Life After Radical Prostatectomy: 66 Months Later

So it’s been 66 months since my radical prostatectomy. How am I doing?

Honestly? Scared. Afraid of the cancer coming back.

Status

Since my 60-month update in January, we learned that my PSA doubled from what it was in December 2015: 0.04 ng/ml to now 0.08 ng/ml in April 2016. That’s still below the recurrence threshold of 0.2 ng/ml, but obviously moving in the wrong direction. In four weeks, I’ll go for another PSA test and we’ll just have to wait and see what happens with it.

Emotions

Yep. There’s been plenty of emotions in the last six months.

When I saw the PSA at 0.08 in early April, it was as though I was knocked off a horse, fell to the ground, and had the wind completely knocked out of me. Dazed, confused, and not even sure that I wanted to try and get up. It took until early June before my emotional response subsided and I got back into a more normal mindset.

Incontinence

I continued with my weight loss program (90 lbs. / 40.8 kg), and that has certainly helped with my incontinence. Very rarely do I have any leakage at this point.

Sexual Function

I continue to do so-so in the ED department. Remember, I have only one nerve bundle remaining, but I can get an 80%–90% erection most of the time. Some days are better; others are worse.

I do find that my libido is still there, and there are times through the day where I can feel things stirring down below. Not enough to obtain a natural erection—those days are gone—but enough that with a little stimulation, it would be much easier to achieve an erection.

Summary

Yes, I’m one of the 98% of men diagnosed with prostate cancer to hit the five year survival mark. But with elevated and apparently increasing PSA readings over the last 10 months, what’s in my future is uncertain. (With the exception of two certainties: 1) An unending series of PSA tests ahead and 2) the thought of cancer ever-present in my mind.)

4 thoughts on “Life After Radical Prostatectomy: 66 Months Later

  1. I’m so sorry you’re going through this. You were pretty sure you were in the clear and now things are up in the air. It isn’t fair or right. It just is what it is. It sounds as if you have a good medical team and you PSA is still very, very low. You may dodge this bullet. I hope you can learn to focus more on the present to take away most of the fear of the future. It would serve you well. I’ll continue to think of you and pray for you.

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  2. Why do they only have “Like” buttons. They could do with “Dislike” and “Sympathise” and possibly a few more. At least you are not in the 2% (although I guess this would be an amazing blog if you were!).

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  3. Thanks for all this Dan ( i’m in the UK )…Bracytherapy November last year, 66 seed implants…check up this week at Addenbrooke’s Hospital near Cambridge in East Anglia-UK…and my PSA was down to 2.65 against a before the operation score of 7.15….the Radiologist etc etc are ‘Very happy ‘ with my numbers….back in 4 months…keep the faith…..I too am writing a blog about my battle with the cancer, almost as graphic as yours but with typical British humour….so far I’ve got 6 guys in to have their numbers checked out…here’s a link to my prostate blog …its also a link to the blog about my book, which is far lighter reading…all best Brian Harris. https://brianharrisphotographer.wordpress.com/2016/05/28/and-then-the-prime-minister-hit-me/

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