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Let’s Talk About Sex

Let’s talk about sex. That’s right, sex.

Fears that I couldn’t do the things I loved

Before my bladder surgery, one of the biggest fears I had was that I would emerge an old man. I was 66 years old, still enjoyed being intimate with my wife, and I thought for sure that it was over, despite assurances otherwise. I wouldn’t be able to recover enough to do the things I loved like cycling and golfing and making love. I’d never had major surgery before and had no clue what to expect. Well, my operation was two years ago, so far I’m cancer-free, and everything still works. Well, just about everything.

A few changes

There have been a few changes. I can still get an erection; it’s not as robust as it used to be, and yes, I still enjoy an orgasm, but for one exception: there’s no semen. It was strange the first time it happened, but I got used to it quickly, and I have no problems now. My wife is happy, too. No fuss or muss.

My nerve-sparing surgery

With the advances in surgery, today doctors are accomplishing amazing results. My surgeon, Dr. Zlotta still performs his surgery the old fashioned way – no robots for him. He believes he can be more effective doing the work himself. My surgery lasted nine and a half hours. What amazes me still was the fact that he detached all the nerves in my groin area to remove the bladder, prostate and a portion of the colon. Once the neobladder was finished, he proceeded to reattach and save as many nerves as possible. I’ve seen an X-ray of my bladder, and the number of staples inside me still makes me shake my head.

You can have a sex life after surgery

So, if you’re worried about your sex life after surgery, if everything goes according to plan and you allow yourself to heal properly, you should be good to go. And one side note: I worked very hard to get myself into the best shape possible post-op, and it has paid off in spades. I just spent the month of January in Hawaii and rode my bicycle every other day and just returned from a week of cycling in Tuscany, Italy. So far, I have peddled over 800 miles this year. And they have been hard miles; my rides aren’t sightseeing tours.

A full, rich life

Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t recover and lead a full, rich life filled with laughter and love. Listen to your doctors, don’t push yourself too hard, and take each day one at a time, and you will be fine. If I can do it, you can do it.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The BladderCancer.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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