MAYOR GIULIANI SPEAKS ON PROSTATE CANCER & SEX
From the New York Post,
Tuesday, December 12,2000
By DAVID SEIFMAN
Mayor Giuliani, who generally refuses to discuss his prostate cancer with local reporters, opened up yesterday on national TV and soon found himself answering a question about "sexual function."
The intensely private topic was broached publicly by "Today" show co-host Katie Couric, who was granted an unusual level of access to the mayor last week for a two-part interview about his battle against cancer.
"A lot of men are very concerned how it [prostate treatment] will affect their sexual function," Couric said in the middle of her taped sit-down.
"The first thing you've got to come to terms with is if you don't live, you can't have sexual function," Giuliani responded.
"So you have to take care of your health. The reality is that, in all the different forms of treatment that exist, there's a lot of potential for maintaining your sexual function."
The mayor, who opted for radiation over surgery, didn't get more specific.
But he was willing to share how shaken men, himself included, get when they're diagnosed with the potentially fatal illness.
"You're going to be very frightened," the mayor said. "You're going to be very upset. You're going to have some nights in which you're sleeping and you see yourself dead and you think your life is over."
To prevail, Giuliani said he had to overcome that gloom and "have a very positive attitude about it."
"Keeping a positive attitude is just what Mayor Giuliani has been doing," Couric quickly agreed.
While Giuliani frequently dismisses City Hall reporters who ask about his treatment, he allowed a "Today" crew to follow him into Mount Sinai Hospital, where he undergoing daily radiation treatments to supplement his implanted radioactive seeds.
"I walk in. I take off my clothes. I put them over there," Giuliani said, explaining the routine.
"They're very, very kind to put on opera music for me."
As he has before, Giuliani admitted the radiation has slowed him down a bit.
"I'm not exactly the way I'd like to be," he said. "Sometimes, I can't do things that I want to do because I don't have the energy for it."
But Couric said she hasn't noticed.
"In fact, Mayor Giuliani is handling his duties with nearly lightning speed," she told her viewers.