I am 45 years old, run regularly, not had a massively exuberant lifestyle and would consider myself relatively fit!
Yesterday (15/04/2021), I was told I had Stage 3 Prostate Cancer. Not the best Thursday that I have ever had! However, wanted to share my experience and with that this is my back story to this recent journey....
I have always been a 'shy pee'er' and it was always a standing joke when at the urinals with my mates as not to speak to me or I couldn't start the flow, I thought nothing of it...it was what it was. In February time this year I started to notice that I needed to go pee as a matter of urgency, I would open a video conference thinking 'it is a 2 out of 10, I can hold for 30 minutes' and then within 5 minutes my bladder was telling me something different, I had to go and I had to go NOW. Camera got turned off and I legged it to the loo (missing half of the conversation from the call, hey ho). This continued for a couple of weeks and it started to play on my mind. An associate (now considered a life friend as I owe him so much) of mine had been diagnosed and successfully treated last year and he had told me that it was the peeing in the night that made him get checked...and with that a call to the Doc's.
Nurse took my bloods on the Wednesday, call from GP on the following Tuesday (PSA results higher than expected - 18.1), Consultant appointment on the Friday. The speed was amazing, this dedicated team of people knew what they were seeing and they were investigating as quickly as they could.
In my first exam the Consultant checked around my groin, penis and belly and then did a quick rectal exam (no dinner, flowers or even an offer of a drink). In fairness really easy and quick with little discomfort. After getting sorted from off the bed, I sat down and he informed me that he could feel a hard 'knuckle like' on my Prostate and it is a 50/50 of it being Cancer. So....the investigative journey continued. Within 2 weeks I had an MRI scan, results followed a week and a bit later (PiRad score of a 5...I had to Google it) and a Biopsy was booked in. Again near 2 weeks later, Biopsy was completed (happy to share my experience of this if you want to contact me directly) with the Friday being the bone scan. Then I waited for the call to get me back into see the Consultant.
2 and half weeks later and it is 12:00 on Thursday 15th April 2021 with me sitting in the Urology Dept Doctors room....whats it going to be?
Positive news....not in the bones (I well up even now writing this) or surrounding organs as far as they can see. A Gresham score of 7 (3+4), Stage 3 and basically there was a little bit on the left hand side of the Prostate that did not have any cancerous cells in it.
Radiotherapy is not really an option for me I was being told, removal of the complete Prostate and surrounding fat (rude!) needs to be done. What does this mean to me for the future....an amazing result in regards to getting rid of the cancer and having minimal further issues, down side being some short term incontinence (that I can live with...Tena Man was created just for that reason) and erectile challenges (once again, there is always Viagra or some other wonder drug/injection/pump etc).
Both Consultant and Urology nurse were amazing...truly amazing!
However....I walked out of there feeling mentally exhausted, deflated, frustrated, confused and generally beaten up. If you are or have been through this or a similar experience you will understand that rollercoaster of emotions, they are all unique to us...but those were mine.
24 hours later and I am feeling much more positive, the NHS team found it relatively early, the NHS team have me booked in for the 14th May 2021 for the op, the NHS team are ready to answer any questions that I have and my family and friend team are ready to help me through this.
So I go back to my 'Conversation Title'...Does this happen to 45 year olds? Yes it does and younger, after reading some posts on here, and it is all about spreading the news. I am happy to share my journey of why I thought something was not quite right with my waterworks (last I understood we all have to pee) and by asking my Doc to get me checked out (the thought of rectal is far worse than the actual btw) in the hope that at least one other man captures things early or even better gets confirmation that there is nothing there.
I am massively fortunate in that I have someone that has been through a similar journey very recently and we talk regularly (we share our experiences around rectal exams, scans and results all very openly) and it helps so much.
As I write this, in 28 days I will be on the other side of this (minus a Prostate and a bit of fat) and in recovery mode. Here is looking forward...
Best wishes to all :-)