Depressed, years post RALP

Tico14 Member Posts: 33 Member

Seventy-five years old, relatively healthy, not overweight, light exercise every day of the "work week". Married 54 years to the same girl. Had RALP about 4 years ago. Cancer has been "virtually undetectable" since.

As best I can now recall, my surgeon/urologist told me both pre and post surgery that I would have ED for a period of time as well as urinary incontinence for a period of time up to and including a year. He noted that while most men recover from their ED during that period, some don't. Similarly most men get over the vast majority of their incontinence during that same period. Some don't.

Allow me to reintroduce myself. I'm "Some Don't".

My biggest problem(s) have been the incontinence part. Minimum of six diapers/pads a day. That has all but wiped out any social life I had not to mention depression. I don't go anywhere with the intention of changing a diaper while there. No one but my wife knows about this "problem" and I choose not to share it - except anonymously like here. It's one thing to change a diaper and quite another to clean up before you put on a new one and I fall into the latter category. The only semblance of socializing I do now are birthday parties, Christmas and Thanksgiving get-togethers at my daughters home. She lives the next town over, but close. Even then if the function lasts longer than an hour and a half or two at the most, I leave, drive home, clean up, change and return to the function. I used to go out with a group of guys every Monday, but quit a little over a year ago, not because of Covid but I was soaked. Similarly, I used to go out with another group of guys for breakfast once a month, but haven't gone since September or October, for the same reason.

I'm safe at home.

Now, in addition to the ED and Niagara Falls, I'm depressed and not pleasant to be around. I don't want to do anything. I can't lift anything, sneeze, stand up, hug anyone or laugh without increasing the flow. My concentration is nil; I get angry at the drop of a hat and yell out. The only friend I have local is my wife. The rest I avoid because of what I've mentioned.

I've read a good deal of the PCa posts here and can't find anything similar that may shed some light on what I'm going through. Is this normal? Any suggestions?



  • Rob.Ski
    Rob.Ski Member Posts: 123 Member

    Have you checked out AUS?

  • Tico14
    Tico14 Member Posts: 33 Member

    Yeah. Not a candidate. Thanks.

  • VascodaGama
    VascodaGama Member Posts: 3,598 Member

    I would think that after 4 years you have already exhausted procure and had investigated about all possibilities you could have to avoid the embarrassing occasions. The truth is that incontinence tends to get worse as years pass by.

    Guys with similar issue have reported here on their experience and great results in using AUS and Sling. It gave them that feeling of freedom.

    hopefullyyou find a way for comfort and quality living.



  • Tico14
    Tico14 Member Posts: 33 Member


    I've been aware of both "surgical" procedures. I'm more concerned with my mental state, but understand that isn't what this forum is about. Thanks again for your timely input, but I'm not going under another knife if I can help it.

  • Damp
    Damp Member Posts: 25 Member

    I am in a similar state. My prostatectomy combined with the removal of a large bladder diverticula was nearly 5 years ago. Since then, my check ups have been undetectable. However, I'm still incontinent and have ED. I was told that I was not a candidate for a bladder sling. I ruled out having an AUS because of all my other health issues...heart failure and back surgery the most recent. I do wear diapers day and night. Disposables during the day, cloth at night. Sometimes it's overkill, but other times I was glad I was protected. I still get embarrassed when a new health professional sees me in a diaper, but so far nothing has been asked or mentioned. When I had my back surgery, I had to stay overnight on my back for precautionary purposes. Well, I had to be changed twice by female nurses. You can imagine my embarrassment when I told them I was wet and needed a change. I don't communicate my incontinence issues, but if asked I will try and explain my situation. I'm working on my 4th quarter of life on this planet. I'm pretty sure I have a number of "brothers" with similar issues. I try to stay as positive and active as possible. What choice do we have?

  • Tico14
    Tico14 Member Posts: 33 Member

    Thanks, Damp.

    I figured I wasn't the only one either not willing or unable to have the sling or AUS. I'm more concerned now with the attention I give worrying about my problems caused by the incontinence than the incontinence itself. Probably just another PCa phase I'll get through - one that I never anticipated and am not handling very well. You're right, we really don't have much of a choice left especially those of us in the 4th quarter or later.

  • eonore
    eonore Member Posts: 166 Member

    Dear Damp and Tico,

    I sympathize with your situations. I wore diapers for four months after surgery, and I remember the difficulties. Of course, I was waiting for eventual return of continence, and did not have to face the reality of a permanent problem.

    The only other solutions that may be workable are an external catheter or a clamp. If I recall correctly, one of our forum members used a clamp before deciding an the Aus surgery. While not ideal, these devices may be an improvement.


  • Tico14
    Tico14 Member Posts: 33 Member

    Eonore, studied all options including the AUS and the sling (recently). They're not an option for me, but thanks for your input. Tico

  • Clevelandguy
    Clevelandguy Member Posts: 890 Member


    If I was in your shoes and surgery was not an option I would try the external catheter or clamp like Eonore suggested. They don’t cost a ton of money and could be a solution once you get used to it. I also drip occasionally and wear a pad everyday. Do I like wearing a pad, no but to function the way I want to it has become part of my daily routine. Like they say when you get lemons thrown at you make lemonade.

    Just my 2c worth………..

    Dave 3+4

  • Tico14
    Tico14 Member Posts: 33 Member


    I appeciate your suggestion. I think I need to get my head adjusted. I may be "crying in my soup" about it. I seem to think I'm the only one going through it, while down deep I know I'm not. But almost four years post-surgery one would think I'd have it together and accept it by now. Tico

  • centralPA
    centralPA Member Posts: 134 Member

    Shipmate, sorry to hear of your story. I assume Navy vet? Me too. You've been heard.

    Not directly related to your story, but it made me think of Joshua Chamberlain, of Gettysburg fame. Trying to imagine how one dealt with this 150 years ago.

    Edit: unable to post a link yet, but google on "Experiments on Joshua L. Chamberlain’s Petersburg Wounds Led to Modern Care"

  • Clevelandguy
    Clevelandguy Member Posts: 890 Member

    Hi Tico,

    The one weird thing about this cancer is that there is no specific outcome per treatment. Some people have horrible problems after surgery with leakage or ED and others respond with back to normal kind of results. Just got to make the best of what life has delt you wether its prostate cancer or a war injury or other type of physical/mental issue. Keep looking, you will find a suitable solution to get you back to an acceptable quality of life. Good luck in your search, but keep searching.

    Dave 3+4

  • Tico14
    Tico14 Member Posts: 33 Member

    Clevelandguy and CentralPA,

    Thanks to both of you - I do appreciate your comments.

    Central, yep Navy snipe. Three years, eleven months and twenty two days, but who was counting? My extremely better half was born and raised in McKeesport. I had never heard of Chamberlain until I heard from you. They made him a heck of a lot tougher than me. Unbelievable what he went through.

    Cleveland, I'm not giving up, just PO'd and looking for a simple solution I may have overlooked all the while knowing deep down there isn't one.