My husband has agreed to go for his surgery in March or April! I cannot tell you how relieved I am and grateful for this site.
We're going in to see his doctor this coming Monday to set up set up the surgery date. He still has to recover from his last surgery, which, after reading the surgery notes again, realized just how intense it was and why it's taking him so long to heal.
We had the worst argument we'd ever had in our 6 year relationship. There were tears and frustration and anger and at the end of it all, there were hugs and kisses and I love you's.
He shared how terrified he is and assured me it wasn't the sex that was really the most important thing to him. It was just a way of expressing his fears to me because he thought I would abandon him if he wasn't able to have sex anymore. Silly goose!
I reiterated that he means the world to me; that this or whatever life throws at us we will face together; that this was not a cliche' phrase when we took our vows. It is a phrase that bonded us together and that my love for him is not based on one body part.
I also said I had every hope that we would still be able to maintain a healthy sex life. I reminded him that his prostate is in excellent condition and that might help with saving the nerves around it when they took it out. I also shared (again) the experiences the men have had here and that there's a high percentage of men (this, we heard from his doctor) that are able to have a sex life after surgery.
So, now that we've agreed on this, what's next? How and what do I need to do to prepare myself and him for the Cystectomy?
I'm not sure how to proceed at this point.
I'm not sure what kind of other emotions are going to come up for him, but I think the most important part is being able to prepare logistically, as much as we can.
Of course, I will be renting a motel room close to the hospital and will most likely spend the first few days 'round the clock in the hospital with him. I'm thinking of bringing a reclining lounge chair so I can sleep next to him. I want to keep an eye on him for a couple of days and nights after surgery.
He will be letting his daughter know. I'd like to have a bit bigger team than this, like our two closest friends. I know he doesn't want to tell very many people, but I think having a few loved ones know will be very helpful for both of us.
We've jumped the most important hurdle thus far. He's not going to put it off any longer.
Next step is to get the MOST experienced surgeon you can find at the best hospital for bladder cancer.
Most hospitals have reclining chairs (and some even fold out beds) for people to stay in. Check that with the hospital. Doubt you need to haul in a recliner.
One thing he can do once he heals up is the kegel exercises.
Pelvic Floor exercises
This link was posted by Humpy (Jim) a long time ago and it's the best write up I've seen on the exercises.
If he gets a neobladder, this will help him regain continence faster.
The "fight" was probably very good/healthy/cathartic for both of you. You are both scared to death and that is to be expected at this stage of the game.
Most hospitals have a list of hotels with special rates. Lucky for me, I travel a LOT and my wife was able to use my hotel points and stay for free. Glad I saved those points!
Don't burn yourself out. Don't let this be the all absorbing thing from now until the surgery. It will certainly take up a lot of time but we all need a "time out" once and a while.
Maybe come up with a word that means "No more talking about cancer" for a period of time.
It will be good to bring a few others in on the situation. It's good for you both to have someone else to discuss this with out of the two of you. He's going to be concerned about you and you are obviously concerned about him, but you both need to be sure be concerned about (and take care of) yourselves.
That's all I can think of for now.
Doing the happy dance now that your husband has made the decision!
This is wonderful news indeed! I am sure the "discussion" was very theraputic. You probably opened some very important issues that will make your relationship stronger. You guys are now ready to take on the world.
It was never really about the sex. It was always about the fear. The fear of cancer and the fear of feeling inadequate and the fear of losing you. You now have thrown that fear out the window.
Since you have so much time to wait for surgery, don't be overwhelmed by the anticipation. Take life as it normally goes by. We took a weekend away and did not allow any electronic distraction. We forced each other to look beyond the surgery and to our NEW life; cancer free.
There will be some rough patches but you WILL smash right through them. Communication is the key and you guys have opened that door BIG TIME!
Good Luck. We are so proud of you! That discussion took some guts. But it really set the stage for the future.
Light a man a fire and he is warm for an evening.
Light a man ON fire and he's warm forever.
08/08/08...RC neo bladder
New Man! [/size]