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This is one of several essays from my private cancer journal. It is not intended as anything than a record of my states of mind as I struggled with the disease and the effects of the treatment.

Mainly for single or unattached men with PCa


(I posted this to several mailing lists today.)

While I have some personal good news to pass on, the subject line indicates that I would really like to direct it to the single/unattached men with PCa.

The Kiss, a painting by Gustav Klimt Over the nearly last 3 years that I've been on these lists, I've come in contact with a number of single/unattached men who were struggling with their status, because of the side effects of treatment. It seriously effected their confidence as a man. They felt like "damaged goods," asking what woman would want them?

Well, here is my news: This package of "damaged goods" is getting married to my Caren next month.

Let me add some background, for the relevancy to single/unattached men.

I was diagnosed on 11/23/99, while living with Caren. We had been dating for months before that. Because my own condition was so advanced, the treatment was hormone therapy, which wiped out not only my potency but also my libido, which was a black hole that I really had to deal with.

Although my "sexuality" was completely blitzed, she endured it, much to my amazement. A couple of times, I even asked her why and she -- of course -- gave a loving response, but it never really hit me as to what it meant.

So while we lived together in a sexless but otherwise happy relationship, I couldn't think of asking her to marry me. I really wanted to but, like other "damaged goods" men, I couldn't imagine she would want to do that. It would be like buying a badly running car that may not even make it off the lot. Additionally, she had lost her dad (they had been very close) to stomach cancer a few years back. Why would she want ME and the possibility of going through THAT again.

And I am not getting "better." My last PSA (August) came back as 199 (as in one short of two hundred), meaning I am running out of options. (Newest treatment is HDK+HC.)

A few weeks ago, the subject of marriage came up again. I told her that it would be nice but I knew she wouldn't want to marry me, and gave her the reasons: impotent, sexless, terminal cancer, blah, blah, blah.

Well, guess what she said?

She said she thought I didn't want to marry HER because of a list that SHE had about HERSELF: she is diabetic, blah, blah, blah, none of which were relevant to ME at all, just as, it turns out, the items on MY list were not relevant to HER.

So there we were, each with our own little lists as to why the other one wouldn't marry us, convinced and totally wrong.

A few minutes later (after composing myself at this realization as to what this woman was to me), I asked her to marry me and she said yes. Okay, enough of the "good news" part.

Here is the relevancy to single/unattached PCa men.


Excuse me for "shouting" but I want this message to get through.

I know that I am hardly the first and I also know that I am incredibly lucky to find a woman like her but IT CAN BE DONE.

I can't give advice on HOW to find a companion. We each have our own lives. I merely know personally that it can be done because I AM DOING IT.

Don't think that just because PCa treatment has turned you into a walking pile of "damaged goods" that no one would want you. That is YOUR decision. It may be a rule or law in YOUR world but it does not exist in the REAL world, the one you share with that other person. It may take more work to find them but, hey, wouldn't it be worth it?

And, yes, I don't have a continence problem so if you have that, sure, you can try to make yourself an exception because it didn't happen to me.

But I will speak to it anyway.

I know that if I were also incontinent, it wouldn't make a difference to my Caren. I can say that for what she has already been through with me (and her dad) and how we are together. And she really knows my current status.

Personally, this journey (especially the last few weeks) has given me incredible insights into relationships and my own history with them, which is another story. We each have our own.

If you are wishing or have wished for someone who will accept you for who you are today but think it can't be done because you are "damaged goods," you are wrong. That is YOUR idea of it and maybe you need to change your mind.

Whatever you have on your "list" as to why no one could possible accept you, note that it is YOUR list and will not be relevant at all to that other person.

That is my message.

It can be done.


[There were over 200 responses, many speaking to relationships. I have compiled some of the replies.]

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This information is provided for educational purposes only and does not replace or amend professional medical advice. Unless otherwise stated and credited, the content of Phoenix5 (P5) is by and the opinion of and copyright © 2000 Robert Vaughn Young. All Rights Reserved. P5 is at <>. P5's policy regarding privacy and right to reprint are at <>.