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After surgery-- now what?
2011needanswers posted:
I am into my eighth week after radical prostateactomy. I'm still having trouble with incontinence, penis retention, and ed-- my cancer results have been good, as the doc says he "got it all" and my PSA level is down to .04. Is there any hope in ever becoming "normal" again? I'm not interested in more surgical procedures -- is there some kind of physical therapy or rehab that can be done? This is really depressing-- HELP!!!!
Raynman40409 responded:
I am currently looking at having RP in less than two weeks...I am confident my urological surgeon will "get it all" but I dread the weeks and months following my surgery. I hope I will be lucky and not have to deal with the common side effects, but, I have resigned myself to the fact that this is all a "crap shoot", so to speak. I feel like this- if my surgery is successful and my PSA is UNDETECTABLE, then the side effects will be worth it. At least I will get the opportunity to see my eldest daughter get her Phd, my youngest daughter receive her MD, and my son to get his degree in biology. I feel that at this point in my life, I have already made my mark upon the world and it is now my children's turns to do so. I have learned that this is not so much about me, that this is a disease that effects so many more people than just myself. Let's face it...this is cancer. This is a malady that can take your life, if not treated. Something that stands out in my mind that I read is some options given to a man by his physician whom he diagnosed with PCa several years ago- "You have three options; incontinence, impotence or death. Pick two." When I put things into that perspective, I have to say that I will learn to adapt and tolerate whatever comes along. I am still in the learning stages of this, therefore, I cannot tell you where to turn to for help. However, I can say this- Dig down deep and realize that you are beating what is no longer a death sentence. Best of luck, and God bless.
BillH99 responded:
There are biofeedback kegel exercises that you can do.

The biofeedback helps make sure that you are targeting the correct muscles.

Also keep active and specially walking.

And talk to your doctor about options for ED.
BillH99 replied to Raynman40409's response:
Two weeks is not much time.

But if you do the kegel exercises before the surgery it will help with the recovery.

Also general fitness, specially walking.
pjinlil responded:
2011needanswers, I'm in the same boat as you. I'm 8 weeks out and have all the same symptoms. Some days dealing with the incontinence are worse than others. For me its mainly the little dribbling and urge to go again after already urinating. I keep doing my kegels and hope it will pass. My doc says it should after time. My doc also prescribed a vacuum pump and some drugs to start recovering from the ED. We just have to hang in there and try to have a positive attitude for it all.
miguelito51 replied to pjinlil's response:
patience...keep after the kegel exercises, and positivity. i had a robotic procedure, and things will never be the same, but it is...after 6 months, close. incontinence is pretty much nil, and my urine stream flows like i was 20 yrs. old. sexual activity is a slight concern, however...a full erection seems to be there only with the help of a little viagra at present, but if this is worse case scenario, then i'm good. i'm 52, and i think the younger one is, the quicker the recovery, but i had to wear maxi pads for about 2 months just to be on the safe side, so i wouldn't worry too much. keep up the kegels, my friend, and you probably won't be normal, per se, but if you are functional, and your partner is good with everything, then being an active, vibrant person that is cancer free is definitely better than the alternative. good luck!

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For more information, visit the Duke Health Prostate Cancer Center