When I wrote that banner above, I was just days into this adventure. I'm a pretty analytical guy, and the simple act of writing every day helped me wrap my head around the fact that I had just introduced the word "cancer" into my vocabulary, and it helped me rationalize my treatment options. It also helped keep friends and family informed on my status.

Those daily updates tapered off to weekly updates and eventually to monthly updates (which I continue to do on the 11th of every month, the anniversary date of being told I have cancer).

I've kept this blog going because I remember how helpful it was for me to hear first-hand experiences of other prostate cancer patients. I wanted to return the favor by sharing my own journey in order to educate others and increase prostate cancer awareness.

But I wanted it to be a truthful sharing of details, so you will quickly see that I didn't sugar-coat much of anything. That means that you'll find some pretty graphic descriptions of the male anatomy and biological functions in this blog.

Finally, if you're reading this as a fellow prostate cancer patient, please understand that I am not a medical professional, and you should not construe any of the content of this blog as medical advice. Each case is unique, so please solicit the advice of your own medical team.

I wish you all the best as you go through your own journey.

-- Dan

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Blog is Moving

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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Month 50 - Four Years Cancer-free & Cancer Death Rates

Okay, I'm the first to admit, that's an odd combination of topics in the title.

First, the good news: My PSA remains undetectable four years and three days after that prostate was plucked from my body.  My birthday was this week, so still being cancer-free is a great birthday present.

I got my latest results online this afternoon, and I have an appointment with my urologist on Tuesday.  We'll see what she has to say about the frequency of monitoring.  This result was at an eight-month interval; prior to that, I was being checked every six months.  Who knows... Maybe she'll say come back in a year.  (Honestly, I'm not sure how I would feel about that.)

Aside from that, my sexual function issues and mild stress continence remain the same as before--no real changes to my "new normal."  I'm generally okay with that.

Oh.  I haven't had time to create it yet, but look for a new page on the blog, "Life After Radical Prostatectomy - 48 Months Later" coming soon.

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As you can tell from my last post, I'm focusing a bit less on the physical aspects and a little more on the emotional aspects of being four years out.  I never really threw myself into the dating pool after the surgery, because I had it in my mind that I was "damaged goods" and that no one would want to deal with that.  It's taken me quite a while to beat that thought into submission, and I'm ready to try.

Who knows what will happen.  I may get rejected 9 times out of 10 once the person learns of my issues, but it's the one person who says that it's not a problem that will likely be the best one to hang onto.

So dating is one of my New Year's resolutions, and the other is to lose some weight.  I really think that's been a contributing factor in some of my stress incontinence issues.  Since 3 December 2014, I've lost 11.5 lbs / 5,2 kg.  Not bad considering the amount of food thrown at me during the holidays.  Will power.

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On a different note, the Prostate Cancer Foundation recently published a story talking about the decline in cancer death rates over the last 20 years.
Jemal also noted that during the past two decades, deaths from colon and prostate cancer have been nearly cut in half, and breast cancer deaths have dropped by a third.
"Really, it's due to screening, as well as improved treatment," he said. "It's really remarkable."
It's interesting, but not surprising once the reasons were given, that there's a geographic component to the declining death rates.

One thing that will be interesting to see is how the death rates are affected by the recent changes in prostate cancer screening guidelines.  I hope that there's not a reversal in that trend as a result.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Month 49 - Dating After Prostatectomy?

Thanksgiving has come and gone, and Christmas isn't that far off.  The holidays are upon us.

Normally, I'd travel to see my sister and her family back in Chicago for the holidays, but this year, my new job has me working over Christmas and New Year's, so I'll be staying put.  Alone.

Sure, I'll spend time with old and new friends, but it's still not quite the same as being with family.  That brings me to this month's topic.

I was single when I was diagnosed with prostate cancer, and I'm still single now.  While I would like to be in a relationship--to create my own family--I keep getting hung up on the, "Who would want to date a guy who has difficulty getting it up and can't ejaculate" thought.  Because of that, I haven't bothered to jump into the dating pool.

Sure, sex isn't everything in a relationship, but it does count for something in most.

The other confusing thing to me is when in the dating process to tell a potential partner that all the bells and whistles in the sex department don't work as they should.  Early?  Late?  After you jump into bed?  "Surprise!"  I don't know.  (Feel free to post any thoughts in the comments section or send me an email through the Contact Me page!)

I guess perhaps the best thing to do is just throw myself into the pool and see what happens.  I may not need to say anything until I see that things are moving in the right direction but before they get too serious.
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On the physiology front, I've had a couple of days since my last post where my body apparently got pretty tired and it didn't take much to set off my stress incontinence--even just standing up from a chair.  That was a bit disconcerting, but I really think my body was just telling me I needed some more rest.

I'll be going for my next PSA test the first week of January, and should get the results by the 13 January.  (I may delay next month's post a couple of days to get them.)  This will be 8 months from my last PSA, so hopefully all is well.