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SaraMurphy
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 10/29/2006 4:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello friends!
 
My husband and I just returned from a romantic get away to St. Augustine. We decided to take a little break and enjoy one another. We had a wonderful time and are now refreshed and ready to face this thing head on.
My husband's surgery (DaVinci) is scheduled for November 16th. We are still researching and learning as much as we can about this disease.
 
I wanted to ask the ladies (and men too if you would like to offer advice!), about intimacy after surgery. Are there any particular "do's and don'ts"? I want to be able to help my husband in any way I can. I've been to a few web sites, but I feel hearing about it from people who are actually going through this will be more helpful.
 
Blessings,
Dennis and Sara

Letty
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 80
   Posted 10/29/2006 7:12 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Sara,  I bet you had a wonderful weekend!  We did the same thing and I can't tell you how special it was.

For us, as for intimacy after surgery, I just let my husband know that I was there for him in any way he needed me and I just tried to follow his lead.  I did not put any pressure on him.  I felt like it was very important to go at his pace.  However, he was very anxious to try things out and I could see, and I somehow understood, that it was important for him mentally to know if things would be the same or not.  It was only three weeks for us after an open surgery.  I was very worried about him trying it so soon, physically as well as mentally.  I was scared that it might not, and probably would not work so soon after surgery and I was desperately worried about what effect that might have on him mentally.  Luckily and thankfully, things worked....pretty darned good to!  It was a wonderful surprise and worked wonders for his mental healing and also to lift his spirits. 

I believe this is the hardest part for all our guys.  I told my husband before surgery, and I meant it, that I didn't care if we could not have the intimacy of intercourse ever again as long as I still had him.  That part of the relationship to me is very minor at this point in time, especially when weighed against his life.  But..... I think this is one of those "Men are from Mars and Women from Venus" things that the women and men just many times feel differenty about and can't really understand the others feelings.  It was important to my husband, mentally, as I'm sure it is to all the other men, that they retain this function.  Not only for us as their mates and believing that this is required and somehow their duty, so to say, to prove their manhood to us, but I also got the feeling that my husband would somehow think himself inferior to other men without this function.  To me, these thoughts are rediculous but I understand, on some level, how or why men can feel this way.  I think it goes very deep, probably even primal on some level!

These are some of my very, very personal thoughts and feelings and things that I just seemed to sense from him.  I don't really know how to explain it or if this is even what you were meaning.   Maybe I'm way off base on both. 

I just think its important to let them know how much we love them and that we will be there for them no matter what.  I still follow his lead and don't try to pressure him in that area. He just had the need to know where he stood in that department as soon as possible.   I reminded him there are all kinds of devices available to help if needed.  We do use Viagra. 

Sara, You will know what to do and be able to sense what he needs.  Just be loving and patient and understanding and everything will be fine.

 


Letty,
 
Husband diagnosed May 2006 at age 50.  RRP performed 13 July 06.
PSA 5.7,  Gleason 3+4=7, Staged T2C, Cancer confined to prostate.
His father diagnosed at age 62 and is currently a 13 year survivor!


56pontiac
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 230
   Posted 10/29/2006 7:25 PM (GMT -7)   
17 days since my surgery and botta bing bottta boom!!!!! WOWZA SOUAZA!!! If you are motivated and love each other like I'm sure you do it will be just fine. I worrie dabout this intamacy issue but after today I see nothing but imporovement in that area. Just love each other take your time and appreciate what you have.

56pontiac
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 230
   Posted 10/29/2006 7:26 PM (GMT -7)   
See it all felt so good ai Kant evin spill the words correctly. YOU ARE GOING TO BE FINE!!!!

jeb187chs
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 62
   Posted 10/29/2006 8:07 PM (GMT -7)   
SaraMurphy,

I know I am married to the world's best woman but your concern you are showing shows you too love your husband very much, Dennis is a lucky man.

I am considerably older then your husband (55) but one of my concerns before and since surgery has been my ability for intimacy. My doctor here in St. Louis is considered an "expert" by everyone we talked to. He was able to do my procedure even though cancer was spread to the seminal vessicles and the prostate sheath was penetrated and still spare my nerve bundles.

We were able to have many days of intimacy just prior to surgery but looking back 50 or so days now I wish we had had more. I am glad you and your husband could get away for a trip to St. Augustine. It is one of those times in life you look back on and say could I have done more, could I have been better, etc..

The bad thing about PCa is that it is basically a symptom free disease in it's early stages. The only symptom I had was an occassional pain in the back, which for some reason got better with Cipro and masked the disease. Had three bouts of antibiotics when I should have had the biopsy and surgery that much earlier.

After surgery, the catheter is an annoyance. With the discomfort in my belly (discomfort not pain) and catheter I spent over two weeks sleeping in a recliner. Catheter came out after 6 days. Third week I finally got to sleep in my bed with my wife, me on my side her on her's... haha. Prostate surgery and catheters are not good for modesty or socializing.

Recently they approved a vacuum device for medical reasons to increase the blood flow to the penis. I was told it could help decrease the time required for potency to return. I was lucky both of my nerve bundles were spared during surgery so the sensations are there and desires during "snuggling" just no stiffness... haha.

I am convinced my penis is substantially shorter (my loving wife says I am imagining it) then before surgery. I am also told that most of this is due to swelling and time allowing the uretha to once again stretch back to it's original length, sometimes it does and other times it might not. The section of uretha in the prostate is removed when the prostate is removed.

Anyhow the vacuum device I have only began using is not too comfortable so far. The pulling and extension of the penis will tell you if it's time..... trust me. Our doctor also gives his patients a "party" pack of samples of viagra, cialis and other drugs. These are also tools to hurry up the process of returning to potence.

My wife tells me she married me for me and not for my virility. But male ego won't give up..... it is something that you take for granted until it's gone. Other people's stories I have followed here indicate 18-24 months are good timeframe estimates for a return to somewhat regular intercourse.

Good luck and good loving, PCa should not be an end to intimacy just a "big" bump in the road. I sure hope so... haha. A reasonably good sence of humor is also required at times to maintain sanity.

John
Diagnosed Aug. 7, 2006
Age 55
Biopsy 8 of 10 positive
Gleason 8
PSA 16.2
Negative CTscan, bone scan and lung x-ray
Lapro Prostatectomy 9/7/2006


IlySara
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 18
   Posted 10/30/2006 6:23 AM (GMT -7)   
I am VERY blessed to have the unconditional love of such a beautiful and wonderful woman. Thank you for everything, honey.

I love you, Sara.

Dennis

shepla
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 102
   Posted 10/30/2006 9:04 AM (GMT -7)   
56 Pontiac, Congratulations I knew it was coming ! Its good for everyone to hear . I think that Radical Prosectomies have come a long way in the last 5 years and are getting better every year. I think Doctors are finding ways to keep men Potent. And we all want to be Potent. I mean I want to be an Impotent guy. Shepla

M. Kat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 715
   Posted 10/31/2006 1:07 PM (GMT -7)   
I can only echo what others have said here. Jeff was very anxious to see how things would work and 12 days after surgery, he had an orgasm without an erection. He said that his orgasms are much better than before, has no discharge so it's cleaner (happy for me!), and much more sensitive. he has still not had an erection, but there is more lengthening and thickening. it is getting frustrating but we know that it will take time. I wish that we had had intercourse every day as soon as we found out about the cancer, but I can't go back. I miss it very much, too, but we know based on what others are saying here that it will happen again. those of you who had it come back sooner than later are so fortunate! maybe Dennis will be that way, too. the most important thing is that the cancer is gone, and after 30 years of being together, we are back to fondling and playing a lot, which is a lot of fun, too, and makes us feel like teenagers. :) kat
Husband Jeff 56 years old
diagnosed July 27, 2006
PSA 6.5
2 positive areas in biopsy, Gleason 3+3=6
Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy August 30, 2006
pathology report - all clear - cancer gone
1st post-surgery PSA test 0.1
no more pads Oct 12, 2006


bluebird
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 2542
   Posted 11/3/2006 8:45 AM (GMT -7)   

Letty ~ Powerful words...... Thank you for sharing!!!  You nailed it with the topic.....Be loving and patient and understanding toward each other!! It is a team journey!! Your words are very heartfelt.

 

M. Kat ~ Your words are always comforting and right to the point of concern.  This is a big plus which has helped many to open up and not be afraid to speak in crystal clear words.  You’ve made the words that so many have a hard time saying ~ be okay!!  This is a huge gift you’ve given to this forum.  Thank you for sharing your journey with us.

 

56 Pontiac ~ Can we say “someone”  ~and~ “something” is HAPPY here?  !!!!!! yeah yeah

Shepla ~ Rock On

Dear Friends  ~   My thoughts go out to each and every one on this forum.  There can be a break down of communication and that is worse than the disease we are facing.  We all have strengths and we all have weaknesses.  I can truly say that we are “a very special couple” in many ways.   I am who I am today…. Because of where I’ve been…..  I chose to pull from Buddy’s strengths in areas that I was weak in and he has pulled my strengths to strengthen his weaknesses.  Need I say more.  J  I think it shows in my writings that every word I speak or write…comes from my heart. 

Excerpt from “Our Journey”
It is an “US / WE” disease and must be treated as an “US / WE” Journey.  Make this a “team” journey…. Do everything together.  You will need each other and each other’s strength! 

 

Excerpt from Dr. Walsh’s book:  Solutions to the Problem of ED  In Chapter 11…

The first thing that needs to happen is that you need to involve your partner.  The worst thing you can do…. Is to clam up, wrap yourself up in shame, self-pity, failure, anger, or any other negative emotion you can thin of, retreat to a distant corner of the bed, sulk, agonize, and not talk to your wife about this.  Your wife should understand what’s going on, and she should be part of the solution.  Shutting her out will only make her feel rejected, and will compound the problem in many different ways.

Love unconditionally and pull the strengths from others to help you on your journey.

In loving friendship to all of you, 

Lee & her Buddy

“Hand-in Hand” “Heart-to Heart”…

nice words from another member on the forum.


mama bluebird - Lee & Buddy… 53 on surgery day

RRP April 3, 2006   PSA 4.6 Gleason  3+3=6  T2a   Confined to Prostate

June 29th PSA Less than 0.1 Non-detectable


2busymom
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 118
   Posted 11/6/2006 9:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Sara,
Our experience is similar to Kat's, as far as how things are progressing. My husband had his surgery 3 weeks ago. There are lots of things that contribute to things "getting back to normaL" Age, whether there were problems to begin with, overall health, etc. I was surprised when at 2 weeks my husband almost had an orgasm - he stopped because he was afraid of hurting himself, but once he hit 3 weeks he figure what the heck! Our experience is similar to Kat's - lengthening and thickening, but a ways to go. Out Dr. prescribed Viagra today. This is not so much for sex at this point, but for circulation. I read an article that pointed out that most men have at least one erection a day - the penis is used to receiving oxygen infused blood. The thought is that it's not good for it to stay falcid - it might lead to more difficulties with erection because things atrophy. He went out of town for the day, so we haven't gotten to try the viagra yet.

Our Dr. said stimulation is fine. I know that was a relief to my husband. I have to say he's been wanting to make out alot more. He said it's like when we were dating. We will be married 24 years this December, had our first son the following December, with 3 more to follow. So now at age 45 & 46 we were all set to relax and really enjoy some peace and quiet and TIME! Well, we're getting a lot of extra time - not exactly how we'd planned, but actually sweeter. When I heard "cancer" I cried - not so much out of fear, but surprise. When I heard "impotence" I cried - for fear for my husband, who is a very affectionate person. He took it in stride - I'm so proud of his attitude. He said if things didn't "work" he'd invest in some toys, or have a pump installed!

I would say do NOT pressure yourselves - just keep practicing, touching, being patient and have a sense of humor. My husband is still dribbling a bit, so sometimes it's easier to hang out in the shower - it makes him more comfortable, at least for now. If you read the posts, the happiest people are those who are able to accept and laugh at things, and be grateful for every day of progress.

becky
husband Jeff 45 years old, diagnosed 8/25/06
PSA 2.1, 2 of 12 samples at 3% & 4%, involving 1 side of prostate
Gleason 3+3=6 in both samples
laparoscopic radical prost. 10/17/06
cancer in both sides of prostate, positive in one area of margin
first PSA in 1/2007


Tamu
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 626
   Posted 11/7/2006 8:03 AM (GMT -7)   
Sara & Dennis,

First of all good luck on the 16th. I had my Da Vinci on the 1st and I am doing great! I am sure that Dennis will be plesantly surprised once he wakes up in recovery. Obviously I am anxious about the erection issue and how we will handle it. My surgeon has told me that once the catheter is removed that we can attempt to have sex without hurting anything. I know my wife is uptight about causing a complication so we will just have to work it out. My surgeon has a penile rehabilitation schedule that we will follow. It starts at three weeks to the day from surgery. Beginning that night for six nights I will be taking 25 mg of Viagra without any sexual stimulation. On the 7th night I will take 100 mg of Viagra and apply sexual stimulation as described in the Viagra instructions( I have not seen this yet so I am not sure what this is). I will repeat this cycle every week up until my six week appointment. This method has been applied now for 9 months by my surgeon and apparently is getting fairly good results.

One of the things that I am doing now is I am flirting with my wife and playing around a little. Of course this is nothing more then a squeeze here and there but it does help me keep the desire going and I feel that it helps her to feel good. My suggestion is once Dennis gets over the surgery do not be afraid to play around a little within the limits that the catheter allows and any discomfort that he has. I can tell you just a little fondling of my wives breast makes me feel much more positive about the situation.

Tamu
Diagnosed 7/6/06
1 of 10 core samples, 40%
Stage T1c, Gleason 3+3
Da Vinci on 11/01/06
56 Years Old


jetguy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 741
   Posted 11/7/2006 5:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Anyone who thinks women don't understand their men has never read any of this thread. You ladies are something.

Regards,

Bill

2busymom
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 118
   Posted 11/8/2006 9:23 AM (GMT -7)   
I think what Tamu shared is very important. We women have had an easy time being able to tell when our husbands desire us - it's hard to hide! The fact that Jeff wanted to fondle hug and kiss did a lot to reassure me that even if those actions didn't lead to the usual results (sex) he still wanted to spend time doing them. He even commented that it was nice to enjoy doing them without getting an erection - he was having fun focusing on the kissing rather than hoping for more!

becky
husband Jeff 45 years old, diagnosed 8/25/06
PSA 2.1, 2 of 12 samples at 3% & 4%, involving 1 side of prostate
Gleason 3+3=6 in both samples
laparoscopic radical prost. 10/17/06
cancer in both sides of prostate, positive in one area of margin
first PSA in 1/2007

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