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.
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.