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Johan Meyer and Loraine live in South Africa. He was 57 when he was diagnosed in June, 2005. His initial PSA was 7.80 ng/ml, his Gleason Score was 6, and he was staged T2a. His choice of treatment was Surgery (Retropubic Prostatectomy). Here is his story.

I recently joined a local Gym and had to have a medical. I have been going to my doctor regularly since I was 53 and my PSA levels were always under 4.0 ng/ml. Unfortunately I missed one year and when I went for my check-up in April my PSA was given as 8.3 ng/ml.

I had some infection in my prostate so my doctor decided to give me a course of antibiotics first which reduced my PSA level to 6.3 ng/ml. He decide to send me to a urologist in June who then did a DRE and found a small nodule. He suggested that I have a biopsy. The uro took 12 samples and one of the samples came back cancerous. The staging was given as T2a, with a grading of 6 and a PSA level of 7.8.

I discussed the next step in detail with my uro who has done in excess of 200 prostectomies as well as my son who is an anaethesist at Groote Schuur hospital. Because the tumor is in its early stages they both believed that the best option would be to remove it as soon as possible. This would then at least give me the opportunity to establish the exact nature of the tumor as well as give me the opportunity be treated by other means of therapy should the cancer recur.I have today received my latest report which gives the PSA as 7.3 ng/ml with a free PSA ratio of 16%. I will be going in for my operation on the 24 August and will keep you posted.

As a very positive individual I have not had too many of the negative feelings that seems to befall most men diagnosed with prostate cancer. There was the initial shock, some depression and fear but no anger. I am a Born again Christian who has attended the Baptist church in Pinelands for the past 30 years and believe that my strong faith in Christ and my very suportive wife, son and daughter will see me through. Watch this space for my post operative story.

UPDATED

September 2005

Well I had my radical prostatectomy on the 24th August 2005. The operation lasted just under two hours and everything went off just fine. By the way the name of my urologist is Dr. Peter Nicolle and the operation was done at the Kingsbury Hospital in Claremont Cape Town. Spent two days in Highcare after which I went into a private ward. Can recommend it as it gives you time to spend with just your family after the operation when you need peace and quiet the most. Had only one negative in that I was given a shot of pethadine which turned out to give me hallucinations and very bad nausea.

They discharged me from the hospital on the 29th after 6 days with a catheter strapped to my leg. The first two days at home I have mainly slept but by Thursday I was mobile. Went to have my stitches out on Friday 2nd Sept and my uro is very pleased with my progress. Had a bit of depression on Wednesday finding myself in a "place" that I have never been, a cancer survivor.

The only bit of discomfort is the catheter but if that is all then I am a very happy man. Went to the movies last night first time out and found the two hour sit a bit uncomfortable but enjoyed the show.

Will be having my catheter removed on the 13th Sept and will then find out how continent I am. The doctor reckons 80% for starters. Here is my updated histology report just received.

'Prostate weighing 80gm (large) Cancer confined to one half of one lobe. Nodule making up 10% of the prostate. Gleason score confirmed at 3+3=6. Margins clear no invasive carcinoma in seminal vesicle or lymph nodes.'

So the initial staging of PSA 7.3 GS 3+3=6 stage T2a has been confirmed with the cancer organ confined.

Looking forward to a long cancer free life. Thank you Lord!!!

UPDATED

March 2006

Well here is the latest news.

Went back to work on the 1st October. Very tired but happy to be back even though I am just working for a few hours a day. Find that I am going through about three pads a day. Sleeping well and do not need a pad when I am lying down. Also pretty O.K in the morning but as the day wears on gravity starts taking over and then the leaking begins.

On the 23 November I went for my second check-up after the operation. My PSA was 0.01 ng/ml. All clear said my doctor. My wound had healed but still had some stabbing pains in my groin and a little infection in my penis. This was from not having completely regained continence. I was still wearing a pad when I went out in the evening. Doctor said that it depends on how strong your bladder was before the operation how quickly you regain continence. Never had a strong bladder even as a child. Played my first round of golf the previous week but found that every time I hit the golf ball I leaked. The result was that by the end of 18 Holes my pants were fairly damp. But who cares definitely great to be back on the golf course. Tried to go back to gym but found that running on the treadmill just increased the leaking. Erectile dysfunction still present. Doctor said to be patient.

By Christmas I was no longer wearing any pads. Found that underpants (jocks) was sufficient to catch any minor dribbles.Also back at work working a full day.

My next doctors visit was on the 24th February 2006. Fantastic my PSA 0.00. All pain and infection now gone. Still the odd little drip but probably 95% continent. Have now played a few more rounds of golf and very little leakage. Erectile dysfunction still present but when I am aroused I can get my penis up half-mast. Not bad. Not yet firm enough to have intercourse but can reach orgasm. Got to get used to there being no ejaculation but sensation is good.

Had a dream the other night in which I was aroused and when I woke up my penis was fully erect. Have not been able to have a full erection again but signs are good. Have had one or two moments of depression and a bit of memory loss, maybe just age, but everything seems to be OK. Will go back to gym next week and up-date you again after my next check-up on the 24th May when it will be 9 months since my operation.

UPDATED

August 2006

Well, I have just had my first anniversary of removal of my prostate on the 24 August. My PSA levels are undetectable.

My erectile function is just about back to normal and can have almost normal intercourse without ejaculation of course. As my uro said it takes about a year to get things back to normal and he was right. Need to go to the toilet more often, but only once in the middle of the night. This is a small sacrifice to make. Have had a very bad cold which has recurred three times and lasted more than two months. Have not been able to get fully back to the gym because of this but hope to do so very soon. So what can I say other than took the right decision to have the prostate removed and trust that my cancer has now been cured!! Will keep you updated when I report again in 6 months time after my next check up. By the way still suffer from a bit of depression from time to time but nothing too serious that I cannot handle with the help of the Lord.

UPDATED

October 2008

Suffice to say at this moment that I am alive and well with PSA of 0.00 and no signs of the cancer.

UPDATED

April 2009

Well it has been nearly 4 years now. Still with a PSA of zero. Everything seems to be OK. Will be going for my next check-up soon.

To all of you out there you have to be patient believe and have faith.

UPDATED

June 2010

Well it has now been 5 years since my diagnosis. I had my operation on the 24th August 2005. Still clear and needing no further treatment.

Very little signs of ED other than the erection does not last as long as it use to. I also suffer very little incontinence other than if I have too much red wine to drink.

May have to go for a small hiatus hernia operation as it plays up a bit. Looking to scale down at my business so that I can spend more time with my wife, grand children and on the golf course.

You only realise once you have had a life changing experience like PC that money cannot buy you time and that everyday healthy day is a gift. Praise the Lord for the gifts that he has bestowed upon me.

UPDATED

June 2011

Have just been for my PSA check-up and I am still clear 6 years later. My reading was 0.01. I am really blessed and thank the Lord for the blessing he bestows upon me.

Very busy at work having just bought my partner out. Not as much time playing golf as I would like but hoping to take a week off in the next month to take my wife and myself off for a well earned break.

My reflux (hernia) problem seems to be under control. Have changed my medication to Nexium. Had a gastroscopy last month and no damage so no need for an operation at this point.

>A friend of my Andre L is having a radical prostatectomy to-morrow so please pray for him for a speedy recovery.

UPDATED

July 2012

Next month August it will be 7 years since I had a radical prostatectomy. I will be going for my annual check-up. I am living a normal life and to date have not had to have any further treatment. Working hard and playing golf regularly.

UPDATED

August 2012

Have just been for my annual check up and my PSA levels ar undetectable. On the 24 August it will be 7 years that I have been cancer free. Definitely the right choice of treatment that we took. It was an early detection of the cancer. It is hard to make that decision when you know that there are going to be possible side effects such as ED but looking back it turned out fine. Although I do have some ED, probable 90% functional, it is nothing compared to the knowledge that I no longer have PC.

UPDATED

September 2013

Am due for my annual checkup but so far no recurrence of the prostate cancer.

UPDATED

July 2014

Stiil free from any signs of PC after 9 years. Will be going for my annual medical checkup on the 24th August

UPDATED

September 2015

It was 10 years ago on the 24 August that I had a prostatectomy. To date there has been no recurrence of the cancer so I am very blessed.

UPDATED

October 2016

Well another year has passed and I recently went for my PSA update and it remains at zero. So very blessed that 11 years on and I am still clear. I recently when for a complete check-up with my GP. My sugar levels were slightly up as well as my cholesterol. I decided to go on a strict diet, cutting out all refined sugars and starches especially bread. I have reduce my weight from 87,7kg to 81kg and am feeling really good. My cholesterol and blood sugar has dropped an is now in the normal range.

I am frequently asked if I had to choose again would I have had a total Prostatectomy and the answer is a resounding yes. it took me about 2 to 3 years to get most of my functions back and yes you do have some side effects with ED and leakage but both of those are minimal and does not effect my sex life that much. That fact that I am still healthy after 11 years (I will be seventy next year and am still a very active individual) makes up for any minor side effects that I have had to live with. If you catch the cancer early then have the prostate removed!

Johan's e-mail address is: propertyschool@telkomsa.net


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