Upfront let me state that my problems are small compared to those faced by many here. Every day I thank G-d for my blessings, which have been plentiful. But it is a perversity of human nature that we cannot be satisfied with what we have.
At six months, I find myself grieving. Part of it is sexual. After a good start, I seem to be loosing, not gaining (though I have strong hopes that time will help). I have slid into the category of men who need strong constant stimulation to become aroused, and my body seems to have forgotten how to slip over the line into the unstoppable ecstacy of orgasm. My wife has been a truly supportive partner, and has not voiced any complaints. But the times are now a memory when she would open up in readiness to me as a woman does to a strong man, where she could let herself go and I could give to her. This goes to the core of how we men define ourselves. To have to lay back and be 'administered to' causes shrinkage of our soul and diminishment of our sense of self-worth.
The other part is physical. To the outside world, I appear the same. But inside, I know I've taken a knock. It simply aged me. Impossible to quantify, but on the smooth curve of life I would say it took something like 2-5 years off of my lifetime. I feel older. I don't step up so quickly to the more rigorous tasks at work, field trips with long hours. I guess it is the 'step-change' nature of it compared to the smooth aging process that makes it stand out.
Would I do what I did again, the robotic and such? Yes. Of course. I think it was the best choice given the circumstances. To engage in "I wish I didn't do that" thinking is really a substitute for "I wish I didn't have PC". Before the procedure I knew that it was the quality of life, not its continuation, that worried me. And now I know the answer. As I started out above, truly I am grateful for the blessings that G-d has bestowed upon me. I am grieving, but I have grieved before, and I know that this too shall pass.
The past is gone, the future yet to come. This moment, here and now, is nothing less than the totality of existence. I can't control my life, but I can shape this moment.
PSAs 1.6, 1.8, 2.0 at yearly intervals, mild DRE finding (hindsight unrelated) lead to biopsy
3/08 1st biopsy, 18 core. Pathologist 1, HPIN and ASAP, 0.5mm 1 core. Pathologist 2, carcinoma
7/08 2nd biopsy, 16 core. Pathologist 1, 1 core carcinoma. Pathologist 3, 3 cores carcinoma
12/22/08, Davinci at U of Washington hospital, Dr. William Ellis, 6 hr procedure, both nerves spared.
12/31/08 catheter out, dry immediately
Final path report:
79 g prostate gland
<5% cancerous, bilateral, T2c, Gleason 3+4, margins & seminal vessels clear, 14 lymph nodes negative
ED - some nocturnal erections even with catheter. 1st orgasm at two week mark. 50% erect.
1/10/09 - Lymphocele post-surgery complication. Kidneys threatened. 2 days hospital, drain installed.
1/22/09 - Drain blocked, CAT scan, repositioned, continue drain
2/10/09 - The lymphocele drain comes out.