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Coping : Stories : David

David, 65 - Radical prostatectomy

My name is David and I am 65 years old. While on holiday in Australia in Feb 2004 I was curious that I passed a little blood in my urine, this coupled with some hesitation in passing water, and a friend talking about his misfortune in not having prostatic cancer detected at an early stage, led to me having a chat to my General Practitioner in May. He organised a PSA test and subsequently advised me to consult a specialist urologist.

After a chat and preliminary examination it was agreed that further tests were necessary, and I had some uncomfortable biopsies in July. The report showed that cancer was present, probably at an early stage and I was given numerous options to have this treated. In the literature, I missed completely that keyhole surgery was available but heard accidentally from another acquaintance from Round Table days, of his recent successful surgery having this modern less invasive surgery done by Chris Eden at Basingstoke. He had recovered very quickly.

My original Urologist very quickly and professionally referred me to Mr Eden on my request, and I saw him at the beginning of September; I liked his manner and positive approach.

After dabbling with the idea that brachytherapy could be my choice of treatment, I had decided that surgery was a cleaner and hopefully a more complete end to the cancer. It was therefore agreed that I would have an operation at The Hampshire Clinic on 20th October, this allowed me to get a few urgent matters sorted out beforehand.

The operation went well and I had few surprises as the procedure had been explained carefully. After the skill of the surgeon, the nursing care kicked in. They really new what it was all about and answered my queries before I asked them, with patience and authority.

The next day the dressings on the five small holes in the tummy were removed to let the air get at them, I showered without assistance, ate some lunch normally sat at a little table, and got to grips with my catheter which I had to live with for about a week. I was intrigued at the measured fluids I was taking aboard, balanced against the outflow. It was reassuring to be warned about the murky, mucky thick urine I was expressing, and to see it clear fairly rapidly as the days went by. After a week at home, I had a further night at the hospital for the removal of the catheter. What joy when I found that I immediately had considerable control over my water works! (In fact I have had no accidents at night, and few leaks during the day and these occur when my abdomen is squeezed e.g. bending to tie shoe laces.)

Three weeks after the operation I had an evening in London watching a ballet at the Royal Opera House without any anxiety about getting to a toilet in time, and followed this with a very gentle nine holes of golf two days later. A remarkable and swift recovery. Having had a very good report on the histology of the removed gland I am convinced that I made the right decision in having surgery, and that the method chosen was excellent.

I am well pleased with the result, in that I have pretty good control over passing water, and it is up to me to carry on with the exercises for yet better control.

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