By Phoenix Rising
[Editor’s note: One man’s story of physical, emotional and spiritual changes, losses and opportunities after prostate cancer treatment. Big thanks to the reader who shared just one month of his anonymous diary in all its searing honesty, searching and opening after his radical prostatectomy.]
May 1st, 2022
My surgery was fine. It has only been 13 days. I don’t how to relate to my body now. I can feel the missing parts. The surgery feels like a necessary rape. I am afraid to touch myself down there. When I do, I feel feminine – or different. I don’t know quite how to describe it.
I know I need to accept and embrace change. However, this new body is scary, mysterious and uncertain. I am a very sexual person. Now my sexuality seems confusing.
My penis seems smaller and more sensitive. I can sense the hole in my body where the prostate was and also where the seminal ducts were located. So many new feelings which are hard to talk about with others.
I need to talk about my experiences now and hear about experiences others men are having about their changes in mind, body and spirit. In particular I feel more alive even though my penis is not getting hard. The erotic energy I experience is more spread throughout my body.
I am an African American in my mid sixties. While I have a family, grandchildren and great grandchildren, I consider myself sexually fluid. I can appreciate beauty in all forms.
Yesterday I purchased a vibrator from one of those sex stores in town. Using it, I experienced my first erectionless orgasm. It was a new discovery and it gave me hope of connecting with myself for now in a new way.
I wonder how to address the ceremony of my prostate being gone and how to approach the healing of that private space. I am asking in a spiritual sense the direction of healing. Or is it something each one alone has to discover?
To have the taste of connecting with life, others and ourselves – I believe it so needed today. I find comfort and strength knowing that the healing and discovery is a process with many unknown aspects. Celebrating the masculine and feminine parts of my self being ok. That this union is an unknown. I think we are now truly living in the age of Aquarius. Our shared understanding of our experiences helps others.
My first appointment after my surgery is June 9.
I will wear pads next week returning to school. We don’t get to use the bathroom that often. Mostly dribbling when I have to stretch my legs getting out of the car.
Previously I had some anal experience mostly having my butt rubbed and massaged. This has heightened since the surgery. Having the vibrator pressed against my anus and my perineum provides very sensual and pleasant sensations.
Having given my wife and others massages, both genders, I have been stimulated by rubbing their backsides. I have had a strong interest in sex in many forms tried many things except things causing pain. When one is young exploration seems so natural. As we mature so many taboos fall upon us.
I am feeling more sensation in my penis than a week ago but no erection. I truly miss it. But the overall energy is moving more fluidly through my body like pulses and waves. It is a strange and beautiful unknown.
Compassion, kindness and zest for life feed my heart. It is like finding a new way to dance in a new pair of shoes.
Overall, back to school has not been bad. If l sit too long I get a slight pain in the perineum. I have to walk it out. It has been good to get back to work with kids. To take my mind off myself for a while. Diapers have kept me dry!
I bought a penis pump yesterday. It is a little tricky to start but I can see its possibilities. I am wondering how often to use it. Also how long I will need to work it before seeing any changes in blood flow, size or stiffness.
I believe in every fiber of my being that we are transmitters of the energy from beyond…. and we don’t know how it works. It is also clear to me now that I need help. Help from something higher to keep me searching for truth, trying to connect, and trying to communicate the life germ we all share.
I am allowing myself to receive as well as give. Stop trying to force my will but allowing myself to be sensitive to the creative forces. To participate in co-creation. I am finding that the whole of me must do this. It is such a mystery to find oneself living, experiencing what life is in itself. This is a question I don’t need the answer to. But I need to acknowledge it with joy, daring, zest, suffering and all that it brings. Not to turn away but to embrace it.
So much we take for granted. So much more we could be grateful for.
The energy is coming back where my prostate used to be and I am intentionally sending energy into that area to nurture it back to health. I visualize warm green light in the area of my body where my prostate was. Focusing on the green warm light healing the nerve tissue in any way it can. This at least allows me some relaxation in that area. I am using warm green light because in another group I belong to a Buddhist priest spoke about the vibration of the color green being very healing.
My grief when it comes feels like what I think a woman might feel after delivering a baby and now the baby is no longer in her. The grief is less but I am now letting it come and being with it.
From what I’ve read, energy needs matter to express itself. Our bodies are that matter. Is it possible to have every cell in our body penetrated by light?
This is about stepping into unknowns. I get that. Part of this sharing is life teaching communication and connection. Maybe seeing how this sexual energy can be used in other ways to be creative to invoke love at the level of humanity.
I am finding the older I get, the less I really understand. Real meaning and understanding happen only in moments when all of me is present in life. Life itself being this gigantic movement that I get flashes of, or taste of, but rarely get the complete picture.
I have to be open, sensitive and watching to see what’s going on. Through service I can participate in a way that is unselfish. So life can move through me. I can co-create in a transmission I can only approximate until it happens. Fresh like a child in an adult’s body.
I found I really like my nipples played with. It’s is something my wife won’t do but I have included in my self pleasuring which is very gratifying. I have sometimes felt like l have breasts. It was a unexpected pleasure and surprise.
Also my inner thighs and the area around the base of my penis is more sensitive. l really find pleasure in using the vibrator around the rosebud opening or squeezing the vibrator between my legs starting at my anus going across my perineum to the base of the penis shaft. I might ask my wife to play with my nipples. It won’t hurt, and if she does it could be another connection for us.
Sometimes waves of sexual energy going through the body are hard to navigate and just let happen. It is so very different from it being centralized in my penis. I am also finding that I am more horny than before the surgery. I don’t know if it is because that area of the body was operated on. Perhaps it’s because of reading and writing about news ways to experiment and accept this new form of me. In some ways it’s like repeating being a teenager, noticing the changes of puberty that were not planned.
The health system prefers to compartmentalize. It seems strange to me that so many educated people can’t band together to treat a patient in more holistic way. Yes, I get it they need to be clinical and fact-based. But the overall level of understanding, empathy and compassion is not there.
The cancer is treated but not the person who is experiencing the cancer. I am also surprised to see how uptight doctors are talking about sex and its importance to a patient’s wellbeing.
It certainty did not help that my whole team of doctors were men under 40 who looked like they were part of a soccer team. They seemed to have no idea how devastating it could be to a man to have his wings cut and his ability to fly suspended.
You’ve expressed your emotions so beautifully. I have been on this journey for 3 years with surgery and radiation. I have always been a very sexual man but please be positive and persist with all your exercises and pump. Things do recover and you can still have a good sex life things are just different. As the saying goes there is more than one way to skin a cat. Please get in touch if you require any support my friend. 👊