I'm grateful for every day
When I started having problems weeing, I had no idea what the issue was. When I went to see my consultant for the results of my tests, he said I had life-threatening cancer. I was completely shocked: I generally felt quite well.
I had a Gleeson 9 (4+5) and the cancer had spread into my abdomen, lymph nodes and my lungs. I was beyond radiotherapy and inoperable so was offered chemotherapy, but told it probably wouldn’t have any effect.
The cancer is still active in my body, so how I’m still here is a mystery
I then started on hormone therapy. After six months, the cancerous tumours in my body had shrunk considerably. Another six months later, I went back for more body and bone scans and they couldn’t find any tumours at all. I’m a very rare case apparently!
The cancer is still active in my body and I’m still a terminal cancer patient, so how I’m still here is a mystery.
I then changed hormone drugs to see if that would have any impact, I have an injection every six months. I’ve had intense radiotherapy too and my PSA is now 3.3.
The hormone drugs make me feel like crap, I describe it to my mates as like having flu permanently without the blocked nose. I get pain in weird places and suffer with fatigue. The hot sweats are horrible.
I’ve not been able to get an erection since starting hormone therapy and have no sexual drive
I also have no sexual function at all. I’ve not been able to get an erection since starting the therapy and I have no sexual drive. There’s nothing I can do to change it so I just have to live with it.
Before starting on the drugs I was completely unaware of the side effects. I had limited options because of how advanced my cancer was, but I felt like I was no longer a man. On top of having terminal cancer, to then be stripped of your sexual function was another barrier I had to deal with. My wife has been amazing and we make the most of other things in our life, including our three wonderful kids.
For me, the worse part of living with advanced prostate cancer is that it strips you of your future. It robs you of all the stuff you planned to do and that’s been a huge mental challenge for me.
I ache every day, I have pain every day, but, I’m grateful for every day that I’m alive and that I get to spend with my family.
I do as many awareness talks as I can now for Prostate Cancer UK to share my experience and encourage other men to go and get checked.