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a selection from:

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

Page 251 - (go to page 250)

IN THAT SENSE, more than nine months after surgery, I have ''recovered'' — not recovered what I had, or who I was, before the call from Kathy in Dr. Russo's office changed my life. I do not think that will ever happen, and perhaps I no longer care. I'm not sure I liked that person nearly as much as I do the one I am now, or that the life I had then was as good as I thought it was. No, recovery comes, in the end, from the dawning realization that cancer was an episode in one's life, neither the end of it nor, more important, the whole of it.

John Wayne once said that his proudest achievement was that he had ''licked the Big C.'' Of course, he hadn't. The Big C came back, and licked him, in the end. Nobody is really a match for cancer, not even the Duke. I do not pride myself that I have licked cancer. I survived a match with it, that's all. With any luck, it won't come back for a rematch, but if it does, I won't be afraid. We are all going to die of something. Nobody gets out of here alive.

IN THE END, my experience with prostate cancer seems to me a hopeful, optimistic one, not so much because I appear to be doing well — though that's gratifying — but because it proves to me that cancer, this particular brand of it, anyway, can be overcome, that it doesn't have to be the scary experience, appearing unexpectedly out of the blue, that it was for me. The information is out there, reams of it; new discoveries are being made every day; there's no mystery about it. The important thing is to know everything you can about the disease, and I'm keeping up on it, from day to day, relying on friends who send me clippings of the latest news and advances, and above all on my prostate-cancer support group, to keep me up-to-date and informed. Nothing could have prevented my cancer — after all, nobody knows what caused it in the first place — but what a difference it would have made if I'd been as well-informed on the subject as I am now. It happened to me, and I was unprepared for it, totally ignorant.

It can happen to you, too. These days, when I meet a man, I'm as likely as not to ask him what his PSA is. If he doesn't know, I urge him to find out. I am still astonished — and appalled — by the number of men who don't know, or can't remember, or who haven't been told by their doctors.

There is no reason why 50,000 American men a year should die from sheer ignorance, or from turning a blind eye to a disease which is so easily diagnosed at an early stage. Quite simply, the best cure for prostate cancer is to know as much as you can about it before it happens to you.

Learning about it the hard way, after you've been diagnosed as having it, may be the biggest mistake you'll ever make.

[End of Selections]

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

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