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Interview 18

Age at interview: 80
Age at diagnosis: 77
Brief Outline: Diagnosed with prostate cancer 1997. TURP in 1997 and hormone treatment following diagnosis.
Background:

More about me...

 

Describes his extremely painful water retention.

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Describes his extremely painful water retention.

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Right can I start please by asking you how you first discovered you had a problem with the prostate.

I had water retention which is agonising and as a result of that I went to the hospital and they then had me in, this would be about 3 years ago and...

Did you go to your GP first?

Yes I would have done yes

And did the GP do anything or say anything?

No, well what happened was this water retention was at night and my wife who's been wonderful throughout, I just cannot over-emphasise what help she's given me, got my son to run me up because that's what the local doctor on call had said, take me to the hospital.

But when you say water retention, you couldn't pass urine?

I couldn't.

You couldn't go to 

And it's agonising, it's the most ghastly feeling, I thought I'd die, I'd like to have done.
 

 

Discusses the effect on his sex life after having treatment.

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Discusses the effect on his sex life after having treatment.

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And the side effects of the injections, can you tell me a bit about that now?

Well this again it's not easy for me to talk about but I mean of course I am totally impotent and I'm even worse than that in that I am disgusted by anything sort of sexual.

Right.

If I see, and you can't avoid it on television, not explicit sex but very nearly, I'm disgusted. I think that you know this country is absolutely going down hill desperately fast. To me I have enjoyed what I hope my wife would confirm an exceedingly good sexual life no hang ups, no nothing like that. But now I think being impotent is a, you don't know it but I think it's psychologically affects you. I mean it's really got now that I am disgusted by anything at all of that nature.

How does that make you feel, would you prefer that things were different?

Yes, yes I mean I feel that I've lost all masculinity, I'm not a man any more. I mean I'm just not. I mean if I were walking along with my wife, very slowly these days, and somebody accosted her I would sort of run away. I have no masculinity left.

How does that make you feel?

Awful, I think that really, that is the worst side effect by far.

I think it's important that other men know how you feel about that.

Yes I think that is the most important thing, side effect of these injections which are always delivered well, competently, local hospital you know.

How does that make you wife feel, does it affect your relationship?

Well I wouldn't know. It's very funny women don't talk about things like that you know, I'd never ask her for fear of her, she's taken it magnificently but that worries me of course it does. I mean again I'm talking very freely, my wife's sister is in America and she and her husband came over and he said 'Oh you ought to have,' oh God what's 'Viagra, see your doctor, see your doctor.' Well I wouldn't have the nerve, I wouldn't dream of it. But that made me feel worse you know. You see she's younger than me, 9 years younger and it may be important to her, I don't know and I'd rather not ask. I mean we have enjoyed a very, very intimate life you know but (coughs) stop smoking.

Yes I can see that it must be very distressing.

No that worries me very much that you see I no longer fulfil my function as a husband you know. 

I'm sure you satisfy her in lots of other ways though.

I, well she said, 'Somebody is coming, you must hoover the hall,' I've done that while she was out.
 

 

Considers that hormone injections have caused him to feel lethargic.

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Have the hormone injections had other side effects?

I don't know, I think so in that I, now I can't think of the word, you'd know the word, I'm ever so lazy, I don't want to do anything, if it weren't for my wife I wouldn't even get up in the morning, I'm too bone idle

Do you think that might be the side effects of the injections?

Yes I do, I do, because I used to be someone, I carried on teaching and this is a boast, not full time but when I was 72, and enjoying it. Now I can't remember Ohm's Law, I could no more teach than fly. But this terrible, I mean when you've gone I must get on and finish digging over that little bit outside, I'm dreading it.

The digging?

Just forking it over, planting a few wall flowers over, doing anything is a chore, I don't enjoy it, I used to love it. I mean I used to get up early in the morning, work solidly until I dropped into bed, I have led a very active life, very active, even with my new hip and so on. I could, I felt I'd never stop work.

And this is all you think as a result of the injections?

I think so but I don't know. I said to my GP 'What is my trouble, old age, psychological or the cancer?' and he said 'Yes'. 
 

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