Tomorrow will be six weeks since I had my surgery. When I first learned I had some cancer cells
show up on my biopsy, I was disappointed, but not devastated. I knew enough to know that early
detection was crucial and I should be okay. I talked to some friends who are doctors and did some
reading on the internet about robotic surgery, radiation seeds, etc. and being 59, and relatively
young, I opted to get the cancer completely out of me.
I heard radiation works fine for some, but not so for others. I heard about Dr. Patel as one of the
premier guys in this field and of his somewhat recent departure from Ohio State and talked to a
couple of local guys in WV who had their prostates removed by him. It helped to hear that there
was life after prostate surgery. The folks in his office and the nursing staff couldn’t have been
nicer or more cooperative. They were even able to work it out such that my insurance covered
almost all of the costs. I chose Dr. Patel, because of his vast experience and of the techniques he
has developed to preserve nerves.
He basically said that what function I came into surgery with, I should have within a reasonable
time after. I’ve got a lot of faith and I’m probably too optimistic about things. At Dr. Patel’s
suggestion, I lost some weight and treated the surgery as if I was getting ready to play a big game.
I did push-ups and sit-ups in the motel before leaving for the hospital and jogged from the parking
lot into the hospital. Honestly, I thought the robotic surgery was some kind of miracle procedure
and I’d feel like myself overnight.
Well, as my family doc friend later explained, the prostate is still deep in the abdomen and tough to
get to, so recuperation takes some time naturally. But I was only in the hospital overnight and
never took any pain meds. The catheter for four days was a nuisance but not painful. When I was
walking with my other “prostate boys” on the wing of the hospital, we had to laugh as we looked
like something out of “Cuckoo’s Nest” walking back and forth down the hall with no where to go
toting our urine bags. It helped that we were able to laugh at the humbled state we were in.
About four weeks after surgery, I started doing some walking on a treadmill. Last night I walked for
an hour at a fairly fast-pace and somewhat uphill---I’m already about where I was before surgery. At
four weeks I was able to check on whether I had sexual function. I used to make fun of all the
Viagra/Cialis commercials, but no more. It worked and continues to do so. It’s a little strange in that
there’s no “mess,” for lack of a better way to put it, but the feeling is basically the same as before.
If I had to do it over tomorrow, I would not hesitate to go back to Dr. Patel. I play basketball 2 or 3
times a week and will be playing for the first time tomorrow since my surgery. As far as returning to
my work as an attorney, I have been going full steam since basically two weeks after surgery. Best