To Cope with Cancer, a Journey Back Can Help You Move Forward

To Cope with Cancer, a Journey Back Can Help You Move Forward
Sometimes going backward is the path forward. After a prostatectomy, most men live with urinary incontinence. After regaining urinary control, I still leaked if I had to bend, sneeze, laugh, cough or lift anything heavy. I'll never forget how happy I was when I graduated from diapers to pads. At the time, I believed I'd easily adjust to using a single pad for the entire day. It wasn't the first or last time I've said things to myself that turned out to be wrong. With the benefit of hindsight, I never believed I'd be living with a pad for the rest of my life. I thought pads were one more temporary phase leading me toward regaining total control and a pad-free life. I spent 18 months living with pads, and I experienced my share of discouraging days. The first day I ventured to work without a pad was a memorable one. I went to the bathroom before leaving the house, as I didn't want anything to go wrong during my five-minute commute to work. I made it to the parking lot, opened my door, and stepped out of my car. Then I suddenly sneezed. Immediately I felt a surge of moisture in my underwear. I walked directly from the parking lot to the bathroom to inspect the damage. Sure enough, there was a wet spot in my underwear. I'd just received the results of my experiment. When I left for work that day, I wanted to see how long I could go without leaking. I discovered I couldn't stay dry long enough to make into the building where I worked. That certainly was not the answer I hoped for. As I processed the results of my experiment and their implications for my life, I was pleasantly surprised at my reaction. In the bathroom, looking at the wet spot on my underwear, I began to laugh out loud. The idea that I couldn't stay dry long enough to take one step into t
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One comment

  1. Lawrence Glickman says:

    Congratulations on a great attitude and I hope permanent good health. I know that your treatment decision was most likely well thought out and based on your tests. I would like to mention however that for early stage patients there are now better options than radical surgery. There is also a new blocking gel that protects against incontinence during radiation. There are many new focal (local) therapies that offer quick recovery and few side effects.

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