After my robotic-assisted prostatectomy!
JEFF …Well! Who would have thought that we would one day be operated on by robots 🤖 with the surgeon looking at a monitor? It really is futuristic right now!
I have recovered remarkably well. There were only 7 small incisions made in my abdomen and the dressings have been removed from those already. My operation began at 12.30 on Monday, and I was returned to my bed at 7.00 pm, so this was no small procedure.
I was up and walking the next day, on solids by the Wednesday and home and seeing clients by Thursday. I have been working every day since then.
My pain medication since leaving the hospital has been the occasional paracetamol. I am walking 🦿every day, in fact I feel so good I have to be careful not to overdo it.
There’s a lot of healing needing to take place internally where the prostate was removed, the Vas Deferens cut and sealed, and the urethra rejoined. On Monday I will have the catheter removed and will need to learn anew how to control my bladder.
Time to cover the kiddies’ eyes, or gents if you are squeamish, skip down a bit! Upon waking up from the surgery I had testicles the size of a bull elephant, extremely tender, sore, uncomfortable and difficult to manage as they get in the way of everything, nine days later I still have the cowboy walk going on as they have reduced to around twice their normal size and the scrotum is pitch black from bruising…. I wasn’t expecting that!!! 😂
Now for the best news, today my surgeon rang and said the pathology is excellent. Even though I had a Gleeson score of 9 and very advanced cancer, there is no sign that it has escaped the prostate. All the surrounding tissue was clear. I will have PSA tests in January to confirm, but it is all really good news. He said he was really happy, but I assured him, nowhere near as happy as I am.😄🥳
This experience has reaffirmed for me how important it is to focus on what we can control and let go of what we have little or no control over. My surgeon was delighted that I had done everything I could to prepare myself for the surgery and recuperation. I am fit, strong, a healthy weight and, have been practicing my kegel exercises for when the catheter is removed. He said he really appreciates it when it’s a team effort and the patient takes care of their part because the results are so much better.
Whilst I would never wish an experience like prostate cancer on anyone, it remains true that how well we do once we’re diagnosed is to a large degree up to us. In particular, the thoughts, attitudes, and actions we choose will have a huge bearing on how well we get through the experience and recuperate afterwards. I’ll let you know the PSA results when I get them in January.
I consider myself to be a thriver, not merely a survivor. I am enjoying my life to the fullest and looking forward to the next adventure, building partnerships to help spread Choice Theory throughout the world!
…and What can Partners Do?
Deb: Treatment for any kind of cancer, or in fact any form of illness does not begin or end with doctors. A huge part of treatment is a personal responsibility. The responsibility to live a healthy lifestyle, manage your mind, and make informed choices.
When Jeff was first diagnosed I asked him what I could do. He said he wanted me to keep doing what I was already doing. He didn’t want our life to change. He acknowledged that there would be times when I would probably be sad and that was OK too.
Anyone who knows anything about prostate cancer knows that it has a huge impact on the sufferer’s sex life. From the outset, I knew that my ability to deal optimistically with this aspect of Jeff’s diagnosis would be vital to him remaining positive in this arena.
Instead of focusing on what we’ve lost, at least in the first year; I focus on what we’ve had, what we can have, and what we will have again. Of course, there’s a sense of loss in this area and grief is normal. But the main focus of a partner needs to be around behaviours that will help the situation, not cause more harm. Fortunately, prostate cancer is much more likely to affect older men and so the risk of it interfering with fertility is greatly reduced.
A Cancer Journey
Dealing with the day to day outcomes of prostate cancer treatment is challenging. Jeff’s initial diagnosis that his cancer was so advanced without having shown any symptoms came as a shock. Since then however, all our news has been excellent. But what about people who have to deal with the day to day challenges PLUS news that isn’t so great. My heart goes out, especially as my own father died aged forty-two from cancer that started in his lungs.
How do people stay positive with news that their cancer has progressed further than they hoped? I actually don’t know the answer to this. I’m interested to find out however, because I not only have my husband Jeff dealing with prostate cancer but my ex-husband of 28 years has a very serious, probably incurable cancer. I’ve joined some Facebook PC support groups.
Choice theory is an amazing tool for cancer recovery. I can see this first hand in the way that Jeff is handling his cancer versus the way that my father handled his. Most people, in Australia, rely on counseling with the Cancer Council. If anyone has been through this I’d love to hear about it.
Tomorrow is catheter removal day. Jeff has been counting down the days to this but is also anticipating that it will be painful. I’m sure he’ll handle it with the resilience he has handled everything else so far.
If you would like share anything regarding your cancer journey or a loved one’s, we’d love to hear about it.
Thanks for reading