I think if the real statisitic were known about
ED and incontinence after prostate surgery, and included in large studies, with detailed questions breaking it down to types of ED therapy, and the quality of sex within those, including both nerve sparing and non nerve-sparing operations, both
open and robotic, then many men with a PC dx would never consider surgery. The radiation clinics would probably all have long waiting lists, and for some men, the ones's with more agressive or spread cancers would end up dying earlier than need be and many more would be dealing with reaccurances.
For the most part, surgery is a two edged sword literally. For many men, it can be a good solution as far as the cancer is concerned as their primary, and hopefully only treatment. But when you weigh in the side effects, it comes back to the old conversations about
quality of life issues vs. length of life issues.
My heart goes out to our brothers that are still dealing with incontinence months or even more than a year from surgery. Each of us knows how frustrating and degrading that can make us feel. The same for those with long term ED problems, all they hear is "be patient". For the guys that had nerve sparing operations, and still have no natural actvity 2 years later, where's the justice? Where's the refund on their surgeons chargess? For those who view sex as a physical act between a man and a woman, its needs no explanation when ED changes the playing field. You learn to become creative, you learn new ways of intamacy. And one would have to suffer just a week or month of ED to understand what it means when you just "cant" do it anymore. Not because you are some dope head or drunk all the time, and you run off to the ER to get some free viagra (happens all the time), but because you had cancer (no choice of yours) and you had surgery. That would even make it harder for an outsider to understand the frustration and depression that comes along with longterm ED.
My heart reaches further for our advance brothers, who despite making the right choices, and willingness to try all possible means, the PC just keeps hanging around like an unwanted and uninvited guest.
This is the one part of PC that I hate the most: no easy answers, no easy solutions, no set path to eradicate it, no steps 1-2-3 to recovery, and tough and conflicting choices at each stage of the game. I hate to admit it, but in the end, each of us makes our best educated guess at what to do to try to save ourselves, and hope and/or pray that we have made the right choice(s). I guess it is all any of us can do.
But we all get one shot at the game of life, and for the most part, we do what we are doing right now. Fighting, learning, trying, learning patience, learning things about
our minds and emotions that some of us never had to deal with before. Learning to adjust to new realities. What we could do a year ago doesn't matter, what we can do now and in the future is all that counts. We even have to learn how to view ourselves as men, and how we define ourselves as men, how we love our women. There's a lot going on here, that anyone outside our world would never see or understand unless they were one of us too.
There is strength in numbers, and that's why I support our brother hood of men and the sisters that are part of it too so strongly here. We do have each other to draw upon. Let the strong among us help the weak, let the happy among us help the sad. At one point or the other, we have walked in each other's shoes in a manner of speaking. We know the problems, we ponder the solutions, we attempt for the best solutions. We are the brotherhood of the PC. May God bless us and keep us, each and every one, and to those that help us along the way.
Sorry for so long, end of this Sunday's sermon.
David in SC
57, 56 at DX, PSA
7/7 5.8, 7/8 12.3,9/8 14.5
3rd Biopsy Sept 08: Positive 7 of 7 cores, 40-90%, Gleason 7, 4+3
Open RP surgery 11/14/8, Right nerves spared, 4 days hospital, staples out 11/24/8, 5th cath out on 1/19/9
Pathlogy Report:Gleason 3+4=7, pT2c, 42 grm, tumor 20%, Contained in capsule, one post. margin, clear lymph nodes
2009 PSA 2/9 .05, 5/9 .10, 6/9 .11, 8/9 .16
Lastest 7/13 met with Rad. Oncl, considering options, 7/20 Catheter #6 after complete blockage, 8/14 met with Rad Oncl, 8/18 - laser scope surgery to clear blockage, now on Cath #7, 8/26 - cath removed
Post Edited (Purgatory) : 8/30/2009 8:31:55 AM (GMT-6)