If you're the exceptionally persistent, sadly inefficient kind of thief who scans random blogs looking for news that the resident will be away for prostate surgery, keep moving. The kids, cats, and house will be well taken care of while I'm gone. We've grown an extended family of friends, sitters, and drivers, so the kids will be taken care of, busy, and having a good time. Also I'm a big home automation geek so if someone tried to break in I would know about it and have their picture and probably their social security number before they even left.
I'll be having the robotic "da Vinci" surgery that's all the rage now. I wasn't so much committed to the type of surgery as I was to having a skilled, experienced surgeon. The surgeons who were recommended in this area (and we have more than our share of good ones at Henry Ford, U of M, and probably elsewhere) all appear to use the robot. So I get to have surgery via a tool that can truly be called a "gadget", albeit a very expensive one (that's the best kind of gadget, BTW).
This type of surgery was written up in a Time magazine article in January. The surgeon they interview is Dr. Menon of Henry Ford Hospital. My surgeon trained with and works with Dr. Menon. This is the link:
Our best news recently was that my bone scan on Friday was clear. Odds were good that it would be clear, but if it had not been the surgery would likely have been cancelled and I would have moved immediately to a later part of the prostate cancer treatment process. Just the fact that the doctor thought it was necessary (it's not usually done in people with PSAs like mine) scared Sarah and me.
We are still scared, of course. This will be major surgery, even if it is done by a fancy robot through a bunch of little holes. After that, there is a less-than-50% but still frightening chance that the cancer has spread. The major indicators of that will be:
- What the surgeon sees during the surgery. It's unlikely but possible that he would see an extended tumor or enlarged lymph nodes.
- The post-op pathology report, expected about a week after surgery. We want clean margins (no cancer on the edges of where they cut), nothing in the seminal vesicles (if cancer is living there it is more likely to be living elsewhere, too), and nothing in the lymph nodes (that's a favorite route to the rest of the body).
- PSA tests starting four weeks after surgery. The PSA should be undetectable and stay that way.
And obviously, I want to wake up to the news that he was able to spare as much nerve as he expected!
So this is likely my last post before Doctor Octopus (Sarah's name for the bot) does his thing. I'm hoping Doc Ock takes it easy tonight and shows up tomorrow ready to do his best work.