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  • Caregiver Questions...

    Hi Lads and Ladies (not sure how many ladies frequent this site but I sure do!).

    Some of you may have been following my husband B's story (albeit from my perspective) on another care giver thread. He's had his orchiectomy last week, we're awaiting pathology results and for our wonderful medical professionals to guide us as to our next move... For now though,I have some questions which (given the time of year) will go several weeks without answers if we wait for his follow up surgery appointment... So I thought I would ask others who have already lived this journey for some guidance. I know it won't be 'professional' advice... A little personal experience would be a great help though in navigating the next few weeks.

    Activity: My B is a very active and independent person. How long till he'll be able to ride his push bike, start jogging again (or even walking) and be able to safely drive the family car?? Being such a fitness junky, he's already climbing the walls and it's only been 4 days!

    Sex: I'm sure many people have this question but I'm blowed if I can find any straight forward answers online (please pardon the really inappropriate pun ) . How long till he's in the clear for a little action?? I mean we know everything is still 'working' per say... But in terms of having major abdominal surgery, how long does he need to give his wounds to heal?

    Testosterone!: Does the removal of one testicle affect testosterone production and if so, what signs should I be on the look out for? If hormone production is low, what do we do about it??

    Surgical Emphysema: We got the name from a friend who's an Oncology nurse. Basically, following his Orchidectomy/Orchiectomy and prosthesis implant, he's been left with a gas bubble in his torso that runs up and down his abdomen where they were operating... If he presses on it, it makes the most vomit worthy noises... We've been told it will dissipate with time (by our nurse friend) but I wondered if anyone else had experienced this phenomenon and how long it's likely to last... B is having a fabulous time grossing people out with his new party trick but also said it's entirely unnerving and wants to know when it will resolve.

    'Talking': I know men hate it... How much do I push B to talk about what's happened? The only thing I could possibly imagine likening his experience to would be to losing a breast or uterus... Neither of which I've experienced personally. We have a friend who has been through TC twice... Friend is perhaps a stretch. He's the Dad of our youngest son's school mate. He has offered himself as a sounding board when B is ready to talk having been through this journey himself but B told me outright he didn't want or need to talk about it... I don't doubt that right now, he's being honest. But should I push this in the future? Or leave it to him to seek support if he feels he needs it?

    Thanks in advance to all you lovely gentlemen who can help this hapless wife navigate this unexpected field of physical, personal and emotional land mines. I really appreciate your advice, your wisdom and your experience.

    Annie B

  • #2
    Activity: Pretty much self limiting.He'll know if he attempts to do too much right away. He's unlikely to do any damage at this point, he will back off on his own. Seems like I was mostly back to normal in a couple of weeks.

    Sex: Same idea here, if it feels good, probably no problems.Not a good time to swing from the chandelier, but I doubt gentle sex would be a problem if he feels like it.

    Testosterone: Most guys are fine here with only one testicle. Some symptoms are lack of libido, difficulty with erections, lack f energy & drive, even depression. The problem with T levels is that the "normal" range is huge so it can be difficult to know what is normal for *him*

    Surgical Emphysema: I have never heard of this before, so cannot offer advice.

    'Talking': You know hm best, Some guys do & some don't. My nephew got TC a year or so after my second TC. He has never spoken to me about it, but I have heard him talking to others. I would not push him, but be available if he decides to open up.

    Dave
    Jan, 1975: Right I/O, followed by RPLND
    Dec, 2009: Left I/O, followed by 3xBEP

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    • #3
      Hi Annie,

      As far as the talking point, you definitely know him best, but some guys just don't want the face-to-face interactions. Imerman Angels is an option. They offer a free service to match people recently diagnosed with similar survivors and the interactions are usually via email or phone calls. Many times they are just a once or twice contact to help answer questions, etc. You can check them out at http://www.imermanangels.org/ They match caregivers too. I think forums are great as they as they allow you to get more information from many people that have been through the same thing but the one-on-one matching may be good at helping him get used to talking about things and may encourage him talking to others in the future. Just my thoughts.

      Mike
      Oct. 2005 felt lump but waited over 7 months.
      06.15.06 "You have Cancer"
      06.26.06 Left I/O
      06.29.06 Personal Cancer Diagnosis Date: Got my own pathology report from medical records.
      06.30.06 It's Official - Stage I Seminoma
      Surveillance...
      Founded the Testicular Cancer Society
      6.29.13 Summited Mt. Kilimanjaro for 7th Cancerversary

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