Prostate Cancer-six weeks after the ‘op’

I’m feeling bouncy and chipper….maybe not as bouncy as these chaps photographed by me a few days ago…but bouncy enough at the mo !

Southend on Sea, Essex, England UK. 8 January 2017Six weeks and counting……

Six weeks after my Brachytherapy ‘procedure’, a quaint euphemism for having a dozen or more needles inserted through one’s perineum to allow 66 radioactive seeds to be injected into the prostate gland to encircle and trap and kill the cancer cells,  I can report that…..all is well !!

Yesterday I went back to Addenbrooke’s Hospital just south of Cambridge. I had various appointments: a scan, weight check, bloods and a consultation all stretched out over a two hour period…can you believe that I was in and out of the Oncology department in under 50 minutes and 30 of those minutes was for my consultation with Andrew Styling the Radiologist.

Andrew has a wonderful bedside manner, he listens, he really listens to you and you feel as if you are his ONLY patient, he responds to your questions, and yes I had a few, rather than speaking from the NICE (National institute for clinical excellence) guideline book,he will let you go off into flights of fancy before gently bringing you back to reality all in all he’s the guy you need to keep you calm.

Andrew confirmed that my tiredness and general feeling of loss of omph was quite normal and under the circumstances after having a major procedure such as I had had my symptoms were quite normal and to be expected. That was quite a relief to me. I was told that I really didn’t need to be seen after the six week period, rather 4 months, but the 6 week time frame was what NICE insisted on after an operation.

We talked peeing, and passing motions and erections and I ticked all the boxes, my plumbing was working as was to be expected, not perfect but quite serviceable.

Blood was taken for a new start point for my PSA numbers, any numbers from before my procedure were now irrelevant…the new numbers were now my new datum point. I was told that the PSA numbers could be up, down or no change, which doesn’t seem very scientific, but that’s how its done. This afternoon, less than 24 hours after my Addenbrooke’s appointment Andrew telephoned me at home to tell me that my numbers were ‘excellent’, they couldn’t be better…I have a PSA of 2.65 (for a man of my youth it would be normal to be from 0-4), so right on the button…before the procedure my PSA had risen from the mid 5’s to over 7, that’s when my GP became concerned…and the rest, is now history I’m very pleased to report.

Tomorrow I start at my local gym, some lightweight cardio exercises to get my muscles back into shape with the carrot of getting some skiing in this season if at all possible.

Guys, none of the above would have applied if I had ignored my numbers, what my body was telling me and having a GP surgery in Thaxted that has a positive and holistic approach to the patient. If I had ignored my warning signs, constant peeing, if I had ignored the PSA numbers, if I had buried my head under the duvet then I may be writing a far more serious blog here…..PROSTATE CANCER is one of the cancers that can be cured…..IF YOU GET YOURSELF SEEN TO BEFORE ITS TOO LATE.

Let me add as a caveat here that PSA numbers are NOT the be all and end all, in fact some GP’s don’t believe in PSA numbers at all. Some PSA numbers can, according to research, be misleading… is a link, there are 100’s on Google ( natch )…but from my personal point of view I’m glad to be through this rough patch and it wouldn’t have happened if my numbers had not been monitored and interpreted by a team that cared.

I managed a 2.5 mile walk a couple of days ago along the front at Southend on Sea with nurse Nikki who has been brilliant with coping with my slightly maudlin attitude of recent weeks. I didn’t feel as tired as I have done, in fact I felt quite invigorated and I made a few half decent snaps which I post here to jolly up this blog.Southend Pier, Southend on Sea, Essex, England UK. 8 January 201


About brianharrisphotographer

I have been an editorial photographer since 1969. After working for various 'Fleet Street' press agencies and local papers in the east end of London I joined The Times of London where I worked around the world until 1985. I joined The Independent Newspaper in London in 1986 and stayed with them until 1999. I'm still working as a photographer, generating my own story ideas which I sell to the international magazine market. I also contribute generic stock images to various photo libraries. I live near Cambridge in eastern England.
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