Month 26 – Two Down; Eight to Go; and 55

Okay. First, a warning. This month’s update will be like a ping pong ball in a clothes drier– topics all over the place.

Two Down; Eight to Go

For family, friends, and regular blog readers, you know that I can get pretty OCD about remembering dates and anniversaries. Well, imagine my own surprise when Friday, 1/4, came and went as though it were a regular day, and it was.

But it was two years ago Friday that I was having that pernicious little prostate plucked from my pelvis in surgery, and I completely forgot about it! I guess that’s a good sign. Life goes on after prostate cancer. That, or perhaps my memory is fading… 😦

Most will say that you have to remain cancer-free for 10 years to really have beaten it, so Friday marked 2 years down, 8 to go.

55

Somewhere between last month’s post and this month’s post, I celebrated my 55th birthday. My new motto regarding birthdays–regardless of the number–is: Any birthday you’re around to celebrate is a great birthday!

Blog Reader Visits

This week, I visited with two guys who I’ve met through this blog. Kind of building a mini-support network, I guess.

One had his radical prostatectomy in May 2012 and is progressing nicely. The other just began this journey with his prostate cancer diagnosis last Friday. I wish him well.

BIOLOGY AHEAD

Jinxed

Wouldn’t you know it? After writing last month’s post about sleeping through the night, I’ve been having problems sleeping through the night. Go figure.

When I was staying with my sister for the holidays, two of the five nights I was there, I was up peeing four or five times through the night. My fluid intake wasn’t any higher than normal. (Really! No 12 pack of holiday beer or gallon of eggnog…) In fact, the one night, I was beginning to wonder, “Where is all this coming from?!?” I’ve had a couple nights since where I’ve been up two or three times.

PCa and Dating

My gut tells me that I’m in a tiny group of prostate cancer (PCa) survivors who are single. The vast majority of PCa survivors are already in relationships, and their spouses/partners were part of the treatment decision-making process, fully understanding the risks and possible side effects when it came to sexual function.

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to throw myself into the deep end of the dating pool because I really would like to share my life with someone.

My struggle, however, is figuring out how and when to tell that someone about the PCa, the surgery, and its impact on my sexual function.

With only one nerve bundle remaining, I can only achieve a 50% – 75% erection–not enough for penetrative sex. And, of course, when I orgasm, there is no ejaculate–zip, zilch, nada.

Relationships should be founded upon open, honest communication. But somehow I don’t think I’ll swim even one lap in the dating pool if I walk into the restaurant and say, “Hi. Pleased to meet you. I can’t get a boner and I don’t ejaculate. Still wanna try this out?”

Nor do I want to string someone along for weeks or months and then find that romantic moment where things would progress to the next level and have to say, “You know… There’s something I’ve been meaning to tell you,” or, worse, “Surprise!!”

Relationships are more than just sex (and intimacy is more than just intercourse). So part of me says let the person get to know me over a period of time, and if there’s a real connection, then they may be able to overlook the sexual function issues. But if it is an issue, then there may be two broken hearts as we head off in separate directions.

Somewhere in the middle may be best. Perhaps in the 3-5 date range. If it looks like there’s a possibility that this may go someplace, let them know at that point. They’ll know enough about me to make the call as to whether my dashing good looks , charming personality, and quirky wit outweigh the sexual function shortcomings.

So wish me luck.

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