This section is for men who are or have dealt with prostate cancer.
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This section is for men who are or have dealt with prostate cancer. MEN ONLY please. Women may use the prostate cancer (wives) forum. To post in this section you will need to subscribe to a group – see viewtopic.php?f=34&t=41250
Jon and Sophie


Postby Jon and Sophie » Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:39 pm


I'm recovering from treatment and just want to share some thoughts and experiences with fellow travelers. There is still some way to go but the following might help someone in the same position.

I am 74 years of age, my wife is two years younger.

Seven years ago I was diagnosed with heart disease which left me with an irregular heart beat (cardiac arrhythmia). The condition was stabilized and I now take daily medications to guard against clotting and hypertension. At that time and at subsequent meetings I asked my cardiologist if I should give up any strenuous activities such as hiking, golf and sex. Her reply was a definite "No, if it feels right do it".

More than three years ago I was diagnosed with prostate cancer which was picked up from a routine blood test, I had no symptoms and enjoyed a healthy sex life. Treatment started with multiple Zoladex injections which released over four months. After one month I had lost all sensation in my penis and after the four months my testosterone level was so low it could not be measured. I was described incorrectly in at least one report as being anorchid but the result was the same, I had been chemically castrated. I was absolutely devastated and began the slow journey to the edge of depression.

What depressed me most was the fact that I could not be piv with my dear wife, who had always willingly shared our marriage bed pleasures, and give her the sexual relief she desired and so richly deserved. We engaged in other forms of sex but of course my penis could not erect and this knowledge ruined any pleasure I might have had in that. Although my dear wife persisted our lm light which had dimmed was eventually extinguished due to my unwillingness to persevere when I knew how futile it was. For my dw's sake I will regret this unwillingness on my part for the rest of my life.

There followed four weeks of external radiation treatment and the seemingly endless waiting times for new tests and results to be reported.

Four months ago my testosterone level nudged over the lower limit and I felt some penile sensation although not enough to achieve a full erection. I also had an overpowering feeling of the need to ejaculate. My dw helped and encouraged me but a full erection was impossible as was ejaculation. I mentioned this to my radiation specialist and asked if Viagra, or one of its derivatives, could be considered to assist in my gaining full erection. He said that there was no problem as far as the cancer treatment or recovery was concerned but the use of such a stimulant was not his specialty and that I should refer to our family doctor. However, in his written report to my doctor he said that in view of my cardiovascular disease Viagra would be an inappropriate intervention.

I was stunned, I'd had the cardiovascular disease for longer than I'd had the cancer and it seemed to me that he was saying that if I now had the ability to perform sexually it might somehow have a bad affect on my heart, going against all the advice I'd previously, and recently, been given.

Coincidentally my long-term family doctor and trusted friend has recently retired selling his practice to a 35-year-old who we thought would not look too sympathetically on the sexual needs and desires of seniors such as us. How could a young man appreciate the needs which still exist in folks more than twice his age? However, I put my case to him and he said that he wanted time to consult with my cardiologist and radiation specialist. He asked if my wife knew I was consulting with him and why. I confirmed that she was fully involved and was asked to make another appointment the following week and to ask my wife to accompany me.

The appointment time came around and we presented ourselves. We had already decided that the news would not be good. The new doctor started off by running through our health history from our first joining the practice through the births of our children and to the current situation. He explained that inability to achieve full erection is a very common problem in all age groups and is often not due to any other specific health problem, his youngest client with the problem is a healthy 25 year old. He went on to say that he had consulted with my cardiologist and radiation specialist and as far as he was concerned there were no barriers to my use of a Viagra derivative but there were some precautions we must take.

My wife later admitted that she was surprised by the doctor's approach when he went on to talk quite openly about the importance of our being completely lubed before attempting penetration. My dw said that we had never had a lubrication problem and the young doctor pointed out that I would probably not be producing any pre-ejaculate which may have helped. He asked that she should ensure that both of us are fully lubricated as I might be too eager to check properly. He warned that otherwise I might experience some pain and also some injury to the walls of the vagina and to my penis might ensue.

The doctor provided us with free sample pills and a sample bottle of lubricating oil asking that we try these and report back at which time he will be more than pleased to prescribe a course of treatment if our trials are successful.

So much for us thinking that the young doctor might not be sympathetic. I said that we had been expecting a refusal and to be told that at our age we should give up. He laughed and said "I tell my clients to give up any activity only when that activity is no longer enjoyable".

That afternoon we tested a pill, timing how long from swallowing to full erection (30 mins), my wife administered our lubrication and we reveled in our first piv experience in three years, I will not say it was well worth waiting for, I'd much rather have been experiencing this more regularly but I will say it was very memorable, unfortunately my dw did not achieve orgasm despite our attempts to ensure that we both would. Surprisingly just three hours after ejaculation I achieved a second full erection without using another pill (the maximum dosage is one per day!) and we again had piv ic, this time both of us came to orgasm. This double erection did not repeat itself in ensuing days. The only problem I had was that after more than three years without use, and possibly due to not having been circumcised, the head of my penis is super-sensitive to any contact. When my wife administers lubrication in the form of a gel I jump around, almost begging her to stop. I feel this will correct itself in the fullness of time.

We miss the spontaneity of our previous sex life where one of us would touch the other and we'd almost immediately be ready for ic and we hope that eventually I will not need to use a pill to gain full erection. Until then we will gladly settle for what we are able to achieve and we will offer up prayers in praise of our young doctor in whom we now have complete faith.

This has been a very torrid three years for both Jon and me but mostly for Jon. His inability to perform sexually has taken a terrible toll from a man who took great pride in being able to give me the ultimate of pleasure.

I have been fully involved from the very outset of our problems and am lucky in a way that Jon is such a good communicator and was able to describe his feelings in great detail. Losing the ability to gain full erection so early in his treatment was a very difficult thing for him to accept and I feel he still doesn't appreciate that it was absolutely necessary. I found it very distressing being unable to help him especially when he had the overpowering feeling of the need to ejaculate, he would sit for hours pressing his legs together trying to gain some relief.

I am not looking forward to our next appointment with our young doctor. It will be bad enough having him knowing when we have been indulging without having to tell him of our trial experiences. Deep down I think he will handle this as well as he handled our first appointment but I have this little seed of embarrassment already growing.

May God bless you all.

Twin size
Posts: 39
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2005 7:20 pm
Date of your marriage (past or future): June 30th, 1979
Gender: Male
Location: suburbia, midwest

Re: Recovering

Postby herguy » Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:07 am

Thank you for having the courage to share your trials and your progress. First and last --- may God bless you with every joy and satisfaction in your marriage, and in your marriage bed! I can see it was coming on a year ago you posted this - but here goes anyway -

I am 57 yr old guy, married for 35 yrs, and have recently gotten elevated PSA test results. No biopsy (...yet...). Next step is to find a urologist and decide next steps, but biopsy is very likely. I'm real concerned ... ok, scared ... about the possibilities. The least of it is financial. I'm out of work and bought a health insurance policy for the family but it turns out I am NOT covered for diagnostic stuff like a biopsy. I've read on healingwell forums that it can be $5k, $10k, $12k without insurance.

But what I fear most is losing the piv intimacy with my wife. Her father (a minister!) abused her brothers, and was taking showers with her at age 8 and had her washing his penis. So she was very understandably, very hurt and very frightened about me and my desires when we met and married. And I of course brought my own problems, baggage, hopes and fears, and desires to the marriage. It has been an oh-so-long and oh-so-hard journey but we've stuck it out, and worked a lot of it out, and only just in the last very few years have, in my own humble opinion, begun to really be able to relax and enjoy each other's company and bodies in bed in a loving way that makes God smile.

I'm not entirely certain why I'm replying to your recovery post --- perhaps this is better in the "prayers" section. But your recovery story reaches my fears and my hopes. It looks like we're "in the prostate cancer business" so I'll try it here. It doesn't seem to be a very active forum but even if it's a small community, I hope and pray that we can find and give some support to each other.

God bless you in your marriage, and God bless you for sharing your journey, struggles, and -- it sounds like -- recent progress. I hope and pray for you that it just keeps getting better.

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