“Let’s fire this baby up.”


I remember the day as if it were yesterday. I had had my surgery on my wife’s brother’s birthday, May 10th, a Thursday. On June 6th, my wife’s birthday, I called home to see if she would like me to pick something up for her birthday dinner. “I’d like Thai Dish; I really miss eating there.” There used to be a Thai restaurant near our home that she loved, but it had moved to another location about 30 minutes from our house. The new location was inconvenient, and as a result we ate there infrequently. The round trip to this restaurant from my office and then to my home I figured would be about 40 minutes, and probably a good time to try taking a sex pill to see if I could “fire this baby up.” Most of the pills have about a 30-minute window before they take effect. So as I am finishing up seeing patients for that afternoon, I get a sample pack from the drug cabinet and take one. By the time I had placed the to-go order and was in the car to pick it up, about 30 minutes had passed. Since I was still wearing a condom catheter because of the incontinence, I decided to shake the tubing that connects the bag to the condom and see if, on the way to Thai Dish, anything “perked up.” There was a fair amount of anxiety associated with this test because of the chance that the surgery had messed up the nerves responsible for erections. It was a big deal to me as it is to all men treated for prostate cancer. I determined that there was life down there. It was not much, but the fact that I had any response at all indicated to me that, at a minimum, at least some of the nerves had been spared. I pranced into and out of  Thai Dish  and played the Beatles as loud as my CD player would allow with the windows down all the way home. (I love loud music in the car with the windows down.) When I got home with the food, my wife asked, “John, did you have a good day?” “Yes,” I said, “It turned out to be a very nice day.” June 6th is historically known as D-Day, but for me it’s E-Day. In time, as the degree of my incontinence decreased and I was able to go to back to a diaper, I was very content and actually felt lucky to be “dry with a diaper, potent with a pill.”

Excerpt from ” The Decision: Your prostate biopsy shows cancer. Now what?”

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