I am much more forthcoming than my husband and I am an avid internet searcher for answers. My husband, now 51, was diagnosed with prostate cancer 3 days out of rehab for alcoholism and his Gleason score came back at a 7. No other approach was given other then he needed to do something whether chemo or robotic surgery. The side effects were dismal in reading. After not having any intimate relationship for a good part of our marriage due to alcohol I finally got my husband back and our marriage was that of our youth. Only weeks later I was told he needed to do something about his cancer sooner than later. All these glossy and no true statistics that "yes, you will get your sex life back" had me paranoid. Everyone says, "Well, at least it is prostate cancer, it is the most treatable and highest percentage survival rate." Yeah, but after reading our sex life is dead, at least that is what I wanted to reply. I was so angry. I cursed God and life itself. I didn't realize how much I missed sex with my husband until he got clean and we started communicating again, spending time together again, and yes, were intimate again. And the more I read the more I spiraled. I was missing not having sex with him in the future and we were not even to that point yet. Honestly, when he made the appointment for the surgery (and I forced him to push it to months in advance selfishly so I could get in as much sex time with him as possible) I counted the days to the dreaded day.
He had the robotic nerve sparing surgery in October. It has been a little over a month. The incontinence was there and at the beginning it really bothered him, he was in total denial like the old alcoholic person he was. We had to get depends from Walgreens on the way home from the catheter removal because he told me he was not going to need them...and he humbly realized he was wrong when his sweatpants were soaked in the 20 minute ride home from the hospital. But the recovery from that according to him has been better than I expected. A month in and he says he only has insurance pads just in case. He would be mortified to know I told anyone but in the last week he finally came around to being more intimate and he was shocked when he leaked during that time. Honestly, it did not bother me, I was just happy he was interested in me and that part of our relationship.
After a month of not even talking about the ED we started talking about the ED. I thought he was just not going to be interested in sex anymore. But some light switch came on 4 weeks post op and it was all he talked about, researched, etc. He was pissed the Dr did not prescribe him Cialis or Viagra yet. We ordered a recommended vacuum pump from researching. I am now worrying about the alcoholic side of him again because everywhere I read I just keep seeing that 1 month post op there is just not going to be anything happening. I don't expect it, but I do think his his twisted brain he does. He got the Dr to call in a script for Cialis. OK, so that starts now. They don't want him to use the vacuum pump for now (the nurse said it would be discussed at the 8 week appt). My concern is now if nothing happens for him with the meds in the next week he is going to slip into that rabbit hole and suddenly sex will go off the table for us.
I feel horrible saying this but in all honesty I am terrified of not being able to have "normal sex" with my husband again. I am in that phase where I am so mad at the cancer, the doctor who did the surgery and yes, again, at God. I have done way more searching online for answers and every article gets bleaker and bleaker on the outcome for us. "There is very little likelihood you will get your erections back", "Your erections will NEVER be what they used to be", "be OK with experimenting and not having penetrating sex"..WTF, really??? So, not what I want to hear. But I am a truth person so I would rather hear the truth than to get pie in the sky and rainbow answers filled with hope that if I pray hard enough or we do enough"penile therapy" that it will come back again.
So for those who have been through this I am searching for real life, real truth answers. I also would like to know what I can do as his wife to help him emotionally when reality hits him like a brick wall (and I know it will, refer to my "Depends" story above). What kind of outcome are we looking at here?