A man elects to have a prostatectomy (removal of the prostate) and asks the surgeon to try to spare the nerves that produce an erection. Well, he goes into surgery and wakes up in the recovery room and sees his doctor.
Man: So how did it go?
Doctor: I’ve got good news and bad news.
Man: Give me the good news first.
Doctor: We were able to save the nerves.
Man: That’s great news! What’s the bad news?
Doctor: They’re under your pillow.
My good friend, the great Dr. O is going to spare me this scenario I trust. In fact he and my cancer doctor have become some hero’s to me. They are trying to save my prostate.
Yes, early detection, annual physicals, and PSA’s gave me some options. I can’t say enough good things or good advice other than get yourself checked early for prostate and breast cancer and get yourself checked often.
Early detection allowed me to save my prostate and, after some work, enables me to use it for years to come. Yes, if you are wondering, immortality!
My options included removal (surgery), to radioactive seed implants, to futuristic surgery by a robot.
Its good to have choices!
I opted for the radioactive seeds procedure, called a ‘brachytherapy’ for many of the obvious reasons from outpatient surgery, to shorter healing to still being able to still use my prostate.
If you are interested in learning more about achy-brachytherapy’s, from procedures to side effects and benefits click here and here.
I was initially crushed with the news that I had cancer but reading this really, really, saved my summer.
But I am getting ahead of myself. People have asked what is going on the day of my procedure. If you don’t enjoy some mildly graphic medical and body images I think you should close the curtain on this post right now. In fact I only allow this window in my mind open for a short time until it makes me a bit nauseous and I have to think of something else.
I have to arrive at the hospital at 5:30am. In which case they are going to give me a series of anesthesias to put me out. I am then placed in what I imagine to be something like a birthing chair where my legs are spread apart giving the doctors full access to the land where my legs come together, just in front of my rectum.
I don’t think I’ll be riding my bike next week!
The tool I used to consummate my marriage will be taped up and off to the side I hear. Oh, how I hope they give me a shave first!
So this is my first issue in this procedure, all doped up, tubes in my arm and mouth while I lay limp, legs spread apart, waiting to be violated.
The goal of this cancer treatment is to insert radioactive seeds into my prostate in order to kill the cancer cells. Now how many radioactive seeds, the size of a pencil tip, do you think that would take?
If you guessed 75-100 you are in the right ballpark.
Radioactive seeds have the benefit of keeping the radiation local, with little radioactive runoff to neighboring organs. They can be much more precise than laser radiation treatments that have to shoot through your body, laying victim to everything they touch.
Do you think they will jingle when I go for a jog?
The doctors are literally going to fill my prostate with these seeds, in hope of killing any and all cancer, detected or undetected.
On the down side, these seeds are due to stay in me way (way) past their useful life. They are mine. I keep them. I paid a lot of money for them after all.
The percentages to killing the cancer cells are quite high, in the 90’s, and its a good chance I will be cancer free, down there, for good.
A down side to this procedure is that our urinary tube runs smack through my precious C-spot. This is one of the immediate issues when prostate cancer shows its ugly head, inhibiting normal urinary functions.
The issue with my procedure is that there is a chance or two that the needles inserting my seeds poke or break that urinary tract. They tell me this is a small chance but it is a big deal if it happens.
When everything is said and done I get a brand new catheter installed with a tube running down to my leg. I should be home by 4 or 5pm that same day. The good Lord willing and no surprises occurring I will have that catheter out the next morning.
Choices are good!
All in all I think that is a pretty fair deal for having cancer and the treatment of it. I am so blessed to have this new and developing technology to handle my treatment and CURE.
And I can say CURE due to early detection and options!
You don’t know how hard it is for a fit 50 year old man to tell family and loved ones he has cancer. Trust me, at 50 you are not ready for this. Not at any age.
BENEFITS / SIDE EFFECTS
Some of the side effects of this procedure include, frequent urination, immediate urges to go, some incontinence or even a burning feeling with with urination.
Heck, I have half of those now! But my doctor tells me they would be short lived and everything, EVERYTHING, including regular sex, should be back to normal down there within a month or two. I’ll let you know how that goes!
In fact, my doctor tells me he wants me trying to have sex (to strengthen the organ) as soon as two weeks. But with the use of condoms.
You see the radioactive seeds have about a 17 Day half life. Meaning, after 17 days they lose half of their potency. After another 17 days they lose half of that and the seeds should be inactive after about 3 months.
Which means after 2 weeks I may be shooting some kryptonite into those condoms, if anything at all. But he does want me to try.
A second precaution, and this may be the hardest, is I can not hold my kids for TWO MONTHS.
That’s right, the radiation coming from my belly can actually make them sick to some very bad diseases. He said hugs are OK but not on my lap. I hope they can understand.
Which leads my mind to wonder, what else might I expect from having a garden of radioactive seeds in my belly?
One funny reader thought I may have some glowing nuts!
I thought my belly may glow in the dark at night…not unlike a firefly.
Will I become telepathic? Or have x-ray or heat vision? Spidey-senses? Or become a Bruce Banner?
Don’t make me mad and find out…puny human. Hulk smash!
But to be told you have cancer and then have it (hopefully) killed by a 90 minute procedure and then being able to go back to work two days later is a pretty fair trade off.
Folks, if their is anything to take away from this it is early detection. If I had ignored this a year or two more the cancer may have grown too big to allow these choices.
Get checked! Tell your friends and family!
Through this whole ordeal I have been able to follow two strong ladies and their procedures for treating their cancers, breast and ovarian.
These ladies have given me strength and perspective, allowing me to understand I am very lucky to have this, my treatment available.
And right now, NOW, as I type, that damn song comes on the radio, ‘Its Not my Time’.
Oh thank you God!
Thank you too, Susie at Susie’s Wild Ride and Angela at Mind Margins.
I think He just said we are all going to be OK. Its not our time!
Will you two stand up and take a bow?
Sorry, I had to walk away and dry my eyes. It does get emotional sometimes when laughter alone isn’t enough.
These two ladies are so much more courageous than me. They deny their importance but I am humbled at my illness based on what these ladies go through. I hope to be at least half as brave, strong and spirited.
Susie is right, Laughter is the best medicine!
An old guy goes to his doctor for his physical and gets sent to the Urologist as a precaution. When he gets there, he discovers the Urologist is a very pretty female doctor.
The pretty doctor says, “I’m going to check your prostate today, but this new procedure is a little different from what you are probably used to. I want you to lie on your right side, bend your knees, then while I check your prostate, take a deep breath and say, ’99’.
The old guy obeys and says,”99″.
The doctor says, “Great”. Now turn over on your left side and again, while I repeat the check, take a deep breath and say, ’99”.
Again, the old guy says, ’99’.”
The doctor said, Very good. Now then, I want you to lie on your back with your knees raised slightly. I’m going to check your prostate with this hand, and with the other hand I’m going to hold on to your penis to keep it out of the way. Now take a deep breath and say, ’99’.
The old guy begins, “One …. Two … Three” …
….and off I go!