Thursday, May 26, 2016

When Final Doesn't Mean Final

Have you ever done something, think you're finished, only to discover you aren't finished at all? It happens to me all the time when I'm writing a book, blog, Facebook post or talk. I read what I've written multiple times and declare "it's complete." I even go so far as to name the file final version as if by naming it that, it will become the final version. I can't count the number of final versions I've had with our new book and it's press release. Since I posted this blog, I've changed it four additional times. I'm hoping this truly is the final version of our press release. Comments and feedback are welcome.

It's ironic there's another final in my life that thankfully wasn't final. It occurred when I was told that I'd be impotent for the rest of my life.  I'm delighted that I didn't 't accept that diagnosis as final. I discovered a procedure that would cure my impotence. My wife & I decided to write a book for couples coping with erectile dysfunction and penile implant surgery.

Our book will be released this summer.

New Book Offers Hope for Men and Couples Coping With Erectile Dysfunction
One Couple’s Life-changing Journey With Impotence and Penile Implant Surgery

Written by award winning authors Richard and Brenda Redner, Everything You NEVER Wanted to Know About Erectile Dysfunction & Penile Implants reaches out to the 30 million American men suffering from erectile dysfunction (ED) with a single, heartfelt message: life—and great sex—is possible with erectile dysfunction. Rick thought he had lost it all after treatment for prostate cancer left him impotent, but thanks to penile implant surgery, he and Brenda enjoy a life of passion and satisfaction that exceeds their greatest hopes and expectations. In this candid book, they give a frank, detailed account of their trials and victories along the way and offer hope to other men and couples coping with erectile dysfunction.


Modesto, CA, May 19, 2016 – Due to the after effects of surgery for prostate cancer, Rick Redner became one of the 30 million men in the US who suffer from erectile dysfunction or impotence. Not only did it rob him of his sense of manhood, it also threatened to derail his marriage and left him with thoughts of suicide. Like most other men suffering from erectile dysfunction, Rick was unaware of the one medical procedure that had the potential to reverse his condition: penile implant surgery.

After exhausting all other treatment options, Rick, with his wife Brenda’s support, decided to go ahead with the procedure. Despite a few bumps along the way, the operation was a success, and it revolutionized their sex life and Rick’s self-esteem. More importantly, the Redners’ journey through erectile dysfunction and penile implant surgery deepened and strengthened their marriage and their faith in God.

In a compelling and potentially life-changing new book, Everything You NEVER Wanted to Know About Erectile Dysfunction & Penile Implants, Rick and Brenda take readers from the hospital to the bedroom as they share the intimate details of how penile implant surgery changed their lives emotionally, psychologically, relationally, and sexually. They are frank about their defeats, their victories, and the life-changing lessons they learned along the way.

After reading the Redners’ story, readers will know how to recognize and overcome the various roadblocks that prevent men and couples from seeking help with erectile dysfunction and how to determine whether penile implant surgery is the right option for them. They’ll discover healthy ways to think, talk about, live with, or cure erectile dysfunction, thereby empowering couples to end their silence, sadness, suffering, and shame associated with erectile dysfunction. Most importantly, couples coping with erectile dysfunction will discover how to develop a new and exciting sex life with or without a penile implant. In addition to the Redners’ story, the book is packed with all sorts of practical tips, resources, and links to help readers learn more about coping with erectile dysfunction and penile implant surgery.

The Redners were motivated to write this book following their fruitless search for resources to guide men and couples through the devastation of erectile dysfunction and the potential treatment options available, particularly penile implants. When diagnosed with erectile dysfunction, many men accept it as a life sentence. The Redners are on a mission to let people know that penile implant surgery is the single best solution to restore the physical and emotional intimacy that couples coping with erectile dysfunction thought they had lost forever.

 “Erectile dysfunction is a thief,” Rick says. “It steals hope, intimacy, and self-esteem, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Far too many men allow their fear, embarrassment or shame, drive them into hiding or self-destructive behaviors. Holding hands, back rubs, kissing, and all physical expressions of love are transformed into bitter reminders of what’s lost. This leads men to withdraw from all forms of physical affection. It’s important for men to learn how to break this destructive cycle of thinking in order to restore their ability to give and receive affection.”

Brenda could not be more enthusiastic about the positive changes penile implant surgery has had on their marriage. “Our sexual relationship has blossomed to a point beyond what we could have ever imagined. We have grown to love and cherish each other more than ever.”

This is the Redners’ second book together. To help couples face the challenges of living—and loving—without a prostate, Rick and Brenda wrote their award-winning book I Left My Prostate in San Francisco—Where’s Yours? (2013). Rick is also active online and elsewhere encouraging and counseling men and couples who are dealing with the effects of prostate surgery, cancer, and erectile dysfunction.

About the Authors:
Rick Redner received his master’s degree in social work from Michigan State University. He has spent many years working as a medical and psychiatric social worker.

Brenda Redner received her RN/BSN at Michigan State University. She has worked in oncology, home health nursing, psychiatric nursing, and teaching.

Contact: Richard Redner & Brenda Redner,

For more news and information, visit their website:

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Unwanted Change is a Fact of Life

I think it's fair to say the older we get the greater the frequency and intensity of unwanted change we'll experience in our lives. Since this is a prostate cancer blog, the odds are you or someone you love experienced the unwanted change of receiving a diagnosis of  prostate cancer. Treating prostate cancer can bring about additional unwanted changes.

To this day, I can't decide which was the worst news I'd ever received from a physician. It comes down to two days.

Day#1-The day I was told I had prostate cancer
Day#2-The day I was told that even though I had double nerve sparing surgery and participated in
            penile rehab program, I was going to be impotent for the rest of my life.

I've given up trying to decide which of these days was the worst and simply decided both days brought miserable and unwanted change into my life.  Recently I was reminded that losing your health isn't the only type of unwanted change.

Once a year the city of Carmel (in California) has Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Day on the beach. My daughter knows how much I enjoy attending this event so she booked a hotel so we could all enjoy this event with Toby, our King Charles Spaniel. I was touched by her generous gift. I was looking forward to this event so much it was one of the highlight events of the year for me. It wasn't only my daughter's generosity that touched me. I know she hates hanging out on the beach. She agreed to stay on the beach with us for as long as I wanted to be there. She was giving me the gift of her time to do something I enjoyed so much. It was a gift I'll remember for the rest of my life. Unfortunately, I didn't get to enjoy it.

Hours before our trip to Carmel, Toby escaped from our yard.  He was struck by a car. He died in my wife's arms before we could get him medical attention. I've had dogs in my life for close to sixty years. Toby was one of my favorite dogs. He's the only dog I've ever had who didn't live until a ripe old age. Toby was two years old. He died on the day we were taking him to Carmel to enjoy a day at the beach with other Cavalier Spaniels. To say I was heartbroken would be an understatement. I was devastated. Not only for my loss, but my daughter was as close to Toby as a dog and a human can be. She shared her pillow with Toby every night. My wife was deeply attached to Toby as well. I was grieved for my own loss, and the loss my wife and daughter faced as well. Grief on top of grief.

With broken hearts, we cancelled our trip to Carmel. We spent that weekend sharing our sadness and grief over this sudden and unexpected loss. Chalk up another unwanted change in our lives. Unwanted change comes in different forms. Most come unexpectedly. These events change your life in ways you intensely dislike.

Coping with unwanted change is an important life skill, but no one ever prepares you to face these inevitable and unwanted changes. It seems we are left to our own devices to find our own way in the school of hard knocks.

I don't know how anyone can successfully emerge from unwanted changes as a more compassionate person without a faith in God. Going through unwanted change with God allows us to experience this:

 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, (2 Cor 1:3-4 NKJV)

I don't know about you, but I need God's comfort when I face each and every unwanted change in my life. There's more God has in mind to do with our unwanted changes and the experience of His comfort. He has mission and purpose for us after we receive His comfort:

that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (2 Cor 1:4 NKJV)

It's God's plan to use the comfort we receive in our unwanted changes to transform us into helpers and comforters of others who go through similar unwanted changes. My prostate cancer blog wouldn't exist if this were not true.

My wife and I would never have written a book to help men and couples cope with prostate cancer if this were not true. We wouldn't be publishing our second book (this summer)  about coping with erectile dysfunction and penile implants if this were not true.

My best advice in coping with unwanted change is this:
1. Don't go through it alone, put together a team of people to help and comfort you
2. Find people further along in the journey you are on and put a few of those folks on your team.
3. Find people with a good sense of humor. Laughter is an essential part of healing.
4. Don't miss out on God's comfort. Grow in your faith.
5. Somewhere down the road become a comforter to someone else.
6. Allow God to do His work in the mists of all your unwanted change: we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance;  and perseverance, character; and character, hope. (Rom 5:3-4 NKJV)

Some unwanted changes are awful and tragic and will always be awful and tragic. That does not mean we can't experience meaning and purpose in the mists of all of our unwanted changes. I know I have and I believe you can as well.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Seven Things You Need to Know BEFORE Your Prostatectomy

Before any surgery it's necessary to sign a consent to treat form which lists the risks involved with the surgery you're agreeing to. Here's a list of seven risks of prostate surgery you may not be informed of
1. The possibility of life-long leaking of urine
2. Climacturia-Leaking of urine before or during orgasm
3. Penile shrinkage
4. Change in the intensity of orgasms
5. Loss of ejaculation
6. A permanent change in the level of hardness of your erection
7. Loss of Libido-(interest in sex)

If you've had prostate surgery, we're you informed of these risks? If you know someone who is considering a prostatectomy (a surgery to remove the prostate) share this blog with them. Advise them to print this out to discuss these risks with their surgeon.

Believe me when I warn you that reading the seven risks is a whole lot easier than living with the reality of a single one of these risks.

Rick Redner and his wife Brenda are the author of I Left My Prostate In San Francisco-Where's Yours?