It is June 2nd, and I am standing in the middle of a dusty street in the one-horse town of Pecos, New Mexico. Across the road is the Pecos Trading Company, where hand-tooled leather saddles sit side by side with Stetson hats and old phonograph records, struggling to catch the tourist's eye. Wild flowers dot the verge, cattle wander in the... Read more
This essay is not about prostate cancer.
It’s about my music teacher.
I started taking piano lessons at the age of 62. Realizing that retirement would be coming down the line in a number of years, I didn’t want to be caught empty-handed; I wanted something to do with my “final years.”
Of course, it was stupid, on the face of it: I was... Read more
When I was diagnosed with prostate cancer, I was 65 years old and just becoming eligible for Medicare. Due to an unfortunate error on my part, I didn’t sign up for Part B, which pays for doctors’ services and other outpatient care, in January of that year, though I rectified that mistake within a month. (I had thought that treatment at a... Read more
Ever since I started learning about prostate cancer, which was when I was diagnosed five years ago, I have believed that men over 80 shouldn’t get treated for the disease. More accurately, I thought that surgery for prostate cancer for men that age was both worrisome and unnecessary. This was because I believed the research that suggested that... Read more
Today's New York Times includes an article, on the business of prostate cancer treatment, that is certain to infuriate some, frighten others, and leave still others baffled. The front-page story details recent criticism of and skepticism about the growing popularity of external multiple beam radiation treatment (called I.M.R.T.), even though... Read more