A clash of expectations presents a challenge for men and couples to overcome. Far too many men and couples are unpleasantly surprised after prostate surgery. Double nerve sparing Robotic Surgery is sold to men as a relatively easy procedure to tolerate. That's accurate unless there are complications.
My wife and I were amazed with the ease in which I began walking around the block the day after we returned from the hospital. The ease of the physical recovery sets the wrong mindset on the other aspects of living life without a prostate. When they sent me home with a list of things to watch for after surgery, I wish sent me home with a list of other things to watch for in my psychological, emotional, relational, sexual and spiritual life as well.
If I were asked to write such a list it would consist of these eleven questions:
At some point after surgery did you:
1. Hate the quality of your life
2. Regret your decision to have surgery
3. Notice an increase in irritability
4. Emotionally distance yourself from your partner
5. Become depressed
6. Avoid sex
7 Experience a decline in the quality of your marriage
8. Experience gratitude surgery cured your cancer
9. Overcome the obstacles to re-establishing your sex life. 10. Improve the quality of your relationship with your partner
11. Become closer or more distant with God?
I recently posted this list on Facebook. Within minutes, these two replies came in:
"Wow thanks Rick-Everything on this list I'm still experiencing"
"All of the above"
I'm not surprised, but the men who wrote those comments in all likelihood were. So are the tens of thousands of men and couples who find themselves coping with life without a prostate.
I'm ticked off that nothing has changed since my surgery six years ago. Men and couples continue to face difficult issues that permanently change the quality of their life and relationships, but no warning is provided and no help is offered. It's maddening.
If you were or still are coping with the challenges of living and loving without a prostate, I hope you'll add your thoughts about this.
Rick Redner and his wife Brenda are the authors of an awarding winning book written to help men and couples cope with life without a prostate.
I Left My Prostate in San Francisco-Where’s Yours? Coping With The Emotional, Relational, Spiritual & Sexual Aspects of Prostate Cancer can be previewed and purchased at