phoenix 5 - to help men and their companions overcome issues created by prostate cancer
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Page 105 from
Chapter 6
His Prostate and Me

I was not surprised when I read about a study that showed that some men exaggerated their sexual prowess before treatment for prostate cancer. In the same study, men thought they were not potent after surgery and their wives thought they were. Unless there has been a follow-up study to explain the discrepancy, the incongruity is not clear. I have my own thoughts, which are not based on any science. I think it is related again to the general feeling of virility that decreases with age and anything that affects a man's feeling of virility affects a man's potency.

Researchers are also studying what they believe to be male menopause, which has been aptly named "viropause." Men experiencing "viropause" have a decline in strength, muscle mass and muscle tone. However, the physical symptoms of "viropause" are milder than as those found in female menopause. Apparently, however, the emotional strain of "viropause" is comparable to that of female menopause, causing such symptoms as depression, anxiety and fear. When a man faces aging issues and then adds the strain of prostate cancer, which could further drastically affect his manhood, he often becomes more vulnerable and more silent about his health and emotional problems than ever.


Dick and I gingerly broached the sexuality subject. Dick talked about impotence with the same pragmatic approach as if he were explaining the details of operating a drilling rig. He explained that impotence affected his ability to maintain an erection sufficient for intercourse, but it did not mean that he had lost his sexual drive, sensation or ability to have an orgasm.

After he recounted all the many methods he had used to try to reestablish his former potency, I was teary. He and so many other men have shown admirable courage in facing this traumatic dilemma with such confident attitudes. In Dick's case, he pressed forward to find a solution in spite of repeated failures. I was all the more admiring of this incredibly fine

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