Life’s not so bad

Nine days ago I had my prostate removed by robotic keyhole surgery.

I was lucky.  I went to the doctor with a totally unrelated problem and after a blood test he decided that a prostate investigation would be useful.  I went to the hospital and had not only a biopsy that found cancer in the prostate but a full radioactive skeletal scan that located no further cancer but arthritis in my shoulder, which a specific x-ray search failed to find last year.

After investigating the alternatives I had two choices:

  1. Surgical removal.  This would involve keyhole surgery, followed by some weeks with a catheter and daily self-performed injections against blood clots.  Afterwards an appraisal of the results as to incontinence and the actual removal of all cancerous cells.  Potty training required, which I was not good at the first time around!
  2. Radiotherapy.  Four weeks of daily hormone injections, followed by 4 weeks of daily hospital visits for radioactive beaming, followed by up to three years of hormone therapy.  Effectively I would become a eunuch with all female menopausal symptoms, and the possibility of double incontinence.

Unsurprisingly I opted for the first option.

So, after nearly an hour cruising the Royal Surrey Hospital car park in convoy fruitlessly looking for a space my wife dropped me off at the nearest bus stop in time for my 10:30 am appointment.  10 minutes later I was able to attract someone’s attention to let me into the building and 15 minutes after that someone unexpectedly found the queue of patients at reception.

I was taken to a waiting ward and at around 1:15 pm was visited by someone with a patient survey form to complete before and after surgery.  I duly completed part 1 but never saw the documents again.  At 1:30 pm I was gowned up (has anyone ever seen a worse garment?) and taken for anaesthesia.  After basic numbing I had a spinal injection followed by full knock-out around 2:00 pm.

I woke up at 8:00 pm and was taken to the ward at 10:00 pm.  About an hour later I managed to accidentally rip out one of the needles in my right hand and bleed all over the bed, necessitating a complete change of bedding and gown, whilst still attached to drips and drains.

Next day I was hauled out of bed to move around, still attached to various inputs and outputs.  At around 5:30 pm I was discharged.

Since then I have been pottering around at home.  Each morning starts with an injection to thin the blood, followed by disconnection from and emptying of the night urine bag.  During the day I am now free to go to the toilet when I wish to rather than when I need to.  I am finding the catheter and bag option very user friendly.

I hope to be free of the catheter on 13th December, after which I will need to be “potty-trained” again.  On 12th January I will have a review and hopefully  know if I am free of the “big C”.

Life is looking more positive.  Christmas is cancelled, but here’s to 2018.

Published by

General Whiskers

Wargaming butterfly (mainly solo), unpainted model figure amasser, and Historical Re-enactor of the black powder era.

5 thoughts on “Life’s not so bad”

  1. Hello – just to let you know that you are not alone and it will get better! I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2014. I underwent surgery and unfortunately had to have follow up radio therapy and hormone treatment. I have been clear for over a year now and things are fairly much back to normal (whatever normal is). If you need any advice or have questions please drop me a line and I can give you the benefit of my experience. All the best, wishing you a speedy recovery. Tony

  2. Excellent news, General! Does this mean that you will have to abstain from Port and strong Spanish brandies for a while?
    Kind regards, Chris.

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