From the Wife’s Perspective

February 3, 2009

"Man Sitting — Back View" (1964) Wayne ThiebaudLeonard Lopate on WNYC FM (93.9), just interviewed a gifted writer, Dana Jennings, who has been speaking — through columns/blog in The New York Times — with alarming frankness about the effects on his life of prostate cancer treatment protocols. Much of what he said yesterday (January 28th, around 1:30 PM) struck me as familiar and moving, almost a mirror image of what I’m trying to do with my book, How We Survived Prostate Cancer — a mirror in the sense of everything reversed. His story is the patient’s, while mine is the partner’s.

As someone who came to write a book about prostate cancer from the wife’s perspective, I first went looking for something to read that would get Dean and me through the treatment crisis; not finding that story, I wrote it. Jennings seems to have begun writing about prostate cancer for much the same reason. Read the rest of this entry »

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Female Sexuality and Post-Treatment Challenges

February 3, 2009

"Reclining Nude" (1917) by Modigiani“What is Female Desire?” by Daniel Bergner in the Sunday section of last week’s New York Times (January 5, 2009) intersects with prostate cancer post-treatment challenges in some interesting ways.  The author quotes Meredith Chivers, a researcher who notes, “…Certainly women are very sexual…but one possibility is that instead of it being a go-out-there-and-get-it kind of sexuality, it’s more of a reactive process.  If you have this dyad and one part is pumped full of testosterone, is more interested in risk taking, is probably more aggressive, you’ve got a very strong motivational force.  It wouldn’t make sense to have another similar force.  You need something complementary.  And I’ve often thought that there is something really powerful for women’s sexuality about being desired.  That receptivity element….” Read the rest of this entry »