30% Club

Life – Terror. Ecstasy. Fight. Denial. Flight. Failure. Forgiveness. Reconciliation. Hope. Love. Peace – Death.

Five years ago to the day (yesterday) 17th March 2016 ‘Paddy’s Day’ my prostate surgery anniversary via a Da Vinci Robotic-assisted Laparoscopic Radical Prostatectomy.

A radical prostatectomy is a surgical procedure for the complete removal of the prostate and close proximity surrounding tissues/nerves. It may be performed to treat prostate cancer or benign prostatic hyperplasia. A now common robotic assisted surgical approach to prostatectomy includes making a series of ‘keyhole’ surgical incision, including one thru the belly-button and removing the prostate gland and surrounding ‘giblets’ and, in my case, 19 lymph nodes.

Instead of the surgeon holding the tube with the camera (laparoscope) and the surgical equipment, they are attached to robotic arms. The surgeon controls the robotic arms, which can move very precisely. This means the surgeon is less likely to damage nerves that control erections and passing urine (urinary continence).

Surgeons need special training before they can do this type of surgery. This means it is only available in some UK hospitals.

Da Vinci Robotic Surgery Program: Robot-Assisted Laparoscopic Surgery l Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi – YouTube

Around 3 months post surgery forensic biopsy revealed cancer (spread) in one of 19 of the removed lymph nodes. I was officially re-diagnosed as Advanced Metastatic Prostate Cancer, no cure. Currently in the UK, distant metastasis prostate cancer has a 5-year survival rate of around 30% (Pre-Covid it was higher, 50%).

Prior to the Pandemic less than 10% of advanced prostate cancer patients were likely to survive 10 years or longer. The impact of COVID, severe delays with cancer diagnosis and treatment has meant this is now less than 2%.

17:03:2021 5 years

As things stand I am 20% ahead of the curve.

Next target ten years….the very exclusive 2% club

Thanks for reading.


Published by Riff

Husband to my inspirational, (long suffering,) wife Gail, father to two, amazing (adult) children, Aubrey & Perri, teacher, former guitarist. When I started this blog I quickly became granda(r) to my beautiful, first grandson Henderson. Grandparenting, something I was relishing but had began to believe I would not get to experience. I now have three incredible grandsons, Henderson, Fennec and just days ago Nate. I Love people. I love my family, my incredible friends, I have love(d) what I do (my Job), I love Music, Glastonbury Festival, Cars, Everton .... I love many things but, most of all, I fucking love life.

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