Manhood vs Prostate Cancer
A man’s sense of being a man takes a major hit once his catheter is removed following surgery.
Based on my experiences following surgery I discovered how just how fragile my sense of manhood was.
After my catheter was removed, I became a leaking faucet. I was constantly dripping urine. I vividly remember staring at myself in the mirror the first night I wore a diaper. I saw myself in the bathroom mirror. Staring back at me was a balding man with gray sideburns. I remember staying to myself “You are one big baby” and that’s exactly how I felt. Within a few days I gave myself a contemptuous baby name. In my mind I referred to myself as “The Squirter” It was difficult to think of myself as an adult. As I saw myself in diapers, I looked and felt infantile. Even in public, where no one could possibly know I was in diapers, I felt like a fraud. I was so self-conscious, It felt as though I huge sign on my back saying “I can’t control my bladder, so I’m wearing diapers.”
Adding to my humiliation, was the fact it took me a long time to figure out how frequently to change my diaper. Many public outings ended prematurely, because I’d leaked through my diaper and soaked my pants with urine. This added additional shame and humiliation. I felt like a man-sized baby. It would take 25 diaper changes a day for me to keep my clothing urine free. My whole life revolved around staying dry and changing diapers. To say I hated my life and what I’d become, “the squirter” would be an understatement.
Once I achieved some level of urinary control, I was faced with the reality that erections and spontaneous sex was no longer possible. For me, erectile dysfunction was going to be a long term issue post surgical issue. I gave up my baby name and baby identity. I assumed a new name and identity. I became “Rick the eunuch”. Not only was I incapable of having sex, I decided I wanted avoid it at all costs. Sadly as Rick the eunuch I gave up all forms of affection. Holding hands, kissing, back rubs, everything associated with physical pleasure were bitter reminders of the fact I had erectile dysfunction. I became physically isolated from my wife.
Once I learned about the possibility of developing a venous leak, which would lead to life long erectile dysfunction, I decided to learn how to perform penile injections. Penile injections worked, but gone was the need for some type of mental or physical stimulation to get an erection. I now became “Rick the mechanical man”. Penetration was only possible with an injection. I was now injection dependent in order to maintain our sex life.
When injections stopped working, I resumed my identity as “Rick the eunuch” A few months later I began responding to ED medication, and took on a new identity as “Rick the Drug Dependent man.” With this identity both physical and mental stimulation was necessary. With both present, I still was unsuccessful more than half the time. My sense of confidence and manhood plunged to zero.
Very recently, 16 months post surgery my wife and I had our first successful experience with intercourse without needles, or medication. I hadn’t realized how heavy a burden I was carrying until it was taken off my shoulders. The bible says in Proverbs 13:12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life. (KJV)
My heart was sick, and my sense of manhood went out the window the long ago. I’d lost all hope of experiencing spontaneous sex ever again. Then the unexpected happened. My sense of hope was restored.
Looking back, I wish I’d had a different perspective from the start of this journey. Losing urinary control, having to wear diapers, and suffering from ED did not cause me to lose my sense of manhood. I gave that away.
If I had re-do, I’d think of myself as a soldier in the battle against prostate cancer. Each of those issues, losing urinary control, wearing diapers, and erectile dysfunction would be seen as war injuries, requiring rehabilitation. As a soldier, I had successfully accomplished my mission. I went through surgery and was cured of prostate cancer. The war injuries along the way were a necessary price to pay to win the war. Viewing my situation from that perspective would have allowed me to maintain my sense of manhood throughout this long ordeal. I hope others traveling this path will learn from my mistakes.