Such questions as these are normal; prostate cancer by definition
touches what is likely to be the most sensitive part of any marriage —
the sexual relationship — and in the weeks before the surgery, if you
are taking the surgical route, there are going to be a lot of strong
emotions going on under the surface. Some men may feel a regret for
opportunities they turned down; while both women and men alike
may wonder what will become of the marriage if the man loses his
potency. Blame, fear, mixed emotions, regrets — it is important to
recognize that all these are legitimate feelings in the face of something
that is certainly going to change your life, either temporarily or permanently. There is a value to smiling through it bravely — the famous
stiff upper lip — but that should not preclude a couple's ability to face
all this emotional distress squarely. At the very least, there ought to
be some discussion of the issue of impotence, which is the thing that
most men are afraid of (death tends to run a close second). Not talking about the possibility is a mistake.
In my case, I made sure that Margaret read all the material about
impotence in the books I had found, however reluctant she was to do
so. We naturally hoped this would not be the outcome, but at least
we knew and understood what could be done about it if it did happen, as well as what would be acceptable to both of us in the way of
sexual aids (about which, more later). Once you've talked about it
frankly with your partner, you can put the possibility of impotence
in the back of your mind, rather than letting it become an obsession.
Selections reproduced at www.phoenix5.org with the kind permission of the author.
Copyright © 1996, 1997 by Success Research Corporation