WOW, you guys hit all the nails on the head. Everything you said is what I'm feeling and now the tears are starting. This a cancer that no one wants to hear about. I find myself trying to talk to friends or coworkers and they just kind of drift away uninterested. I've had people tell me thank goodness its just prostate cancer. I'm blessed I have a great wife who has been my rock through all this but its hard to explain what I'm going through even to her. The people I've brought this up to think I should just be happy it's all over. My RO is a great doctor and I think if I bring this up to him in my 1 month follow up he will help. I didn't contribute much to this forum during my treatments but after reading your replys to me I hope I can help someone down the line. RobLee, skypilot, pratoman thanks for the encouraging words. I hope I didn't miss anyone. I need to stop now, darn Lupron and emotions....
I can so much relate to this. This is a unique malady, a bull's-eye strike on the very core of what we are as men. Women can't comprehend how important to a guy his sexual life is, they just can't understand what you're going through. Men don't talk about
any kind of health issue for the most part anyway, especially one that involves potentially personally embarrassing details. There are a significant number of guys who don't even know they have a prostate, much less what it does. Generally people won't discuss cancer since it's just so scary. You find yourself seemingly alone on an alien planet, with a very unfamiliar landscape.
That this disease's treatments so specifically disable our sexual abilities is cruel and perverse. At my first Lupron shot, I was paralyzed at home unable to drive to the Cancer Center to receive it. I was in some kind of mental blue-screen, locked up. Mostly, I guess it was the realization that I was about
to be "chemically castrated"; a term never used for ADT, but that's what it is. My higher reasoning functions eventually prevailed and I went for it, but it was a strange situation and completely uncharacteristic.
After these varied assaults on our masculinity, our sexual selves, the recovery is extremely variable.
Some percentage recover ability to "nearly" normal. Some recover, but in limited fashion. Some never recover sexual ability or interest. After lengthy ADT there can be permanent physical changes too, even without any surgery. With a well-recovered testosterone level I've recovered decent function, though the "shrinkage" is permanent, and my libido is a dim shadow of what it used to be.
The tears are so much quicker on Lupron too, another issue for us. We're supposed to be tough and stoic; Clint Eastwood, James Bond, John Wayne, always in control of our emotions and never expressing them overtly. "Big boys don't cry.". After 3 years on Lupron, I would tear up at Hallmark commercials! Losing my mom during that time left me a fragile mess emotionally for quite a while. It's tough.
If it's any help, those of us who've ridden the Lupron train understand well what you're talking about
. I'm probably repeating myself, since this topic comes up periodically. You may find prostate cancer support groups to be most helpful at this point.
All the best to you. We're here for you, and you won't find a group better able to empathize.
55@Dx on 4/16/13. PSA 5.2, G9(5+4), PNI+, cT3a by MRI.
IGRT - 44 sessions (79.2 Gy, 50.4 Gy pelvic)
ADT2 - Lupron+Casodex (3 yrs)
PSA <0.1 : 8/13 - 5/16; steady at 0.7+/- 0.1 since 3/17My Story