My story starts with a visit to my local GP for a Blood pressure test in November 2012. He then suggested I go a Cholesterol test and in passing because of my age (67), a PSA test. This was not really explained to me or was any counseling given which I understand should have been and speaking to other people it is quite rare that PSA tests are done in a random fashion if at all, some doctors not agreeing with them. I did not have any symptoms apart from the odd night-time venture to the bathroom.
The test result was 7 and I was referred to Urology at Broomfield where I had the Biopsy which I found quite easy once relaxed.
I was the called back to Broomfield to see Mr Garaffa on Christmas Eve who informed me that I had Prostate Cancer in what I thought was very matter of fact way. I then saw Claire Turner who I found to be very reassuring and answered my many questions.
It wasn’t a very good Christmas, my new partner being understandably very upset and me feeling very unsure about the future.
I then saw Mr Casey, the surgeon and Dr Hamid in Radiotherapy who each explained the treatment options available. This choice part I found the hardest. I did loads of research and was given the numbers of several men to contact who had one or other of the treatments. I also knew someone who had the surgery and was after 2 years still incontinent so made my mind up to have radiotherapy. I went back to see Mr Hamid who again was very reassuring and told me that we are aiming for a cure for the prostate cancer, music to my ears.
I had the hormone injection immediately which I seemed to have breezed through apart from my man boobs and a slight thickening of the waist.
I started Radiotherapy treatment mid-June 2012 and finished 31st July, the worst bit was driving the A12 every day for 37 days. I cannot give enough praise for the Radiotherapy Department at the County, they are incredible, always smiling and answering any questions I had. I also got to know a few patients in the waiting area, a bit like a social club, some even came back after the end of their treatment to chat to those still having it. The treatment was bearable and only really became uncomfortable the week after it stopped but that soon wore off.
A month later I went for a PSA test, it came back as .009 and I skipped out of Mr Hamid’s room like a 5 year old. I suppose it took about 2 months to get back to a normal life but I must say that I have been taking Tamsulosin since diagnosis. I did come off that for about a week recently and found my flow was restricted so am now back on, a small price to pay for not getting up in the night.
After my treatment we had a 3 week holiday in Turkey and of course was worried about travel insurance but found a company which apparently is run by someone who had Prostate Cancer, a little bit more expensive than normal but affordable.
Hopefully apart from the checkups that will be the end of it.