I am due to have my radical prostatectomy by the laparoscopic method on 26th November at Guys Hospital, London by Mr Declan Cahill. I shall wait until after my operation before sending you my full story but I would like to thank your organisation for the helping me face my operation with confidence and great expectations for the future.
I had my radical prostatectomy by the laparoscopic method at Guys Hospital, London on Friday, 26th Nov. and was fit enough to travel home back to Manchester by car on the following Sunday and continue to make progress to date (Post op. 5 days). Apart from the catheter which will be removed in about 2 weeks time I have no real discomfort and I am convinced that my choice of keyhole surgery as apposed to the standard open surgery, that is still the norm in the UK, was the correct decision.
As previously indicated, I will file a full historic report in due course with periodic updates and hope it will further support your web page and give encouragement to fellow sufferers during such a traumatic period in their lives. I also intend to pass on the message of prostate awareness to my fairly wide circle of friends, most of whom could not understand how somebody like myself, fit, a former marathon runner until a recent knee problem, with no urinal passing problems whatsoever, could have prostate cancer. I will be relying heavily on your web page to collect supporting reference literature etc for my presentation and look forward to contacting you again in the near future.
14th December 2004 - Had my catheter removed with minimal discomfort & passed the flow rate test/post micturitional scan with flying colours. Oh what a relief to be free of the catheter and the fear of getting it entangled again with our boisterous bearded collie - a great laugh for the family but rather traumatic for myself. I was fully continent after three days and signed off by the hospital therapy dept who were amazed on the continence recovery period compared to that following conventional open surgery.
11th January 2005 - Visit down to London to see my surgeon, Declan Cahill, and get the results of the operation and the latest PSA results. Overjoyed to hear the gland had been removed intact without any signs of secondary infection and my PSA was now down to 0.02 ng/ml.
Mr Cahill was confident enough to pass my future care back to my hospital in Manchester with a further blood check in 4 months time.
I cannot overstate my admiration for the skills of Mr Cahill and his staff and my luck to have 'keyhole' instead of open surgery. I had no pain, left hospital 48 hours after the operation, and was fully mobile after four weeks sufficient enough to play a full round of golf over a hilly course without a buggy.
Will update my details following my next check around May '05 and in the meanwhile would urge every male over 40 to have an PSA examination - make sure apathy does not kill you.
I am delighted to report that my first post operative blood check (7 months) indicated my PSA has fallen to below 0.01 ng/ml. My Consultant has made arrangements to see me again in January 2006 after which if my condition continues to improve the checks will be extended to yearly intervals.
I am now more confident than ever I made the correct decision to have the laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery and now have the peace of mind that the cancer appears to have been completely removed.
I am a fervent supporter of prostate awareness and have managed to persuade numerous friends and colleagues to have their PSA levels checked out with one of them currently undergoing clinical investigations for abnormal PSA level.
I will update my progress in January 2006 God willing.
January 12th 2006 - I am delighted to report my second half yearly blood test has indicated a further fall in my PSA to the minimum level the hospital's equipment was capable of recording. My next appointment with the Consultant has been extended to 12 months and I am confident I can now put this traumatic period behind me.
I will continue to report my progress to provide encouragement to your many readers struggling to come to terms with their affliction knowing the relief this site provided me during my dark uncertain early days.
One of the greatest pleasures I get is responding to other Yana compatriots all over the world and your opening line "You are not alone" has never been more apt.
Sorry you did not get the update that I sent in mid January '07 following my 2nd annual checkup.
Delighted to say the PSA reading was lower than the equipment could measure so I was given my next checkup for Jan '08.
I have had 5 communications over the last twelve months from guys who had read my details on your site and hopefully I was able to provide them with some comfort and encouragement based on my own experience.
I still regularly look up the Yana web site and get reminded of those initial dark days that Yana did so much to disperse and enabled me to make the decision as to which form of treatment most suited me.
Keep up the good work - I will update you again in 10 months time.
Regards Ian Sharpley.
Just a belated note to advise I was given the all clear for another 12 months with a PSA reading below the minimum reading of the analysis equipment making this 4 1/2 years since my operation.
I continue to receive emails from "new boys" that act as very good reminders not to become too complacent. Keep up the good work.
My last annual check up was in February 2009 and once again I got a clean bill of health with a virtually zero PSA reading.
I am an ardent admirer of the Yana site and receive two or three contacts around the world from other guys recently diagnosed with prostate cancers that hopefully I manage to encourage to develop a positive outlook.
I must apologise for not updating my Yana records as I know it is very important for the message to get across to all those who have been recently diagnosed with prostate cancer that there is hope of a complete recovery and a full and active life to look forward to.
At my last annual checkup in March 2010 I was given another clear bill of health and had a bearable PSA reading of 0.1. I continue to receive two or three emails each year from Yana readers seeking information of my experiences since I was told I had prostate cancer back 8/9 years ago and will always be pleased to pass along Yana's message " You are not alone".
My regards to Terry and I promise to send my next update immediately following my February 2011 annual check-up.
Glad to see you back at the helm. I must admit I was one of the 95% that did not bother transferring my history details to the new site as I had difficulties transferring the data so gave up.
My personal update for the record is that I was again given an all clear in my 7th annual check since my op in Nov 2004 and was told there would be two further annual checkups & if these were still OK then the hospital would discharge me on the ground of neligible risk.
I still continue to get two or three emails a year from newly diagnosed men asking about my own experiences & I still push the message in my circle of friends to get themselves tested for their PSA levels at regular intervals - I know if I had not done so I would not be around today.
Welcome back. Best regards, Ian Sharpley
Just had my eighth annual check up & given the all clear. Two more annual check ups to go before I am signed off permanently.
Up date to 26th May 2013: I have just had my 9th annual checkup & have received the OK with a barely detectable PSA reading. Although I was scheduled to have ten annual checkups before being discharged from the monitoring programme, my Consultant has waived the final examination to be replaced with self arranged annual blood checks via my local doctor.
The Consultant advised it would now be extremely unlikely that any cancer would develop relating from my original prostate cancer but advised the annual PSA checks be maintained indefinitely.
Whether the cancellation of the final hospital check has been brought about by economical pressures on the NHS I would not care to speculate but notwithstanding I feel a great sense of relief that at this moment of time I have beaten the beast & hope my experiance & those of other long term Yana members may serve to give some comfort to newly diagnosed men that there is hope for a full recovery.
I will continue to post my annual progress & long may the Yana support be available to those in need.
In my last report in June 2013 I reported the consultant had terminated my annual checkups with the hospital & it is now up to myself to get annual blood checks through my own doctor.
Earlier this year I had my PSA checked when at the doctors on a separate matter & my PSA was virtually undetectable. I will as a matter of routine have another PSA check on the 26th November 2014 which will be the 10th anniversary of my prostate operation.
I continue to receive the occasional contact from new Yana Members seeking information about my prostate story which I always reply by return as I know the importance of providing light at the end of the tunnel for those newly diagnosed - You are not alone.
I am now in my 11th year since my prostate operation and a recent blood check indicated virtually zero PSA readings. My doctor has taken me off annual hospital visits and it is now up to me to get yearly PSA blood checks that I intend to do religiously.
I never cease to remind male friends & family members, & anyone else who cares to listen of the importance of having regular PSA checks - I know it saved my life and it could save yours!
Recent PSA results almost negligible. I am no longer on annual checks with the hospital but arrange yearly blood checks through my GP.
It does not seem like 12 years have passed since my operation but I will never forget the encouragement & hope for the future I gained from YANA in those dark times.
Ian's e-mail address is: iansharpley AT ntlworld.com (replace "AT" with "@")