My name is Mish Middelmann and I’m an ordinary man who got diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2019, when I was 61. I think it helped that I was physically fit and actively engaged in the world at the time. I know that the love and care of my wife and family were key factors in my wellbeing and ability to respond to cancer.
I am now 65, feeling fit and healthy in most ways. In the blog you can read about the remaining challenges and opportunities.
I am deeply grateful to be – currently at least – in remission from cancer. I am working locally and internationally and loving it. And I am more clear than before that I won’t work non-stop all the time. I take plenty of time to keep fit in body mind and spirit, connect with loved ones as well as friends and colleagues around the world, make pottery, and grow organic veggies in my backyard.
I’m also devoting an increasing portion of my time and energy to this blog and the human ecosystem it belongs to. I have become both an author and an editor.
At the time I was diagnosed, I was super busy with several small businesses, including my main profession as a systemic leadership coach. I was also blessed with time and space to respond. It helped that my wife and I are happily ensconced in an empty nest. And, shortly after my surgery, the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown enforced some stopping, reflecting and pivoting.
I’m deeply grateful to my wife of 40 years and our two sons, and to the wider circle of family and friends around us, for deep personal support throughout the process. I’ve also received amazing help and healing from many professional sources. I am acknowledging these as the blog unfolds.
I have kept a daily journal through the whole process and that’s helping me create this account of how it all unfolded for me at the time.
About my own part of this blog
My robotic assisted laparoscopic surgery to remove my cancer-infested prostate was a huge success. My cancer levels are still undetectable 3 years later. But this surgery takes out something at the very core of man’s body, and that has other consequences beyond cancer treatment.
I was shocked to find an extraordinarily minimalist roadmap for recovery of the other things that go by the wayside along with the prostate – notably urinary continence and erectile function. I have invested a lot of energy learning and finding resources which I want to share with you. I got tons of excellent help from pioneers around the world – people who had similar experiences and paved the way for me to follow. But these stories were hard to find.
A year after my prostate surgery, I felt ready to start telling my story and created the Recovering Man blog.
This blog began a bit like a time-delayed broadcast: telling you as if it is in real time, what actually happened a year previously. It helped me gain some perspective, while remaining close enough to the emotions to share them. Where you see posts dated 2019 to 2022, I have used my extensive notes and journal to write it like it was back then for me. During 2023 I’ve been “catching up” towards real time episodes. As of May 2023 the time lag has been reduced to about 3 months.
Stories – stitching together the survivor landscape
More and more, this website is attracting other people’s stories, from prostate cancer survivors in all walks of life all around the globe, their partners and others engaged in this ecosystem. I am inspired by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s famous quote about “beware of the single story” and invite you to contribute too.
Stories matter. Many stories matter – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (do yourself a favour and click the link to watch her TED talk)
Thanks to all those who have contributed to this website and its community – specially those who have shared their own unique stories.
Each person’s experience of prostate cancer is unique. The more different stories you engage with the easier it will be for you to chart your own unique pathway. I am grateful to those who have helped weave the many stories that connect us and enrich our lives.
Have you benefited from the free resources, stories and community at Recovering Man?
If you would like to contribute financially to help Mish source, edit and create more resources, feel free to donate whatever amount you would like here:
Huge thanks to the wonderful man who has been donating regularly – your kindness gives me heart to continue and practically helps pay the running costs of this site.