Saying Good-Bye to Your Prostate: A Decidedly Outside-the-Box Journal on How to Beat Prostate Cancer and Laugh While Doing It

Saying Good-Bye to Your Prostate: A Decidedly Outside-the-Box Journal on How to Beat Prostate Cancer and Laugh While Doing It

by Jamie MacKenzie, Lisa Schwartz
     
 

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What could possibly be funny about prostate cancer and prostate-removal surgery? Almost everything, it turns out - if you let it be. This handbook memoir, written by prostate cancer survivor, actor, writer, producer, Jamie MacKenzie, walks men and their loved ones through all of the serious steps before them - from PSA numbers rising to determining whether to have a

Overview

What could possibly be funny about prostate cancer and prostate-removal surgery? Almost everything, it turns out - if you let it be. This handbook memoir, written by prostate cancer survivor, actor, writer, producer, Jamie MacKenzie, walks men and their loved ones through all of the serious steps before them - from PSA numbers rising to determining whether to have a biopsy, from diagnosis to pre-op, from surgery to recovery - all while not only telling readers what to expect, but also showing them how to mine the inherent humor that will unexpectedly and mercifully accompany the fear. Written because the author, while acknowledging the many fine books available on the subject, felt that they were too dry and somber, and felt like an additional punishment to have to read; that what they lacked was first-hand access to the roller coaster of emotions one has when taking this harrowing, involuntary journey. With whimsical illustrations heading each chapter, reflecting its content, this heartfelt memoir disarms and encourages readers, reminding them that smiling is permissible even when faced with a serious health crisis. This is what it actually feels like to face prostate disease, to undergo prostate removal surgery, and to go forward with one's life, on a very personal and accessible level. This is an intimate celebration of humanity - with a portion of proceeds going to Prostate Cancer Research.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
An energetic, irreverent look at prostate cancer and its treatment from a patient's perspective. Debut author MacKenzie takes readers from the importance of preventative health care through the unexpected trauma of diagnosis to the nitty-gritty specifics of treatment, making jokes all the way. His open disclosures about potentially embarrassing situations—urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction, post-surgery masturbatory stimulation, a lack of ejaculate—are both lighthearted and reassuring, sure to bring comfort to anxious readers. MacKenzie makes clear that these readers are expected to be both male and female, patients and loved ones, and he expertly tailors the narrative accordingly. Notably, MacKenzie had a tremendous amount of social support, even from people whom he hadn't spoken with for decades. For example, he spends the night before a hospital visit with a childhood friend who, despite years without contact, offered an invitation without reservation. Much of MacKenzie's advice (e.g., always have a second pair of ears since the stress of the situation will impair comprehension) centers on the ready availability of friends and family. He's open about his gratitude and indirectly acknowledges that other patients may have fewer resources. Given that reality, a fuller discussion that addressed potential issues related to deficits in social support would have enriched the work by increasing its relevance to a broader patient population. Similarly, the overall content is informative and humorous, but at 100-odd pages of large font, it may leave readers wishing for a more comprehensive work. Still, it's nearly impossible not to like MacKenzie's nimble phrasing ("a manic, frantic panic") and humbling self-disclosures ("it is completely unfamiliar not to have any ejaculate. It is foreign and made me feel less of who I am or was"). The conclusion is as uplifting and optimistic as the rest of the book, despite a sad reminder of the disease's potential fatality. Nonetheless, Schwartz's lighthearted, black-and-white cartoon sketches, which adorn the chapter divisions, further contribute to the book's calming tone. An inspiring account of surviving and thriving after a devastating diagnosis.
KIRKUS REVIEWS KIRKUS REVIEWS
An energetic, irreverent look at prostate cancer and its treatment from a patient’s perspective. MacKenzie takes readers from the importance of preventative health care through the unexpected trauma of diagnosis to the nitty-gritty specifics of treatment, making jokes all the way. An inspiring account of surviving and thriving after a devastating diagnosis.
REX REED
Every man of a certain age must prepare for the unwelcome possibility that his prostate could, at some point, take a much-needed vacation. For some, it might never return. This is a vital, valuable little miracle of a book that prepares us for the inevitable, talks and walks us through the storm like a great adventure, and comes out at the end of the adventure smiling. It is absolutely remarkable.
SIR DEREK JACOBI
MacKenzie’s sardonic humor and witty asides make a terrifying subject not just readable but downright enjoyable. He has an uncanny ability to balance important information with biting quips that make the story genuine and relatable. Its comforting, and at times completely irreverent, tone is precisely what the reader needs.
DR. ASHUTOSH TEWARI
This book is not just for men over 35. It’s for the millions of younger men who are or will be the sons, brothers, nephews, partners, or friends of someone with prostate cancer – and for the millions of women who are or will be the wives, daughters, sisters, nieces, or friends of someone with the disease. This is the one to read.
BOB McKINLEY
I feel very fortunate to have learned about this book after being diagnosed with prostate cancer. Incredibly informative on a very serious topic and yet, amazingly "fun" to read. The author's openness about his own situation was an incredible boost and encouragement for me to do the same. His story was a great assist in my journey from diagnosis, to successful elimination of the cancer, to candid sharing with others. I was especially pleased to see that a portion of the proceeds go to the PCF!

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781478118114
Publisher:
CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date:
11/24/2012
Edition description:
Large Print
Pages:
148
Product dimensions:
8.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.32(d)

Meet the Author

Jamie MacKenzie is an actor, writer, producer whose play BEYOND RECOGNITION was the first work by an American playwright to be performed at the Imperial Theatre of the Hermitage, in St Petersburg, Russia. He has appeared as a guest on the Today Show, Voice of America, and A&E Biography among others - and is a veteran announcer for thousands of television and radio voice-overs. As a member of ASCAP, his work has been performed on national television. His first appearance on stage, at age 12, was as a vocalensemble soloist in PERSEPHONE, conducted by its composer Igor Stravinsky, with the Philadelphia Orchestra in New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, DC. Attended the Rhode Island School of Design for two years, then studied acting with Uta Hagen at HB Studio/NYC. Acting credits include ABC's ELEANOR & FRANKLIN with Jane Alexander and Edward Herrmann.

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