Follow up to my earlier prostate cancer blog post
Test 1-PSA blood test
I got the results of my first post surgery blood test on Wednesday and there was no PSA reading at all. The 9.9 PSA reading in my post holiday blood test is what took me on this journey, so I was relieved as can be to get this news. It was a joy to share it soon as possible with as many friends as possible as good news is a tonic to all who hear it. I will have tests every 3 months for a couple of years at least and then with reduced frequency after that .This is how it will be.
Test 2-Erectile function
Erections, I’ve had a few, but then again too few too mention-apologies to Frank Sinatra.
To assist in my recovery my surgeon gave me a prescription for Cialis, with two repeats. The optimistic information leaflet states that Cialis will only treat erectile function if you are aroused. You and your partner need to engage in foreplay, just as you would if you were not taking medicine. I decided not to use it as there were at least 20 things you should contact your doctor about if they occurred and worried you. I guess if I was in any kind of relationship I would give it a go but will stick with self assistance for now.
Test 2 Contenence
I have been a slacker and have not being doing my urinary sphincter exercises regularly. As a result my continence has not improved markedly. When I am extremely tired it becomes less controlled but I have still never needed more than one pad during the day, …. Except that one time when I had to head over to another office for a meeting and discovered in the loo that I had not inserted the pad properly and there was leakage on the outside of it, and I had no spare. I resorted to using several Kleenex tissues as an emergency solution until I found a pharmacy. I can recommend them to anyone caught out in a similar way.
Test 3: General wellbeing
Around four weeks after surgery I hit a bit of wall of negative thoughts about my situation. It took a day or so to get over and refocus on the good outcome if the surgery and the support I have. I know from experience that melencholia can be a comfortable state to be in but not if you cant get yourself out of it
Test 4: Try your luck
I stopped using the term lucky when writing or talking about my cancer because having cancer is not lucky. My surgeon explained on Wednesday how lucky I really am to have had prostate cancer detected when I did. The post surgery pathology report revealed that my tumours were larger than the MRI indicated and that some were very close to being outside my prostate, where the risk of spread is increased. This pic from the pathology report shows what he meant, especially image 2!
I can’t encourage you enough to ask any man you know over 40 to get tested every year.
To reinforce that message here is a link to a BBC news story about prostate cancer deaths being higher than breast cancer deaths in the UK.