Passing water had became more and more of a strain, hence an appointment for a check up was made. "Your PSA is 18" said the doctor "and I'd like to examine your prostate, so up on the couch please. Hmm - your prostate is rather large, I'd like you to see a specialist." Hence in May 2008, my saviour, the urologist Alvan Pope entered my life. He organised a myriad of further tests which showed that part of my prostate gland had aggressive 'Tiger' prostate cancer and my bladder had a few rather less aggressive surface growths.
Then it was off to the oncologist for the treatment options to be explained and discussed before I made the decision. Options, for me, came down to radiotherapy, where my prostate would be bombarded frequently with high frequency electromagnetic waves over a period of a few weeks. Or, I could undergo a radical prostatectomy to remove the prostate.
I chose the prostatectomy as I was fully confident that Mr Alvan Pope, with all his years of successfully conducting these operations, had both the experience and caring hands that would lengthen my life and hopefully minimise the side effects.
And the bladder cancer? did I hear you murmur - well that needed my bladder to be filled for a while with an anti-ancer solution and this had already been done. So bright dawned the day of 'Operation Twisting the Tiger's Tail' on 1st August 2008 and in the afternoon I felt a needle and then nothing 'til I awoke over three hours later in the hospital bed with drips, oxygen and drains.
Everyone was very kind and caring in the hospital as were my family and friends and so I was allowed out, after a few days, but with a catheter which stayed put for a further two weeks. After it was removed in the hospital, miraculously, upon drinking cup after cup of tea, I could 'pass water' without straining and I was in full control of my bladder - that's down to the skill and caring hands of Mr Alvan Pope the 'Tiger Slayer'.
Well that was back in 2008 and regular three monthly checks initially found the PSA level to be undetectable as it was less that 0.03. Then in late ’09 a PSA concentration of 0.05 was discerned. Subsequent 3 monthly measurements showed increasing values until it reached 0.1 and I realised that something had to be done and so I joined the Radicals programme and was selected to follow a course of daily Radiotherapy along with six months of hormone therapy.
High energy X ray beams were focussed on my prostate bed, by the caring radiotherapists at Mount Vernon Hospital. The daily Radiotherapy course was completed after a month at the end of 2010. I was so well looked after by the wonderful radiotherapists that I wrote and recorded them a song ‘The Vernon Girls’ and gave them a CD for Christmas having sung it to them, and others, in the hospital’s restaurant when Adam Binnie of the Watford Observer was in attendance.
Am still under the care of Senior Radiologist Sarah Abassi and Mr Ostler but at present no PSA measurable so the Bastard’s back in its cage and hopefully will die there.
15th January 2012
The FOPS greatest accomplishment is that, working together, we have helped, and will keep on helping, men affected by Prostate Cancer (also known as 'Tiger Cancer') turn themselves away from their personal precipices and get their lives back together. Learn more...
From 7.30pm on Wednesday 10th June we will be holding our second Virtual Support Group meeting. Read more...