Back in the tunnel…After surgery I seemed to make a good recovery. PSA was low and I healed well. Some incontinence but not too bad. I wore ladies sanitary pads. The kind with sticky wings. I did not wet the bed, so that was something to be pleased about. (Big Deal!!)
On the other hand I was totally impotent. Not the slightest stirring. Never mind, said the doctors. It can take two years for function to return. OK so there is some hope then!! There was no advice about how to keep the old fella healthy in the meantime. It was like, you are alive, what more do you want?
Next visit I was told that they were “a bit worried about those positive margins, you should have radiation just to ‘mop up the strays'”. They couldn’t guarantee to get all the ‘strays’but surely it was worth a try. What? Cook all the healthy tissue that was left? No thank you very much. I have never regretted that decision.
During the next few years my PSA began to rise again. The oncologist said we could try hormone treatment as it is very effective in reducing psa. The urologist said “enjoy the rest of your life and do things you like, like go on a cruise”. Well, I love ships and the sea, so I did go on some cruises. I will post links to my videos at some later date. Later I ditched the urologist as all I was doing was paying him for lifestyle advice. My oncologist on the other hand was excellent, understanding and helpful.
So, the next course of treatment involved hormone treatment. A pellet inserted in the fatty belly tissue every 3 months. Retail price $1100 per injection. $5.20 on Australian Medicare. Hormone therapy is also known as “chemical castration”. It stops the testicles from producing testosterone. Prostate cancer cells love testosterone and need it in order to multiply. Unfortunately Hormone replacement therapy also destroys your libido, ability to have erections, and even your interest in sex. This does not bode well for a happy marriage, as all she can think is “he is not interested in me any more”, so there goes any reason to even bother looking after your sex organs. Another thing about HRT is the side effects. We Aussies call them Hot Flushes. The Yanks prefer ‘Flashes’. Either way they are horrible. They start with a sense of impending doom, then you feel hot and sweaty and after that you get cold. They come day and night and I had them for 2 years. I t makes you appreciate women’s feelings about menopause. I called it “womenopause”.
By the way- The erections never returned. More on that down the track.