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a selection from:

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

Page 250 - (go to page 249)

Most important, I had the information I needed, and with it the sense of pressure diminished, along with the fear that I would never be able to have sex again. ''Do not become discouraged!'' Dr. Walsh had written, and I was not. If Walsh was right, then patience was necessary, and the ability to have an erection would return in its own good time. If he was wrong — or I lost patience — then at least I knew that Dr. Eid could help me, in any way I chose.

In the meantime, I was alive, and that was what mattered. The rest, I was convinced, would solve itself in time, and if it did not, then I would move on to the next stage and decide what I could live with and what I couldn't. Maybe I'd get used to the injections, if that was what I decided on; maybe once the incontinence was more under control, I'd be able to use the vacuum pump on a regular basis; if all else failed, there was always the implant. In any case, medical technology was moving forward rapidly, as Dr. Eid had explained to me. There was talk of patches (like those for giving up smoking) replacing the injections, or even of the medication being available in the form of an eyedropper, so all you had to do was drop x number of drops into the penis, then wait for an erection.

Whatever I did, I would know when it was time, and I would know, too, how far I wanted to go. And I would not decide without knowing exactly what Margaret's feelings on the subject were.

Every day since then has brought small improvements so far as sex is concerned; the ability to have orgasm has returned in small, slow stages and although as yet there are no real signs of erection returning, beyond a few hopeful twinges, my visit to Dr. Eid made me much more philosophical on the subject than I had ever been or expected to be. Yes, he is probably right about the problem of atrophy, but it may not be as crucial as he believes, and in any case, the important thing is to know that there's help out there when and if I decide it's needed. Knowing that, I can relax and let sex return at its own pace, as Dr. Walsh had said it would, just as continence has done. The body, as my yoga instructor keeps telling me, heals at its own pace, and can't be hurried.

None of it worries me anymore. It is as if cancer itself had inoculated me against lesser fears. I had learned, as AA regulars do, to live one day at a time and take what each day brings without worrying too much about the next one — and that is no small lesson to have learned.

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

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