Wednesday, July 24, 2013
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.