Surviving Prostate Cancer, a survivor’s mostly funny diary…


Surviving Prostate Cancer: A survivor’s mostly funny diary, 21.6 PSA to 1.4 and dropping…

Welcome! This is a humorous yet no-nonsense account of the near-year that the author spent surviving a successful treatment for prostate cancer. And yes, that author is me and this is my blog, otherwise 99% dedicated to publishing, book writing, empire building, and related, non-medical interests. As virtuous as that sounds I still snagged this cancer.

I wasn’t totally surprised. My prostate had been big enough to saddle at least since I was 25. I was a college dean and I mysteriously hurt all over. That’s when a G.P. (who thought I had the flu) nonetheless kept poking around, suggesting my trousers were too high, and bent me over his peeking bench. I heard a disconcerting “wow!” followed by “I don’t need my gloves. The damn thing is already looking out!” That from a grim-faced sawbones who looked like he restricted his joy to a smile a year. He introduced me to my prostate.

I found out that being big didn’t mean being bad. My PSA obediently hovered at 5 or 6. Then, about 50 years later, it shot up to 21.6. So I was introduced to my first urologist, he in turn brought the art of biopsy into my life, and a new adventure began. I still have my not-so-monster prostate (we chose a TURP instead) but my PSA now is between 1.5 and 2 and still dropping. (It looks to me like a cure.) In the meantime I did what a hapless writer does when others tamper with his urinary innards. If he’s worth his salt (I still have salt), he grinds through it–and writes.

110-page mostly funny diary of a prostate cancer survivor!

110-page mostly funny diary of a prostate cancer survivor!

So this 110-page book (my 44th and, I hope, my last health missive) was written mostly for those lucky guys who were ”chosen” to have a prostate with a mean mind of its own. What does prostate cancer feel like? What runs through your mind—and urethra—while urologists try old and new procedures on you? How do you handle catheter madness and wimpy hormone breasts? The joys of incontinence? Or is this a book for your Dad or your grumpy old uncle? (Incidentally, peeing blood and hot flashes get no sympathy from wives, but still…)

On these pages I tell about the Discovery, Hormone Shots, the TURP, Radiation, Incontinence, No Flow, Another Cut, and Victory (I think).

In fact, why not check out the Table of Contents–gloves not needed?

(1) Discovery—but what’s a prostate?
(2) Damn, what do I do now? (Try two hormone shots and one TURP.)
(3) Radiation: Will I really glow in the dark?
(4) Every day is a fry day
(5) Is the radiation short-circuiting my brain?
(6) This cancer is a real confidence eater
(7) A one-day reprieve
(8) The weekly doctor tell-all
(9) Incontinence? I can’t run fast enough…
(10) Hasta luego, radiator!
(11) No flow!
(12) Even Governor Brown is trying it out
(13) Another cut
(14) Happy 2013—I can pee again!
(15) Whew!
(16) Victory (I think).

It’s my off-beat view of being a patient, one who peed invisibly almost any place any time until nature, my urologist, and some magic pills mercifully intervened. The book is also written for my colleagues, now and later, who have an extraordinary prostate. Alas, cancer-tinged prostates seem to be as common as ants. In fact, it’s man’s second most prevalent disease! (The book is also written for their spouses, kids, parents, and jealous friends. In other words, for almost everybody.)

I had most of the usual treatments, told the usual lies, and too often slept next to the washroom (sometimes waking up in it), yet I also kept my publishing business alive, wrote articles and books, chased my fleeing “don’t-touch-me” buddies and grandkids, and kept speaking in public about other things.

Take a read so that if you too live (and don’t die) by the PSA you’ll know what’s up, what sounds awful but isn’t, what nobody mentions but actually is kind of awful, and a nifty, little-known regimen to use when you must urinate for weeks through a hole smaller than a pin prick.

No tongue-twisting technical terms either. If I can walk (sort of quickly) across hot, malignant coals and still have cold feet, you can too. Here’s the inside stuff. Cheap too; about $5 digitally, $10 in paperback. Maybe a dime a laugh, unless you’re like that GP.


We sell the paperback and .pdf ebook versions. You can also buy the paperback from CreateSpace (Amazon) and the ebook version for readers and tablets, etc. from Kindle (Amazon), Nook (Barnes & Noble), Smashwords, iPad, and Scribd. All prices for the respective paperback and ebook vendors are about the same.

Best wishes,

Gordon Burgett

Communication Unlimited, P.O. Box 845, Novato, CA 94948 /

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2 Comments to “Surviving Prostate Cancer, a survivor’s mostly funny diary…”

  1. By Steve Slaunwhite, June 4, 2013 @ 4:44 am

    Wonderful post. My father and father-in-law both suffered from prostrate cancer at the same time, for many years. I take a PSA test every six months. Thanks, Gordon, for writing about the experience.

    • By Admin, July 27, 2013 @ 8:11 am

      What a nice comment, Steve. Looks like you came through it fine. Congratulations. If you know others who might benefit from solace and inspiration, please tune them on to the book. Via Amazon is best. Many Thanks,

      Gordon Burgett