I went back to visit my surgeon for my two-month visit. Prior to the visit, I had blood work and a PSA test done.
The visit was to get the results of the PSA test. If there was no PSA in my system, I was in a great position – if there was PSA, then the probability the cancer had spread was much higher.
It was a nervous day.
My wife and I walked into the doctor’s office with a great deal of trepidation. What would we do if the news was bad? I can empathize with every man who makes this particular trip.
Actually, I feel for every person who makes a similar trip – it’s tough.
I was lucky; my test results showed no measureable PSA in my blood. I have to get it checked again in another year. Many, many men don’t get that news; theirs is that the cancer is still there or has spread, and that thought immediately resonated with us. We felt incredibly grateful. It’s a selfish emotion, but I think a human one, and I can tell you that there was no euphoria on either my part or my wife’s. Once we got into the privacy of our car, we both had a little cry about it.
The doctor then said it was time to get my prescription filled, and that the nurse navigator would facilitate that.
The prescription was for Happy Juice.
When you have those nerves removed and you know that you’ll have erectile dysfunction, at first it’s the furthest thing from your mind. At least it was for me. I thought, and said, “Who cares?” The most important thing to me was looking at the grass from above, rather than below. Whether I could ever have sex again was so far out of the equation that it didn’t exist. Now, the doctor was telling me that Happy Juice could well bring that back into play!
I got the prescription filled and dutifully brought my new prescription, alcohol swabs and needles to a visit with the nurse navigator. Oh, didn’t I tell you that needles are involved? They are. But before you crawl away screaming, let me assure you that it’s not all that bad.
The visit with the nurse navigator is to tell you all about the medication, how it works, what it does, and what to expect from it – oh, and how to give yourself the injection.
I was prepared for this, so unlike the conversation we had about erections at the beginning of this journey, this time there was a lot of humour involved. I started by giving her a rough time about the drawings used in the little handbook they give you. The guy in the drawings is not normal, unless he’s some porn star. The drawings showing the procedure and how to do the injections made it look easy. In reality, it’s not that easy.
First of all, you have to find the little guy. It’s like a turtle – it sees the needle coming and turns into an ‘innie.’ One person referred to it as a “button on a fur coat,” and that’s pretty apt.
She went through the booklet, and we talked about the technique that needs to be used, how and where to give the injections and how much medication to put in the syringe. I got all that, but then we had to go and do a sample injection. By this time, as I mentioned before, I don’t worry about dropping my drawers in front of people, so even though she was there giving instructions and illustrating where to inject and where not to inject on my precious piece of anatomy, I was having fun. Why not?
So I gave myself the injection. It was pretty difficult to do the first time, but now that I’d done it, it wouldn’t ever be that difficult again. The jokes were flying around like crazy, but the nurse never lost her professionalism and empathy.
You’re wondering if it worked or not, aren’t you? They tell you that due to nervousness, the test injection doesn’t usually work, but that the next one might, depending on the amount of medication you need. It sort of worked, but not well enough to be functional. So Happy Juice is an appropriate name for it after all.