every day as much as possible. I am thankful to be healthy and alive at this age and have a loving, passionate partner and a sex life.
My message is to be persistent, never give up, stay positive and do whatever it takes to succeed.
Life is great but also for the most part, what you make it.
Cheers, good luck to all.
I apologize for not updating sooner. I guess we get in the habit of focusing so much on living and enjoying life when all is quite good that we forget to keep others informed.
It has now been exactly 4 years since my surgery. I have no side affects what so ever other than ED. I have discovered that erectile function if you are 60 plus and have the surgery is rarely even close to what you had prior to surgery.
Before my surgery I knew the odds and was well informed, how ever I was in great shape, 5' 10", 175 pounds, played ice hockey, worked out, cycling, swimming etc. My erections pre-surgery were like when I was 40 and it was great. So I believed that in time I would get most of it back. I drastically underestimated the effects this has on your erections.
I got about 50% of an erection without using anything months after the surgery and got about 75% with a 100mg Viagra. The side effects of Viagra were terrible for me, however I used it anyway and was able to have some what of a sex life.
As time went by I purchased a VED (pump) and restriction rings (silicone) this helped a great deal, along with the Viagra it was quite usable.
After nearly three years I was exasperated and my surgeon said to me when I went for my PSA test, do me a favor and try one injection. I took his advice and made an appointment to have an injection with an ED specialist. I was pleasantly surprised and got a good erection for about 90 minutes.
Wandered around the hospital pharmacy with an erection and nothing to do with it :)
I have been using Trimix ever since, two times a week with similar results. I bought an auto injector and I can honestly say I do not feel the needle go in what so ever. It is a simple process and the results can be fantastic. Don't be afraid of this, it can literally change your life.
I use the injections two times a week and get an erection for 60 to 90 minutes each time. In between I now can use 25 mg of Viagra with the pump and it is quite good.
I can only say to men who are in this position, DO NOT quit, do not feel embarrassed or less of a man. Do WHAT EVER it takes to get things to work as good as they can and ENJOY every minute of your life. It is not what I would prefer but I feel blessed to have a good sex life and be cancer free after four years.
Life is what you make it gentlemen, if life gives you lemons make lemonade.
I will be happy to answer any questions you might have, feel free to e mail me at any time.
Not much has changed since my last update in October 2014. I am still using Trimix injections and having good success with that regarding the ED.
I now get my PSA tested yearly and as of September 2014 my PSA is undetectable or considered 0.
I am now in the Philippines with my wife and enjoying the very hot weather, going to the gym most days and swimming. Life is good and I really believe we all have to make the very best of it what ever the situation is.
Hello, I would have liked to have seen my story prior to this as I am not really sure where I left off. However, it has now been 6 years and 4 months since my robotic surgery for prostate cancer.
I currently get my PSA tested annually and to date it is considered 0 or under .05
Aside from ED and a minor problem with urinary issues, just seem to go more often than I would like and need to go with a bit more urgency, I cannot complain. I am over seas for the winter in South East Asia with my wife and enjoying a very pleasant life.
As far as the ED goes I encourage everyone who struggles with this, and I believe it is most, to do everything possible to be the best you can be. Do not hide under a rock or feel sorry for yourself, there are so many various methods that can help. It took me 3 years before I finally decided to try injections with Trimix. They are totally painless ( who would have thought ?) and they work very well. I would highly recommend starting injections after 6 months if you don't have enough wood.
After 3 years using the injections I know can have an erection good enough to use with 1/3 of a 100 mg Viagra Pill.
Of course there is not the spontaneity of the past but one must except it for what it is, we cannot change it so we have no choice but to accept it with a positive attitude.
I am trying to live one day at time, to be positive and be thankful for each and every day and for everything that I have. To me it makes absolutely no sense but to be anything else but an optimist.
If there is anyone I can assist or help in anyway please feel free to e mail me and I will respond and help in anyway I can.
I wish you all the very best, just make the very best of your situation regardless of what it is and enjoy each and every day, life is precious.
John's e-mail address is: elevenferguson AT yahoo.ca (replace "AT" with "@")