"I remember my doctor saying “There’s a
good chance you’ll be cured, but we don’t know for sure. Hopefully
you’ll die of something else,” which I thought was quite funny! "
When I was diagnosed four years ago, they made sure there
was a nurse there – I think they thought I was going to throw a
wobbly! I was a little taken aback, but I was relieved they’d found
the reason for my trouble peeing.
I had radiotherapy and three years of hormone therapy, which
finished a year ago, and now I have PSA tests twice a year.
With the radiotherapy, I found I got very tired and was
struggling to do things normally. And I think my loss of muscle
strength is because of the hormone therapy. But my treatment was
very efficient and the side effects have more or less passed
I remember my doctor saying “There’s a good chance you’ll be
cured, but we don’t know for sure. Hopefully you’ll die of
something else,” which I thought was quite funny! I prefer to think
the glass is half full.
I suppose I had hopes my treatment would cure me, and I would be
perfectly okay afterwards - the same as I was before, which wasn’t
really realistic. I haven’t got the energy that I used to, and I
was hoping I would have recovered my strength by now. I’ve noticed
some sexual things have changed too.
I’ve gone through it all feeling whatever will be, will be and
I’m very lucky – as far as it goes, things are pretty good. I’m
still alive, and I’ve learned to live with my side effects, and now
and I’m fortunate enough to feel I can put the whole experience
I’m 80, but I still do a lot – bee-keeping, gardening, flying
model aircraft – I have trouble fitting it all in!
To anyone facing prostate cancer I’d say try not to worry, but
take things as they come. Things can go well.
"My attitude has been - I’m not putting up
About a year after my treatment
finished, I saw a consultant after a routine PSA test and he said
“We’ll sign you off real soon now Martin.”
I got in my car and I burst into tears. I felt abandoned. I
thought I’d be overjoyed, but I felt awful. It was like “Okay you
can go now, you’re on your own again.”
I thought, “Right, my cancer might be sorted – whatever that
means – but what about the sexual side effects and the
psychological stuff? Who’s going to help me cope with all those
things?” And that’s what was the most upsetting; nobody had said to
me, “How do you feel about that Martin?”
I was diagnosed six years ago and I’ve had surgery, five weeks
of radiotherapy and two and a half years of hormone therapy. And it
was the hormone therapy that had a major effect on me.
People would say, “Are you in remission? You must be pleased.”
And it was like they were actually telling me how I should feel.
I’d say, “Would you like the one minute answer or the 10 minute
answer?” and they’d say, “the 10 minute answer” but I could tell
really they wanted the one minute answer, so I’d tell them I’m
But I’d tell the people who really knew me the 10 minute answer.
And I’d feel better because I’d told them the truth.
My attitude has been, “I’m not putting up with this.” I chair a
support group, and I’ve put myself in personal growth workshops. We
all share what’s going on for us – not only health professionals,
but other guys with prostate cancer and their partners who are
Having prostate cancer – it’s meant going on a journey of
self-discovery and I’ve realised my loss of libido has allowed me
to be a much better person in some ways. It’s allowed me to be more
in touch with my sensuality not just my sexuality. It’s allowed me
to get in touch with a part of me which I never even knew
I’ve had to go through a real good, traumatic, energising,
positive, scary and joyful journey.
To anyone facing prostate cancer I would say – get to understand
who you are as a human being and as a man and start exploring
things you’ve never explored and cancer gives you an opportunity.
Be prepared to go to places you don’t want to go or have never been
What’s next for you?
If you’ve finished treatment and are wondering what’s next or
where you can get support, read our new booklet, Follow up after
prostate cancer treatment: What's next? or call our Specialist
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