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.

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