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cover of book Seeds of Hope by Michael A. Dorso MD
photo of Dr. Michael A. Dorso
Seeds of Hope Chapter 6, page 66-67, 69

of time. By 3:00 AM I had exhausted our supply of computer paper. I sat there at my desk, likewise exhausted, staring at my work. Was there time to digest all of this or was I just kidding myself? Was I stalling, wasting time, while this beast flourished in my groin? Was sleep deprivation weakening my ability to resist this beast?

My thoughts turned to Sherry. She had gone to bed alone five hours earlier. There would be no lovemaking tonight. I had just spent hours reading men's tales of their lost sexuality. How much time did Sherry and I have left as lovers? What an idiot I was, to let her go to bed alone! I had an irrational urge to rush into the bedroom, awaken my lady, sweep her into my arms in passionate embrace, and spend the night in love. Such a beautiful woman and so little time! The song Just Give Me One More Night raced through my mind. Somewhere between fear and fatigue my determined research degenerated to cliches and song lyrics.

Enough! I switched off the computer and went into the bedroom. I undressed in the darkness to avoid disturbing Sherry. I could hear her rhythmic breathing as she slept. I was thankful for her steadfast love. I knew that she would stand by me no matter what our common destiny. Was I destined to become an old man smelling vaguely of urine, dribbling pee every time I coughed? I'd seen such men many times on hospital rounds. How could Sherry find me attractive wearing adult diapers?

It was at that moment, standing next to my sleeping bride of thirty-three years, that I made a critical resolution: Whatever therapy I chose, I would be willing to accept an increased risk of dying, if I could preserve my sexuality. I also vowed to do whatever I could to avoid becoming a urological cripple. That determination would become my compass, as I worked to set a course in - what was for me - the uncharted wilderness of cancer.

I snuggled under the covers close to my lady, feeling a little sorry for myself. I remembered Nick's odds of fifty percent impotence after a radical prostatectomy. Snuggling had always been an important part of our intimate moments. Would that be enough to sustain us if I were to find myself impotent?

# # # #

The next morning Sherry and I were drinking coffee. I told her about my thoughts last night. I shared my apprehensions about becoming impotent and undesirable. It wasn't easy. Sherry came over to me and held me in her arms.

"Michael, I married you for who you are, not for your penis."

What an incredible woman! In one clear declarative sentence she had washed away my fears. She gave me room to move and breathe. Our marriage could survive this. We could survive this.

[end of selection]

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