Every week I hear from someone who has just found out they have prostate cancer, or at least I hear from their wife. We guys are a little shy about talking to other people about our health, and when it involves the prostate that's pretty personal stuff. Add the threat of cancer, and it's doubly difficult. Most people want to know how I chose surgery as a treatment, who did the surgery, where, and how I've done since then. I try to explain everyone is different. We come at this thing from different ages, family histories, and mental outlooks. Whether you choose to have the prostate removed, or radiation, watchful waiting, or another treatment, there are several areas that apply to all of us.
I believe family support, especially a loving, caring partner is extremely important. I leaned on my wife, Noelle, from start to finish. She helped pick the surgeon, the treatment, did research, was a second pair of ears and eyes, asked questions, prepared for the days after surgery, and kept my spirits up. For a man, having your prostate removed can be a very daunting prospect because you face losing bladder control and impotence. If you have a partner (like I do) who is strong during these times, it's a powerful support.
I also believe prayer is important. There is only so much medical technology and doctors can do. I had many people praying for me. I know it helped. Thank you!
You also have work to do. Do the research. Get a second or third opinion. Ask questions. Listen. This is your body and life. You do have some control over your journey.
As I write, I am not almost 3-months since surgery. I have seen a dramatic improvement in bladder control. The last couple of weeks I have noticed very little problem with wetness. I even do tough core exercises with a trainer twice a week (lots of squats, chin-ups), and have had no problems during these sessions. I would say I am about 90% or better in this area.
Impotence is a tougher obstacle as many told me it would be. I am around 50% or weaker in this area. That is disappointing, but I try not to focus on it too much. Some of that is the fact I am 54 (55 in two months), and I have developed some patience. I also know the key was to have all the cancer removed, and come back with a PSA level of "undetectable." After that, it's all gravy. So if I have to deal with some side effects, so be it. Cancer or impotence problems? I know which one I would rather deal with.
I have some speaking engagements coming up on prostate cancer and health. I look forward to helping where I can. It is curable and treatable, and that's good news I like delivering!