Victor is 75 years old, and semi-retired. He spent most of his full-time working life working as a linesman with what was once the PMG, then Telecom and now Telstra. He retired when he was 62, but has continued working in the communications industry, as a casual employee.
For a long time, Victor had been having annual blood checks, including his PSA. It was in May 2016 at age 73 that Victor’s GP alerted him that his PSA had risen. “At the time I had no idea what PSA was, let alone what a prostate did,” recalls Victor.
He was referred to a urologist who explained the situation and conducted a DRE. The urologist also arranged a hospital visit for a biopsy. At a subsequent appointment with the urologist Victor was informed that he had prostate cancer, with a Gleason score of 7. The advice was to proceed to radical prostatectomy surgery. Following an MRI which showed that the cancer had not progressed beyond the prostate, Victor was booked in for robotic surgery in August 2016. He spent three days in hospital and was told that the surgery had been successful. Whilst most men who return home from RP surgery with a catheter prefer not to venture too far from their homes, Victor went further. “I reckon that I must have been the only bloke in the pub who had a catheter strapped to his leg,” he quips. For the first six months post-op Victor says that “I had big problems (with continence) needing five pads a day”. His surgeon suggested that he make an appointment with a urology physiotherapist. “I attended regularly and followed through with all the exercises, and that made a huge difference; I no longer need pads.”
Victor became aware of the Geelong Prostate Support Group through members Bill and Rosa, who attend the same church as he and his wife. He attends Group meetings regularly and values the opportunity to mix with other men in similar situations. Hearing of the challenges facing some members in their prostate cancer journey “has also made me aware that I have been very lucky.”
Victor continues with post-op PSA blood testing and results have shown zero detection.
He is married with two sons and a daughter. He has ensured that his family is aware of the strong genetic links with prostate cancer,
Victor is actively involved in a range of community organisations. He enjoys public speaking and attends Rostrum meetings twice a month. He is a member of the Geelong Obedience Dog Club and for ten years has held the positions of Ground Manager and Instructor. For 28 years Victor was involved with the Army Reserve. He is also a member of the Grovedale Men’s Shed.
Victor appreciates the importance of keeping fit and attends the gym, does weight-training and Pilates. He enjoys running and has completed ten Sydney City-To-Surf runs, and ten Rip-To-River runs. Unfortunately, he had to cease running four years ago with Achilles tendon problems but hopes to be able to resume in the future.