By George Smalberger

Here’s my good luck story ending in full quality of life recovery after prostate cancer and its treatment. I had my prostate surgically removed two years ago, and I just carry on. I think I am one of the lucky ones because I caught it in time and I have so few side effects from the radical prostatectomy. I’m an entrepreneur – been building businesses since I was 24. Opportunities come to me. Just this year I have worked in 5 African countries and 2 in Europe.

Overall, after my prostate surgery I am free to live my life but I am way more proactive about my health and my way of living. I do my regular little PSA checks, and my doctor replies with the “all clear” by WhatsApp. I have been changed by the confrontation with cancer, but my daily life is not troubled by the treatment or its aftermath.

Occasional drips – not enough to need pads

I hate those drips, but they are not enough to be a serious problem. It’s just when I have had a couple too many drinks and then get really excited.

Like at a rugby match or watching a race – that moment when you jump up to cheer. Oops! Sometimes there is a dribble.

But it is literally one drop, feels like more but not enough to wet my pants.

Basically urine control is fine, I never had to wear pads, and I am able to carry on with normal life.

Hard for others to hear about my cancer

All these changes are hard to discuss with somebody who hasn’t been through it. I have talked with other survivors including Mish and found it helpful. When I was initially diagnosed I found it scary, I felt crap, dealing with so many unknowns. After the surgery, I feel strong and positive, but I still find the impact of my story on others is quite heavy.

My wife has played a big role, she has been amazingly supportive throughout.

#1 in terms of recovery of erectile function

The urologist who performed my robotic-assisted surgery says I am number 1 of all the guys he has treated for prostate cancer in terms of recovery of erectile function and performance. I never really lost my erections, even immediately after the operation while I still had the catheter. And while Mish had warned me about the 3-months droop, I didn’t get that either.

I feel like my erections are not quite back to what they used to be, but my wife says they are just as good as ever. For me the feeling was initially quite different and took a while to get used to it. Now after a couple of years the overall feeling is better and lasts longer.

Lucky to be at the positive end of the recovery scale

I know it is not the same for everybody – I feel very lucky to be at the most positive end of the full recovery scale after prostate cancer treatment. Whenever anybody asks me about it, I encourage them to get tested (screened) for prostate cancer. The earlier you catch it, the more chance you have to get lucky like me.

[Editor’s note: each prostate cancer survivor’s story is different, please don’t make any one individual story your benchmark.]