One Man’s Opinion … I have what?

Image result for shock of being told you have prostate cancer for black men

 

Depending on which research you look up it is said that 1 out 7 men will get prostate cancer … for African American men the rate is higher.(1 in 5 ) I fell into both categories. So as you can see things have become quite interesting.

Just in case you have been wondering why you haven’t seen posts from me recently. It’s simple . I have been dealing with this  health issue. February 16, 2017 I received a call from my doctor informing me of test results from a recent biopsy. I had prostate cancer. The next 3 months was spent getting blood work done, seeing the urologist, then deciding the course of action to treat the cancer. My wife and I met with the doctor and he outlined 6 different options to treat this. Just to back up a little. In case you were wondering how did they know? routine blood work uncovered that my psa had skyrocket to 19. Normal psa is under 3. So you see where this is going.It is aggressive so we need to treat this aggressive is what the doctor said.  So many of the options required some form of  Radiation therapy. One required robotic surgery. Unlike the radiation treatments this would have me back on my feet sooner, no killing good cells with bad cells and 90 percent of the men who have had this surgery go on to live and have very productive lives without issue.

So after a emotional conversation with my wife we decided on the surgery. It meant a lot of things had to be in order. I was going to be out of commission for at least a month. My employer had to be informed, a business project that I was working on was going to be delayed, friends and family were called and informed. A planned vacation was put on the back burner until after the surgery and recovery time.

The surgery was May 4th. It went well. I felt no pain, only discomfort was the cather ugh!!!!! And yes it hurt very much when they took it out a week later …I recently saw the surgeon as a follow up  he asked me a few questions about how I felt and said I was healing nicely. He wants to see in August .In the meantime I am spending a lot of time dealing with my new norm as I refer to it. I have to adjust how work at work with an eye toward the restroom, learning to deal with different sensations/ urges and oh possible leakage something the doctor said that could happen, in my case it isn’t leakage as much as a spurt…just enough to know something happened. Not a flash flood just a well you get what I am saying. Again it is my new norm.

Don’t take this as I am complaining …I am not . I am alive and I hope they caught this early enough that I can live a long time and have a productive life. I managed to make it to this point since February with the love and support of my wife Luz. She has been with me the whole with this trips back and forth to the doctor, the drive to the hospital for the surgery which was an hour away and stay with me the whole week from work after the surgery. It has been one wild journey to be sure. Men if you haven’t been tested for prostate cancer go do it. They can treat it early. Otherwise your doctor may tell you start making out your will.

By no stretch of the imagination am I out of the woods, far from it. This is only the beginning. Follow-up visit with the surgeon in August , in between blood work to check my psa (please let it zero out) and more moments of understanding the changes my body is now going through since this surgery. But I have a good wife, and strong support system with friends and family and I am going to continue to be positive and look forward to a productive life with my new norm.

 

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17 responses

  1. My Dad is s 20 yr survivor of prostate cancer. His was caught too bc of a routine test. Stay strong and keep giving cancer the middle finger. You sound like you have a strong supportive wife and when dealing with the c-word that makes all the difference. Thank you for sharing your story and happy you are back.

    1. Thank you. You are right my wife has been a godsend through this. I felt I owed the readers of this blog an explanation for being so silent for the past month. I am not out of the woods yet but it is quite a journey.

  2. As a three-time cancer survivor, I will keep you in my daily prayers. You have an excellent attitude and they say that’s what has worked in my favor. It started when I was about 37 and in nineteen days I will turn 74. You can do it. Bless you and your wonderful family. The mind is a very powerful thing.
    Your post hopefully helps other men to get checked asap.

    1. Wow 3 time cancer survivor…amazing. This whole journey is about one day at a time. I will sound lije a public service announcement but yes I hope more men get checked and not wait until it’s too late.

  3. Good attitude. Your new normal will change over time as well. I’m 6.5 years out from my surgery, and the one thing I learned along the way was patience. As long as things kept improving–no matter how slowly–I was happy. All the best!

    1. So the changes will calm down ?

      1. They did for me. The first months, there was a great sense of urgency to urinate pretty much all the time. I was constantly going to the bathroom, especially before getting in the car for anything more than about an hour’s drive, just to make sure I started out “empty.” Now, 6+ years later, I have an occasional bout of urgency, but I can go hours between bathroom breaks and can sleep through the night. In the ED department, I had one nerve bundle removed during the surgery, so it took the better part of 2.5 years or so before I could achieve a moderately decent erection. Things could still be better in that department for me, but they improved over time.

      2. Ok. I am at the great sense of urgency stage and yes have to be near a bathroom at home and at work. And I definitely empty the bladder before getting in the car. Did you have a hard time with sitting In a chair and Getting up out of a chair?

      3. Absolutely did. It was almost laughable at first. I had to stand up so slowly it made me look like I was 110 years old. Once I was vertical, things were okay for the most part. But, with time and practice, things got back to the point where standing up was no longer a new adventure in leakage. 🙂

      4. Wow good to know. Believe it or not I am experiencing most of what you said except the ed part. Doctor told me to use calis right away as he said the sooner the better.

      5. Question was strength and energy an issue?

      6. Not really. The first month or so out of the hospital, I was a bit tired, but beyond that, I returned to my normal energy level.

      7. Was your energy level gradual ? It seems I have good moments to get things done but get tired, wiped out then need to recharge. Again I am just trying to understand my new norm so I can adjust to be as productive in my new skin so to speak.

  4. I’m sad to know this even though the worst is gone. It must have been tough for your family and loved ones. But you’re one strong soul and look how powerfully you’ve tackled it all.

    1. I am not out of the woods yet , not by a long shot . Still have blood work to do and see the doctor in August and still learning how to adjust to my new norm. Thank you for your thoughts and comments.

      1. Hope all goes well, and you live healthy as a horse. My thoughts are with you, Jerry.

      2. Thank you so much Asha. I am taking it one day at a time.

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