Surviving Prostate Cancer Together: In Sickness and in Health
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In Sickness and in Health: Surviving Prostate Cancer Together is the most detailed and multifaceted account of the impact of prostate cancer and subsequent treatment yet written by a spouse. Due to the sexual nature of prostate cancer, it may affect relationships and intimacy more than many other cancers. Gervais writes written from a woman's point of view to support spouses as part of the healing team, knowing that partners can feel isolated because of needs to talk with someone about fears and yet to be positive for the man involved. Few books address, from first-hand experience, four treatment options: surgery, radiation, hormone therapy, and alternative therapies. In Sickness and in Health: Surviving Prostate Cancer Together was written to give couples information about the effects these therapies have on quality of life, sexuality, intimate relationships, and survival.Gervais details the first 5 years following a diagnosis of prostate cancer in her otherwise healthy husband. She provides support to take positive steps regardless of the prognosis. Nothing is spared, from the initial shock, through the search for the best treatment options, to the agonizing wait for results after surgery, and finally through somewhat experimental treatment of combined hormone therapy and radiation. Many people tend to treat prostate cancer from just one perspective, but the author thinks affected couples need to be encouraged to do everything possible to effect a cure. The importance of the couple's use of alternative therapy involving diet, supplements, exercise, and visualization is clearly detailedThe description of the slow return to full potency against harsh odds gives hope to other couples facing the same situation while the author shares her view on the importance of activism regarding sexual function. Gervais frankly discusses sexuality and prostate cancer from a personal perspective. What is a hospital stay like? What are the risks and side effects of surgery? What is
Mary Gervais teaches biology and has spent many seasons coaching cross-country skiing and running, as well as track, in Summit County, Colorado. She has been a copy editor and curriculum writer. She has an M.A. in behavioral genetics from the University of Colorado in Boulder, and a B.A. in psychology from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. She enjoys running, biking, golf, hiking, camping, and skiing. She lives with her husband and two Bernese Mountain Dogs at 9400 feet outside Breckenridge, Colorado, and loves to have her two sons come home from college at the University of Denver and CU Medical School. Her happiest times occur while camping as a family.