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Man to Man: Surviving Prostate Cancer by Michael Korda
continuing Part IV - Recovery

Page 245 - (go to page 244)

This came as news to me — unwelcome news, doubly so since it flatly contradicted Dr. Walsh's optimism (though Dr. Eid professed something approaching reverence for Walsh's surgical skill). I had assumed that I had all the time in the world to wait and see, but Dr. Eid was assuring me of the contrary. There were, he said, warming to his subject, basically three approaches. The first was the vacuum pump, either hand-operated or, in the more deluxe version, electric. This was a device by means of which the patient placed a transparent tube over his penis, secured it with an 0-ring, then pumped the air out, producing a vacuum. The tube was removed, leaving the 0-ring in place at the base of the penis, and an erection resulted. The erection would last for some time, at least half an hour, or as long as the 0-ring was in place, and would be more than adequate for intercourse, though not necessarily as straight as a normal erection.

I nodded. I liked the sound of the vacuum pump; it was not invasive, and seemed like a modest technological step in the right direction, an aid, rather like a cane or a crutch, with which one could dispense later. This hope Dr. Eid dashed. He was not an uncritical fan of the vacuum pump, and he did not think it would work for me. Any degree of incontinence would be a problem, he explained, since the action of the pump would almost certainly draw urine into the machine.

His recommendation was self-injection. The good news was that the new drugs were far more effective than Papaverine, which had been popular among Hollywood sexual athletes in the 1970s, and which, in the wrong dose, had a tendency to produce priapism, an erection which would not subside until the user was injected with an antidote (in some cases, the patient might even need an emergency operation to solve the problem). Now, Dr. Eid said, a ''cocktail,'' a mixture of drugs tailored exactly to one person's needs which would produce exactly the required erection without pain or aftereffects, could be fashioned for every patient. Mixing my particular cocktail would take some trial and error, but it was not a lengthy process. After that, all I had to do was to inject myself in the penis — twice, actually, once on each side — and shortly afterward I would have an erection. In an hour or so, perhaps a little less, it would subside, and that was that.

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

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