To the editor:
I turned 60 in March and have had two cancers in the past four years, prostate and melanoma.
My wife and I decided to have interstitial seeds implanted for the prostate. While the cancer has been in remission, it had a very bad side effect - radiation prostitius obliterated my urethra, which means, in layman's terms, that I could not urinate.
After six months of total agony, I ended up with a suprapublic catheter. While this aided me to finally get some sleep, it came with a price. Infections were common, and I was terrified of just about anything that might get into or around my (as I named it), my second belly button. Shortly after getting this problem somewhat solved, I was diagnosed with melanoma. What a kick in the pants. So far so good on the second cancer - just quarterly checkups so far.
For those men who have had problems post-surgery from prostate cancer, there is a procedure done at the Cleveland Clinic that might be helpful. I was blessed and had found a doctor there who fixed my problem. Not a fun operation, but none ever are. It's kind of technical to write about, but there could be help for some of you. We have a local support group, Man to Man, that meets every other month at the Teramana Cancer Center. Even if you haven't had surgery but have been diagnosed positive, please get second and third opinions for your own sake. It may save you from pain and suffering.
Don't do what I did -please do your research and find as much information as possible as you can prior to any surgery.