Thursday, May 21, 2009

May 21, 2009 Jeopardy

"I'll take prostate cancer for $1000 Trebek"


"What is Brett Troia's PSA level?"

Correct, I just received these results, dually confirming the pathology report from April 8, 2009. Brett Troia is "CANCER FREE" or should I say "cancer FREE," it doesn't deserve the CAPITALIZED emphasis.

As I mentioned several times before this is truly God's grace, compassion and glory. Thank GOD for my awesome medical team Dr. Vip Patel and Staff, Dr. Mike Jenkins and Staff, and Dr. Stephen Armistead and Staff!

I ask all of you to help me in my pursuit to raise funds and awareness while changing the face of prostate cancer. Please follow the link below to donate to my cause;

(if the link is broken, please cut and paste into your web browser.)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

May 15, 2009 Intuitive Interview

During the 2009 World Robotic Urological Symposium in Orlando I was interviewed by Intuitive Surgical Inc. Intuitive Surgical designs and builds the da Vinci Surgical System, the breakthrough platform for robotically assisted minimally invasive surgery. The following caption is from the Florida Hospital website

"When Brett Troia was diagnosed with prostate cancer, he researched the best possible treatment for his condition and circumstances. He was referred to Dr. Vipul Patel by his physician, who performed a robotic prostatectomy on Brett on April 6, 2009. This interview took place just two days after his surgery."

interview url:

May 14, 2009 SENSORed

My name is Brett Troia and I am a prostate cancer survivor and I am having difficulties regaining continence. This is the first step, admittance, of my latest program, “ The Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation/Bladder Program.” Not really but it makes me laugh out loud. For those of you that have been following the blog I am 52 days since surgery and progressing along quite well.

This program is run by a bladder control expert (Bea) at the PC Urological Center who has assured me that she can he assist me in regaining control if I just trust and follow her directions. So I fully committed myself into her wise counsel. She asked if I had any inclination into what the program entailed, I explained that I was told that it might be a bit embarrassing and that it would be really fun.

The session is a series of steps;
1. Conduct a measurement of post-voiding residual urine and/or bladder capacity by ultrasound, retraining the bladder to empty
2. Anorectal manometry; this measures the strength/weakness of the pelvic floor muscles, allows the patient to visually see the baseline and progress at each session. Used to prescribe the correct amount of Kegel exercise.

3. Electromyography (EMG) testing to measure the electrical system of the pelvic floor muscles, these muscles contract by the way of electricity, visually monitoring if the muscles are relaxing or spasming.

4. Application of electrical stimulation to the pelvic muscles to strengthen and relax the pelvic muscles.

5. Instructions for completing a one day log of all voiding activity; to include measurement of each and any leakage throughout the day.
6. Instructions for daily Kegel exercises; contract the muscle and hold for 6 seconds, then relax the muscle for 6 seconds (this is one cycle). Repeat this cycle 4 times and perform this rep 4 times a day at least 3 hours apart.

What I did not tell you was that a rectal sensor, which is inserted into your rectum, completes steps two thru four. This is an imperative detail for those of you men that may choose the added benefit of the bladder program. Note; “it should not cause pain or discomfort!” Hmmm...discomfort really is all relative. The initial consult prescribes four sessions, once a week for ~60 minutes and then reassessment.

I should add that the experience although a bit intrusive and intimate does provide a glimmer of hope. Understand that this program is optional and that you could probably progress through these stages of incontinence on your own. Butt I'm a believer in seeking and taking all the "wise counsel" you can get.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

May 10, 2009 TRI event weekend

Just a quick blurb from the Panama City, FL TRI weekend.

First and foremost HAPPY belated MOTHER'S DAY!

May 9, 2009

The Gulf Coast TRI (70.3) directed by Shelley Bramblett (an 'ol family friend) was May 9 on the beautiful Gulf Shores of PCB. I stood-by faithfully in all of my race support glory :) The race featured many of my local friends and the pro return of a family friend; Carole Sharpless. Carole returned after 19 months off, following a terrible accident during a training ride in Kona. She returned to the GCT and finished 3rd in the female pro category, a great return for a true athlete. As for my local TRI guys from "team proCURE" everyone finished safely. The PCB water kicked up for the swim start, while the wind blew on the bike course and the temperatures soared to 85 (with 87% humidity) for the 13.1-mile run. Did I mention that being in the recovery phase is great today?

I had an opportunity to visit with my Tallahassee fam, the Peavys and their friends while Sherrie Peavy once again endured the Gulf Coast Roast!

Sharpie and Kari

May 10, 2009

The KIDS TRI 2 event had 70 triathletes turnout for this Mother’s Day event. Race director Koren Kuna (another pal) from Kids Tri 2 provided flowers for the Mothers and will donate a portion of the entry proceeds to The FAN Club of Panama City, a women’s cancer support group.

Children from 5 to 10 years old completed a 100 yard swim, 3 mile bike, and a 1/2 mile run while the senior age group (11-15 years old) completed a 200 yard swim, 6 mile bike, and 1 mile run. Age group winner 9-10 girls Kari Troia brought home a victory today.

May 4, 2009 CROSS training

surgery: 28 days ago
blood flow: Levitra 3 times a week, 20mg
adult pads: as required, 4-6 per day
exercise: 2 mile per day walking, 300 kegels
follow up: 6 weeks (5/27 Orlando)
psa test: (5/14)

Great news; I have been cleared to begin exercise! Docs orders; take it slow, build-up to where you were prior to surgery and if there's any pain or blood (that is your body telling you too much too soon.)

CROSS training begins!

Where to begin, the spiritual CROSStraining; the emotions, the struggles, the talking, the support, the healing and the CROSS. I cannot begin to explain the range of emotions I have experienced during phase 1 "pre-op" and phase 2 "post-op or recovery." Last blog entry I began to experience some feelings of encouragement but over the past two weeks while my head felt right the disappointments continued. Honestly the problem is "I want control, I need control," this is my CROSS to bear and God in his infinite supremacy isn't ready for me to have control. (Ironic how control has specific meanings in this walk.) I believe that one of God's several messages is that this recovery process is about his timing and not mine. Again control. I just thank God that He recognizes us a fallible being and that He forgives us on a daily basis for our sinful nature.

The physical retraining has been slow for me; my earthly vessel is healed inside and out, my potency seems normal, while the continence is quite apparent drip-by-drip. Again "I want control, I need control," and it just isn't working out for me yet. I'm told it's takes time and that this too shall pass. I find it quite humorous that something so simple and trivial in the life of a healthy man has become some overbearingly consuming in the life of a "control junkie." No control for the one who craves It really is irony at it's best. I cannot provide much clinical information except for an approximation of say 50% continence to date. I cannot leave home without extra pads.

So as I begin to retrain my athletic being; more struggles, more emotions and more walking. All the anxiety of the first bike ride, the first run and the first swim have been building. How would it feel on the bike seat, how would the gait be during the run and how would the stretching of each stroke feel. Interestingly enough the 43-mile bike ride was easy, the 45-minute swim was harder and the 6-mile run was excruciating. Did I mention that "I want control of my athletic recovery?" Again God showed me that I could have some of my normalcy back but it wasn't quite His timing for me to have it all back. I didn't nor wasn't prepared for how hard running (what just 29 days ago was second nature) would become. Accompanied by the searing Florida heat and humidity only makes it that much tougher.

As it feels like nothing is going right, I attempt to put it all in perspective, comparing it to Job who lost everything. Do I really have a right to whine. I mean I'm cancer free, I'm healthy, I have; an incredible wife, loving children, loving family, great friends, great church and a heavenly Father who loves me.

I guess I'm seeking that "AHA" moment that puts all of this into perspective for me, my family, my friends and you. If any of you see it or hear it, feel free to let me it on it. But until then I will continue to CROSStrain and wait on God's timing the best I can.