Every professional I saw tried their best. My surgeon recommended a prostatectomy, my radiologist recommended radiation, my counselor didn’t recommend any specific course, but said that watchful waiting would be a possibility. In the end, with a Gleason score of 8 (high), I choose surgery. Following surgery a biopsy was done which indicated my score was almost two points lower. At that level, watchful waiting would have been a more acceptable choice. If I had it to do over….I think I would have asked to have a second biopsy before any treatment.

Now, ten years later I have no trace of prostate cancer. I am healthy.

I spent years second guessing my choice. I experienced grief on the loss of my ability to experience the wonderful sensations of becoming physically aroused. Letting go took a very long time.

Today, I strive, and often succeed at being aware of and grateful for what I have right now, which is quite wonderful.

Ripped Out: Finding Words to Get Through Prostate Cancer


Beginning with my diagnosis 2006, I began to write everyday about what was happening to me and  how I was reacting. Eventually, I transposed my daily journal writings into a book called Ripped Out: One Man’s Journey Surviving Prostate Cancer.

Writing everyday saved me from despair. Pulling those writings into a book was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

Most of my daily comments took the form of a poem. The one on the right, ‘Ripped Out’, gave voice to what I had done. I somehow felt, in part, that I had let myself down. It felt very good to say sorry to my body.

The whole experience was difficult for me to understand –  complicated. Writing the poem somehow let it all out and helped me to move on.

I would very much like to hear from others of their (your) experience. Did it feel like part of you had been ripped out?

Thank you.

Bill Martin