6 WEEKS POST SURGERY

This is the week those of us who have had our prostates removed due to cancer within hang out for…results of the first post op PSA test.

I am very pleased to report that my PSA level is now 0.04 compared to 6.9 pre op.  That’s as good a result as you can get.  My surgeon Peter Sutherland explained that 0.05 is the lowest practical result available for the test…so any reading of 0.05 or below is the best outcome that may be expected.  So…as far as the experts can tell…I am free of cancer of the prostate…YAHOO!

Peter is well pleased with my progress.  My six laparoscopic wounds are healing well, one incontinence pad a day is very good and my erectile function is excellent.

He gave me a variety of “on demand” erection enhancing drugs to experiment with over the next three months before I see him again.  These need to be taken about 2 hours before any intended “action”.

The plan is to try no drugs and then each one as required to test effectiveness & side effects for me.  Viagra 100mg…good for a few hours, Levitra 20mg…similar & Cialis 20mg…good for a couple of days.

Enough about the stuff my kids don’t want to read about!

Time for some thanks…

I don’t know the names of everyone I came into contact with in this process of discovery & excision of the cancer but without exception every single one of them was fantastic.  Everyone treated me with care & interest.  I am amazed as there are many people involved & I know I don’t expect everyone to be having a brilliant day at work just because it’s my turn to be attended to.

Let’s start with my GP.  Yes I had to twist his arm a little years back to start being tested for prostate cancer but when the PSA level was up he was quick to get me off to a urologist…and supportive when I sought guidance with assessing radiation therapy as an alternative treatment.

At the urology rooms the staff on the front desk…again fantastic.  My initial urologist Darren Foreman…straight down the line…no beating round the bush…very informative.  Subsequent testing was arranged promptly and queries I had regarding timing dealt with to my satisfaction.  Staff at Jones & Partners took me through the various scans very smoothly…queries about possible old injuries to my ribs & leg (hot spots on the bone scan) were disconcerting but had to be asked.  Darren referred me to Peter Sutherland for the surgery.  Research about Peter revealed he is the guru with respect to the da Vinci robot and my prognosis is proof of his expertise.  Again fantastic.

Di Semmler my incontinence physio…a very astute lady helping me work through the lead up to the operation & the post operative frustrations with (minor as it turns out) incontinence & taking it easy.

The Royal Adelaide Hospital.  A 3 hour session for the pre op assessment.  Desk staff very patient with a horde of us and our concerns and messed up paperwork.  Nurses, the ward doctor, anaesthetist, the ECG nurse who struggled to pronounce my name (we had fun with it)…all professional, caring and up beat.  Next up admissions…again the desk staff so patient with another horde coming in for their operations & again messing up the paperwork & forgetting things.  Nurses, theatre staff, anaesthetist & of course the surgeon…all making me feel special, at ease & comfortable.  Recovery…more of the same…well mannered, jovial nurses making me feel good.  Back in the post op ward…fantastic, caring nurses attending to my needs & dealing with any concerns I had…all with exceptional patience and caring attitudes.

Post op I had issues with bleeding into and around the catheter…again my concerns were quickly dealt with by the urology nurses & Peter.  Gordon…the urology nurse who removed my catheter…very professional…he kept me at ease through the process.  And again desk staff at the urology rooms happily dealing with queries I had about payment for the surgery with respect to Medicare & my health fund.  Plus more fabulous support from the physio.

To every single one of these people I say thanks…a huge thanks for making my experience special and comforting all the way through.

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