Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Success Looks Different Through Spiritual Eyes

As my wife and I were writing “I Left My Prostate in San Francisco-Where’s Yours?” I thought to myself once our book is published I will have fulfilled a life long dream to become an author. Not exactly, it was my dream to write books for children.  I wrote one titled “Ike & Mike Like to Fight” After multiple publishers rejected the book, I gave up on the idea of writing a book for three decades.

After I was diagnosed with prostate cancer I began an on-line diary for two reasons. First, to preserve my thoughts in real-time in case I would write a book, and second, to help others along their journey. It wasn’t long before I felt a call from the Holy Spirit to write a book in order to help men, and couples cope with the diagnosis of prostate cancer and life following prostate surgery. Based upon my previous experience with publishing, I wasn’t very optimistic a book I’d write would ever see the light of day. I forgot a very important spiritual lesson, when God calls you to do something, if you are faithful and obedient, it will come to pass. Now that said, God didn’t promise me a  #1 best selling book. (I became the one who wanted that.)

It took my wife and I close to 3 years to write our book, and it’s now published. The fact I can go to Barnes & Noble or Amazon.com and see the book in hard cover, soft cover, kindle, and in ibook edition for the ipad is amazing to me. I anticipated I’d feel some degree accomplishment and a huge feeling of gratitude that God decided to use our experiences with prostate cancer to help other people.  I felt these things for a day or two , and then those feelings rapidly vanished.

I stopped seeing this achievement through spiritual eyes and began to see them through the eyes of the world. With that view in place I asked myself the following: “What good is it to have written a book if no one buys it?”  With this view in place, the only way to achieve success involved developing a marketing campaign to make the book nationally known and selling hundreds of thousands of books. I must confess, for a time, I really got lost. Fortunately, my spiritual outlook returned. The following formula:
 success=number of books sold,  is now null and void.

So I’m left with the following question: What does success look like though spiritual eyes? I’m still working that answer out. This much I do know, it means I’ll be going way beyond my comfort zone. At some point in the future, I believe Brenda & I will be involved with newspapers, radio, and possibly TV.  I’m no longer driven to achieve instant success. I know I must be on my knees in prayer asking for what directions to go. It means trusting in where we are in the moment, and feeling grateful we’ve been brought this far in the journey. It means learning to do things I’ve never done before, such as having an author Facebook page, and hosting a website at: http://www.whereisyourprostate.com/. It means blogging, which something I’ve never done or wanted to do.

It God’s MO to send people to places they’d rather not go, to do things they’d rather not do, in order to bless people you never thought to bless before.  I suspect doing all those things is part of my new definition of success. As this definition evolves I’ll share it. The question each of us must ask, is how do we define success, and does our definition come from the world or our faith? How we answer that question makes all the difference in the direction our lives will take.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Book Promoting Ideas

Writing I Left My Prostate in San Francisco was a very different very different task than advertising and marketing the book. Unless men and couples coping with prostate cancer know about this book it won’t sell.

So, how do you go about making your book known? Here are some of the useful steps that every author needs to take:
1. Obtain book reviews. While there are some lists on-line that have lists of book reviewers, I’ve spent dozens of hours on-line looking for book reviewers. Every author needs to decide whether they want free reviews and/or paid book reviews. I decided to go for both.
2. Develop an on-line presence.
A. I have an author page http://www.whereisyourprostate.com/
B. A Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/I-Left-My-Prostate-In-San-Francisco-Wheres-Yours/336668756422536?ref=ts
C. A blog: http://whereisyourprostate.blogspot.com/
D. An on-line diary: http://www.mdjunction.com/diary/journey-from-diagnosis-treatment-recovery

If you Google my name, Rick Redner, Brenda, or the book title I Left My Prostate in San Francisco-Where’s Yours? You will find dozens of links and mentions on Google. So we have a strong internet presence.

3. Enter the book into book award contests-We’ve entered our book into 4 of these contests.

4.   Get your books in the hands of readers. I have a 25 book give a way in the month of March on Goodreads.

So far this means very little in terms of book sales. Much more is required. The next step is generating the kind of publicity that will help sell books and generate traffic to our website and on-line support forums.
If you as an author can afford a book publicity agent, that person may have the skills and contacts you get your book into the mainstream media.

Since our book has a Christian orientation, we’ve asked both Focus on the Family and Family Life Today to consider using the book in their ministry. We’ve also asked them to consider doing a talk-show about prostate cancer. This is a story that has national interest because 1 in 6 men will receive this diagnosis in their lifetime. Additionally, a man is diagnosed with prostate cancer every 2.2 minutes and a man dies from prostate cancer every 18 minutes.

We are hoping our local newspaper the Modesto Bee will do a feature story about our book and on-line ministry. We are also looking into interviews with other radio stations.

Selling a book is an uphill battle, which takes time and persistence. Since my wife and believe in what we are doing we bring both of those personality traits to the mix.  We will see how all of our efforts come together in the coming months and whether those efforts will impact book sales.

If you have an idea for a book I want to encourage you to follow those dreams, but don’t expect over night success.

Friday, February 15, 2013

What you want to know before you have a Da Vinci Prostate Surgery

This week a man who had prostate surgery posted a message on a forum that touched my heart and quite frankly ticked me off at the way men with prostate cancer are treated. Just 9 weeks post surgery he said this:

The physical pain from the surgery is gone but everything else is
deteriorating. There is not a minute where I don't regret my decision and
prefer to just evaporate. There is no denying it; I am now a freak. I don't
respect myself and, in all honesty, I don't know how others would respect
me either. Sleep is now my only comfort. Perhaps a very deep sleep will
help me to evaporate, permanently.

The despair this man feels is gut wrenching to read. The permanent changes brought about by prostate surgery are extremely difficult to cope with. I know because I've had to adjust to these changes myself.  If you go to the websites that promote robotic prostate surgery, you are given the impression, afters surgery all will be well in a few short weeks. This is partly true but mostly a lie.

The truthful part is the recovery time from robotic surgery is amazingly quick. I had my appendix removed in my 20’s and it took me a few weeks to walk around the block following my appendectomy.  3 days after robotic surgery I was able to walk a mile without any difficulty what so ever. Big deal. I've known men who returned to work 2 weeks after Robotic Surgery. Not me, I needed to stay home for 3 months. I found  living in diapers, and needing to change myself 15 times a day was as close to living in hell as I want to experience in his lifetime.

My sexuality came to an abrupt end. Constantly leaking urine is a romance killer.  I wasn't leaking small drops of urine, it was a lot of urine and that was during foreplay. It got much worse at the time of orgasm, because ejaculation was replaced by urination. Rather than ejaculate, I’d urinate. That was not a welcome change or one I was prepared to face. For me this, development ended my desire for sex.

If all of that wasn't bad enough, it get’s worse. Erectile dysfunction is another common side effect of prostate surgery. The majority of men loose the ability to obtain an erection for 18-24 months. I’m 19 months post- surgery and I've yet to experience a spontaneous erection since my surgery. It takes a heavy toll on a man’s sense of value and self-worth. It also has a major impact on a man’s relationship with his partner.

If you are thinking about Robotic Surgery often called Da Vinci Surgery I invite you to read my book titled I Left My Prostate in San Francisco-Where’s Yours? Available at:
Barnes & Noble


The Kindle Edition sells for $2.99

If you need support or have questions prior to prostate surgery please visit me at:

If you are having trouble adjusting to life after prostate surgery, please buy my book and visit me here:

If you’ve had surgery, I’d appreciate you participating in a 4 question poll here:

It's time to speak the truth so men aren't surprised by despair after their prostate surgery.