On the back of a paper bag at the kitchen table, I drew a picture of my biopsy report to indicate that only a small amount of cancer had been found and that I should do well with a good chance of cure. I remember being a little emotional talking about it and trying to be up-beat so as not to alarm her. I worried that if she saw my distress, it would cause her to be distressed too. After all, I am the breadwinner, father of our children, and her companion for almost 30 years. As I worried about upsetting her with all this information, she picked up the pencil and began to peer at the diagram I had made. She put another positive area on the picture I had just drawn, then a line through the three areas, and said, “Tic– Tac- Toe, John.” We stared at her handiwork almost mesmerized, and then she looked up at me and smiled. I thought at the time that I had done a good job of allaying her fears, but in retrospect, maybe she sensed something in me that prompted her to allay mine. Wives are smart that way. (From “The Decision”)
I dedicated my book to my wife and two other strong women in my life, my mother and grandmother. Women play a very integral part of the newly diagnosed prostate cancer patient’s journey, both in the decision making process and more importantly in the post treatment aftermath. It goes without saying that if all the treatments affect the male’s potency, that the woman in his life becomes very important in the recovery to “wholeness.” Below is the dedication of my book. Following this are pages done by wives of prostate cancer patients. They are excellent and give one insight into issues that are often not addressed by text books or treatment providers (me included).
To the strong women who have been so important to me throughout my life: Bessie Clay Morgan Davis, Jennie Cooper Davis McHugh, and, most importantly, my wife, Karen. Karen was so beautifully strong throughout my cancer journey, not only for me, but in the navigation of “my predicament,” for our children. For that, and for so many things, I am forever grateful and in her debt.
The newly diagnosed patient with prostate cancer, too, will learn of the prominent role the women in his life will play in his journey. Trust me.
I would encourage any wife or partner of a prostate cancer patient to tell us your story for the benefit of others. The links below are to blogs from the woman’s perspective and are very informative. If you know of other “women” links on prostate cancer please let me know and I’ll add here. If you would like to tell your story on the comments portion of this page feel free to do so.