Monday, May 4, 2009

Just When You Thought You Had It All Figured Out. . .

. . . life comes along and throws you yet another curve ball. We just found out today that the lovely "cowpie heaven" we live in has no DaVinci Robot and, while our doctor is more than happy to do the surgery, we'd have to travel quite a bit for it. Now in a perfect world, this wouldn't pose too much of a problem except for the fact that I have 3 kids at home who wouldn't be able to handle an emergency without one of us here and a mother who would be more of a hindrance than a help. I can't leave them alone that long, nor can I afford to keep driving back and forth. So now. . . we need a new option. There aren't too many to begin with. We had it narrowed down to two: (1) the robotic surgery or (2) a focal cryoablation, which is the freezing of the diseased part of the prostate to kill it.

The main problem behind Door No. 2 is that you need constant follow-up. As soon as your numbers start to creep up (IF they do), you're back on a biopsy table with the choices facing you all over again if they find additional cells. Still, with Ray's cancer so nicely contained, the doc feels it is a very viable option. It's also a same-day procedure AND done locally, so I can take him there, wait for them to be finished with him and bring him home the same night. Much easier logistics.

Still. . . Door No. 1 holds the prize. The Robotic Prostatectomy is still the way to go here, according to everyone we've talked to and all the reading we've done. There is next to no follow-up as the prostate is hasta la vista, baby! Nothing left to biopsy if the number should ever creep up. If it did, we would know that something had escaped prior and we would have to see a regular oncologist to track where in the body the nasty little bugger decided to go on vakay. OYE!!! Still, full prostate removal (prostatectomy) is the only procedure with long-term studies to prove its effectiveness. The robotic prostatectomy is the easiest on the patient. The focal cryoablation is a relatively new study with only about two years of results.

What to do? What to do? What to do? SCREAM!!!!!!!!!!!! Well, actually. . . no. That wouldn't help, but it would feel OH SO GOOD!!!

First step, Ray is going to go read some of the cryoablation support groups he's found on the net. The best way is to see what the guys say who have actually gone through this. (Our doctor concurs wholeheartedly.) The "focal" cryoablation (focused only on the one bad section) has a lot fewer side affects than when they attempt to freeze and destroy the entire prostate. So that's one thing we can do. We are still scheduled to see Dr. Lee on the 22nd as Ray's insides have to totally heal and that will take up to 8 weeks from the last biopsies.

Dr. Lee gave us some email addresses so we can petition the local hospital to buy him Robbie the Robot. He said they listen to consumers much more than they listen to doctors. He wants one BAD and this region sorely needs one. It's not only useful in prostate surgery, but in many gynecological procedures AND heart surgeries! It is called "bloodless surgery" and it would really help a lot of people in this area. So for our local friends, I will be contacting you soon with the emails and a sample letter to go begging with. LOL IF Ray decides to do the focal cryoablation, he could need the robot down the road, so we'd love to get one in place.

Today's Lesson (It's an old one, but not easily learned): This is NOT a perfect world and just when you think you have it all figured out, you don't. SIGH


  1. Oh so much stress! I will pray for you and your family!

  2. Just Remember Hon, The Father has it all in His Hand and in that way, resting in Him is the way to go... Amen!


  3. I am praying there is a way to get this done. Perhaps someone can come stay with the kids or Ray can find a way to go alone and you pick him up. Can you call a relative to come stay with the kids. I'd come help if I could. You've done so much for others, isn't there someone who would do this one thing for you?