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59 year old. Gleason score 7. T3a husband.

Posted 21 April 2017 20:36:41(UTC)
Im new to this site and havent ever joined a forum before. Im 43 & we have 3 kids, 27, 13 and 10. My husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer on 20th march. He has had a bone scan luckily all is clear. He is having a radical prostatectomy on thursday. He is handling it all really well, still working as has very mild symptoms. He is very much stiff upper lip & is constantly 'fine and dandy' & doesnt wish to talk about it. I seem to be struggling more with it all than he is, which is making me feel like a failure to be honest. Im spending time chatting to family and friends, but I feel its him i need to talk to.
Im wondering if anyone out there can give me advice about how they are coping with their partner having it. Whats life like after the surgery?
Thank you
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Posted 22 April 2017 00:04:02(UTC)

Wow! I am a bit surprised that he has already decided on surgery and that it is going to be next week! Did he have an opportunity to talk to other specialists about options such as radiotherapy & brachytherapy? Were you involved in the decision at all? Has someone explained to you both the full implications and side effects of the operation?

This is known as the couples disease for good reason - his decision will impact on you nearly as much as on him and it can be particularly tough for younger wives, I think. What is life like after surgery? Well, 90% of men are fully continent or only use 1 continence pad per day by 12 months post-op .. a very lucky minority are dry immediately after the catheter is removed but some men are left permanently incontinent. Do you know whether he is having nerve-sparing surgery? If so, he has about an 80% chance of being able to get erections by 12 months post op, either on his own or with tablets or a vacuum pump. If they are removing his nerves during the op, then he will not be able to get natural erections.

I was a year older than you when my husband was diagnosed (he was 50) - he also had his op very, very quickly after diagnosis because he didn't think the side effects would apply to him :-(  No two men have the same experience of this horrible disease but here is how it affected us http://community.prostatecanceruk.org/posts/t9839-One-wife-s-story-of-ED#post119001


Have you had any advice from the hospital on broaching their dad's illness with the children?

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

Posted 22 April 2017 07:29:35(UTC)
Thanks for the reply. We have seen 2 consultants at different hospitals, he is going to be treated at the regional centre and I know the surgeons there are great. Its robotic surgery that he is having. We did talk through all the positives and negatives and both decided that surgery is the better option. But when we went to see the regional consultant he said there wasnt a choice of radiotherapy vs surgery. He must have the surgery, then if necessary, radiotherapy to 'mop up' anything left behind. So we are positive we have made the right decision in the 1st place. The kids have handled it well and we are being transparent with them. Our daughter is sleepwalking and keeps having tummy aches, always at night before she goes to sleep. But we are just talking through her worries & having lots of cuddles and kisses and laughter when possible & school have been great with both my 13yo and 10yo. I suppose as my hubby feels well at the moment, to the kids, nothing has changed. My worry is that he is being so ultra positive about it all & not talking about it that there is no realism there & it will hit him after the surgery. I, on the other hand am an emotional wreck & feel weak at the side of him. Surely it should be the other way round?
Posted 22 April 2017 22:00:27(UTC)

If surgery (RARP) is (one way or another) your choice ask (earnestly probe) the surgeon on 'nerve saving/sparing' options. The surgeon has choices - cut through them / cut them out or save them. That choice is made (IMO) based upon what is best for cutting out the cancer and what Is easiest i.e. it's easier to cut out everything than to try and cut out only that which needs to be cut out and save the bits that don't need to be cut through (but might need some and surgical skill to avoid). Why is this important - the more nerve sparing you have, the better chance you have of good/real continence and some erectile function.

Posted 24 April 2017 15:37:08(UTC)
I had the robotic surgery in 2015, catheter fitted for 10 days, injections everyday for 28 days, however 2017 I have just completed radiotherapy, still positive though don't allow this condition to get you down.
Best wishes
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Posted 01 May 2017 22:16:00(UTC)
Thanks James,
I hope you go well with your treatment. My husband had RARP on Thursday & although the surgery went well, he had some cardiac issues whilst under anaesthetic. So now also needs to see a cardiologist. It never rains! At least he is ok, he is home & is improving daily. The surgeon also had to take some lymph nodes - which wasnt expected, but he said better to be safe than sorry. Hoping for good news when we return for the results in 6 weeks. Im hoping the worst is over & we can just concentrate on improvement each day now.
I have a question for partners - when your husband/partner had the surgery, how long did you have off work to support?
Posted 01 May 2017 23:03:49(UTC)

John couldn't really do anything for himself for the first couple of weeks - it was enough of a struggle to get up and down off the sofa and he walked bent over so couldn't have carried a cup of tea. But he had open RP so the wound is much larger.

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

Posted 02 May 2017 16:02:21(UTC)

Hi Salbo,
I just had a couple of days off but worked from home for 10 days until he had the catheter out.
I would say the first week is the worst. After that he should be able to potter around the house and look after himself, even if he still can't quite manage to get his shoe laces tied.
I guess it depends whether you have any flexibility in your job.


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