My story

The start of prostate cancer symptoms

In June, 2022, I was notified that my PSA marker was High at 4.8. I ignored it until May, 2023 when it was up to 9.2.

Since my bladder was not emptying, I started self-catheterizing twice daily. This caused me to develop UTIs on a 2 week cycle - 1 week for it to develop and go to the Urgent Care Clinic, 1 week for the meds to work. I'm not sure they every fully eliminated it though, even though each time was a different bacteria causing it.

Prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment

In August, 2023, a biopsy identified 2 cancerous lesions, both with a PRIADS scores of 3 and Gleason scores of 6. While understanding these were low-level scores, I made the decision to have a full prostatectomy as it was the best option for not having to deal with the UTIs from the catheters.

On October 30, 2023, I underwent a Robotic Assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy. The doctor was able to spare the bilateral nerves. I underwent 3 weeks of recovery from the surgery with a Foley catheter and have, since then fully recovered from the surgery itself. That said, I have been dealing with a side effect incontinence since the catheter was removed.

The incontinence was mentioned in our discussions prior to the surgery and I expected to have some, but the reality of this has been harder to deal with than I expected. I am ok while sitting or lying down, but every time I stand, gravity takes hold and my bladder empties. It will also empty a little when I have been upright for awhile (as my body creates more urine).

Life after surgery

I am fortunate that I work from home so dealing with this is not impossible but it has been a struggle with having visitors and with holidays when family is around. My Dr. says this may take a few months to resolve or it may not. I have done Kegel exercises and am scheduled to see a physical therapist to help too.

If I had to go through this again, my decisions would not change, I only wish I was better prepared for the incontinence side effect.

I lost my mother and father to Cancer many years ago (Lymphoma and Brain) so having to deal with it is very frightening, but I feel I am handling this well. We'll see if/when the next shoe falls!

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share my story.

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