Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday 24th October

I can't believe it's over three months since I updated the blog. If you're wondering how I'm doing, suffice to say that blog activity seems inversely related to recovery and well being short, I'm doing good!!

I have been keeping the diary going, but nowhere as diligently as during the early days of recovery. I intend to fill in the missing three months, but not for a week or two at least.

Current Status
Since late June/early July, 4 to 6 weeks post RP, I have had full bladder control during normal day to day activities. I resumed running in early August, and have been running with a pad (Tena 1) most of the time since. I have tried without a pad a few times and, for the most part, it's been OK. I've been dry running several times and event went two weeks where I was dry for all runs, however I then resumed speedwork on the track and, as the load increases, so has tendency to leak, but it's manageable. I've also resumed racing and recently competed in a 15 mile road race, just 122 days post Op., and also a cross-country championship. Both went OK. I was quite apprehensive about the 15 miler but it went well. I finished in 2:04:07 (I did the course in 1:28:28 in 1990 and 1:48:34 in 2007). I'd targeted 2:15:00 but secretly hoped to dip sub 2 hours, but I was happy with the finish.

This is me just coming into the finish line in Cobh. I was absolutely delighted to get there, particularly without any bladder issues - I was dry, apart from some minor leakage - I probably could have run without a pad. It was damn tiring - I really hadn't the base training done for a 15 mile race, but I'd never missed the race since the current series resumed in 1990 and that was an incentive to do it.

You can see more photos from the race on the Eagle AC website. BTW, That's me in the lead photo for the Gallery. I figured that I'd had the Star Performance of the day, and so deserved Pole Position!

Weather here has dropped a few degrees recently and I find that I'm leaking more also. I'm putting the leakage down to several things; Speedwork volume and intensity is increasing, I'm drinking more fluids, daily workload has increased and, in particular, the temperature drop.

Drinking and Incontinence
Some observations:
* I haven't drunk alcohol (much) for many years, so that hasn't been an issue.
* I stopped drinking coffee whilst in hospital in May, and I've never liked tea, so water is the drink of preference now (Yeah, I know! Sad individual!) When I can get it, I drink hot chocolate.
* Citric drinks - Orange/lemon etc - stopped taking them. Pretty sure that they were leading to strong tendency to leak.
* Soft drinks/carbonated drinks - same as for Citric drinks.

As I generally run in the evening, I tend to do most of my drinking/fluid intake early in the day, so that my bladder isn't under pressure when I run. If I'm running in the morning, I prefer to drink little before running.

What Now for the Blog?
I'll try to fill in the missing three months soon, but the active Prostate Cancer blog is clearly coming to an end. I don't know what I'm going to do with it in the future. Probably do a periodic (monthly?) summary. We'll see.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Tues 12th Aug

Tues 12th Aug
After yesterdays clean bill of health and the OK to return to exercising, I went to the farm and ran 2 laps (about 4.5M). Pace was quite slow, it took me approx, 51 minutes for the two laps. Before the op., I would have done it in around 37/38 min, or 34/35 min if doing a fast session.

My bladder wasn't full starting but I began to dribble very early. I passed a couple of walkers after about 0.5M and, as I passed, I felt could feel a dribble running down my leg. I eased off after that but stopped every 2 to 3 minutes to empty an already bladder - there was never much in it. When I was concious of it, I leaked. I think I didn't when I (rarely) switched off. I had a second bad leak episode when a woman was approaching. I think, in both cases, that I was afraid that they'd see my state.

I haven't been wearing pads at all since July 4th, however, for the foreseeable future, I think I'll have to wear one while running.

Monday 11th Aug - First Check-up Post RP

Monday 11th Aug
We were up at 06:00 to get the 07:30 train to Dublin. My appointment was for 13:20.

When I went in he asked immediately "How many pads a day?" I replied "I've been off them by day since July 4th and, by night, since June 24th. He said "My God, you're doing very well!" He then said "You're not getting erections yet, but don't worry, they'll come." I told him I'd done up a (one page) sheet outlining my progress. (While I've detailed some of my (intimate) bodily functions on the blog, I'm not going to go into any detail regarding sexual function/activity, however I will outline some of it)

I have been experiencing (unfirm) erections and had been concerned that I wasn't making enough progress - I'd intended asking him about it.

He read the sheet and said "You shouldn't be getting any erections yet. You DO know what I've done! I've taken one complete nerve bundle!" I asked how long I'd have to remain on Cialis and he responded "Until you get spontaneous erections." I asked when that might be. He said "Soon." .....and I'd been worried that I wasn't making enough progress!!

I asked what I could do in the area of exercise. He said "Anything you want!" I asked "When can I consider myself recovered from the surgery?" He replied emphatically "Now." He reckoned that the two UTI's weren't what they seemed to be, but didn't say what they might have been, and I didn't think to ask what he thought they were. I gave a urine sample and also a blood sample for PSA.

Overall impression: Boy am I doing well!! D is very relieved.

Wed 30th July - Sun 10th Aug

I haven't updated the blog for over a month, for several reasons; we were away on holiday in Portugal for nearly two weeks (Badly needed and the weather here was brutal while we wre away, so it was just as well that we went!), I've been building and filling out a race results database for the club ( ), procrastinating and various other committments.

Wed July 30th

Regular 5 mile walk.

Thurs 31st July
Rain all day, so didn't get out for my walk.

During the night I started to pee, but woke up before I got too wet.

Fri 1st Aug
D & I went to Kinsale to watch the Kinsale Regatta 5 Mile road race and to walk around the picturesque town.

Blurry photo of Kinsale harbour.

I took quite a few photos of the race, many of which turned out blurry. Photos can be seen here: I probably should have realised that I was not quite myself at this stage, making photo errors. After the race was over, I felt a strong urge for the loo, but passed little.

Sat 2nd Aug
Slept badly and woke with a headache and muscle aches. I saw Dr. P. in the morning. He dipped a urine sample and found antibodies. He diagnosed anothere UTI (urinary tract infection) and prescribed Velosef 500mg.

Sun 3rd - Wed 6th Aug
Regular 5M walk each day. Took more photos at the Novartis 5k in Ringaskiddy.

Thurs 7th Aug
Rained all day, so no walk.

Fri 8th Aug
Walked 5M in the morning. Went to the streets of Cobh 5k and took more photos. After the race, I tended to leak a little.

Sat 9th Aug
Regular 5M walk.

Sun 10th Aug
Only managed 3.5M today, having cut short due to rain.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Fri 25th - Tues 29th July

Fri 25th July
Walked 5 miles today. Legs are a bit sore today, especially my shins, after last night's race.

I got the UTI test results back today - no sign of infection.

Sat 26th July

D & I walked by the Castle today, going around the full 5 mile loop in approx. 81 min ~16:20 pace. It was good, but not as strong a walk as previous days. Probably no harm. I did have one or two very slight leaks during the walk, mainly due to "carelessness"

Sun 27th July
Went for 5 mile walk in the morning. Afterwards jogged in the back garden for approx. 7 minutes. No problems, but it was a slow(ish) jog (- garden isn't huge).

Mon 28th July
Walked 5.5 miles

Tues 29th July
Walked 5 miles. Had a one of my "Mega Sneeze" episodes today but stayed dry throughout, without the slightest tendency to leak throughout. I get these sneezing bouts periodically. I always dread getting them while driving!! This was the first set I've got since the op. It was good to find that I held tight during it - great for confidence!

Fri 18th - Thurs 24th July

Fri 18th/Sat 19th July
Feeling quite down as a result of yesterdays phone call, nevertheless walking away anyway.

Sun 20th July

Our first grandchild was christened today. We all had a great day but it was hectic all day, so I didn't get out for my walk.

Mon 21st July

Walked again today, but felt very, very down.

Tues 22nd July

Managed to put things in perspective and am feeling much better today. Went for my walk in the morning. In the evening I went to the track for a chat/walkaround with the Eagle AC club members.

Wed 23rd July - First Run Since Operation!

I went to "The Farm" this evening. Walked a "lap" in 38 min. On the second lap I repeatedly jogged for a minute and walked for two minutes. I did this 6 times. Before I finished the initial walking session, I went for a "leak" in the bushes and tended to leak after this, ending up quite wet during the jog. I'll need to do a lot of stomach exercises before I run again.

I drank two large glasses of "7 Up" - it's like "Sprite" at tea, shortly before going to the Farm - that wasn't very clever at all!!

Thurs 24th July - First "Race" Since Operation.

I went to Churchtown South this evening. If you follow the link, you'll find me a distant last on the result sheet, a full 47:25 behind my best time for the course. It was probably mad going, but I haven't missed this race since first running it in 1986.
I walked the entire course, taking photos en-route (it is a two two lap course). I felt good and had no bladder problems at all, in spite of the strong pace, mostly sub 15 minute miling. I took a lot of photos during the last mile (for everyone else - I was still in my second/third mile).

This was my view after approx half a mile - the "pack" disappearing the distance, approx. half a mile away. The camera is on maximum zoom!

Fri 11th - Thurs 17th July

Fri 11th July
Walked 5 miles. No problems,

Sat 11th July
Walked 5 miles in the morning. In thge afternoon we went to the Cork City Sports.
Normally I like to roam around the spectator areas around the arena, socialising and networking, however this year we stayed in the stand, enjoying the competition. I took some photos

Sunday 13th July

Went for my regular walk, but it started raining heavily, so I turned for home. By the time I got close to home, it had stopped, so I continued on and ended up with 4.5 miles.

Monday 14th July

Woke at 05:00 to go to the loo, but couldn't get back to sleep again. Got up at 07:30 and went for my 5 mile walk. I'm now walking at sub 16 min/mile.
For the first time, I've felt really, really good - feeling like "normal". I felt like I could have gone for a run.

Tuesday 15th July
Woke at 08:30. Didn't go to the loo until 09:30, after breakfast, so, last night, I went 10 hours without trouble. Following my urinary tract infection over two weeks ago, I'm submitting a mid-stream sample for analysis. This will be sent for tests.

I asked the doc about resuming running, stretching etc and got an emphatic "No! Not until after at least 12 weeks!" He doesn't even want me walking "Gentle walking is OK". I'm not happy with this, but my O.H. is still very concerned about me, so I'll keep everyone else happy. A few more weeks rest won't do any harm. I am certain, however, that, given my progress, the lack of specific exercise is now holding back my recovery.

Wednesday 16th July
Walked 5 miles at 16:15/mile.
For a while fter tea, tended to leak a lot.

Thursday 17th July
Went to town for a "bazzer" - Cork parlance for a haircut. We went by bus and had lunch in town. We went for a walk together after a light tea. i tended to leak slightly during the walk - more than I had been. I find that I do have a slight tendency to leak in the early evening.
I got some "unhelpful" news today - not a medical issue. This depressed me somewhat and I wasn't in great spirits over the next few days.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Fri July 4th - Thurs July 10th

It's been nearly four weeks since I update the Blog. I'm still around and doing things, but the Blog hasn't been high on my priorities - Must try harder!

Friday 4th July
Went to G.P. for RTW (Return to Work) certificate. He strongly recommended against ANY running for the next 4 to 5 weeks. He's also against any stretching. I'll try to keep to that - have to keep the Higher Authority happy! I was taken aback with his demeanour - I don't think, even after attending him for nearly 30 years, that he appreciates the level of fitness still, even after the surgery, retain. When he heard I was walking 5 miles, he wasn't very happy.

I suggested going without the pad during the day and he agreed. I feel that I've been somewhat dependant on the pad as a "safety net" and probably could have dropped wearing it about a week ago. I'm to bring a mid-stream urine sample along on Tuesday week, two weeks after finishing the course of antibiotics, and he'll send it for testing. I asked about doing a PSA test prior to my visit to the surgeon on august 11th and he said to wait and let the surgeon decide.

I stopped wearing the pad immediately after I got home and stayed in for the rest of the day, as a precaution.

Saturday July 5th

Walked 5 miles. No pad, no problems.

Sunday July 6th

Walked 4 miles of my intended 5 miles but it started to rain and D came to collect me in the car.

Monday July 7th

Went for 5 mile walk and dropped into my Physiotherapist en route. We spoke about my requirements and shee is to work out a program and contact me. She is of the same opinion as the G.P. about resuming running. She dooes feel, though, that I'm over the surgery long enough to start some physio work.

Tuesday July 8th
Walked 3 miles of 5. Had to cut short due to drizzle/rain. D & I went into Cork for a little bit of shopping. This was my first time out in (sparse) crowds. No problems.

Wednesday July 9th

Walked 5 miles in the morning. In the evening, I went to the EMC 5k race to take some photos and meet some of my running friends again.

The lead group coming up the hill for the first time, after about 1k.

Sean McGrath comes in to win the EMC 5k

Lots of people welcomed me back. At the hall, after the race, I drank several small cartons of orange (between 21:00 and 21:30). This is probably the latest I've drank anything since the cathether was removed. I tend not to drink much, if anything, after 19:00, to ensure that I don't have to get up during the night. Anyway, I hadn't any problems. This was also the longest I've driven since the surgery. It was only about 20-25 miles round trip, but I didn't have any problems. I had been warned that brakeing might cause leakage, but I didn't have any.

Thursday July 10th
Walked 5 miles with D. I'm now walking at sub 17 minute/mile pace. I had a tendency to micro-leak today, but it wasn't a significant problem.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Sat June 28th - Thurs July 3rd

Saturday 28th June
Woke 07:00, having worn pad since 03:00. It was OK with, maybe, a small amount of leakage. I was feeling much better than Friday. I tended to leak every so often - maybe the residual of the infection, general tension or maybe a loss of confidence. I was going to the loo about every two hours, with no sign blood in my urine. I slept from 23:00 until 07:00, wearing a pad as a precaution. There was little or no sign of leakage.

Sunday 29th June
We went for a walk at Blackrock Castle - 4.25 miles. I tended to leak a few times, mainly from tension - I'll have to relax more! The leaks were like squirts, maybe a teaspoonfull. I think I am "holding" my middle and either relax, lose concentration or get distracted. I think this is holding me back. I went to bed at 22:30.

Monday 30th June

I woke at 03:00 and again at 05:00 and 07:00 to go to the loo. i passed a fair bit each time. I also tended to leak during the night, mainly "squirts". Second thoughts on the "squirts" is that there may actually be an improvement after all. Where previously there may have been an "oozing", I am now getting a positive shut-off. We walked 5.25 miles today. It took about 80 min. I tried to count the squirts en-route - maybe 6 in total but not bad. I rested up for the rest of the day.

Tuesday 1st July
Bad weather all day, so we didn't get out for a walk. Slept for 6.5 hours - no problems and no pads, but woke at 05:15 to the sound of very heavy rain. i tended to squirt during the day Probably due to tiredness. Not bad though.

Wednesday 2nd July
Slept all night, no problems. It was raining for msot of teh day, so we didn't get out for a walk again today. I reckon I'm feeling much stronger.

Thursday 3rd July

I slept for 8.5 hours. I woke from a heavy sleep with the beginnings of a leak and a full bladder. It was only just starting and I had been fine until then.

Today I went for my first long walk unaccompanied and did 5 miles without any problem.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Fri 27th June - Urinary Infection!!

I got up at 08:00 - breakfast, showered etc. The morning was damp, so we stayed in. I went to the loo at 13:45, for the first time in three hours, and passed urine. This was along time for me as I going fairly regularly every two hours or so. I got a good strong stream but, at the end, I passed blood.

I rang the GP, who diagnosed a urinary infection and prescribed Ciproxin. I took the first tablet at 14:30. I went to the loo again at 17:00, with a much higher volume, with quite an amount of blood, but not alarming so. There wouldn't want to have been much more blood though. I went again at 18:00 and, this time, there was a very minor amount of blood and a small volume of urine. Went again at 19:00, small amount again but no noticable blood. 20:00 passed water again with no sign of blood, except for one small clot. I have a vague recollection of seeing a clot earlier, but not recognising it for what it was at the time. I thought it might have been a bit of dirt. Was that this morning or last night though?

I slept without a pad but woke about 03:00 with my jocks quite damp but not soaked - the bedclothes were very slightly damp. I had been sleeping very heavily. I changed my jocks and put on a pad and then slept until 07:00

Sun 22nd - Thurs 26th June

Sunday 22nd June
Sunny but blustery day. We didn't get out for a walk.

Monday 23rd June
Slept until 05:00. Woke again at 09:15. Pad was pretty dry. we walked 4.25 miles.

Tuesday 24th June

Slept badly and woke at 04:30. Couldn't get back to sleep until 06:30.

First pad-free night!

Last night I slept without a pad for the first time and had no problems. We didn't get out for a walk today as it was rather wet. I'm starting to notice general aches and pains - probably body telling me to do some (light) exercise. Went to bed at 22:30

Wednesday 25th June

Slept badly again. I woke at 04:15 and this time couldn't get back to sleep at all. I went without a pad for the second night in succession and, again, had no problems. We walked for 3.5 miles today and I felt quite tired. I had aches and pains during the night, so I took two Paracetamol tablets before breakfast. I went for a nap between 13:00 and 14:00.

Later on I read the leaflet in the Cialis packet, checking the listed side effects. All symptoms agree with mine, nevertheless I took another tablet, hoping that my symptoms are due to a 'bug' of some sort. Because of the aches etc, I wore a pad in bed again tonight. I felt inclined to micro-leak. I think it may be the Cialis affecting the working of the muscles. Slept from 22:30 until 05:55, but couldn't get back to sleep again afterwards.

Thursday 26th June

The morning started out fine but it began to rain about 10:30 and stayed wet until 19:00, so no walk today. I still have aches and pains and a greater sense of urgency, along with maybe 3 or 4 micro-leaks. I slept from 23:00 until 06:00 - no pad again and no problems.

Fri & Sat - 20 & 21st June

Friday 20th June
Got up 08:45. I changed the pad after showering. I had very little leakage overnight, most occurred when I farted - not best idea! - at 06:00. We went for a 4 mile walk at 11:00.

Today, for the first time, 4 weeks (and 1 day) after the operation, I am starting to feel normal. I'm getting there!!

Went to bed 22:45. The pad was virtually dry.

Sat 21st June

Slept through to 04:45, so I went six hours before having to go to the loo. afterwards I slept until 08:45. The pad was still dry - no indication of any leakage. I did have a small amount f leakage after breakfast, before changing.

We didn't get out at all today as the rain was torrential from 03:00 until after we went to bed.

I got a mild cramp in my right leg, behind and below my knee - about the very top or above my calf muscle.

Went to bed at 22:30 and woke about 01:30 with a tightness in my chest. I thought I was having a heart attack/clot/whatever, but then realised that I was VERY, VERY tense. My pulse was normal - 56 (it's gone up since the operation - I had been 48 before the op. When I was at my peak of running, in my thirties, it used to be 34-37), so I figured that it was muscular, made myself relax and fell asleep again. I woke for the loo at 05:50, so I went seven hours last night. The period seems to be getting longer every night. I woke again at 09:00.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Wed & Thurs 18/19th June - 6/7 days Post Cathether

Wednesday June 18th
Slept from 23:00 to 04:00, and then till 07:00. Got up at 09:00. The night pad was still quite dry - most of the leakage occurred after 04:00. The day pad was virtually dry - there was some leakage after going to the toilet.

It rained all day, so we didn't get our walk in. The rain was very, very heavy.

Thursday June 19th - One week after Cathether Removal
Slept from 10:30 until 04:00 - five and a half hours - and then till 09:00, another five hours. the pad was virtually dry - no noticable leaks.

We went for a walk at 12:00 and did 3.5 miles in 68 mins. Later went to the pharmacy for the Cialis prescription. Later I called around to see G and his wife, from 15:45 until 17:05. G had a radical prostatectomy four years ago and I had talked to him prior to deciding on the course of action I was going to take with my cancer. g was surprised at the progress I am making with continence. One very important thing G said was "Remember what your underpants looked like before the operation!" In other words if you're looking for your jocks to be 'virginal white' after the operation, then forget it. It didn't happen before, so don't use it as a success/failure yardstick afterwards.

Went to bed at 22:30. One pad used for the day - little or no dribbling. Went to loo at 02:00 and again at 06:00 before getting up at 08:45.

Mon & Tues June 16/17th - 4/5 Days Post Cathether

Monday 16th June
Got up at 08:30. The pad was damp but not bad. We walked for about 60 mins today - 2.75 miles. I'm walking at about 70% effort and I feel stronger each day.

I wore only one pad for the day, with a total of a tablespoon or two leakage. The main times of leakage are:
a) When I try to hold on too long before going to the loo;
b) Getting up from a sitting position;
c) Starting to go up the stairs.
I also need to concentrate when getting out of bed. Leakage at each point is minimal - about a teaspoonfull.

Tuesday 17th June
Slept 23:00 to 03:00 and then again till 05:30. I got up at 09:30. We went for a walk at the Castle at 10:30. I had to pee in the bushes shortly after we started - I hadn't gone before we left home. Amount was small - stress! We ended up cutting the walk short on account of rain, but got in about 2 miles anyway. Went to bed around 23:00. Used only one pad for the day.

Sun 15th June - 3 Days Post Cathether

Woke to go to the loo at 01:50, 04:20, 06:30 and finally at 08:30. After breakfast, I walked round to the local shop, with A, for the paper. Scanning the TV channels later, I surprised myself when I found Mass being broadcast on RTE 1 and stayed watching. I found it good and soothing.

Didn't manage to get a walk in today. I've now used up all the pads provided by the ward in hospital and have started using the Tena pads for the first time. They are easier to wear. I reckon that, over the day, I'm leaking about a couple of tablespoonfulls. Went to bed about 23:15 and slept until 01:30, and then until 04:30. Finally woke at 06:00.

Sat 14th June - 2 Days Post Cathether

Woke about 06:00, but didn't get up until about 10:00, having been to the loo again about 08:00. Changed pad - I've been wearing the surgical pads provided by the hospital. The pad had become quite damp overnight but not saturated.

Went for a walk on the path at Blackrock Castle. Went about a mile out and back. I felt great - no more restrictive cathether/bags etc. Went to bed about 23:15.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Friday 13th June - 1st Day Post Cathether

Woke at 05:50, feeling my bladder full. Tried to hold up a bit longer, but had to get up at 05:55. I had turned the pad around at 01:50 and the dry side was now quite wet but not saturated. [I have no idea what these pads were for, but they were not incontinence pads and were rectangular, with two halves. Once one section was wet, I turned it round, top for bottom - being frugal with the pads.]

I think a lot of the leakage may have occurred between 05:50 and 05:55, so it's probably not a good idea to wait until I feel that my bladder is full. Both at 01:50 and 05:55, I gave great concentration to getting out of bed without flooding the place. I think I may have succeeded but I'm not 100% sure. The urine stream stop/start regime is OK, however the shut-off isn't very positive, but it happens - seems to peter out. I ate and drank at 06:30 - I keep a 'hoard' of biscuits and cake from the previous day, as I'm always famished when I wake and breakfast takes a while.

I went to say good-bye and thanks to the staff in the Hawthorne ward. It was well worthwhile doing so - I got a whole lot of proper incontinence pads from one of the ward sisters.

We then returned home to Cork, leaving around 10:30. 'A' drove and we stopped in Durrow, Co. Laois, for lunch. I passed up on liquids, apart from a glass of water. We also had to stop on the roadside, between Cahir and Mitchelstown, where I felt a need to have a leak - so I went up a boreen (small side-road) to be out of sight from passing traffic. We stopped again in Mitchelstown for a snack and arrived home about 15:00.

I changed the pad and rested for a while. I went to bed around 21:00 and slept until 06:00 or so. I had to get up to go to the loo every two hours or so during the night. I changed the pad again in the morning.

It is strange being without the cathether. The safety net is gone and I have to re-learn how to control my urinary function.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Thurs 12th June - 3 weeks Post-RP - Cathether Removal

I'm re-entering hospital today, for cathether removal and to get the pathology report.

Slept fitfully from 22:30. Woke several times and finally, at 04:45. I got up at 06:00 for the 07:30 train to Dublin. Arrived at St. Vincent's Private Hospital at 11:00.

I'm due to get an antibiotic after I see the house-doctor. The cathether will be removed after that and I'll see the surgeon later in the afternoon. once teh cathether is removed, I'll be expected to walk and my urine flow will be monitored. Took a Ciproxin tablet orally at 12:00. lunch 12:45.

Cathether removed 13:10. It was uncomfortable but OK. went for a walk upstairs to the Hawthorne ward at 13:15. Dribbled a good deal en-route - had to change out of my pyjama bottoms. That was a silly thing to do - too ambitious! Remember Rome! Should have rested in bed for a while to let things settle down, before making any 'trips', tackling stairs etc. I'm now going to sit out for a while, until I get more confidence.

I had a glass of water at 13:40 and another at 14:00. I went for a leak at 14:00 and only passed 20cc max., but stopped positively. There was a small bit of debris in it. went for a walk in the corridoor with D immediately afterwards and was dry for all of it, except when I started thinking about it towards the end - then I dribbled a small bit. The nurse said to drink plenty, to test my bladder function. She said that my bladder should about 3 litres.

Had another glass of water at 14:55. 15:15 - Felt like going for a pee - felt in penis, rather than bladder pressure. I dribbled before I realised it, then made a bolt for bathroom, but missed out and dribbled badly. Went about 200mL before stopping, but then getting a small bit more again. Took another glass of water at 15:20 and got up for a walk at 15:35 and began to dribble but couldn't stop. Made it to the bathroom with wet, but not soaking, jocks. Passed a total of 350/375 mL for the last two streams. The nurse says that this is fine and that I can start to drink normally now and not to worry about dribbling - muscles need to retrain.

16:00 Started to dribble again and made a bolt for it. No measuring jug, so had to wait. Managed to hold until the jug arrived and passed about 50 mL, very clear. Went again at 16:10. I think I made it this time but wasn't sure. Passed 50 mL again, but had more control over it this time. Went again at 16:25. very little passed this time but had to push to start, stopped and then started again. Passed about 25 mL ad there were two spots of debris in it. Went again at 16:55 - minor amount. 17:30 - 25 to 50 mL. Had tea at 17:45 - coq-au-vin. Feeling OK. 18:25 - passed about 50 mL. Went again for the tiniest amout at 17:55.

When i came out, the surgeon was with D. he asked about the continence and I told time the story. He said that I should have been using pads. he wants me to start practicising stopping/starting my urine stream when I get back to normal urine flow. he says that pelvic floor exercises are useless for men - they are for people with a birth canal, i.e. women.

Gleason score upgraded to 4+4=8, 5% of gland involved, no seminal vessicle or lymph gland involvement and negative margins. He says that it is gone and that I am "a lucky, lucky man". I can go on holiday (to Portugal) 10 weeks after the operation. he gave me a prescription for Cialis, to be taken Mon, Wed and fri. the prescription repeats for 6 months. It is expensive but better. I went to sleep at 22:30, having washed and put on a large pad. i woke at 01:50 and went to loo, stop starting. I had started to leak when I woke and bottom of pad was wet but not saturated.

Mon 9th - Wed 11th June - 18/20 Days Post-RP

Mon 9th June
Went for a walk on the path ~2.5 Miles. No problems

Tues 10th June

No walk on path today either, but did some in the garden. Didn't go in the afternoon as it was too hot (26C) and humid.

Wed 12th June
Made it to the path today and walked for 2.6 Miles. i seem to be getting stronger without trying.

Sun 8th June - 17 Days Post-RP

Slept for 7 hours. Sleep is much better since taking Cataflam. Ache in my hip is less. Passed approx. 1 litre overnight and tube is now more or less clear. Passed regular morning motion, along with a good deal of fluid. I feel more and more that spinchter muscle is getting back to normal.

We tried to drive to Blackrock, but the whole place was choked with traffic from the Cork-Tipp hurling match - Cork lost at home to tipp for the first time in 85 years!! - so we had to turn back. It was probably just as well, as it started to rain shortly afterwards.

Sat 7th June - 16 Days Post-RP

Woke at 07:30. Probably the best sleep I've had since the operation. I feel very rested. The sore spot on my left buttock feels much better this morning.
Had my regular morning bowel movement . After passing stool, I got a strong flow of urine past the cathether. I can't be sure, but I think spinchter muscles are getting back to normal.

Blackrock Castle, Cork, Ireland

This minature of Blackrock Castle sits on top of a wall close to the castle.

A view of the 'path' from Blackrock Castle, looking down the harbour towards Cobh (cove).

Went for a 60 minute walk along the path during the afternoon ~2.6 Miles. Leaked a fair bit, particularly on the way back - the cathether was pulling a fair bit. I had to change my underwear and leggings when I got home. The cathether tubing is discoloured from deposits on the inside, on the 'body side' of the joint. I probably need to drink more.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Fri 6th June - 15 Days Post-RP

This diary extract outlines my radical retropubic prostatectomy from a fly-on-the-wall perspective. It will not be to everyones taste. The idea is that other men faced with Prostate Cancer may find it helpful in considering their own options. If you find the contents distasteful or undesirable, I'm sorry for your troubles!
Went to bed around 22:30, but woke at 23:50 with a very strong pain in my left hip - I had been lying on my left-hand side. I woke again at 00:50 with muscular pain on the right-hand side. It was impossible to find a comfortable position. I'd describe the hip pain as "cold, deep and flat" Flat as not sharp but covering an area. We rang the ward in the hospital in Dublin and I was advised to take two Paracetamol and if it got worse to see my GP in the morning and also to contact the surgeon in the morning. They also said that if it got worse or the Paracetamol didn't work, to go to A&E at my local hospital.

I took the Paracetamol and they kicked in around 20-30 min later. Managed to relax and sleep until 06:30. Everyting appears Ok, but will have a word with the doctor anyway.

Got up at 08:45. Bowel movement OK. Saw doctor at 10:00 and he removed the remaining clips. The last one was difficult - like the last wheel-nut or screw when your working at something! He prescribed Cataflam for the hip problem, to counter inflammation. I only walked in the garden today, as d was very, very tired. She slept very little last night, watching over me for most of the night. Went to bed at 23:00

Thursday 5th June - 14 Days Post-RP

This diary extract outlines my radical retropubic prostatectomy from a fly-on-the-wall perspective. It will not be to everyones taste. The idea is that other men faced with Prostate Cancer may find it helpful in considering their own options. If you find the contents distasteful or undesirable, I'm sorry for your troubles!
Woke around 08:30, but didn't get until 11:30 - lazy bugger - as it was a wet morning, so i didn't do any walking as a result. Bowel movement OK.

We went for a walk on the Marina later on - about 25 min. out and back, going from the T-junction to the old Blackrock railway station and back. Walk was good except for hassle with both dogs and dog owners. One labrador pup wrapped itself around my catether leg and it's owner took grave exception to my efforts to get the dog off me. "Did you hit my f#@*ing dog!" I hadn't. D was very upset. The law in Ireland says that any dog must be on a lead in a public place. None of the two dogs we had incidents with were on leads. We also observed a woman with two (terrified & screaming) young children being threatened by two Alsatians (German Shepherds). These dogs are supposed to be muzzled in addition to being on a lead. Needless to say, D doesn't want to walk here again.

Wed 4th June - 13 Days Post-RP

This diary extract outlines my radical retropubic prostatectomy from a fly-on-the-wall perspective. It will not be to everyones taste. The idea is that other men faced with Prostate Cancer may find it helpful in considering their own options. If you find the contents distasteful or undesirable, I'm sorry for your troubles!
Woke at 06:30, after about 7 hours sleep. Feeling quite rested. The itchyness appears to be gone (for the moment).

Passed stool OK first thing. Went for a walk with D at Blackrock Castle around 15:00. We were out for 40 min. and did about 1.65 miles. I felt good. The pace was a bit faster than the previous walk, but not pushing it. Went to bed around 22:30.

Tues 3rd June - 12 Days Post-RP

This diary extract outlines my radical retropubic prostatectomy from a fly-on-the-wall perspective. It will not be to everyones taste. The idea is that other men faced with Prostate Cancer may find it helpful in considering their own options. If you find the contents distasteful or undesirable, I'm sorry for your troubles!
Another warm night, woke several times. Finallly woke at 07.00, feeling refreshed. Slept with the tube attached to my leg. It had been pulling on the leg tie and I want to preserve that longer. I've been trying to source another of these velcro "butterfly" plasters for holding the tube to the leg, but haven't been able to find a supplier. They all suggest getting another from the hospital - great, seeing that the hospital is 170 miles away! Anyway sleeping with the catether just attached to the point of entry didn't appear to cause a problem.

Crapped again first thing - no problem. Visited my doctor at 10:30. Because of the redness spots around the clips, the doc just removed every second clip and prescribed an anti-biotic powder, Cicatrin, to be applied to the "wound" three times daily.

Only walked up and down the street today, about 25 min. in total. Also walked in the garden several times and later dozed in the recliner for about a half hour.

I didn't feel as "filled with energy" today, but felt better overall. The wound area felt quite itchy about the time I was preparing for bed.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Mon 2nd June - 11 days Post-RP

This diary extract outlines my radical retropubic prostatectomy from a fly-on-the-wall perspective. It will not be to everyones taste. The idea is that other men faced with Prostate Cancer may find it helpful in considering their own options. If you find the contents distasteful or undesirable, I'm sorry for your troubles!
Slept OK, but woke several times. It was a very, very warm night. Crapped and showered. After breakfast, D drove me to Turner's Cross, to look at the Cork City Marathon. While there I was under orders to continually walk up and down - no stopping clapping or cheering permitted! I was only allowed to stay for about 45 min, but it was great. I got a "high 5" from race leader and clubmate, Wieslaw Sosnowski. He went out of his way to give me it, so it was all the sweeter. I found the gesture very emotional in the circumstances. There was a great buzz going and I got greeting and wishes from lots of those running.

I'm eating very well, wolfing down my meals. I spent a good deal of the day in the reclining chair. In the end I only did 1 walk in the garden. I went to bed around 22:00. this was my first day without a nap, but I'm feeling stronger.

Sun June 1st 2008 - 10 days Post-RP

This diary extract outlines my radical retropubic prostatectomy from a fly-on-the-wall perspective. It will not be to everyones taste. The idea is that other men faced with Prostate Cancer may find it helpful in considering their own options. If you find the contents distasteful or undesirable, I'm sorry for your troubles!
Finally woke about 08:15, so slept for about 8 hours all-in-all, waking once or twice during the night.Frozen spot is OK, much better now - dissipating.

Got up around 11:00 and crapped again. Found it easier to go by leaning forward at an angle of approx. 60/70 degrees.

About 13:30, I went for 2 1/2 laps of the street with A. Crapped again afterwards - much easier. After this mornings crap, I got a muscular backlash - spinchter muscle sore but ok afterwards. Some fluid passed around outside of catether after this.

At 16:00 D & I went for a walk at the Castle again. We did approx. 1 Mile - measured on GPS watch - took a few secs under 30 mins, but who is counting! Felt OK. Went for a lie-down when I got home. Slept for about 1 1/2 hours. Crapped again before bed.

Sat 31st May 2008 - 9 Days Post-RP

This diary extract outlines my radical retropubic prostatectomy from a fly-on-the-wall perspective. It will not be to everyones taste. The idea is that other men faced with Prostate Cancer may find it helpful in considering their own options. If you find the contents distasteful or undesirable, I'm sorry for your troubles!
Woke at 05:45, feeling quite reated. My bum seems less frozen - gettin g there! The night bag had about 500mL in it. I deliberately drank less last evening, to ensure that i didn't come close again to filling the bag.

I spent a good deal of the morning watching TV - ended up with the day bag overfilled. I'd had my legs raised on a foot-stool and didn't realise taht the bag was filling so much. Not a good idea!

I went for several walks in the garden and later we drove to Blackrock Castle, where we went for 1/2-3/4 mile walk on the Castle-lakelands walk. Met Eagle AC Club Treasurer, KS, there and had a brief chat. The weather was lovely and it was great to get some fresh air. I went for a lie-down when we got home and slept for about an hour.

I was a bit constipated later but finally passed stool after about 20-30 min sitting (doing Sudoku while waiting!). Probably need to take Milpar and/or fruit.

Fri May 31st 2008 - 8 Days Post-RP

This diary extract outlines my radical retropubic prostatectomy from a fly-on-the-wall perspective. It will not be to everyones taste. The idea is that other men faced with Prostate Cancer may find it helpful in considering their own options. If you find the contents distasteful or undesirable, I'm sorry for your troubles!
Got up at 07:30 and showered. The night bag was almost 100% full - approx. 1L - when I woke. My jocks were quite damp/wet from detrius escaping between the catether and the tip of my penis. The swelling has gone down noticeably - now more pronounced at the bottom/underside. The upper part appears to have returned to normal. In the immediate few days after the op., it was pretty well black and blue - at one stage the thought crossed my mind that they might habe given me a penis and testicle transplant from a black man, the bruising was so heavy.

Showering was more awkward than in hospital - our shower/bath is higher tahn the one in the hospital. You need to ensure that you have three points of contact at all times. I was treated to breakfast in bed this morning - nice treat, but I think I'd prefer to be sitting at the table. Walked in the garden, along the path for about 15 min., just repeatedly up and down.

Penile/foreskin swelling has gone down considerably.

AM called at 11:45 with some "goodies"; spare days bags, bandages, plasters etc. It was great to see her.

I was quite tired after lunch, so I went for a lie-down, napping from 13:45 until 15:15. At 16:30, I went for my first walk up and down the street. Did it twice and it took about about 10 mins. I figure it would have taken about 4 min, if I'd been doing it before the op. Sat watching TV for a good while afterwards. Had another session walking in the garden later on - about 10 min.

I've been taking aspirin since coming home, to safeguard against clotting.

My left leg has been feeling quite cold, especially at night, so I'm going to wear running socks in bed tonight.

Each day I feel that I'm getting stronger and stronger. Today was much better.

I forgot a couple of things from the hospital:
* On the Sat. (I think), 24th, I found vision in my right eye was quite blurry and unfocussed. The house doctor examined me and said that it may be connected to the Morphine, so the Morphine shoud be stopped. It wore off/disappeared after that. I was put on Difane instead.
* My appetite seemed to come back after the Morphine was withdrawn - staff said that this happens.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Thurs May 29th - 7 Days Post -RP

This diary extract outlines my radical retropubic prostatectomy from a fly-on-the-wall perspective. It will not be to everyones taste. The idea is that other men faced with Prostate Cancer may find it helpful in considering their own options. If you find the contents distasteful or undesirable, I'm sorry for your troubles!
Got up and showered. Changed into going home clothes. Raring to go!

Surgeon came in at 08:20 and said that I should take aspirin nti-clotting when I go home. Over the counter stuff will do. Got my bags (night & leg) for home and had the id and allergy tags removed.

Said my goodbyes and left hospital at 09.45. B and r shared driving and I went in the front passenger seat. We stopped three times en-route on the 170 mile journey, to eat and also to walk. I'd been advised to walk every hour during the journey. The trip was uncomfortable but OK. We had a pillow that i leant against and managed to doze for a while - roughly half an hour. I had a mars bar at the final stop and it gave me a great sugar boost. I had to empty the bag three times en-route.

Its great to be home and in my own bed. Maybe now my arse will recover! Its so much more comfortable than a hospital bed.

Stayed up till 22:30 watching soccer - Ireland 1 - 0 Colombia. I was sitting on the couch - not a good idea - its too deep/soft.

Sleepping in my own bed was great. I managed to sleep till 05:30. Unfortunately D had to move to one of the spare bedrooms, due to my snoring, but she came back in at 06:00

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Wed May 28th - 6 Days Post-RP

This diary extract outlines my radical retropubic prostatectomy from a fly-on-the-wall perspective. It will not be to everyones taste. The idea is that other men faced with Prostate Cancer may find it helpful in considering their own options. If you find the contents distasteful or undesirable, I'm sorry for your troubles!
Woke at 05:00. Went for a sit-down from 05:10 - 05:30 - "at the gates" but no joy. Followed this by two 3 lap walks in quick succession, then sat again for 20 minutes. Finally went. It was VERY uncomfortable. Once passed got very uncomfortable spasm internally in the groin area - like a backlash. I managed to block the toilet, but it felt great. I told a nurse that I'd blocked the toilet and we had a bit of a giggle about it. She managed to unblock it after several flushes.

All these wind, water and bowel motions seem like a throwback to childhood days - "Look Mammy, see what I did in the potty! I'm a good boy"

While I was waiting for it to happen, I had a chair in front of me - back facing me - and I leant on this. That helped enormously.

I showered almost immediately and went for several more walks. I decided to wear "normal" clothes today. I'll also be getting a smaller leg bag to wear during the day.

11:00 I changed into a T-shirt ("Brag" shirt - Ballycotton 5 series top 50 shirt), and basketball tearaways. The tearaways have snaps all the way down the outside of each leg, so I have the cathether tube coming out through one of the sections between snaps. The cathether bag was changed for a leg bag at 11:45. It was great - it felt so much easier.

My foreskin area has been quite swollen for several days. The surgeon has seen it, but the medics want him to see it again, but say it shouldn't make any difference to my discharge from hospital tomorrow. My dressings were taken off permanently at 12:00.

Went for a walk outside in the car-park with D. Going out the front door of the hospital was quite emotional. The previous week I'd been extremely worried - wondering would I come out! The fresh air was lovely - even with all the fumes from cars idling and moving around.

Surgeon came in - he'd been in surgery all day. He said that the the swelling in the region of the foreskin is due to the breakdown of tissue and would pass as easily as it had arisen. He also said that the discharge from the tip of the penis is residue/debris from the lymph glands and seminal vessicles and this is normal. There may be more discharge. He said that I should have my doctor (in Cork) remove the staples after 9 days, but that this will be Tuesday next, as Monday is a Public Holiday.

I did a little more walking this evening, but not much. Going to bed for the night, we put the two bags, leg bag and night bag, in series. This wasn't a good idea as it caused pooling in the middle bag while sleeping and the nurses had to lift them during the night, so that it ran into the night bag. It certainly caused more hassle than its worth in the shower on Thursday morning.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Tues May 27th 2008 - 5 Days Port-RP

This diary extract outlines my radical retropubic prostatectomy from a fly-on-the-wall perspective. It will not be to everyones taste. The idea is that other men faced with Prostate Cancer may find it helpful in considering their own options. If you find the contents distasteful or undesirable, I'm sorry for your troubles!
Woke several times during the night, but managed to get back again each time. A couple of us were talking about waking during the night and it seems we're all experiencing the same 'symptoms' - once we wake, our minds start racing, thinking about trivia. i think I've got round it by telling my mind "just go away" and shutting down. Seems to work - like throwing a switch or shutting a door.

Finally woke at 05:15, when I got up and went for a 2 lap walk, after which I rested. I took a shower at 06:00.

NB: When showering on your own, particularly when using a combi-shower/bath, like they have here and I have at home, make sure that you use three point contact at all times getting into and out of the bath/shower. Three point contact is where three parts of the body are anchored, i.e. if only one leg is on the ground, make sure that BOTH hands have a firm grip of something, ideally a support bar/rail. I have a towel rail at the opposite end of the bath to the shower head and I use this.

Several weeks before the operation, I bought a support rail that I was going to install vertically just outside the bath. However, in the hospital, these rails are on the opposite wall to the side you get in from, which is a better idea - there is no turning moment, so the risk of unbalance and swinging is less.

Washing: Groin area tending to get quite "whiffy". The tubes interfere with access. I found that the best access is by lifting one leg onto the edge of the bath - careful you don't slip/unbalance - and then bring your washcloth in from behind. Same for drying.

Walked for another 2 lapper at 07:00 and got into bed for a rest afterwards.

I had, actually walloped, a big breakfast; bacon, egg, sausage, brown bread, marmalade. Now drinking a lot more (water). Laid in bed till 11:00, when I went for another 2 lapper. I'm getting a daily anti-clotting injection in the thigh. I have a choice of the thigh or the abdomen. I reckon I've had enough things done to my abdomen!

I had compression socks on till yesterday, when they were rinsed, but they haven't been replaced since. Must ask surgeon if I still need them.

Went for two more 2 lappers before 12:00, with a rest in between.

Filt like having a crap at 12:00 and stayed on the 'throne' until 12:30. It was at the gates but wouldn't come out. Ended up hot and bothered and had to pull the alarm cord. I was assisted back into bed and was borderline fainting as I got in. Felt OK afterwards but didn't really feel like eating lunch.

Dozed till 14:00 when d came in and I went for a walk with her at 15:00. I got 2 laxatives, anally, to take at 17:00 and while I was getting them, the caterers missed me for tea. However one of the nurses managed to round up some grub for me, and i walloped it.

Got a mobile call from NR, asking how I was and telling me all about the Ballyandreen 5. Apparently they got record numbers there. JW made some sort of speech about me before the race. Mentioned that it would have been my 22nd annual running in the race. It was nice of them to think of me!

Surgeon came by later and and said i was excellent, and asked would I "like to go home Thursday or Friday?" I said (later) that Thursday would be best as traffic would be bad on Friday on account of the Holiday week-end. I need to put the socks back on. He looked at the dressings and cathether and said that "the wounds can be exposed from tomorrow". He put me on a different laxative, Milpar - I had been on Duflax. He also looked at my testicles. He said that the soreness was a normal feeling, like after a vasectomy.

I walked again later, trying to get (bowel) movement. Sat down several times - no joy. I was given Milpar later and I've been quite windy. I slept from 23:00 till 05:00, but fitfully - windy and worried about crapping myself.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Mon May 26th - 4 Days Post-RP

This diary extract outlines my radical retropubic prostatectomy from a fly-on-the-wall perspective. It will not be to everyones taste. The idea is that other men faced with Prostate Cancer may find it helpful in considering their own options. If you find the contents distasteful or undesirable, I'm sorry for your troubles!
Went for a walk. Felt very good at the start, but I think my body is only now realising its had a "whammy".

Slept from 06:00 till 07:30. Missed saying goodbye to Cara, who has now finished her shift rotation and is off for a week. Felt much better after the sleep.

Walked again around 08;00 and again around 10:00. Went for, a shower on my own, around 10:30. It was great. My groin, in particular, had been quite smelly.

I went for a further walk at 11:00. Now doing a "T" - the full extent of this floor - then rested on the bed till 12:00

Saw Surgeon at 12:15. I was walking when he came by. He said he was very pleased. He reiterated that I shouldn't worry, as it delays the healing process. "You can't speed up healing, but you can delay it". He wants to take out the drain today. He asked me about the w/e cover surgeon. I said that he was a very nice man. He replied that he was lucky to have him. I told him that it was I that was lucky to have both of them - and all the staff - top to bottom! He said "Thanks! That's nice to hear!"

Ate lunch - same as past two days. I'll be allowed full dinner, tea and breakfast from now on.

Drain removed. It was a bit uncomfortable, but OK. walked again at 14:30 - 1 lap, but leaked from drain wound.

Leaked again later and the wound was retaped. D came in and almost immediately BM, a former clubmate of mine at my previous club, Leevale, came in and stayed for 5 to 10 min. It was great to see someone going out of their way to see me. I was a bit emotional, as she was so good to make the effort - and bring some running mags as well. A came by at 16:00. She & D went for a coffee at 16:45, so I went for a walk - T lap, and then got into bed.

Aw called at 17:30 and stayed about 45 min. I then slept for about an hour, after which D, A & C called. C gave me a Liverpool FC No 9 jersey, with "Quigley" on it. Following that, my cousin F called and stayed for 15 min. I walked again afterwards. The room was very, very warm afterwards.

Finally went to sleep at 10:15. I had been feeling a bit "heady. Dehydrated?

Sunday May 25th 2008 - 3 Days Post-RP

This diary extract outlines my radical retropubic prostatectomy from a fly-on-the-wall perspective. It will not be to everyones taste. The idea is that other men faced with Prostate Cancer may find it helpful in considering their own options. If you find the contents distasteful or undesirable, I'm sorry for your troubles!
Slept fairly well. Woke up around 01:00, when one of the other patients had a loud, bad turn. I woke again around 04:00 and finally at 05:15, however I felt very rested. I went for a walk at 06:15. I just did "1 lap", felt like going for 2, but strength left me when I was just about back at the room. Building Rome!

Nurses here are all very nice and caring. One in particular is appropriately named - Cara (prounounced Karah). Cara (pronounced cor-a) is Irish (Gaelic) for friend!

Just back from my second walk. Feeling OK. I wore my glasses this time. I find I can hear better with my glasses on! Probably something to do with using the other senses at the same time as listening.

Been feeling hungry for a while now. I feel an order of magnitude better today but must beware of overconfidence.

Washed & shaved at 07:30 and got in my third walk afterwards - still feeling good. Ate around 08:50; special K, brown bread and marmalade. Washed my hair at 09:10, by bending slightly over the side of the bath and holding the hand-held shower head. went for fourth walk of the day afterwards. Feeling good.

To date, I've stayed in the hospital gown. I find it more comfortable and cooler. I must wear these anti-clotting long leg socks. I feel quite warm as a result, so pyjamas, even if I could wear them, would probably be quite stifling. It's also easier to get round with the gown and access to the cathether and drain is easier. When walking around I carry the cathether bag in the wire stand but I put the drain bag in my dressing gown pocket.

I saw the w/e surgeon at 11:00. He asked a few questions about my back. He reckons I'm looking a lot better, even since yesterday.

I went for my fifth walk at 11:45. finding it hard to stay in bed.

Lunch: Chicken, boiled spuds, jelly souffle & water. I don't like tea, but coffee was causing me to belch a lot, so I've stopped taking it - drinking more water instead. Went for another walk at 13:30. Catering staff offered me a biscuit, which I gratefully accepted - I may eat it later.

D, A, B & m-i-law all came by & all looking good. Got back into bed around 16:00, after a further walk (7th of day).

Tea: chicken salad, brown bread & marmalade. Spoke to B & Aa around 17:30. Train strike in Cork is supposedly "over" - I hope to return home to Cork by Train before the week-end.

Passed stool (first since operation) - no problem - slid out as gently as a metro train coing into a station! I got some bleeding from the tip of the penis afterwards. Nurse used "Instilligel" and gauze to numb it. Dripped some blood onto one of my socks and the floor.

Both canulars removed this evening and plasters put on the spots.

Stayed in bed afterwards. Took two sleeping tablets at 20:50 and slept till 03:00. Couldn't get back to sleep again, so dozed & listened to MP3 player until 05:45

Monday, June 9, 2008

Sat 24th May 2008 - 2 Days Post-Op

This diary extract outlines my radical retropubic prostatectomy from a fly-on-the-wall perspective. It will not be to everyones taste. The idea is that other men faced with Prostate Cancer may find it helpful in considering their own options. If you find the contents distasteful or undesirable, I'm sorry for your troubles!
Woke around 03;00 and couldn't get back to sleep. Told nursing staff around 04:15 but they said that it was too late to take something. They turned off all lights and drew curtains but I still couldn't get off to sleep. Listened to MP3 player and played chess & solitaire on my organiser until 06:00 (when the others in the ward started waking up). Feeling good, SATs are good too.

Had tea, toast & marmalade. Don't think it agreed with me though, I was very windy afterwards. I had an assisted bath at 10:00. It was in a "space age" bath - side opening door, tilting with jacuzzi. It was great to get a good wash and to wash my hair. As I runner, I shower/bath every day, so two days without washing properly had left me feeling "unclean".

I sat out for a while afterwards but then walked the length of the corridoor on my own (first time!) However I had to get into bed straight away afterwards - small steps!

The surgeon covering the weekend dropped by at 11:00. Seems very pleased. He reckons they go everything and the margins are OK. He said that they reckon I made the right choice. I mentioned that I hadn't wanted radiation and he said that he was at a seminar in the US the previous few weeks and that the reports coming through are bad on radiation. Colon cancer, etc. caused by radiation is worse then previously believed. He said that it probably won't be published on this side of the pond. He said I wouldn't pass wind for a few days. I told him that I had a good one yesterday.

Had my first dinner; chicken (no gravy), boiled potato, low-fat spread, jelly souffle and coffee. I walloped the lot!

D & A came in at 15:00. They reckon I'm looking better. Had tea at 17:00; chicken salad, brown bread, coffee & water. I went for my third walk of the day at 18:00 and got anal angesic at 18:40.

I've decided, looking out the window at a fine evening, with the trees gently swaying in the breeze, that this is a place of hope. Everyone here has a positive outlook and those who are in here are proactive about their health. i reckon I came to the right place. I came for the man, but the place is right too.

BTW, the room, containing four beds, has two fine big windows which fact west and overlook Elm Park golf course. The 4th green is right outside our window and about 80m away.

I went for a walk around 19:45 but when I went to get back into bed, I accidentally pulled on the cathether and got a bit of bleeding around the tip of the penis. It stung at the time but the nurse put some gel on it to numb it. Told her to make it a double dose - to make it num-num - OK, OK, its an infantile, schoolboy joke, but I never claimed my jokes were any good.

This morning I did a bit of exploring in "the area" and was surprised to find some sensation. I wondered about that. Was it phantom, etc? So I asked the surgeon about it. He said taht this was normal skin sensation but thet they went for early intervention. I asked what early was and he said months.

Went for fourth walk of the day and had another mega windbreak, along with another leak from the back passage - just clear fluid again.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Friday May 23rd 2008 - 1 Day Post-RP

This diary extract outlines my radical retropubic prostatectomy from a fly-on-the-wall perspective. It will not be to everyones taste. The idea is that other men faced with Prostate Cancer may find it helpful in considering their own options. If you find the contents distasteful or undesirable, I'm sorry for your troubles!
Slept OK, woke up twice - when nurse was checking SATS. My left buttock is numb. I reckon I must have been lying awkwardly on bone/pressure point.

Abdomen is a bit tender but OK. Surgeon came round at 8am and said he was happy with my progress. Said i should be getting mobile today and that I should be doing my leg and breathing exercises hourly.

I was allowed three (half) slices of toast & marmalade, along with two cups of tea, at 08:30 - it was lovely. Celebrity TV chef Jamie Oliver couldn't have done it better!! Going for a bath this morning - looking forward to a good wash. 08.50 bath cancelled for today but will get to go tomorrow. Today will be just a wash in the local (ward) bathroom.

Had wash & shave in the bathroom but got very "weezy" afterwards, pouring with sweat, but OK though. I was going to sit out for 30 min, but I was too sweaty and light headed, so got back into bed.

Physio called. She wants me to get out of bed later, after coffee (They come round with tea/coffee & cake/biscuits every couple of hours). I have some heaviness in my left leg, particularly calf area. She reckons its due to my lack of activity and that it will clear with exercise. She wants me to keep my back straight. I've been getting 2 balls up during the respiratory exercises, but she wants 3.

BP 106/66, Pulse 56

There is a new guy in the ward (there are 4 beds here - I didn't want a private ward - my sister-in-law died in a private ward, 20 years ago, having had a seizure and not being found for 20 mins+. Ireckon that there is safety in numbers!) Turns out the new chap is a brother of a leading runner in Cork. Small world!

A called by around 10:30 and stayed till 11:30, when she went for coffee. D, A & B came in around 11:35 and stayed till 12:10.
Maybe I got too animated/excited, but I felt weak/woozy while eating more toast/tea at 12:40, so stopped and lay down for a rest. The drain in abdomen was leaking slightly, and nurses reinforced it. They want Surgeon to check it later. Now sucking 3 balls, in sets of 5.

D & A back at 14:00
Morphine drip was taken off round the same time. The mediacal people reckoned in was causing my "wooziness". Very slight leak from the drain - taped up some more.

Went for a walk full length of the corridoor, overall about 150m, and then sat out for a while. The place is very, very warm. I've been allowed these peppermint flavoured lollipops, to moisten mouth. Belching a lot. Got back into bed around 16:45, but I reckon I stayed out too long - ended up feeling weak, hot and a little nauseous - felt very like post-marathon. Got back into new bed. I've now gor one of these motorised units - feel like a "boy-racer"

Tea & toast, with coffee at 17:30. Got anal analgesic (instead of morphine) at 17:30

Surgeon called. Seemed very pleased. He reckons we both had a very good day. he said that there was very little blood loss.

I sent a group text to friends around 20:00 and got amny immediate replies - very emotionally received. JD sent some of the Ballyandreen results. I reckon, if I'd run badly, I'd have been 2nd M55 - just my luck!

Drain leaked again, but OK. Went for my second walk. Feeling much. much better - no nausea and feeling strong. Leaked from back passage as I was about to get into bed. I sat down in loo and left a mega fart - laughed at it! My bum felt sore afterwards. The (little) fluid that leaked was clear. I felt like peeing as I was sitting down - like I was having a normal sit-down. I leaked from front also - around catherer/penis.

Everyone I've met here has been very pleasant. Staff all work hard and seem to have a good rapport. all the patients are equally caring - not a lemon among them. Rapport & comfort among sufferers?

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Thursday May 22nd 2008 - Radical Prostatectomy

This diary extract outlines my radical retropubic prostatectomy from a fly-on-the-wall perspective. It will not be to everyones taste. The idea is that other men faced with Prostate Cancer may find it helpful in considering their own options. If you find the contents distasteful or undesirable, I'm sorry for your troubles!
Woke up but dozed till 7, then got up and showered.

I saw the anaesthesist around 7.30. He said that I'll get a general anaesthetic and an epidural type, which will put me out after about 30 secs. When I wake I'll be numb from the waist down - "like a dentist's anaesthetic".

BP 110/62 (more normal than the night before), pulse 50.

10:30 (approx)
Surgery. I was wheeled in, then transferred on one of these "transfer thingys" - swopped from bed to operating trolley. They got me sitting up over the edge of the trolley and the last thing I remember is the anaesthesist talking to me, clearly I went out quite quickly.

My notes read that I had block level T11, whatever that means, along with a battery of 7 drugs.

Sats: Pain 0, Resp 14-17, Sats 99-100, Temp 35C, BP 105/57

Abdominal discomfort (like duh! I've had a male caesarian!)

Saw the surgeon for 4/5 min. He seems very happy. He remarked "You're a very. very fit man". I got the impression that he said this in relation to the op, rather than a comment on my physique (built like a lath!). No additional digging was required (thank God!) I got the impression that we're doing pretty ok.

My family, D, A & B came in around 18.40 and stayed for around 10 min. It was great to see them! They also seem happy and said that I had a bit more colour than before - We cracked a few jokes. B & S will be in early tomorrow before travelling home to Cork.

I was given this Spirometer "toy" to use; there are three compartments, with a ball each, 600, 900 and 1200 cc/sec. I'm supposed to do 15 sucks every hour, to exercise my lungs.

Still can't sense feet yet. I have some sensation above knees, but can't do anything below yet.

Ballyandreen 5: Missing this race for the first time since my first run there in 1987.
They're streaming around the cross right now! Way to go Eagle!!

I'm feeling quite sentimental/emotional right now. Thinking particularly of my Aunt Nora, who was particulary good to me and my family, especially during many, many difficult times. She died, aged 94, on Tuesday May 12th 2008, after a full, well lived life. May she rest in peace.

Sensation is coming backinto my legs now. Tried scratching my balls, but with care.

Morphine 120 & Zifane 4. BP 104/59, P48, Reaction L4 (was L3 at 19:00)

15 knee bends each leg and 15 reps on the spirometer, each hour on the half hour, for the past few hours.

Day one over - Thank God!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

May 21st 2008 - Hospital Admission

This diary extract outlines my radical retropubic prostatectomy from a fly-on-the-wall perspective. It will not be to everyones taste. The idea is that other men faced with Prostate Cancer may find it helpful in considering their own options. If you find the contents distasteful or undesirable, I'm sorry for your troubles!
I have kept a notepad outlining my RP and stay in hospital and recovery afterwards. It amounts to approx. 40 pages on an A5 notepad. I hope to post each days notes.

Today, I entered St Vincent's Private Hospital, Dublin, Ireland.

It was an early start. We got up at 6am, with a taxi ordered for 6:55am, bringing us in fpor the 7:30 train to Dublin. I didn't find the taxi journey to the station too bad but, getting on the train was fairly emotional - call it magnitude 1. The journey was uneventful but somewhat tense. We got another taxi to the hospital - emotional magnitude 2. Then entry into the hospital building - magnitude 3. I would have given anything just to leave. I wondered if this would be the last time I'd see the outside world. Bear in mind that I'd never been in hospital in my life, so this was traumatic in itself. The positively healthy running persona has had a bit of a culture say the least!

Not long after I arrived bloods were taken, followed by SATS, B.P. 127/79, pulse 49, wt. 11st, 11 lb (OK, I've been comfort eating for a while!)

I saw the surgeon later and he expected that the op would last 2-2.5 hours. He is carrying out a nerve-sparing radical prostatectomy and will be taking the prostate gland, the seminal vessicles and the lymph glands. I should not travel outside the country for three months. (that's the end of my plans for two weeks in portugal early in July!) PSA results should be back in 2 days, with the pathology results in three weeks. The risks include a very remote risk of bowel perforation. If this happens, I will have a temporary colostomy. He says that I WILL be incontinent and impotent after the op. Strictures - a gradual closing of the uretra over months. If thsi happens, I'm to come back to him and he will perform a minor procedure to fix the problem. I will be seeing him every day while in hospital, except the weekend, when one of his colleagues is covering.

During the evening, one of the other patients in the ward was visited by some friend, including an elderly priest. F asked if I'd like to get a blessing from a priest and I said I would. The blessing was Matthew 8:14:17

22:40 Got an enema. I lasted 9 minutes before letting go. The nurse reckons I'll be in hospital a week max.

Feeling ok, but probably overtired. Not thinking too much about tomorrow - my mind is ignoring/numbing or blocking.

Tomorrow is shitty, but its got to be done - no way round it. So, after all the fear and dread, when the event is over, its just get on with things - I've got a life to live, people who care about me and for whom I care - then the comeback will start. As I generally advise beginner runners, "Rome wasn't built in a day! Take each day at a time. Small steps = big milesones!

My biggest fear for afterwards is incontinence. that would affect the quality of many things in my everyday life.

Monday, May 19, 2008

One day to go!

I'll be admitted tomorrow, with the RP taking place around 10:00am/11:00am. Mr.D.M. Quinlan, the surgeon, has four scoping procedures to carry out first, then I'm up.

The thought is still pretty scary. I go through low level 'panic' periods daily. Mornings are best, when I'm a bit 'gung-ho', but later on, it goes the other way. I'm usually fairly ok in the evening. Bearing this in mind, I'm glad it's happening in th morning.

For the past while, I've been getting cards, phone calls, emails and pats on the shoulder from clubmates and others in the athletic fraternity, friends and acquaintences. these are most heartening and it's uplifting to know that so many are rooting for me.

I took my last run last night, going out with the Ladies Meet & Train group. After that it was down to mowing the lawn. After that I got the "mads" and started tackling the ivy growing up our side wall. It has been threatening to take over the planet, and I'd decided to cut it back. After all, I'm certainly not going to be going up a ladder for the foreseeable future. I'm less likely to be lifting a heavy wooden ladder. At least now it's a little bit under control - I only went at the sides. The top is as bad as ever.

I hope to keep a detailed diary of my experiences in hospital and post it here, so that others might benefit from it.

So that's it for now. I'll be in hospital for 8 to 10 days, so there'll be no update until late May/early June.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Final Preparations

My wife has been gathering all the things I'll need for the past few weeks. I've also condescended to getting a few items. My normal packing strategy is to wait until the day before travelling, or even the day itself, and just dump everything in. [First thing always is to ensure the running gear is either packed or I'm wearing it. I always wear the shoes - you'll be able to get away with forgetting everything else!!]

This time things are a lot different. There'll be no running gear. I don't know when I'll need the gear (for serious running) again. Obviously I can wear some gear when I'm convalescing, but it's not the same.

Last night I finally started getting all the gear together. I won't be bringing too much as (obviously!) I won't be dressing for dinner! However I will be bringing, amongst other things, T-shirts - particularly "Brag Shirts", e.g. top 50 Ballycotton shirts. Now that'll be a barrell of laughs; guy wearing top 50 Ballycotton t-shirt shuffling down the corridoor, doing something like 5 minutes for 100m! Still every step taken is a step closer to recovery.

Today I had to phone the Urologist's reception, to see what the procedure is wrt admission etc., and to try to find out what time of day I'm scheduled. Well he's got four scoping procedures first and then me. Hearing that didn't really fill me with great desire - I nearly felt weak. I suppose it is becoming real. When I saw Mr. Q in mid March and later got the date for surgery, I felt that May 22nd was in the distant future. No more - it's upon me. I really do not want to go ahead with this, but I find the alternatives, as I've outlined in previous posts, are not attractive. The 'run away and do nothing' option sounds VERY attractive, but, over the horizon, in 5 - 15 years, the vista is then very bleak.

Thursday 22nd, the day of the op., I'd normally be heading to Ballyandreen, a townland near Ballycotton, for the first of the Ballycotton 5 Summer Series. I look forward to this series all year. Not so this year.

Thursday week would have been my 22nd consecutive participation in this race. I've done 83 in the series all told. Hopefully I'll be able to get around the final race of the 2008 series, the Ballycotton 5, on the fourth Thursday in August. I don't care if I have to walk it!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Nine Days to Go! .......but who's counting???

Monday May 12th
Been a while since I updated the blog....lots of things on my mind ..and my to do list! Meantime I've been running nearly every day and have had several races, including Masters T&F Championships.

The first race was the Midleton 5 on Thursday May 1st. As I was competing in the Munster Master's T&F championships on Monday May 5th, with the Pfizer 6M on Thurs May8th, I decided just to use the Midleton race as a training run. However....two mile into the race, I had a "mad urge" to chase after one of my peers, who was approx. 300-400m further up the road. I finally caught up with him at the last bend, with just 300m to go. Boy did I pay for that effort. I was wrecked for the following few days.

On Monday 5th May, the Munster Masters T&F Championships were held in the CIT. I competed in the 800m, 1500m and 3000m, along with the javelin, allin in the M50 category. Competition was tough, with nearly all of the usual suspects there. I found it very hard to run - these days I have to concentrate very much, with only limited success, on staying relaxed. I just find it impossible not to tense up, but I continue to work on it. I was a bit disappointed to run so slowly, 3:06 for the 800, 5:59 for 1500 and 12:56 for 3000. Still I was there and I competed, which was my prime target. I also received many, many cards and good wishes. They are much appreciated.

On Thursday 8th, I ran in the Pfizer 6 - my first race as M55 and managed to come second in the category! It took a lot of hard work, but what a morale booster! Again I got more cards and well wishes.

Monday 12th - stress starting to build again. Weather is fabulous. It's hard to think of this good weather, being symptomless and having to go in for major surgery.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Monday, April 28th 2008

Well Mallow turned out to be a P.W. (Personal Worst), still I managed to keep several of my peers and, in particular, all except in the M50 category, behind me. I was happy enough with the run but I just seem to be running "through treacle". I can't complain (but I do) - I'm getting out and enjoying myself - not as much as before, but it feels good nevertheless.
Boy was I tired both Saturday (9 miles) and Sunday (12 Miles). 43 miles for the week.

Yesterday I found out that a neighbour had the same op, under the same surgeon, several years ago. I hope to talk to him over the next few days. I live in a small 'cul-de-sac' of 26 houses. It turns out that 5 of us have had prostate cancer, with 4 having surgery. Something in the air? I wonder what the stats people would make of that.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Mallow 5

The Mallow 5 is on tomorrow. I’m looking forward to it, but not as a hard race though. I can’t motivate myself to run hard these days. I both can’t and won’t do it. I couldn’t, even if I wanted to, and I won’t as I don’t want to “go to the well”, as I want/need to conserve my resources. The running is good – it helps keep me relaxed (to some extent, anyway).

Sleeping & "Speed Bumps"

I realised this evening, like the proverbial lightbulb going on, that my sleep, and D’s, has been much better of late. I asked her “When, exactly, did we start sleeping better?” She hadn’t realised either, it just crept up on us. Very welcome though.

Speed Bumps
Quite often now, I hit what I call “speed bumps” - aka "snake days" I’m going along nicely when, without warning, I just feel “sad” and just don’t have the same “get up and go.” It’s not a feeling of depression, more sadness and listlessness. It passes slowly.

Wednesday April 23rd 2008 - Four weeks to go!

Four weeks from today! This was always going to be a milestone. I’ve been getting things together over the past month or so, trying to anticipate what I’ll need, what to get, travel arrangements etc. I’ll have to start doing that in earnest soon. Time is running down and there’s lots to do.

Friday April 18th 2008 - Killarney

D & I headed off to Killarney for a weekend of R&R. We had a good time and got out for a few walks. I’d intended going for a run on Saturday morning, but discovered late Friday night that I’d forgotten to bring a pair of shorts or leggings! Couldn’t go running with everything hanging out! So Saturday was an unscheduled “off day.”

We’ve been to Killarney many times before and have always found it enjoyable. This time though, there is a subdued air, a kind of suppressed sadness. Usually I’m bubbling over and raring to go. I can’t kick-in to that level at the mo’. I know it’s just a frame of mind. I could do it, but, right now, I think that would be like running away from what’s coming. Hopefully, after the op, I’ll be able to get in that “groove”, and its then that the ultra positive attitude will really be needed.

Thursday April 17th 2008 - Castlemartyr 4

Castlemartyr 4, first of the evening races was on tonight. Conditions were windy throughout and I didn’t run well - I don’t run well in wind – nevertheless I was relatively happy with the run. I had a stinker of a time though, 27:42. It was my slowest 4 miler for over twenty years, probably slowest ever. …..But I was there and got round…and still managed to beat several of my ((apparently) healthy) peers.

Tuesday April 15th 2008 - Aches & Pains

Today wasn’t such a bad day. Nice, sunny & cheerful. Back was at me this morning but eased during the day. I haven’t been doing my back exercises for the past two months or so. I have to get back into the stretching & flexibility routines. I think part of the back issue is down to my persistent right Achilles problem. For the past few days, I’ve been trying to alter my foot position on the car accelerator. I think this may be the root cause of my Achilles problem, which has been bugging me for the past 2½ years (and much longer if the truth be told). I think I’ve been putting a permanent strain on the calf area while driving, so the new position is easing it. However my back appears to be taking the brunt now. It’s only natural that the strain would be transferred elsewhere. Just have to work on it (back) consistently. I don’t want to have back-ache when I have the surgery – going in today five weeks!

Monday, April 14th - Apprehensions

Monday April 14th 2008
Today is lovely and sunny, but it’s a “snake day”. Nerves are at me – just over 5 weeks to go,…. but who’s counting? For the last few days I’ve been thinking that the waiting period is lost time. A friend asked “why the wait?” Short answer is I don’t know. I reason that there are others whose treatment is more urgent than mine. Who knows?

For the past few weeks I’ve felt a “dragging” feeling on my right side, in the appendix area. Maybe it is my appendix, maybe not. What if….? For many years, I’ve told D that “What if…?” is an awful burden. It’s my turn now. Dear God! I wish it was all over…but…I’m afraid….I’d give anything for it to just go away, but that’s not going to happen.

April 3th 2008

Sunday April 13th 2008
Did 5 laps of the Farm today, with several guys from the Club. We started out at just under 19:00 and progressed down to the low 18:s. I went of with D. on his third and final lap and continued at 17:35 pace for the remaining two laps. Felt good and strong – nice to feel that way again! One of the main things I practiced during the run was to relax as much as possible. I think it worked well. Afterwards I went home and watched the tail end of the London Marathon. Some race – first three guys did it in under 2:06:30! Nice bonus to see N, the Club’s only representative, looking round, quite contented as he passed Cutty Sark.

Later, B & A collected D from the train. We discussed the trip from Dublin and I think we’re agreed on the train as the preferred method of travel. Driving was suggested as a good option, particularly as “we could stop for toilet breaks.” I said I wouldn’t “need any toilet breaks – I’ll have a catherer!” We’ll have to plan out the journey and arrange for wheelchairs both in Dublin and Cork. A lot depends on when, exactly, I’m being chucked out of the hospital.


Thursday April 9th 2008
We’d been discussing how I’d come home from Dublin. D was keen to minimise time and have me fly down. I wasn’t so sure. Today it dawned on me that flying is out of the question: risk of thrombosis. So that’s settled, it’s either driving or train. I’d prefer train, but we’ll have to see – it’s a matter of logistics. Getting from the hospital to the station, and from the car to the train. Then, at the cork end, from the train to the car. We’ll have to work it out.

What to do - The Decision

The Decision
The medical crowd give you a leaflet and send you off to make the decision. Between when Mr. L., gave us the bad news and our return two week later, I asked D. what she thought L. expected would happen next. She replied “He wants you to tell him what you want to do.” I said “That’s exactly what I thought.”
I reckon I’m pretty good at research. A lot of what I do for a living involves researching. My interest in genealogy is similar. Anytime I come across some theory or fact, I ask the question “How came we confirm or corroborate that?” So I’d done a lot of research on the net and come across a lot of good advice and info. Came across a lot of wacky stuff too. That’s the main thing; get to know when you’re dealing with crap and cut it out.

Watchful Waiting
For God’s sake, I’m just short of 55 and in excellent health and fitness – except for this ugly little “walnut” inside me. ..and the cancer appears to be a pretty aggressive bugger. Except for the cancer, I’d have a life expectancy of 35 years. Watchful waiting is for slow-growing cancers in people whose life expectancy is less than their mortality period for PC. No chance. Not for me.

Several people recommended this but I wasn’t convinced. You’re estimating the size of the prostate from ultrasound and trying to place radioactive pellets inside the gland. Apparently the pellets have a two mm “sphere of influence”. That’s fine if it works. There are plenty of stories about it not working, i.e. “It came back!” When I had the first consultation and DRE, I was told that I’d got “quite a large prostate”. After the first TRUS biopsy, it was “quite small”, and after the second TRUS, it was “on the larger size.” So….you expect to place pellets, 2 to 4 mm apart, throughout the gland and get full coverage. No chance.

External Beam
For a while EBRT looked like being the only show in town. Thankfully the MRI came back clear, so it’s still an option – one I don’t intend to take, but an option nevertheless. Btw, the fact that the MRI came back clear doesn’t mean that there is no cancer there, just that there is no gross malignancy.
I rejected EBRT for several reasons:
No pathology – can’t tell what Stage or Grade you have.
Extent – can’t tell if all of it has been eradicated.
Surgery – If you have EBRT, you can’t subsequently have surgery. Actually you can, but they don’t recommend doing it. Apparently it “bonds” the flesh in the region. Because of this, I reckon EBRT is too risky – you never know when, or for what reason, you’ll need surgery in the nether regions.
Long term side effects – Colon problems, painful and bleeding piles. Apparently the side-effects of radiation creep up on you. In my running experience, anything that creeps up on you is likely to be both chronic, have more side-issues and probably worse than the things that happen suddenly. As a medical advisor put it “The sins of surgery are upfront”.

When it appeared that surgery wasn’t possible, I started exploring what options were available for radiation. IMRT was pioneered in the Tyndall centre in Cork, however it isn’t available for patients in Cork. The nearest centre is in Waterford.
IMRT, Intensity Modulated Radiation Treatment, is a more focussed form and can therefore be better targeted, resulting in less damage to surrounding tissue.

[i'll add more here later]

Radical prostatectomy
The thought of this scares the shite out of me. I really don’t want to go there. I’m fit and healthy. Why bring this on me? Maybe I should emigrate to the South Seas and live happily ever after in permanent sunshine. Dream on!
I want this gone. I want to live a full life. My father, mother and elder brother were deprived of this.
For many years I’ve planned my retirement. I had planned retirement for sometime in the next three to four years, and it was to be an active and fulfilling retirement. The idea behind early retirement was to travel and do things while D & I both had our health. Two things have upset these plans; the economic climate has put a big damper on our pension fund and my cancer is the other. Both are outside my control to a large extent.
The market will return. The immediate thing is the cancer, and the pension won’t matter a damn if I don’t get it sorted. I might even be collecting life insurance – and where would we be then?

So the surgery: Why?
It will be gone, gone, gone – I hope. Mr. Q says he will be taking the Prostate and seminal vessicles and may be taking the lymph glands. I’m not clear but I think he’ll only take the Lymph glands if he feels, during the surgery, that they’re affected. I presume that they’re going to do path on biopsies immediately, otherwise how are they going to know? Whatever is taken, I will have the path three weeks later, when I go back to get the catherer out. One of the main benefits of surgery is that the surgeon can see what he’s dealing with and will take more than the gland, if he feels/sees that it is warranted.
Sure, I don’t want to be pissing my pants and I’d rather be having sex until I’m in the box, but if I don’t get this done, I may be in a box in 10 years or so anyway – and I probably won’t be in great shape leading up to my demise.

Incontinence & Erectile Dysfunction
These are very real prospects. Mr. Q made no bones about it “You will be incontinent and impotent.” “Don’t think you’ll be the first to be fully functional.” I know I’ll be both incontinent and impotent – Full Stop! I’m going for nerve-sparing on one side – the other is almost certainly gone – and research shows that nerve-sparing offers the best prospects for both incontinence and E.D.

I’m hoping that my fitness and general health will stand to me and that I’ll recover a relatively degree of bladder control within the convalescence period. I understand that the best I can probably hope for is “female level of bladder control”, i.e. that I will have stress incontinence – a little leakage when I cough, sneeze or laugh. I can live with that – the operative word being live – maybe I’ll feel differently when the op. is over and I’m home with the catherer out.

According to my G.P., Dr. C., a lot of the erectile function hinges on psychological well-being. He says that any problems prior to surgery will be magnified afterwards. Hopefully this is the case. I also understand, from research, that early intervention following surgery, is warranted, particularly in the form of drugs, e.g. Viagra, Cialis and Sildenafil, along with any/all other forms of stimulus.