A comprehensive introduction to prostate cancer treatment and a compassionate guide to recovering sexual function.
The Redners’ (I Left My Prostate in San Francisco—Where’s Yours?, 2013) second book about prostate cancer focuses on the aftermath of robotic prostate surgery, using Rick’s own experience as a cautionary tale and a source of valuable lessons. Surgery left Rick Redner impotent in his late 50s, and erectile dysfunction medications, a vacuum pump, and injections all failed to correct the problem. At this point in the text, he characterizes himself as having been in the “Diver” phase of depression, as anger and shame drove him to suicidal thoughts. The authors then stress the importance of finding help: a “Survivor,” they say, is proactive about looking for solutions with a physician’s assistance, while a “Thriver” uses his experience to build a stronger relationship and a better sex life. Erectile dysfunction affects 30 million men in the United States alone, according to the National Institutes of Health, so it’s a message that many need to hear. The authors’ sympathetic approach acknowledges the emotional pain that impotence can cause. At the same time, they assert that it’s not a death sentence for one’s sex life: arousal and orgasm are still possible without an erection, they say. Ultimately, though, Rick Redner chose to undergo penile implant surgery. For those pursuing the same path, he incorporates an invaluable discussion of the three different types of implants, with the pros and cons of each, as well as questions to ask a surgeon. He’s also open about all that went wrong after his own surgery, including painful bladder spasms, an infected scrotum, a temporary dependence on oxycodone, a constant erection for three weeks after activating the implant too early, and even PTSD. This all serves not to steer patients away from surgery, though, but to ensure that they’re fully prepared. Two chapters, solely from Brenda Redner’s perspective, add an extra dimension to the book, showing how impotence and surgery inevitably affect partners. The Redners also espouse a Christian view of both love and manhood, but the religious message is never overpowering, and the probing questions at the end of each chapter ensure that this interactive guide will have wide therapeutic application for patients and couples alike.
A successful, Christian-slanted guide for couples looking to reclaim healthy sex lives despite erectile dysfunction.