Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Prostate Update

August 2nd will be the three month anniversary of my prostate surgery.  Remember, back on May 2nd I had brachytherapy surgery in which I had seventy to ninety (I didn't count) radioactive seeds implanted into my prostate to reduce and (hopefully) eliminate the cancer spreading in my prostate gland.

My longtime friend Don M. sent me an e-mail last week inquiring as to how I am doing since my surgery.  I responded to his e-mail with the details, some of which I won't go into here on this posting because there are nice ladies who read my blog (you guys can handle it but I have to consider the ladies).  

First of all, I fatigue much easier and more often than I did before surgery.  I understand this condition is fairly common for anyone undergoing any kind of radiation treatment, external or internal.  Every afternoon, except those days when I'm working at the hotel, I HAVE to take a nap.  These "naps" are more than your usual 15 minute siesta.  When I take one of these "naps", I'm dead to the world.  I usually go to bed after lunch, anywhere from 1 to 2 p.m.  I don't get up until at least 4 p.m. or later.  Sometimes I've slept as late as 5 p.m.  When I wake up, it's like I wake up in the morning after a night's sleep.  I am coming out of a deep sleep.  It takes me a while to get up to speed.  But I am refreshed once I become fully awake.

Perhaps the most unpleasant side effect of my brachytherapy surgery is that my bowels are totally out of synch.  Either I'm constipated or I have diarrhea.  Not much middle ground there.  I take Doculex, a stool softener, which works most of the time.  Doesn't always work though.  I really have to be careful what I eat.  No cheese or rice or anything else that binds me up.  

I have to plan my days around the fact that in the morning I can't be too far away from a bathroom in case of an emergency.  When I have to go, I HAVE TO GO.  No holding it back in the condition I'm in.  That applies to both front and back.  If I can get through the morning I'm usually good the rest of the day.  Except one small problem, there is sometimes leakage.  I'm not at the point of some prostate cancer patients that I need pads (thank God) but I do have an occasional "problem" there.  I know, this is gross but it is my situation and one that any of you who is considering prostate cancer surgery should consider.  If I stand to urinate I have to be careful I'm not doing the other thing at the same time.  However, if I sit down I have trouble urinating.  Sound distasteful?  It is folks but one that you quickly adapt to.  You do what you have to do.  Again, I'm thankful that I'm not buying Depends like some other guys I know.

One of the conditions I was most concerned about was impotence.  I'll try to address this situation with minimal "ickness."  What I can say folks is that everything is working now.  At first "it" was strange (orgasm - sorry I couldn't avoid using the word) but now IT is just like it was before surgery.  It took me just over two months to get back to normal for me.  So that function is working folks for which I am greatly relieved.  I've heard from some others who follow my blog, who have had their prostate removed.  They tell me nothing works but they are fine with that. Well, I'm happy for them (I think) but that's not for me.  I do like to retain some activities that give me pleasure besides blogging, not that I'm equating the two you understand. 

Two weeks from now I'm scheduled for my first blood test since my surgery.  I expect to see my PSA score significantly lower than the 8.4 score I had before my surgery.  At the end of September I see my urologist for a follow-up appointment.  He's already told me that I'll be seeing him every six months for the rest of my life.  I'm fine with that considering the alternative.  


anne marie in philly said...

blogging and wanking...delightful pleasures (if I do say so myself)!

has it been 3 months already? time flies...

Ron said...

Anne Marie,

As I get older my pleasures are fewer so I chose to keep those I have.


Harpers Keeper said...

Some adjustments, to be sure, on the whole it doesn't sound too bad blood luck with blood tests.

Stan said...

Sorry you are going through this but at least you sound like you have a good attitude. Stay strong!

Ron said...

No, it's not too bad. Not as some others have to go through. I actually consider myself lucky. Some minor inconveniences but nothing major. I guess the biggest thing is the fatigue. I tire much easier than before the surgery. Hopefully, once the radiation of the seeds dissipate, the fatigue will lessen. By the way, I put in your name in the Anthony Weiner "Carlos Danger" name generator: you'll be happy to know your "Carlos Danger" name is "Diego Trouble". Harper's Other Dad's name is: "Javier Threat"

Love it!

Ron said...


All manageable conditions that I can handle. Will be nice to get my strength back though and dispense with the two hour afternoon naps.


Amanda said...

Thank you for educating us Ron! My ex father in-law went through surgery 17 years ago. He is 92 years young and doing well, except for wearing those Depends. I am not sure about the other intimate details but he is just lucky to be alive and cancer free! The doctors told him he didn't have to have the surgery then and could live with the cancer for years but he and my ex mother in-law wanted the cancer gone. Maybe if he had waited until the surgery was perfected, he didn't have to become incontinent... Hard decision to make but it seems that YOU
made the right choice. The worst is over, you are strong, happily married to a wonderful husband... Life is good!!!!!

Ron said...


It is encouraging to hear that your ex father-in-law is alive and well at 92 years of age after his prostate surgery. Did he have his prostate removed? I elected not to have that done because of the chance of really serious side effects that I was not willing to live with. I can live with the side effects I have now, even though they are annoying. Hopefully they will go away once the seeds die.

Yes, the worst is over for me. If per chance the cancer does come back, I'm not doing anything. I'll take my chances and die of something else. I've been through enough already.

Thank you again for your good wishes.


WARPed said...

Hi Ron,

Glad things are going relatively well.

Eat tons of raw or lightly steamed veggies, and you should be a regular!



Ron said...


My prostate gland is traumatized by the radiation and presses against my other plumbing thus obstructing the regular "flow" of business. All the "business" is, unfortunately, located in the same general area around my scotum and anus. When God designed the human body He (or She) obviously didn't take into consideration that we humoids would treat prostate cancer with radioactive seeds.


David Jeffreys said...

Now, I've used outhouses before. In fact, when I was a small child, there was no indoor plumbing at the farm, so we used the outhouse. But I never used corncobs! Why the red one first? Then the white one? And did everybody use the same corncobs??? As I recall, we used the Sears Roebuck catalog because with so many pages, it lasted a long time!

pat888 said...

Ron - I always immensely enjoy the content and the layout of your blog. It's so, well, engaging. And what a family of friends visit here regularly. I heartily agree with Andy's lightly steamed vegetables - and also fruits. I think we are truly our own best secret weapon with good nutrients which eliminate free radicals. Eating well and walking - to good health!


Ron said...


Our family is well acquainted with outhouses too. I remember them well. The corncobs? That's a good question. If my father or uncles were still alive, I'm sure they would know the answers. The "toilet paper" of choice for the Tiptons was a old Montgomery Ward catalogue. What I remember so well was that those slick pages were none to absorbent. Cottenelle they were not.


Ron said...


Thank you again for your complimentary comments. I aim to please with my blog, both myself and my followers.

Good advice about eating steamed veggies. I just steamed a batch of carrots and turnips for Bill. He's eating them even as I type this reply to your comment. Another good thing about steaming veggies, the fresh and natural aroma that wafts through the house. It's all good!


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