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Andrew Tapson lives in England. He was 57 when he was diagnosed in May, 2017. His initial PSA was 6.00 ng/ml, his Gleason Score was 6, and he was staged Unknown. His choice of treatment was Surgery (Robotic Laparoscopic Prostatectomy). Here is his story.

Was diagnosed 8 weeks ago and am now under 48 hours away from my surgery with Declan Cahill at the Royal Marsden in London on Friday morning.

Following diagnosis I met with Mr Cahill and the decision to go down the surgical route was due to the apparent inconsistencies between the results from the MRI and the biopsy (2/10). Mr Cahill was sufficiently concerned by the MRI to strongly recommend the surgery - this had been my preferred option prior to meeting Mr Cahill so all in all it felt like and continues to feel the correct decision.

Have continued to feel well throughout the last 8 weeks which seems slightly at odds with the fact that I have cancer.

Am approaching Friday with a very positive mindset - will post again after surgery.

UPDATED

July 2017

Well here we are two and a half weeks on from the procedure - what has occurred?

The operation itself took just over 4 hours which was a bit longer than I was expecting but according to Mr Cahill from a surgical point of view it was a success - i.e., the prostate was successfully removed.

Was then in recovery room for three hours only real issue was that my oxygen saturation level was too low so had to be on an oxygen feed until early morning on the following day.

I had six incision wounds held together with staples and was significantly bloated and generally uncomfortable but pain levels were distinctly lower than I was expecting.

After a night that can only be described as uncomfortable and disturbed I saw Mr Cahill on the Saturday morning who confirmed that everything was good and I would be discharged later that day.

Spent the next 10 days recuperating - managed a few short walks from day 4 and could almost feel my strength improve on a daily basis. Was off pain killers by day 4 as well. Removed wound dressings on day 3 and didn't need to put them back on as wounds were healing really well

Catheter was only really a pain when going for walks as it was vital to get everything in the right place to ensure relative degrees of comfort.

Was very happy on day 10 to have both the catheter and the staples removed - neither removal hurt at all !! Just then had to pee normally for the first time in 10 days and then was free to go.

Since then have been getting used to post catheter world which has been better than I was hoping - leakage is pretty minimal so hopefully can be out of pads in a few days.

UPDATED

September 2017

So here we are 9 weeks post surgery and had my follow-up with Mr Cahill and the team at the Marsden in Chelsea last Tuesday.

Plenty of news

Firstly the pathology of the prostate showed that rather than being a 3+3 it was actually a 3+4 with more than 15% of the cancerous areas being a 4. This was sort of suspected from the MRI but it was only only removing the prostate that this esult coukld be certain - I for one am mighty glad that Mr Cahill said that surgery was the right option all those weeks ago.

Pleased to say that incontinence has not really been a major problem - by the time of the follow-up was only wearing a small pad for emergency situations (stress leaks as the nurse called them).

And since the follow up haven't been wearing a pad at all and everything seems fine - major relief!!

Post surgery was getting up 3 times per night to pee but now I am going through to 6.00 in the morning - just need another hour.

On the incontinence front was encouraged to up the ante on the pelvic floor exercises as this is a critical time - so now up to 3-4 times a day and not just when sitting or lying down.

Have started the work on the erectile dysfunction which has started with the Cialis drug - will report back next time with an update on this subject.

The other bit of good news is that was given the all clear to start going to the gym, bike riding playing golf etc - just need to remember to take things slowly.

Andrew's e-mail address is: andrew.tapson AT ntlworld.com (replace "AT" with "@")


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