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, 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. 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. 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.”
“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.” – Sir Derek Jacobi
“Informative, funny, engrossing, candid. Beyond simply sharing valuable information, the real gift of this book is how MacKenzie lets us experience the emotions of the journey through the rich and touching human connections all along the way. Even though I was one of the guys on the floor with sympathy pains, I laughed so hard at the end. Thanks for giving us all a moment to get up off the ground!”– E.G. Foley / NYT Bestselling Author of The Gryphon Chronicles
“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.” – Dr. Ashutosh Tewari
“An hilarious, moving account of one man’s journey – a gift to be appreciated by all! The humanity, heart, and generosity inspire. Every woman, everywhere, should buy this for the men over thirty in her life.” – Glynnis O’Connor
“What could be more comforting, for men and women of all ages, than this? Breast cancer help is everywhere and deservedly so. This is its counterpart – and deservedly so!” – Christopher Forbes
"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. One expects a book like this to be educational and informative, but this one goes the extra mile. It is also well researched from first-hand experience, extremely literate without sounding like a surgical handbook, and reassuringly witty. If you ever need to take your prostate to the hospital for an overhaul, take this funny, stress-relieving book with you and keep it by your bed at all times. It will make you feel better about your bottom, your id, and yourself. It is absolutely remarkable." - Rex Reed
"WHAT’S an old girl like me, doing writing about a book titled “Saying Good-bye To Your Prostate?” I confess it’s a sticky wicket for a giddy column like this one. I am always being told to stick to show biz and not to have any political or social opinions. But my life isn’t all “entertainment.” Nor is yours. This young guy, Jamie MacKenzie, told me he’d written an outside-the-box journal on how to beat prostate cancer and laugh. Remembering the serious book a few years back by the excellent historian Michael Korda, I recalled there were very few laughs on this subject. Now I’ve looked at Jamie’s book and he transcends himself, reminding us that 85% of buyers of a book like this are women. They do it for the men in their lives. The book is short, has big readable type, and comic Lisa Schwartz drawings. It is reassuring and irreverent. The author says men get prostate cancer 33% more than women get breast cancer. If caught early, male cures are 97%. So for what’s it worth for health and happiness, maybe I’ve offended you. Here’s a writer with personal knowledge who believes PSA testing begins for men at 35, not 50." – LIZ SMITH