We had a strange experience this week (nearly 6 months post op) so I thought I would share it to ensure that "it is not just me" (who considers this weird and unexplainable!!). Sorry if this is long-winded!
My husband went to the GP (family doctor) last week, for PSA, general checks - you all know the sorts of overall men's health tests – and then was then REFUSED a script for Levitra 20mg, from the GP, and came home without it. He saw a men’s health specialist about 3 months ago (different doctor), for confirmation of what we were doing ED recovery-wise, and all went relatively well, so we had an informed plan and we were not expecting any resistance not based on anything. He (CJ) had had a break of about 4 weeks and was now wanting to try another regime of meds. We have researched this as well as we could, for many months. There was no written communication between family doctor and men’s health doctor as we self referred on specialist’s advice after 3 months earlier.
Anyway, I was flabbergasted with this recent “non-action” by our family doctor (GP) for just a script, as she was the one who referred and initially diagnosed my husband. She received the reports and referrals from his Pca. (He was diagnosed on his 49 birthday last year). She referred him for biopsy and phoned him at home twice last year when he was pre-diagnosis, as she knew he tended to procrastinate at times, and she wanted him to see a urologist immediately. She had been previously co-operative in prescribing the ED meds to now. No reason, just said it would not work. My husband, who went alone to this family doctor, did not seem to come back with any explanation at all, but just a sense of depression, so I guessed she had disillusioned him in some way re his recovery.
I tried to not panic but felt angry at the fact that the GP seemed to know less about the experience of prostate cancer recovery than we do. I asked my husband (who is much quieter and calmer than myself), if this time, I could advocate solely on his behalf as he did not want to do anything to challenge this himself!
He said “yes”, so while he went out fishing on Thursday, I emailed our Surgeon's nurse with a description of the problem and what I saw as the reasons, and the fact that this needed urgent medical assessment and some education to our GP one way or the other. She (nurse) showed the Surgeon the email within 2 hours, who advised that he would send a prescription to take us through the next 6 months in our own time, and confirmed our personal plan with a good piece of additional information. It (Leitra script) is now on its way to us by mail, so problem resolved in the exchange of 3 emails. Hubby is now happy and we continue on our own ED recovery plan – it was actually a bonus to have some contact with the Surgeon for reassurance at this time (in an indirect way!). I should be over it as it is now resolved, but I still reckon it is weird, and not acceptable really… my husband is intending to resume 20mg each second day for 3 months.
As I said, our GP has been with us for 15 years and I am due for my annual female health check too now. I do not want to argue or explain any of our decisions, so am actually thinking of missing my appointment (!! - this is a most irrational choice), or finding a new doctor after 15 years! I hate conflict, but am still a little uneasy. I cannot imagine how or why a doctor (GP) we know well would, after caring for my husband, refuse to support him in his ED recovery now? Anyway, friends... any reflections on this would be appreciated just for a little perspective. I could of course mind my own business, but it is out of the question here!
I will probably have to say something and advise her that he is taking the medication anyway (or he will have to – for health reasons if nothing else). Anyway, that’s the weird experience. Not a life-threatening one in anyway, but I still find it a little perplexing which is why I thought I would share it. I realize it does not compare with important issues which are posted here, so hope this rather trivial posting does not offend anyone!
Consider it one of those “vents”_ I do not have many!
OUR 6 MONTH UPDATE (Oct, 2007) follows: My husband, CJ IS 49.8 years old, 6 months post open Sx, no continence issues, previous PSA June was 0.01.
Overall, we are well after 6 months. My husband feels 85% back to his previous self (overall estimate he says). He has the referral for a PSA check and will have his 6 month PSA test down at the local pathology clinic, in a few days. That is a LITTLE frightening. However, he had complete containment in April, and an excellent post op report thankfully to now, so we remain hopeful of 0 (zero) PSA’s in future.
I am about to enroll in a Part-Time Doctorate of Nursing (also known as a Professional Doctorate). These degrees are relatively new here in Australia, but I understand pretty well established in the US Nursing Faculties. I am looking forward to the challenge, although it will take several years to complete! Thus, next year there will be 3 out of 4 members of the family still at “school” so to speak (adult daughter is at Uni, 7 year old son in primary school). We must be a little mad, overall – the dogs, cat, bird, fish and hens we share our yard with agree, but we have survived prostate cancer, so I am starting a garden of colour to celebrate this as we move into the warmer weather, and moving on with my career. Why not? We have been very lucky. And it does not matter if all of us fail our respective schooling courses!!!! We have our husband and father back healthy; nothing at all to loose, and a whole life to continue now. So I am now actually happy for the first time in 10 months aside from being happy at the outcome of my husband's tests etc. There is a lengthy and arduous application process which I am currently struggling with, so fingers crossed that they will take me on next year as a student.
We continuing renovating our old house (CJ’s current full-time interest), and when finished hopefully CJ will resume his own business of restoring old cars. There is now a new cubby house out the back – we have become a popular house with 7-10 year old boys in the neighbourhood.
Anyway, it is always good seeking advice here. Thank you for reading our update and current (minor) concerns. Overall, we remain blessed and safe, which is what we also wish for you all, in all stages of recovery and living. We continue to pray for those experiencing incontinence, which was something we did not have to deal with thankfully, and understand the pain and shock of the newly diagnosed and treated. Therefore, if it is OK, we will continue to contribute here and there. I still keep a diary and in time may contibute further in terms of the ED recovery, however for the moment no different to most, just not taking the injection path yet as CJ does not want to at this stage.
Kind regards, Lana (forum member for 10 months)
PS I will update our signature after the next PSA. I am hoping CJ will go on Monday for the PSA and will let you know as it will be his 2nd test. It is now Saturday morning. I warned you this was long-winded!!
Lana posting for husband CJ (49 years). First PSA 3.5 (Nov 06). Open Radical Prostatectomy on Tuesday 17th April 2007. Gleeson 3 + 4 = 7. Confined to prostate. PSA 0.01 (June 07).