Today, I had a telehealth consult with a 61-year-old gentleman with prostate cancer. He has a moderate disease with a PSA of 32.0. This grown man began to cry in the middle of our discussion. I mean sob! The reason he cried, he said, is because he had the best conversation with me about his disease compared to any other physician, natural or medical physician
I reassured him that, as long as I am his doctor, he can always feel vulnerable without judgment around me.
In the end, all I did was give him and his wife clarity on what he had and what’s the path forward. But also, I gave him hope. Hope that not only will he stay alive but will live a great life, an optimal quality life.
The other thing is this… Men are in desperate need to find themselves in safe places where they can feel weak and vulnerable. So often, men, we, are holding up a front of machismo for the sake of not being judged as weak.
I get it. I do the same thing. I am talking about a safe haven where, at least for a moment, a man can say, “look, I’m scared” or just feel comfortable to cry without fear of anything.
Prostate cancer, as I wrote in my book, is not the end, it IS the beginning. It’s an opportunity. An opportunity to do better. To LIVE better. But for many men, it is their first brush with the potential of death. And that’s a hard pill to swallow.