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Interview 08

Age at interview: 71
Age at diagnosis: 68
Brief Outline: Diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1997, TURP 1994, and received hormone treatment.
Background:

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Considers that people do not treat him differently after his openness about the cancer.

Considers that people do not treat him differently after his openness about the cancer.

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But I make no secret to anybody that I've got prostate cancer which makes it much easier for everyone because if you don't they always know, I mean the grapevine gets around that you've got it and then you find that they're being extra cautious in talking to you. No I make no secret of the fact that I have got prostate cancer, I wish I hadn't but I have so there we are. People don't treat me any differently, I just say to them in the various societies 'Well I'm not going to be lumping these tables and things about'. I don't mind taking one in but I'm not going to lift them on my own any more because that does certainly bring about this strain and it takes me a few days then of taking Anadins or something to get rid of it. But it's not serious, no it's not serious.

 

Explains how he tries to enjoy life as much as possible.

Explains how he tries to enjoy life as much as possible.

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And often I think, well, ignorance is bliss - if you don't know, you're not worried. And I must confess I can't say that I am seriously worried now, it is something that comes on you in waves, you do have periods of depression when you think oh golly I've got this, am I going to sort of do this next year or not, and then you have to just put it in perspective and say well you are or you aren't, it's not in your hands, you don't have any choice you can only live your life as it is. And certainly the specialist did say to me right at the beginning 'Whatever you do don't stop doing anything.' So I didn't and I still play bowls 2 or 3 times a week which I thoroughly enjoy, I do my gardening, we go out, I enjoy life and I hope I'll keep on enjoying life a lot longer.

 

Comments how the catheter was removed before leaving hospital.

Comments how the catheter was removed before leaving hospital.

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Did you come out of hospital with the catheter?

No, no, no that was all taken away, like all these things if you don't know you're pretty alarmed and when they said they were going to take it out I thought my God this is going to hurt [laughs] but it didn't because it's a deflatable thing and it goes in and comes out, no problem, but you know there's the apprehension of not knowing what's happening. But the operation was very simple I think.

 

Describes the problems with hot flushes after hormone treatment.

Describes the problems with hot flushes after hormone treatment.

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And you say you get these hot sweats during the day or at night?

Oh they're a real pain the hot sweats, I think I probably aggravate them because I do like hot tea, I like hot drinks and usually they come on soon after I've had a hot drink. But the annoying part is when they come on during the night because whereas I would normally have slept, I'm a great sleeper, I sleep very well, always have, obviously they wake you up and if they wake you up you go into the bathroom, but they are sticky and clammy and they last for about 5 minutes. Now a friend of mine who also has had this treatment he has been taking something called Red Berries which is a sort of herbal treatment and he says it certainly reduces, cancels out these hot flushes. I mentioned it to the specialist and he said well he couldn't see any reason I shouldn't take them if I wanted to. His view was he could give me tablets to reduce the hot flushes but they might have side-effects of upsetting the tummy so I rejected those. But the Red Berries may work but as my blood count has gone up this last year I thought well I'm not going to interfere with anything, I'll just leave it as it is. But no the hot flushes, I suppose I might get half a dozen during the day and a couple at night. Not, they're not serious they're just rather uncomfortable that's all. So they make you very, very wet and sticky for about 5 minutes and then they go off and no problem.

 

Explains that impotence has not altered the relationship with his wife.

Explains that impotence has not altered the relationship with his wife.

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Do you mind me asking do the hormones affect sort of sex drive at all?

Well I don't have any [laughs].

Was it the same before and after or different?

After the operation of course, no you don't lose your sexual instincts then, but since I've been taking, having this implant he did say to me 'You'll become impotent, impotent I should say,' and low and behold I have. But at 70 I'm not that worried, it hasn't altered any relationship between myself and my wife. I mean by the time we were reaching 70 it wasn't exactly the end of the world and it's just something, it just doesn't happen any more that's all. I mean you don't think about it, I mean I'm, I think our relationship is fine, we're just as affectionate as we always were but no there isn't any sexual activity.

 

Speaks positively about his experiences with TURP.

Speaks positively about his experiences with TURP.

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Well they arranged the appointment pretty quickly because it was a private medical health so it was all done in a few weeks. Then I went into the hospital and it was a fairly straight forward operation, no complications, a bit messy because you've got these tubes, it's an irrigation system of water flowing round you and they keep that going until it takes on a special colour you know a very light red colour and then they disconnect it and you heal up.

So that's what they call a Trans Urethral Resection is it, they just take a little bit of prostate away to make it easier for you to pass urine?

Well chip away, they do it, they do it sort of, it's keyhole surgery. And I, it took me quite a few months to recover full health actually, I was a bit feeble you know. When I came out of hospital after about 10 days.

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