Sunday, June 15, 2008

My Decision on Treatment

After the research and many prayers I have decided to go with the Robotic Radical Prostatectomy treatment. This means complete removal of my prostate. Being so young, I didn't see any other option than to be agressive in making sure I chose the treatment that gave me the best long term option. Dr Parekattil recommended this treatment to me when he first told me about the prostate cancer and I also talked with my local family PA who had many years of oncology experience and she recommended the same treatment (without knowing what my surgeon recommended). Some of the other options for me seemed like they were buying time rather than having a great chance to be cured if the cancer was contained inside the prostate. I also didn't feel good about some of the newer treatments becuase there was no long term data to support them and I need a more proven long term solution with the best chances to be around to see my grand kids. I also feel great about Dr Parekattil as my surgeon to perform the surgery. He has done over 400 robotic surgeries including over 200 radical prostatatectomy since joining Shands from the Cleveland Clinic in March of 2007. I also like the fact that he had an engineering degree before he was a doctor. I also learned from someone else that he was the co-developer of a nerve sparring technique called ERBE Hemostatic Hydrodissector. To learn more about this technique, please visit his web site below. My only concern about having my prostate removed is the side effects. There are two major side effects caused by the removal of the prostate. These are temporary loss of bladder control and temporary loss of male sexual function. The nerve sparring success is critical in the male sexual function returning becuase the web of nerves on the outside of the prostate act as the communications back to the brain about the male sexual function. Obviously if these are damaged then there would be a breakdown in communications to the brain, thus problems. In doing research and learning about my surgeons success rate I feel very confident that my bladder control will return soon after the surgery and the male functions will return within 3-4 months or so depending on the outcome of the surgery. These side effects are very scary, but I have deep faith that my outcome will be really good. My surgery is scheduled for June 30th at Shands Hospital at the University of Florida and expect to be out of work for 3 weeks. My next milestone is on Tuesday June 17th. I will be having a bone scan and pelvic CT scan just to make sure the cancer has not spread into the bone or outside of the prostate. I will post my results in my next post.

To learn more please go to the following links:

Dr Parekattil's Web Site on Robotic surgery:

Information on the robot being used for the surgery:

1 comment:

Scott said...

Hey Darren,

I just learned about your condition today. My heart goes out to you and your family. It sounds like you've got the right attitude to beat this disease. You also have the love and support of your family and friends at your side, so you're not alone. At times like this when I hear of someone as young as you diagnosed with cancer I'm moved and motivated to help. I wish I could join your friends at the Athletes for a Cure triathlon. I have been training and will do a local mini tri in your honor this summer. Please send or post some pictures of you and your family. My family and I will keep you and yours in our prayers. I will forward your information to Greg as I'm sure he'll be concerned and want to pray for you too.

I'll keep a look out on your blog to get updated on your progres. God Bless- Scott Long