This morning, in order to beat the traffic, I rose early and drove to my doctor’s appointment at 8:30. Dr. Ganem is prompt and brought me into his office where he explained what we have to do now.
Surgery 1, The Bladder, March 19th…
Last week I had to take a “Flow Dynamics Test” to determine if I would need surgery on my bladder before we took on the prostate issues. I apparently got a “D.” I could have told him this ahead of time and without the inconvenience of having tubes run up me and then measured on a computer with graphs. I know, I know, this is too much information.
He explained that what I am about to undergo is perhaps the most common urinary surgery a man can have. It’s fairly simple to do. I won’t describe here the procedure because it sounds worse than it is. All of this takes about half an hour. He made the point of saying that I would thank him for this once he turns my prostate into a marble next July. I stay the night in hospital and then normally, two weeks later, I am able to compete with twenty year-old marines who have tossed down a couple of beers. This seems to make the ordeal attractive and worth it.
Now, don’t get the idea that this is all over. Before we can do anything else, something small like treating the prostate cancer, I need about four months to completely recover before I am rolled into another theater and surrounded by people in green scrubs. Apparently, the cancer will not likely make its way into my lymph system, bones or kidneys in this length of time. I certainly hope that he’s right on this one. He keeps reminding me that he doesn’t have a crystal ball.
Surgery 2. Prostate Cancer, First week of July or thereabouts…
My doctor is a smart guy and has stacks of data to support his suggestion but leaves it up to me. He believes that, should the prostate be big enough, (apparently mine is smaller than most fellas of my age) it is his statistical preference to insert about fifty to eighty radiation seeds into my prostate, send me home, give me six weeks to feel good and four months later my PSA should drop like a rock. In other words, comparing apples to apples, those in the everyday business of fiddling with prostates postulate that people in my identical condition, with my numbers and overall diagnosis should expect results the same as guys who opt to have the prostate removed. The advantage of going this way is that I will not have most of the lifestyle issues that might go along with the removal of a prostate which they definitely recommend for younger men. I will not specifically describe all of these “lifestyle” issues but one can just imagine.
A friend of mine took his young family from Canada to Florida for holiday. His wife sent him on an errand to find diapers for their two-year old. He returned discouraged having spent hours driving from pharmacy to pharmacy only to find adult diapers. This should give you some idea of the negative potential of this treatment among other things too embarrassing to mention. However, he assured me of this, he promises that I am not likely to turn into a girl and should remain a boy for the next decade or more. Okay, let’s move on but I do want to keep this little bit as cheery and humorous as I can make it. I would bore you with the kind of medical chatter I heard this morning.
This is it folks. This is where I am headed unless I am interrupted by some sort of fatal accident or miraculous healing in the meantime. Outside of putting little children, pets, babies and pregnant girls on my lap I should mostly be back to normal by October. I am happy to report that my impending demise has been greatly exaggerated.