UsTOO – Tacoma: September “Incontinence”

INCONTINENCE – CAUSES AND TREATMENTS

 

Tuesday, September 27th: 6:00 – 8:15

University Place Presbyterian Church, 8101 27th St. W, University Place

Dr. Doug Sutherland from Multicare in Tacoma will be with us to talk about the causes of incontinence and update us on treatments.   

Dr. Sutherland is no stranger to our group and is highly respected in the medical community.  Spread the word and bring a friend.

IMPORTANT   There will be a separate meeting for the women during the first hour from 6-7:00pm.  This will be a great opportunity to share

concerns and discuss issues that are relevant to the caregiver.  They will join us for the program at 7:15.  Please pass this on to the ladies if they

are not the one who reads this.  They are all welcome.

For questions or more information, call Bob Freeborn: Hm 253-566-1651 Cell 253-228-3616

Robert Hammar

Robert Hammar – TPCSG (Tacoma Prostate Cancer Support Group)

My PSA went up a few points in early 2005 (at that time I was 72), so I had a biopsy done. After my samples were examined by three labs cancer was discovered in one sample. I chose to have my prostate removed via laparoscopic surgery at Virginia Mason.

For the next three years I dealt with incontinence. I am a motivated patient. I tried physical therapy (PT) first with only very modest results. After that I had “sling” surgery and had more improvement than with PT, but was still dealing with incontinence. Just over a year ago I had artificial sphincter surgery and I am dry at last!

Here are a few things that helped me and may help you:
* I maintained open communication with my wife and family.
* Being hard of hearing never helps. I asked my wife to attend appointments with me in case I missed something and so two sets of ears could hear all of the instructions and information.
* I attend support groups, which I continue to find tremendously helpful. Even if you think you are not a support group kind of guy you may want to give it a try. Or, find out when certain topics will be covered and attend when something is of interest.
* From time to time I called members of the support group. It helped to have someone listen and sometimes steer me in the right direction.
* I paid out of pocket for a one-time consult with a urologist at an academic medical center. She was able to give me helpful information and referrals to clinicians that felt like a match for me.
* I created a notebook where I keep information about my medications, medical history, surgeries (including those not related to prostate cancer), reports, test results and resources.
* I spent time researching incontinence products (from clamps to pads). I kept trying different products until I found what worked for me. I am happy to share my resource lists.
* I worked in partnership with my providers. At first I was frustrated that they did not know much about products that might be helpful. They were focused on diagnosis and treatment. The nurses were focused on post-surgical care. Nobody was focused on care issues after the post-surgical period. When I went for a checkup I shared my feedback with the providers and the results of my research. I hope they are doing a better job of providing care for the entire journey of each patient. Be proactive – ask questions and speak up – for the health of it!
To download my Tips and Products for Dealing with Incontinence Related to Prostate Cancer, click HERE.

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