I will probably be in tears before I finish typing this, as my support system from diagnosis until now has been terrific...and there is no way that I deserve the love and comfort that I have received from so many people.
I am not the type of person who relies upon others for many things, so this was/is a new experience for me. I am almost never sick...except for cancer and kidney problems...and am a very independent person in my day to day life.
First and foremost, my wife has been a saint. Dealing with change of ANY kind is not her strength....and since we have no children or grandchildren, she has never had to do much home nursing in our 35 years of marriage. It was a struggle for her, but she held up very well overall. I kept a cell phone with me at all times after surgery and if I needed her, I called the home number rather than yelling if she was in a distant part of the house. She was there....day after day....week after week....month after month.....and made my struggles with infection, inguinal hernia and all the "normal" problems manageable.
When I decided to have surgery, my sister and a lifelong male friend (since 4th grade, which means almost 50 years...lol) both insisted upon flying to Texas to be here for me and especially for my wife. Both had to take 2 or 3 vacation days, plus incur the expense of flying across country. My friend of almost 50 years spent the first night with me in the hospital, so that my wife could go home and get some much-needed sleep. He kept after the staff to make sure any and every need was addressed and it really helped my wife....this during a week when he and his wife were moving into a new home in another state. My sister spent hours with me at the hospital and gave my wife someone to talk with during the surgery itself.
In addition to my lifelong friend, I have several other buddies with whom I have close relationships...each with very different personalities...one is a worrier who I had to reassure occasionally....one is an optimist who made sure I kept a positive attitude and did not feel sorry for myself.....one is always super calm in the face of anything....and one is just a good ole boy (66 year old boy, that is...) who loves me and my wife as if we were his family.
It was great to be able to talk with them about what I was going through when I was researching, worrying, trying to decide which treatment and so on. All of those buddies spent considerable time at the hospital during my two night stay.....one afternoon all 4 were there at the same time....and all of them made sure to call me several times a week and take me to lunch a few times during the first 3 or 4 weeks after surgery. Even now, I talk openly with them about my ED therapy, incontinence status and PSA tests. They are like brothers to me and I am very fortunate to have them as buddies.
It is difficult for me to express how wonderful the support was and continues to be, but I feel blessed by God to have family and friends who care enough to stick with me in these difficult times.