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cover of book man to man by michael korda a selection from:

Man to Man:
Surviving Prostate Cancer

by Michael Korda

Part IV - Recovery

Picking up at pages 242-243

RECOVERY MEANS COMING to terms at last with what has happened to you, ''putting it all behind you,'' as they say — the cancer, the surgery, and all the rest of it. Usually, you can fix a date when it happens. For me, it was about nine months after the operation, at the end of a beautiful summer day in the country, when I slipped into bed and realized that I hadn't thought about my operation or my cancer once during the whole day, that it no longer figured at all in my plans or my thoughts.

That is not to say that the aftereffects were gone, or forgotten, but I had come to terms with them for the moment, made my peace with life as it had been offered to me. My life, whatever its defects, was a lot better than no life at all.

At nine months, the incontinence problem has been reduced to a level I can live with, most of the time, bar the occasional accident. I'm not happy about it, but I'm not miserable, either. As to the future, I have a few decisions to make. Should I live with a degree of incontinence permanently, or do something about it? If the latter, then what?

Biofeedback remains a possibility — something to consider when a year is up. There is talk that certain patients benefit from collagen injections to fill up the space left by the removal of tissue during the prostatectomy, but collagen moves around, and besides, it's an invasive procedure. I haven't found anybody who's actually had such an injection, but it's on my list to inquire about. I'm not so badly off that I'd contemplate a surgical implantation — having to wear a pad, getting the occasional ''spurt'' of urine at moments of physical stress, needing to keep within a reasonable (and predictable) ETA of a bathroom; none of these is enough to make me contemplate further surgery.

My inclination is to stick with Dr. Walsh's opinion that it will get better and that there's always time to change my mind. In the meantime, I try not to think too much about what is a comparatively minor physical handicap. Most of the time, I succeed.

IT'S A LITTLE harder to be philosophical about sex. So far as Dr. Walsh is concerned, I'm right on schedule, and maybe he's right — he never promised me a rose garden. Sexual feeling has returned, just as he said it would, but I've had no erections to speak of, although an occasional, twitchy beginning of one, despite my having only one nerve bundle to operate on, gives me hope that Dr. Walsh is correct.
Selections reproduced at with the kind permission of the author. Copyright © 1996, 1997 by Success Research Corporation

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