Saturday, March 8, 2014

Travels around my prostate #2

This was written on 14 February 2014 post the biopsy procedure on Friday 17 January 2014

It has been an interesting couple of days.

First the very good news was that my diagnosed prostate cancer had not spread.  On Monday 3 February.  I had the CT and nuclear bone scans which were thankfully negative.

Secondly this must be the biggest men’s club in the world.  It seems 50% of all the people I now talk to have had prostate issues.  I have now since learnt the odds for getting some cancer in your life time are 1 in 2 for men and 1 in 3 for women.  Two forms (that’s me) is 1 in 10 and three types is 1 in 100.

When I started on this journey I had radiation treatment as preference over surgery on the basis the latter made you both incontinent and impotent.  Also I was worried about the risk of infection.  My good friend Antony Mayer has gone in for triple bypass which was meant to be for 7 days and 48 days later staggered out of the hospital because he had unfortunately picked up an infection.

I then learned about the ‘seeds’ or brachytherapy which as it takes only one day to insert and little risk of side effects sounded the best.  However during Tuesday’s meeting with the radiation doctor I found out my prostate is too big and I would require six months of female hormone therapy to reduce its size before they would contemplate putting in the radioactive iodine.  Also he would recommend a combined radiation procedure that would take visits every weekday for 6 weeks and if you have ever tried to park at Mater where the radiation would take place you would know that it was impossible.

Finally you can have radiation post surgery if there are complications, however as the radiation fries the prostate inside you surgery post radiation is much difficult.  Remembering both the great words from Hamlet:  We defy augury. There’s a special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, ’tis not to come. If it be not to come, it will be now. If it be not now, yet it will come—the readiness is all and the one bit of advice I kept getting was don’t mess around we decided to discard radiation..

So on Wednesday after a long discussion with the urologist we decided to do the operation ASAP.  You have two choices the robot (De Vinci) or open surgery.  The public health service only offers open as robot as it is too expensive so that made up my mind, robotic it is.  Here is a clip about the process
It turns out this is what why elder daughter Louisa had when they removed a dermoid cyst last year.

However there was another glitch is that I had to see a cardiologist to see if I my heart would survive the operation.  That was Friday’s little fun event but that went ok and I was given the go ahead.

The operation has now been provisionally booked for Tuesday 4 March.

Some interesting observations/advice:

If you are diagnosed with PC over 80 they just let you die.  Surgery is regarded as too dangerous.

Make sure you have drunk all the good wines in your cellar.

A dead man has no libido.

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