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Interview 01

Age at interview: 55
Age at diagnosis: 54
Brief Outline: Diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1999, prostatectomy in 1999.
Background:

More about me...

 

Explains that he discovered the high PSA after a survey blood test.

Explains that he discovered the high PSA after a survey blood test.

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I was down at my local GPs and they were doing a survey on prostate cancer. I went along, had some blood tests, and after a week or two, after the blood test I was told I had a high PSA.

Before I had my PSA test I wasn't given that much information. I just went along and they took several blood samples and I was told that I would be, I would get the information within about approximately a week which I did.

But would you have liked to have had more information about the implications of the results of the test before you had it done? Do you think you needed more information before you had the test done?

I didn't think I needed any more information on the test as I had no problems with my waterworks in the start. I was, I'd been quite a healthy person, I get backache like most people when they get to my age but I've had no trouble with my waterworks at all.

 

Discusses the impact on his wife and children.

Discusses the impact on his wife and children.

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My wife was with me, she went, my wife's been a wonder with me all the time and she's been my right arm all the way through it. Obviously she's been concerned as much as me because obviously we've been married for 36 years. We were married at 19 years of age and it is a long time to live together with a happy marriage which is very hard to find these days.

Yes we told my son and daughter what I had, but I don't really think it sunk in, I just think they just thought it was dad's got some sort of a bad stomach I think, I don't really think they understood the implications of it at the time, even though they're in their 30s now my children. I don't really think, they think you're sort of invincible because you've not had much wrong with you over the years.

 

Comments that his main concern was for his wife's well-being.

Comments that his main concern was for his wife's well-being.

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I was mostly concerned not with my own wellbeing I suppose but it was my wife I was more concerned about her, how if anything went wrong what would she do in this and that and financially as well. I'd just taken out another pension as well which I've cancelled now as I found it was not worthwhile to take out this pension in the end. So there's a lot of things go through your mind at the time, the financial one is one of them. Are you set up for, not for your wife, will I ever work again which at that time I didn't think I would be working again. But as you will find out later on, how things can change.

 

Comments that he was amazed at his recovery after 4 months.

Comments that he was amazed at his recovery after 4 months.

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And I'm doing quite a physical job all day long, and if I went back 5 months ago I thought I'd never work again but it's amazing how once you've turned that corner of about 4 or 5 months how you can recover from this operation. But, I must emphasise that in my case, I had more problems with my sciatica than I did with the operation. So it was an operation that I couldn't actually work, I think I could have done light duties if I'd have worked in an office, I could have done light duties but when it came to doing the garden I found it a little bit hard through stamina and all that. But after I started work now which was back in approximately the end of May I've, it's remarkable how I've made a recovery and I feel so fit now and I think the 6 months off has done me a world of good.

 

Describes his difficulties with the catheter.

Describes his difficulties with the catheter.

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The catheter was the most difficult thing to have because the tube - you had to strap to your leg with the bag and during the night you would connect your leg bag up to a reserve bag, which you put at the side of the bed so the fluid would run through your bag into the large bag, which you put on the floor which was twice the volume of your normal bag to take your through the night.

The main, the thing is when you went to the toilet for the very first time, the unpleasantness is that you've got a catheter fitted to you with your bag down your leg and you're sort of in the toilet and you are a bit concerned of straining, obviously you are concerned that the catheter might come out, which I did and as I, it may not sound very nice but out of my first time I went to the toilet I did, some of the urine did come out of the side of the catheter which made me very concerned, but I was told this was a normal thing to happen.

 

Concludes he had been well informed but would have liked more guidance.

Concludes he had been well informed but would have liked more guidance.

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So then he said, 'You've got 3 options. You can have, we can monitor the prostate, you can have radio therapy on the prostate or you can it have it removed,' and he said, 'the decision's yours.' And I had no help whatsoever in deciding or advice what was the best for me which obviously being a lay man I was a bit concerned and he wanted to know by the Monday what the decision I was going to make.

The surgeon gave me pamphlets on prostate but he, and we did discuss it but he did not give me advice on which course to take, he just told me that I, that I can go, it was my choice and the reason why they were doing this is because it was a survey over a 10 year period and people would take different courses and then they would know eventually after 10 years, well putting it mildly, which ones have survived. 

But I had no specific advice for myself.

 

Explains that he needed pads after surgery but things are mostly back to normal now.

Explains that he needed pads after surgery but things are mostly back to normal now.

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Obviously the muscles on the bladder were not working that well at that time but they were reasonable as I tended to drip. So I was given different male pads to take home with me. But you were only given enough pads for a short period of time, then you've got to buy the pads yourself, the male pads are very hard to get as many chemists do not stock them. And I'd advise anybody to make sure that their local chemist or pharmaceutical outlet got them in for you as our local chemist only had one pack, so it is advisable. The pads are not uncomfortable to wear but it is a little bit annoying that you feel a drip now and again. 

I haven't worn pads now for the last 4 or 5, about the last 4 months. I get a drip now and again but it's mostly if I've got my legs, if I put my legs wide apart you can't, it does make you drip slightly but basically if you just do the normal day to day things you're alright. And I'm doing quite a physical job [as a builder].

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