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.