Firstly I have to say, I am very lucky; well so far so good I should say, I am really sorry for men who have not been so lucky, and I do realise not everyone appreciates reading about a fairly good outcome , well I wish I wasn't writing this in the first place as I am sure everyone on this Website must feel the same.
An update ; I am 65 , fairly fit and I am actively involved with Cycle racing . Having had a steady PSA increase of between 5.0 to 6.6 over a 5 year period ,a follow up test last August resulted in level of 7.8 being recorded , enough rise to decide on having a biopsy , an MRImp scan followed this and I had the Biopsy on 6th December 2018. The Biopsy took longer to get an appointment for as I decided to have the Template Biopsy (note, PC UK kindly sent me information about Biopsy options).
On January 15th 2019 I was diagnosed with PC , and was told by the Surgeon I would require Radical Treatment; surgery to remove the prostate gland, or other treatments, this was quickly followed up by more scans including a bone scan. Other appointments to discuss treatment options followed and due to my fitness level being reasonably good ,I decided to go ahead with the Robot assisted Prostatectomy for the removal of the gland.
All went well with the Prostatectomy that was carried out at North Staffs University Hospital, I returned home the day after the operation. Fortunately I recovered fairly quickly, the incontinence slowly improved and the pelvic floor exercises really helped, I also visited a nurse at a local clinic to discuss Bladder care; OMG this really really helped , she discussed input and output of fluids ,what drinks to have ,what not to have Bladder exercises (it's a muscle) , what foods not to have. Very quickly the Incontinence cleared up, I returned to work, got back training and did my first bike race exactly 3 Months after the operation.
My PSA at the first 3 Month check was 0.02, at 6 months 0.03 and 9 months 0.02 , which is more or less undetectable according to my Surgeon.
Now what has not been good is the Erectile Dysfunction (ED ) problem, this has been the slowest process in getting an appointment for, it has been an embarrassing, humiliating , and uncomfortable experience, disappointing etc ,etc . Due to the operation ,my penis is now a bit shorter and feels cold, well to be fair I was told it would be and I am cancer free , so I shouldn't worry, but I do .
Just before Christmas last year I had an appointment to discuss using a pump ,Having tried different types and strengths of Viagra without success, just a bad headache and a bright red face with no erection. Please don't get me wrong, if I had been told on my way down to the Theatre that this would be the worst case scenario, I would have been well pleased as I am today. However I am working on the ED and it could take up to 2 years. Going for the appointment about the pump was one of my lowest days, I went on my own not with my wife as I was embarrassed .
I was met at the door of the Hospital treatment room by a young Asian man ,very smart, wearing a 3 piece suit (no white coat), he introduced himself, I realised quickly that he was a representative of the company that supplied the pump.He explained about the pump how to use it etc etc , he then advised me that I should actually use the pump whilst with him; OMG this was a horrible experience, fumbling around in a cubicle with a total stranger (Rep), with my penis out , tubes, rubber washes, gaskets and lubricant pushing this bloody lever up and down and trying to get the old lad to respond, it didn't help that I was wearing a shirt and the material was getting in the way. After this procedure was over ,I quickly got dressed and chatted to the Rep, realising that he was washing the tube and rubber gasket under the tap and drying it with paper towels, I realised at that point, that this is the only tube they use, I certainly didn't see him take a new tube and rubber gasket out of a new wrapper or indeed dispose of the one I had used.
When I came out of the hospital , I didn't know whether to laugh or cry, I was trying to look at the funny side of it all , perhaps they had a nick name for the tube, it had certainly seen a lot of action, at least I had got my letter for the G.P and my next worry would be would they supply the pump on the NHS , the cost being in the region of £200 .
To be continued,