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Richard, 46

Recovering from surgery

Ok, we all know that we aren’t going to live forever. But being diagnosed with prostate cancer still came as a complete shock. Suddenly I felt that I was not only standing in line. I could be up next.

I had surgery in April 2011 and everything went well. At first I had to use a catheter, which was a bit messy. When taking that out I met with an urologist. My biggest concern was how to get back to normal life as soon as possible.

In the beginning I couldn’t stop the flow because the removal of the prostate had weakened my pelvic floor muscles. I was recommended exercise and specially designed guards for men. It felt a bit odd to put on at first. But they were very discreet. Still I choose to be very open about it.

I have learned that people tend to take cues from you. If you seem relaxed and open about it they respond in a similar fashion. That said, this isn’t something I advertise. But when it comes up I try very hard to not seem ashamed. I portray it as a fact of life that I just have to deal with.

Now I have become my own personal trainer. And the hard work has paid off. I wouldn’t say it’s a fast recovery but since I’m still making progress I keep going. My goal is to manage 3-4 hours without having to go. And to get rid of the guards. There is still some work to do.

All in all, it feels good to have moved back in line for a while.