Need advice, particularly from the woman's view

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Rolerbe
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 235
   Posted 11/17/2009 12:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey, I'm 0 PSA for over a year now, and leak free!  I love life and have got nothing to complain about.  I wish you all could have results at least as good as mine.
 
Very shortly after my surgery October 2008, my marriage slid the final way down the tubes.  We've been divorced now for just over 6 months.  I've just taken some steps to start getting out and dating again.  Now to the ED and performance issues.  I've got plenty of 'drive' (which some days strikes me as cruel), but not sure I've got enough gas in the car.  Levitra seems to work at least some of the time to get me to a 'usable' state, but not all the time.  I also sometimes (but not all the time) have trouble holding my water when aroused and at the big moment.  Due to the divorce, I have not been able to run a true test, so I don't know what my response will be with a real woman.  (As advised by my physician, I've only been 'practicing' to be ready for the big game in case I get to play).
 
When should I tell a potential date about my situation?  Would you want to know right up front, or wait until after a couple of dates to establish that there is that level of interest? 
 
I'm usually a confident and secure person and 100% reliable in that department in the past.  Now I'm a bundle of nerves and insecurity (not what makes for an attractive date, I know).  I feel a bit like a dog chasing cars.  Not sure what to do if I actually catch one.  How big a deal might the (usually minor) leakage be?  Major turnoff?
 
Any comments -- as honest as possible -- would be greatly appreciated
 
Also, does anyone have experience with what might interfere with Levitra?  Alcohol, etc.?
 
 
51 YO
PSA at Dx: 8.2
DaVinci RALP: 10/31/08 -- Great MD in New Haven, CT
Negative margins, no extra-capsular involvement
One nerve spared
PSA at 0 for just over a year now.
 
 


LV-TX
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 966
   Posted 11/17/2009 2:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Rolerbe,

I can't speak for the female side of all this. But I was divorce 12 years ago and I still remember how difficult it was to get out to dating again. So much so it took about 3 years before I even attempted and was still nervous as all get out then. So the feeling of insecurity and being a bundle of nerves is pretty much normal regardless of having PCa for a divorced man. Its a stigma of being single and divorced, but don't let that stop you.

But the heart of your question is the subject of sex. Honestly...I don't think it should be brought into the picture until much later in the dating process. Talking about the subject of sex too early on in a developing relationship will be a big turn off and will only add to the insecurity you are already feeling.

My advise...play it cool and get back into the dating scene without the sex part for awhile. Learn to enjoy the companionship and let nature take it's own course. When the time is right you will know what to say and do. By then you will already have some kind of idea about the other persons feelings. And BTW, you can always use a condom to help with the leakage and your partner might appreciate that. As far as the ability to have erections, that will improve over time and may never even become a subject to begin with.

Hang tough there buddy...it will get better.
You are beating back cancer, so hold your head up with dignity
 
Les
 
Age 58 at Diagnosis
Oct 2006 - PSA 2.6 - DRE Normal
May 2008 - PSA 4.6 - DRE Normal / TRUS normal
July 2008 - Biopsy 4 of 12 Positive 5 - 30% Involved Bilateral w/PNI - Gleason (3+3)6 Stage T1C
Robotic Surgery Sept 18, 2008
Pathology October 1, 2008 - Gleason 7 (3+4) Staged pT2c NO MX - Gland 50 cc
Seminal Vesicles and Lymph Nodes clear
Positive Margins Right Posterior Lobe
PSA 5 week Oct 2008 <.05
                   3 month Jan 2009 .06
                   6 month Apr 2009 .06
                   9 month Jul  2009 .08
                 12 month Oct 2009 .09 


Piano
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 847
   Posted 11/17/2009 2:47 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm not a woman but .... :-)

Honesty is the best policy, so I advocate being completely up front about your situation with potential new partners. Not necessarily on the first date, but certainly before getting involved with sexual activity. This should take the pressure off you too.

I suspect for many women a lot of urine is a turn off, but if it is just a little they may not even notice. If you think it will cause a problem, wear a condom.

Another factor is that you are only a year out from surgery so you still have further improvement ahead of you, Onwards and upwards :-)
Pre-op:
Age 63 at diagnosis, now 64.
No symptoms; PSA 5.7; Gleason 4+5=9; cancer in 4 of 12 cores.
Operation:
Non-nerve sparing RRP on 7 March 2008.
Two nights in hospital; catheter out after 7 days.
Post-op:
Continent; no pads needed from the get-go.
Pathology showed organ confined and negative margins. Gleason downgraded to 4+4=8.
PSAs:
6-week : <0.05
7-month: <0.05
13-month: 0.07 (start of a trend?)
19-month: 0.09 (maybe)
ED:
After a learning curve, Bimix injections (0.2ml) worked well. From 14 months, occasional nocturnal erections. Have "graduated" to just the pump.


Rolerbe
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 235
   Posted 11/17/2009 2:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the replies. Good advice. I don't plan to push the sex aspect, but really don't want any potential woman I might go out with to feel misled, or delay so long that they get confused or build it up to be an insurmountable hurdle, etc.   I guess what petrifies me most is finding someone and generating genuine mutual interest, then having it become a barrier, or having her feel I was operating under false pretenses or something like that.  I don't know, maybe that's all silly, but I'm a mess over it -- but not enough of a mess to not try somehow.
 
Gawd, just getting back into dating after 28 years of marriage is hard enough. I think I could handle that, but this extra 'issue' just has me over the edge!

Thanks again.  This place is great.  Where else can a grown man be this open, talk about, and get useful feedback on stuff like this?!


51 YO
PSA at Dx: 8.2
DaVinci RALP: 10/31/08 -- Great MD in New Haven, CT
Negative margins, no extra-capsular involvement
One nerve spared
PSA at 0 for just over a year now.
 
 

Post Edited (Rolerbe) : 11/17/2009 2:38:16 PM (GMT-7)


Steve n Dallas
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 4849
   Posted 11/17/2009 3:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Not sure what your rush is shocked   Its GREAT being single...
 
But I too have ponder the old "when you speak up" delima....I've concluded that I'll know when the right time is...For me, there's also the part where I have to get her to go back to my place since I need access to my refrigerator and my Trimix yeah
Age 54   - 5'11"   205lbs
Overall Heath Condition - Good
PSA - July 2007 & Jan 2008 -> 1.3
Biopsy - 03/04/08 -> Gleason 6 
06/25/08 - Da Vinci robotic laparoscopy
05/14/09  - 4th Quarter PSA -> less then .01
Surgeon - Keith A. Waguespack, M.D.


Rolerbe
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 235
   Posted 11/17/2009 4:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Not looking to get hitched, or anything, I'm enjoying being single. Just some of the spice of life (which is not sex, just the opposite sex!)

If there's one thing this place teaches, is to get over yourself and your problems. Someone else, nearby, has an even bigger challenge! Here's to mutual success!  In that regard you guys have helped already.  At least for the moment I'm much more positive and less anxious.  We'll just have to wait and see how much that evaporates if and when!


51 YO
PSA at Dx: 8.2
DaVinci RALP: 10/31/08 -- Great MD in New Haven, CT
Negative margins, no extra-capsular involvement
One nerve spared
PSA at 0 for just over a year now.
 
 

Post Edited (Rolerbe) : 11/17/2009 2:57:42 PM (GMT-7)


LV-TX
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 966
   Posted 11/17/2009 5:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Way to go Rolerbe...that's the spirit. Always think positive.
You are beating back cancer, so hold your head up with dignity
 
Les
 
Age 58 at Diagnosis
Oct 2006 - PSA 2.6 - DRE Normal
May 2008 - PSA 4.6 - DRE Normal / TRUS normal
July 2008 - Biopsy 4 of 12 Positive 5 - 30% Involved Bilateral w/PNI - Gleason (3+3)6 Stage T1C
Robotic Surgery Sept 18, 2008
Pathology October 1, 2008 - Gleason 7 (3+4) Staged pT2c NO MX - Gland 50 cc
Seminal Vesicles and Lymph Nodes clear
Positive Margins Right Posterior Lobe
PSA 5 week Oct 2008 <.05
                   3 month Jan 2009 .06
                   6 month Apr 2009 .06
                   9 month Jul  2009 .08
                 12 month Oct 2009 .09 


geezer99
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 990
   Posted 11/17/2009 5:30 PM (GMT -6)   
First of all, let’s get real. When you tell a woman that you have been operated on for prostate cancer, she is not going to start thinking about how you will perform in bed. She is going to wonder if the only possible future for your relationship is that she will spend six months holding your hand while watching you weaken and die. You may not feel that you are on this path, but she should give informed consent. So the first point is to let her know that you are a cancer survivor early in the relationship.

As far as the specifics of exactly what you will do in bed – the time to discuss that is when it is pretty clear that both of you have decided that you ARE going to bed. Try the thought experiment. Suppose that you are dating a woman who finds it impossible to have vaginal interco*rse -- when should she tell you about that?
Age at diagnosis 66, PSA 5.5
Biopsy 12/08 12 cores, 8 positive
Gleason 3+4=7
CAT scan, Bone scan 1/09 both negative.

Robotic surgery 03/03/09 Catheter Out 03/08/09
Pathology: Lymph nodes & Seminal vesicles negative
Margins positive, Capsular penetration extensive Gleason 4+3=7
6 weeks: 1 pad/day, 1 pad/night -- mostly dry at night.
10 weeks: no pad at night -- slight leakage day/1 pad.
3 mo. PSA 0.0 - now light pads
6 mo. PSA 0.00 -- 1 light pad/day


Rolerbe
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 235
   Posted 11/17/2009 10:23 PM (GMT -6)   
A fair point Geezer.  I definitely think of myself on a survivors path.  Hopefully that will not prove to be just positive thinking on my part.  But you're right that the first natural thought will be to question the validity of my current optimism.  Will definitely think that through.  Good input.


51 YO
PSA at Dx: 8.2
DaVinci RALP: 10/31/08 -- Great MD in New Haven, CT
Negative margins, no extra-capsular involvement
One nerve spared
PSA at 0 for just over a year now.
 
 

Post Edited (Rolerbe) : 11/17/2009 8:26:30 PM (GMT-7)


DJBearGuy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 820
   Posted 11/17/2009 10:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Not a single guy, but how about this. To gradually break the ice, you suggest watching a video. How about the Waterdance, you could say. Some good drama and romance and sex, and the guy in the movie is probably a lot worse off than you are, and still he gets it on with Helen Hunt.

DJ
Diagnosis at age 53. PSA 2007 about 2; PSA 2008 4.3
Biopsy September 2008: 6 of 12 cores positive; Gleason 4+3 = 7
CT and Bone scan negative
Da Vinci surgery at City of Hope December 8, 2008
Radical prostatectomy and lymph node dissection
Catheter out on 7th day, replaced on 8th day, out again 14th day following negative cystogram
Pathology: pT2c; lymph nodes negative; margins involved; 41 grams, 8% involved by tumor; same Gleason 4+3=7
PSA 1/22/08 non-detectable! 8-)
4/23/09, 07/30/09, Oct 2009 still undetectable!


Rolerbe
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 235
   Posted 11/17/2009 11:06 PM (GMT -6)   
smilewinkgrin  
51 YO
PSA at Dx: 8.2
DaVinci RALP: 10/31/08 -- Great MD in New Haven, CT
Negative margins, no extra-capsular involvement
One nerve spared
PSA at 0 for just over a year now.
 
 


O Buddy Boy
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 106
   Posted 11/17/2009 11:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Just a few thoughts from a guy who grew up with a gazillion sisters and a father rarely at home...

I'm into a wonderful second marriage but had a pretty good time between marriages. A really good time. That is until I found a really great reason to get married again.

So here goes.

Some of it may be stuff you knew once, but forgot while you were married. It happens.

Women are people and there are a lot of different personalities. One woman might question whether she wants to get involved with a fellow surviving cancer, another may not get past your wonderful sense of humor and never give your cancer a second thought.

Date. Don't settle on one.Make it clear you date. You see others. You've been married; you're in no hurry to get married again. If the right one is out there, the two of you will find each other. If not, have a good time, anyway. Start as friends. Some will move quickly into bed, others will remain just friends for life. It's all good.

The three date rule works for a lot of people. By the third date you'll have talked about the last year and she'll know about your cancer. You'll both know if you're headed for the bedroom or not. And you'll have had your conversations. Oh there may be that awkward moment. She'll wonder if you're gay or if you have AIDS. And you can assure the younger ones they won't get pregnant.

You are not dating in high school anymore. Somewhere into their thirties most women start thinking about sex the same way a 17-year old high school boy thinks of sex. She may not care if you respect her in the morning. She may hope you don't. A woman likes to live, even if she's not planning on choosing china patterns with you.

Be comfortable in your own skin and be confident. Not Sean Connery or Pierce Brosnan Hollywood, just be you. PCa gives all of us a different view of life. Consider that an asset instead of a liability. I know I commit to every day as the best day I'll ever have. I don't know how many I have left. (Nobody does, PCa or not), but we just know that better. It's that cold slap of mortality, I think.

A guy with PCa living life to the fullest still has a lot more life in him than some couch potato sitting at home stuffing a heart attack down his throat.

As for a woman getting maudlin over my cancer, I'd think she was moving too fast. And if she wasn't moving too fast, but was just a little nervous, I'd smile and tell her the top of my bucket list is to hear scream, "Oh God! Don't Stop!" A boy can dream, can't he?

Don't worry about the ED. Just make sure she's happy. Me? If I were single, I'd riff off what you wrote, "Doll, I don't know. I've been practicing by myself alot. I could sure use a little help. Care to come home and see what comes up. I have this pump that's pretty fun."

If you can't enjoy who you are now, how can she?

Learn to cook. Really, learn to cook. Take classes in it: you'll meet people.

Have fun!

OBB
55 yo
Dx:9/29/09
DRE: Susp
PSA: 3.5
Gleason: 3+4/7
6/12 Cores Positive; Sextants were 1%, 3%, 8%, 15%, 12%, 0%
RALP: 10/09/09
PATH:
Margins: Clear
Lymph Nodes: Clear
Seminal Vesicles: Clear
Gleason: No increase from biopsy 3+4/7
Some perineural and capsule invasion.
T2c,NO,MX
Incontinence: Minor. 1 light pad a day. Some days don't need it.
ED: Natural with encouragement. 20mg Cialis and pump just makes things more fun.


JoeyG
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 162
   Posted 11/18/2009 1:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Its too bad they don't have "cancer matchmaker.com." That would ease a lot of tension for both parties.
Age -57; Diagnosed 10/05 PSA 13.4 GS 9 Organ confined (T2B)
Cryoablation 4/06 Allegheny Hosp-Dr Ralph Miller (Cohen/Miller)
Post Cryo Nadir 8/06 0.2
Rising steadily to 0.7 4/09 :-(
Steady at 0.7 (7/09) (Pomegranate???)
Looking to take next steps soon
Hoping to qualify for salvage cryo or radiation


Steve n Dallas
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 4849
   Posted 11/18/2009 2:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Are you kidding...At our age - if they have a heart beat they qualify yeah

Worried Guy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 3742
   Posted 11/19/2009 6:28 AM (GMT -6)   
I asked my wife the same question. Ever practical (and still unaware that I had weighed my pee pads on the kitchen scale - again) she suggested we look at a Breast Cancer site to see if a similar question comes up. Women who had mastectomies wanted to know when to tell a prospective date. Well, there were tons of advice and support.

When you boil off all the estrogen from the scores of answers, the basic advice is:
"Do not mention your condition on the first date. If you decide to meet again, then mention it honestly and early and be prepared to accept the rejection. Continue to date."

Personally, I like OBB's comment: "(Tell her)...the top of my bucket list is to hear you scream, "Oh God! Don't Stop!"
DX Age 56. First routine PSA test on April 8th: 17.8.
May PSA: 22.6, 3 weeks later: PSA: 23.2.
Biopsy 6/10/09: 7/12 scores positive, Gleason 6=3+3. Bone scan and C/T scan negative.
RP DaVinci -7/21/2009 @ Univ of Roch Medical Center
Left nerve gone, right partial spared.
Catheter removed - 7/31/2009 Pathology report received:
Gleason 3+4=7 Tumor size: 2.5 x 1.8 cm location: both lobes and apex. No Malignancy in Seminal Vesicle, vasa deferentia, lymph nodes 0/13
Extraprostatic extension present; Perineural invasion: present, extensive
Prostate mass 56 grams. Pathologic Stage: pT3aN0MX
Post Surgery Status:
Potency - 10/31 3 months, Still no activity, nada, zip
Incontinence - 8/20 4 full pads per day
. 9/7 3-4 full pads per day (I'm going to try cutting down on fluids. Bad idea. I know.)
9/27 2 months: Still 3 pads per day.
11/14 4 month: Still 3 pads per day. 420ml/day, 91 um leak. At this rate I'll be fine in 2012.
Post Surgery PSA - 9/3 6 weeks- 0.05, 10/13 3 months- 0.04 undetectable.

Post Edited (Worried Guy) : 11/19/2009 10:46:09 AM (GMT-7)


goodlife
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 2692
   Posted 11/19/2009 9:19 AM (GMT -6)   
Even after an hour and 1/2 ?
Age 58, PSA 4.47 Biopsy - 2/12 cores , Gleason 4 + 5 = 9
Da Vinci, Cleveland Clinic  4/14/09   Nerves spared, but carved up a little.
0/23 lymph nodes involved  pT3a NO MX
Catheter and 2 stints in ureters for 2 weeks .
Neg Margins, bladder neck negative
Living the Good Life, cancer free  6 week PSA  <.03
3 month PSA <.01 (different lab)
5 month PSA <.03 (undetectable)
6 Month PSA <.01
1 pad a day, no progress on ED.  Trimix injections


goodlife
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 2692
   Posted 11/19/2009 9:27 AM (GMT -6)   
Even after an hour and 1/2 ?
Age 58, PSA 4.47 Biopsy - 2/12 cores , Gleason 4 + 5 = 9
Da Vinci, Cleveland Clinic  4/14/09   Nerves spared, but carved up a little.
0/23 lymph nodes involved  pT3a NO MX
Catheter and 2 stints in ureters for 2 weeks .
Neg Margins, bladder neck negative
Living the Good Life, cancer free  6 week PSA  <.03
3 month PSA <.01 (different lab)
5 month PSA <.03 (undetectable)
6 Month PSA <.01
1 pad a day, no progress on ED.  Trimix injections


Colin45
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 216
   Posted 11/19/2009 10:13 AM (GMT -6)   
The only advice I can offer is to take a trip to Thailand to get over your sexual worries I did after I split up with my wife (I did not have sex for over 10 years) but be careful use a condom then you have no worries about you water problems and most of the older ladies will not worry if you perform on not they will still look after you
 
 
Age 64 From UK now in Thailand Baby boy born 2/14/2009
First PSA was showing 9.73 on 1/21/09.   on 5/7/09 PSA 9.78  Free PSA 0.83   Free:Total  PSA 0.08 
1/28/09 Biopsy carried out 12 core results show no adenocarcinoma
5/15/0924 Core biopsy results Gleason'S Grade 3+2=5
Involving approx 30% of one out of 12 cores on each side no perineural or angiolymphatic invation identified
One side PIN High Grade Bone scan clear 
Open surgery 7/27/09
Prostate Gland weighting 34 grms lost one nerve bundle
Gleason upgraded to 3+3 Tumour not close to prostatic capsule Seminal Vesicles not involved by Tumour 6 Lymph Nodes negative for Malignant cells
First PSA Nov 2009 was 0.06 Continence 99% occasional stress dribbles no ED from first day after catheter removed


Rolerbe
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 235
   Posted 11/19/2009 10:50 AM (GMT -6)   

Thanks to all for the replies.  I did think that it must be exactly the same for the poor gals who have had to suffer a mastectomy.  I know as a man, I would not be freaked if a woman told me that, but still if I were the woman and had to do the telling, I'd still feel the same way.

I think the advice is right.  Not day one, but not too long, and just suck it up, take whatever comes, and move on if you have to. 

I'm much calmer about it now.  cool   Probably the most important thing was just to get the question out there on the outside, not pacing around like a tiger trapped in the cage of my silly skull.  Thanks guys.


51 YO
PSA at Dx: 8.2
DaVinci RALP: 10/31/08 -- Great MD in New Haven, CT
Negative margins, no extra-capsular involvement
One nerve spared
PSA at 0 for just over a year now.
 
 


caroline1234
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 11/23/2009 6:00 PM (GMT 0)   
In my situation, my SO told me on the third date when it looked like we would want to see each other again. . I dont think there is a need on a first date. I think that would be too much after just a few hours over coffee!
The cancer part was more scary than the sex issue. This forum helped me alot. Thank you.
Guys- lots of women love sex the old fashion way.... but for  most of us- particularly older girls-- it isnt something that would turn us away from a man who was charming and thoughtful and remembered to make US feel ok while we work on supporting him.  Its easy for women to find a sex partner... it isnt easy to find a relationship. So- while I am starting to understand your concerns, your penis is not the only reason we like men.
 
:-)
 
so, maybe wait just a little to talk about it, then if she is OK, just remember this takes some adjusting for her too.
I wish you all well.

Rolerbe
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 235
   Posted 11/23/2009 4:34 PM (GMT -6)   

Thanks for the perspective Caroline, it makes sense and really helps.  My main concern is (was) just not to spoil any potential relationship with issues of information hiding, etc.  But you are right, way too much for a first date.

Since starting this post, I got my courage up and have actually gone out on a couple of dates!  No big sparks yet, but one hurdle down!  I'm just gonna make my motto a line from a recent Bond movie -- Girl: "...if all you had left was your little finger...",  Bond: "Ahh, because you know what I can do with my little finger..."   smilewinkgrin


51 YO
PSA at Dx: 8.2
DaVinci RALP: 10/31/08 -- Great MD in New Haven, CT
Negative margins, no extra-capsular involvement
One nerve spared
PSA at 0 for just over a year now.
 
 

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