The treatment that is, for now.
The brachytherapy went well, it was not as bad as I thought it was going to be, and I didn’t have a general anaesthetic! I arrived at St Luke’s on Wednesday a bit early as they had phoned to say the surgeons list was going well and could I be there before my alloted time? No problem so we arrived and we’re checked in and got into hospital gown and anti DVT socks (they are a bugger to get on). Then the aneathetist of all people turns porter and wheels me round to the pre op room. There he drops the bombshell having looked at my notes (I indicated I don’t like general anaesthetic). He gives me via a canula an injection which he said would make me feel like I’ve ‘drunk half a bottle of wine’, then gives me the what I called an epidural in my back. Then I met the surgeon who’s only the boss, Prof Stephen Langley, excellent! They wheeled me laid me on my back, legs up into stirrups (like giving birth) and then they got in with it. The aneathetist asked me from time to time how I was feeling and I asked him after a while how long I’d been here and he says an hour. Felt like 10 minutes to me. The only problem I had was pins and needles in my right hand where the blood pressure cuff was on my arm. Went away after a while. They wheeled me back to recovery and it felt like I didn’t have a bum and legs; they were completely numb. But the aneathetist said it would take about 5 hours to wear off and it did. I got something to eat and then they moved me to a surgery ward in another part of the hospital which seemed to be miles away. Another one of my fellow prostate patients was bought in and we settled down for a while. I’d had a catheter inserted during the operation, it takes urine away from you via a tube inserted into the penis. You don’t have to try and pee, it just dribbles out of its own accord. My catheter bag was filling quite well with no strain on my part. At midnight a nurse came to take the catheter out and that was painful. We had to pee into a jug from then on and this would be checked to see if we had done enough to be discharged. I did and I was. Then got picked up by Fran and taken home.
The first few days I was a bit sore but salt baths sorted that out. You find your bowels take a bit of time to sort themselves our, and of course I felt quite tired for a few days. But here I am a week after the op, and feel quite good really. It can take 2-3 weeks to get back to normal, and then I’ll get a telephone consultation in April, preceded by me getting a PSA test done. Then PSA tests at 3, 6, and 12 month intervals. If I’m all clear, great; if not a rethink, but the hospital’s record is 93% succesful. Let’s hope I’m in that percentile.