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My story, nearly a year on

User
Posted 24 September 2017 11:12:46(UTC)

Hi All,

Let me give a brief (maybe not so brief) intro.

In July 16 my father was admitted to hospital, one of many admissions in the last 3 years, with the long term side effects of radio therapy back in 2000 for prostate cancer. What we didn't know at the time was that this time he would not be going home. The radio therapy had already led to collapse of 3 of his vertebrae, but this time we found that his bowls and bladder were also so badly damaged that they were literally falling to bits. Dad was a strong guy and he battled on, never complaining. He spent the following three months in a wonderful hospice, making the carers laugh and trying to enjoy his final weeks as best he could.

What Dad dint know was that his condition made me think I should get myself checked. At the age of 48 and in very good health I was shocked and terrified to find, on 22 November 2016, I too had prostate cancer. Having seen how dad was suffering I couldn't let him know. My mum too had been through so much I chose to keep it from her too. 

My mind was made up very quickly. Seeing how Dad was suffering 16 years after his diagnosis (he was 64 when diagnosed), I just couldn't face any kind of radiotherapy...I was 48! I chose surgery. Date was set for the first week of Feb.

On December 20th my wife had a call from her brother in Japan (she is Japanese). Her father had died suddenly that morning. One day later we were in Japan planning his funeral. We celebrated his life and said our farewells to him on Christmas day. Wonderful guy, survived the bombing of Tokyo and stomach cancer. Pneumonia was his match though.

On 28th December I was back in the UK. My dad passed away on January 2nd, the day after my 49th Birthday. My sister, Mum and I had been with him day and night in those last few days. His funeral was in mid January. He died far too young. His mind was still in its 40's though his body was falling apart. His cancer was diagnosed rather late but his 16 years after his diagnosis were filled with achievement, and happiness.

For the last few years I have been a keen 10k runner and on 5th Feb I did my last 10k race in London, raising money for Cancer Research. Running along with other cancer victims, survivors and people who had in some way had their lives touched by cancer was very energising. Although Id been though a pretty miserable few months and had my own fight to come, I felt incredibly positive and lifted by that run.

Two days later I had my operation. All went well. I was back home two days later and catheter came out a week later (thank heavens!). 

In late March I ran my first 'post cancer' 10K race and in a couple of weeks I have my first half marathon since 2011. 6 month PSA check is all clear. Physically Im good (except from ED issues which I guess is the price you pay), but mentally I just dont know where I am. The last year had been so mad and I never had a moment to think about my own condition until after my op. I still barely let myself think about it. It always gets put on the shelf for later. I honestly feel fine now, but I know I have never really taken in everything thats happened. I wonder if it will come back and bite me later.

I finally told my mum what had been happening in June, just after my first PSA test. She was shocked but understood why I had kept it from her (I told her I was in China on business for three weeks while recovering from my op).

So, thats my story. Im fine and life is as good as I could possibly hope for (thanks to a very understanding wife and LOTS of luck). I guess Im a really lucky guy, Dads misfortune woke me up at just the right time.

Good luck to all of you.

User
Posted 24 September 2017 15:51:15(UTC)

Hello holmessato.

I would have thought that what you have gone through the past year or so will take a lot of processing and will undoubtedly affect you in some way.

When our bodies suffer trauma we can see it and feel it and deal with it. The mind is a different entity and it is understandable that at a time removed from the actual stress it will all come flooding back.

Yes you have the "antidote" of being one of the "lucky" ones and long may that continue for you. You are also still coping with the un-necessary and too early loss of your dad, so if you have down days don't tell yourself that you shouldn't be feeling like this because you came out the other side.

Not only are you grieving for your dad, you are grieving for a side of your life that has gone. Did you have nerve sparing by the way?

It is still possible for some men to regain their sex lives, or an acceptable version of it, with the aid of drugs etc and I hope you and Mrs holmessato are among them.

Don't beat yourself up if the dark days come. Accept them for what they are, a grieving process that has to be gone through.

Best Wishes

Sandra

We can't control the winds - but we can adjust our sails
 
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