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I Have Cancer: Now What? Surgery

I am old, and growing older. It is a fact of life that the days ahead are far outnumbered by the days behind.

This is what will be done to me

This is what will be done to me

Monday, Monday

Can't trust that day. Is that a song? Anyway, I have to trust it, for on Monday I will undergo my most serious procedure to date: Prostate Cancer surgery to remove my cancerous prostate gland. After months of discovery, diagnosis, and outright fear of what will happen, I am down to one day of waiting.

I am scared to death.

I went through my pre-op last week, and my EKG, blood work, and chest x-ray all looked good, so I have that going for me, I guess. But still, that one word puts a fear into me like few others can: cancer. And while it was contained within my prostate a few months ago, as the MRI indicated, I still worry whether it escaped and has multiplied outside the gland and inside my body. I have had pains in my "taint" area (you know, it taint this and it taint that down there), sometimes sharp and very painful. I also know my urine stream has been diminished by probably 75% or so, and I can never fully empty my bladder at one time; I always come back for a little more in 15 minutes or so.

These are the incisions

These are the incisions

What I Am Hoping For

After looking into the various choices I had (radiation, radiation seeds, wait and see and surgery) I decided to go with the surgery because of my urination issues and the hope that once the prostate is gone, the cancer will be gone with it and I will retain my ability to both urinate and defecate under my control. In the old days, these fled with the surgery but today, a good percentage can retain their ability after the surgery. I think this is due to the robotic surgery they will be doing on me; it is supposedly very select in its cuts and removal, leaving the nerves intact.

I hope so.

Regardless, I will be using a catheter initially, with plans to remove it after a week or so, if all goes well. Then, we will see. They tell me my level of recovery and the amount of rest I get will aid in the ability to control my bladder so that in a month to six weeks post op, I should know where I stand.

We do have the proper items ready to use as I leave the hospital, and for as long I as I require them.

An inside peek

An inside peek

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Nonetheless, I am scared

I fear what will happen: will I be rid of this cancer? Will they find it has escaped the gland already? Will I retain my ability to control my bladder and bowel movements? Will my energy level bounce back near where they were a year ago? Will my mental health begin to return?

It is this last one I am really the most worried about. After a year of dealing with what I went through at my job, their treatment of me once they learned of my diagnosis, and the last five months being separated from my wife due to desiring to allow our youngest son stay in his high school and finish his senior year before being reunited for more than a weekend, now I find myself waiting once more. Waiting to undergo the surgery, waiting for the recovery, waiting to learn whether the cancer is really gone.

If it is, then the road to recovery can truly begin. We can begin to make plans for the rest of our lives; plans for our little house, plans for our traveling, plans for everything. Just a few more weeks...

2022 Has Been Hell So Far

In January, just a few weeks after learning about me and how serious my situation was, my mother in law had a second stroke at her home. She fell, and hit the back of her head. Then, once at the hospital she fell and hit the front of her head. Then, she fell again, and broke her hip. Surgery repaired it and she can move about with a walker, but still. She has had a locked jaw from the second fall ever since, and after four months of therapy it is only slightly better. She has had a feeding tube in and with virtually no hope of her ever returning home, we have been cleaning her house and readying it for sale. The proceeds will go towards her continuing care, and after four months of waiting for Medicare to accept her, the bill for her care is huge. We still hold out hope that it will be approved, and the bills paid but it has been a long, long ride.

By the way, for anyone who might be thinking about getting Medicare, be warned: if they do not answer you in a timely manner DO NOT resubmit the paperwork!!! Each time it is submitted they treat it as a new one and you go to the back of the line. We learned this after the health care professional at the facility she is at did it for the third time, and what should have been a March 1st approval has turned into a hopefully July 1st approval.

Here's Hoping

After the job business, my diagnosis, her health issues, the separation for school, and what my wife has had to go through just to keep everything from overwhelming us, we need a break. We need some good news and I pray my cancer is gone so I can begin the road to recovery and help her out more. She has been a Godsend to me, to our family. She is the strongest person I have ever met, a person who refuses to allow Life to overwhelm us and she maintains a positive attitude even when she is close to a breakdown of her own.

My best friend, my Angel, the Love of my Life, my wife. I love you and thank you for everything.

Will you marry me again?

That's It For Now

Well, that's about it for the moment. The next few hours will determine the course of my future, and that of my family. Once I learn more I will put it out there for everyone to see. I hope this has helped anyone who might be facing this same journey, and that they can get something out of this that provides some comfort: you are not alone. Contact me if you want, I'll help if I can.

Here's to seeing you on the other side. Stay safe everyone. God Bless.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Mr Archer

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