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Interview 10

Age at interview: 69
Age at diagnosis: 67
Brief Outline: Diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1998, TURP 1980, external beam radiation 1998.
Background:

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Describes the extremely adverse results he had after the biopsy.

Describes the extremely adverse results he had after the biopsy.

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And a biopsy was done in '94 from which I got septicaemia and almost died.

Oh dear, tell me about that a bit more please, the biopsy, is that very painful or just uncomfortable?

It was ghastly, I suppose I have a very small anal area and that I find, I found the sampling procedure somewhat traumatic, it was very painful and very unpleasant.

Yes, I'm sorry. So did the pain last afterwards or just during the procedure?

Well it was during the procedure, I didn't feel anything afterwards. But the strange is that I wasn't given any tablets or anything like that, I wasn't given any medication afterwards and of course I thought I had flu and it got very bad indeed. And I was rushed to the hospital and given, I was in hospital for 4 days with an infection.

So you picked up infection having the biopsy?

That's right there was a cross infection yes.

Oh dear.

And had it lasted another, I was told if it had lasted another 8 hours we wouldn't be having this interview now.

A disaster.

Yes.

I'm so sorry. Right so your experience of the biopsy was awful.

Well it was, it was not a, it wasn't pleasant in so much I don't think the, I didn't think that the, I suppose it was because I'm a person that suffers anxiety and I get tensed up and I suppose not being in a relaxed situation and having that style of I suppose treatment done was not, well I didn't find it appropriate.

Was that a National Health Service?

No that was privately.

I'd then come off the private health and gone back into the NHS and I was then treated to another sampling technique which I found very unpleasant because the guy insisted on taking 4 samples.

Another biopsy?

Yes another biopsy.

Was that equally painful?

Worse this time really and he wanted to take a fifth and I said there was no way that he was taking a fifth. Yeah I thought it was quite unnecessary. But anyway that was, I had the antibiotics then, so no infection back from it. The results of those, this was in 19, early I suppose 1997, late 1997 early 1998.

 

Explains that he continued to work quite normally after radiotherapy.

Explains that he continued to work quite normally after radiotherapy.

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Anything else, any other side effects, did you feel tired after radiotherapy?

No I don't think so, I think tiredness comes with it if you're stressed up, I think that, it's just relief. No I didn't feel anything like that, I continued to work quite, quite normally.
 
 

Describes how radiotherapy severely affected his bowels.

Describes how radiotherapy severely affected his bowels.

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Well the, I had the radiotherapy from February to March, that was not unpleasant but the consequences of it were unpleasant, I think the regularity of my bowels opening 8 hours after I'd eaten you know were like clockwork. You know you could, exactly 8 hours after I'd finished a meal I was going to the toilet and I could expect to be, I had to be near the toilet to do that. So the trick was as I drove, went for the treatment by myself, nobody else went with me, I would try and delay the times I would eat so that it would fit in so I wasn't caught unawares.

So does the radiotherapy affect your bowels?

Oh yes, oh yes.

Could you explain more about that?

Well very severe diarrhoea, very severe and it would be, again that was explained to me I was going to get a problem here and that my rectum would probably be injured as a consequence of the radiotherapy. That was all explained to me before, you don't know what it means until you get it and then you realise what they mean. But we were all prepared for it so that was, we coped with that and the consequence of that lasted about 3 weeks after the treatment and then it's gradually got better since.

Are there any other side effects as a result of the radiotherapy?

Not really, not really no. It was just, just that and it has injured my rectum and currently I'm doing this course, a week ago last Friday I was told that the tumour was gone and that I explained the symptoms to the specialist, he said 'Well the best thing it will get better with time.' Now once I'd heard that I said 'Right we'll take a course of hyperbaric oxygen to see if that repairs it quicker, makes it you know affects a quicker repair.

What's hyperbaric oxygen?

It's breathing pure oxygen under pressure for about an hour, that enriches the blood and it's used widely for mending limbs or repairing injuries or sporting injuries in particular, ulcers, it cures gangrene so if anything that I can do to improve my well being I'll do it.

When you said it's damaged, is it just sore or raw?

Well the frequency bowel opening, as soon as there's some faeces gets into the rectum it has to... it has to come, go to the loo basically. That's right. 

So the muscles lack tone?

That's right yes, get that back so that at least I'm just opening my bowels once a day instead of 2 and 3 times.

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