I write this in the hope that it brings penile cancer out in the open, just as much as prostate and other well known cancers. Somehow along the way this vile disease affects many men as a surprise, like it did me only a few months ago. Aged 78 and married to my Sue, I’ve never had anything seriously wrong in my very active life. I went from having a simple irritation to having my penis head glands removed – all within three months.
It all started with an irritation on the tip of my foreskin which like most men I took little notice of for a couple of weeks. But it developed from irritation to soreness and it became very painful passing urine to the extent it became unbearable to even take a pee.
I phoned the local doctor who insisted I send a sample, which I did and another painful week went by. I had a urine infection, so a prescription of tablets was given for me to collect from our local pharmacy.
Now we go another week. I phoned once again and this time I explained the soreness was much worse and it still hurt passing urine. This time the Doctor gave me two different antibiotics, which made little difference over the next two weeks apart from giving me an awful upset stomach every day. I decided that no matter what the receptionists said, I was somehow going to see the doctor in person.
I explained something was very wrong and a Doctor needed to look, I was given a face to face appointment, and living close to the surgery, I was there – you could say – in a flash!
Dropping my pants in front of a lady was a little embarrassing but she assured me she had seen it all before. Until she hadn’t. This time she had not seen anything like what I had and openly admitted so. From there everything went so fast. A few days later I was in Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton. A week or so later I was circumcised. Later that week after a phone call to see them again, I was told it was cancerous and would need a biopsy at Southmead Hospital in Bristol.
After the biopsy I still had traces of cancer and the next course of treatment was to have my glands removed at the head of my penis. No other treatment would do in my case. If it was left alone, the whole thing would have to be removed. Being told they intended to remove a part of my penis was bad enough. I shuddered from top to toe and was told it needed to happen as soon as possible.
So now the weeks have passed, not quite being the man that I once was and finding my life turned upside down. One day I was fine, the next I was depressed and so on.
Thankfully I’m still alive to face the next day.
I joined RareCan to find others who may have had something similar happen to them, and to let the researchers know I am happy to talk to them about my experience. I am also wanting to share my experience with you so that no one else has to go through this ghastly experience.
I know it’s never going to be the same downstairs, it’s awkward to pee but I’m getting the hang of it now. I’m lucky not to be a sexually active young man, though not impossible but definitely it’s not going to feel the same with part of it missing.
I have decided to take each day as it comes.
These last three months have been hard with my wife having a stroke and in the last three weeks she fell and broke her pelvis. Yep when it rains down trouble the cloud must have stuck over us.
One day soon I will find out what my prognosis is – due to a cancelled appointment, I am still just waiting for that letter to arrive for that dreaded appointment. Is it still there or have I caught it early enough?
Please, please if it feels wrong down there men get it sorted, now and not tomorrow.
Perhaps you will end up like me or even worse and we don’t want that do we?
Never give up, take each day as it comes and live life to the best you can, remember we only get one shot at life, not like that cat that digs my plants up with his nine lives!