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a selection from:

Man to Man: Surviving Prostate Cancer by Michael Korda
continuing Part I - The Silent Killer

Page 6 - (go to page 5)

My mind was on the work that lay before me on my desk-calls to make, people to see, the usual overload of book publishing. ''Hi,'' I said. ''Sorry we missed each other this morning.''

''That's okay,'' she said. ''I have your results.''

''Great,'' I said. She had a nice voice, I thought. Upbeat, all-American, perky, even a little sexy in a lively, wholesome way; the kind of voice I associate with cheerleaders and homecoming queens and the Midwest.

There was a pause, a hesitation long enough for me to wonder if she'd been interrupted. Then she said one word, ''Unfortunately,'' and I guessed what was coming next.

Unfortunately. The word echoed in my mind as she talked to me. Unfortunately, the results of the biopsy were positive. Unfortunately, I would need to schedule a CAT scan, an MRI, a bone scan, and X rays as soon as possible to determine whether or not the cancer had spread — the sooner the better, Kathy made it clear. Dr. Russo would see me — and my wife, she emphasized — the next week to review the findings of these tests and discuss treatment. She read off a list of names and phone numbers. Did I have any questions?

I had none, except for a foolish desire to ask Kathy if she did, indeed, come from the Midwest. I wrote down all the information numbly, as if none of it had anything to do with me. ''I have cancer,'' I said to myself silently, but I wasn't sure I believed it yet, and already guessed how much harder it would be to say it out loud.

Kathy and I said good-bye to each other — how many times a day does she break this news, I wondered, and how does she manage to be so pleasant while doing it? — then I sat for a few moments staring at the piece of paper before me, with the scribbled names and numbers of physicians whose skills I had never dreamed of needing, and on whom my life now, apparently, depended.

Nothing, I thought, would be the same from now on.

Selections reproduced at with the kind permission of the author. Copyright © 1996, 1997 by Success Research Corporation


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