BY MARK SCHOLZ, MD
up a medical practice and getting a late start with a family, my midlife crisis
was delayed past the usual occurrence for men in their early 40s. However, by the time I hit 50, self-questioning was starting to surface. My life had meaningful pursuits but
it was time to take a deep breath and do the traditional life inventory of the
“mid-years,” to reassess my goals for the last third of my existence here on
reflection, I realized that I really didn’t have any great ideas to reinvigorate
my passion for the last lap. I couldn’t sell my wife on the idea of buying a
Lamborghini (I already owned a small boat).
I didn’t have any specific desire to travel. I had given up on golf due to a terrible and
uncorrectable slice. I have never been
successful playing the stock market. All
these considerations were going through my head about ten years ago. Now ten years later, I turned
60 and I feel revitalized and reinvigorated.
So what turned things around?
of you have come to know Ralph, my coauthor in the Snatchers Blog. He is as a
sensible dispenser of advice and knowledge about life and about prostate
cancer. I first met Ralph almost fifteen years ago, first as a patient,
subsequently as a writing teacher and now as a writing partner. As I reflect
back over the years that we have worked together I am convinced that its Ralph who
spared me from my mid-life crisis. Don’t
get me wrong, I have a lovely family. My wife Juliet is a bulwark of
truth. My children are delightfully sensible, talented and hard-working. I am also blessed
with an amazing medical practice with wonderful coworkers and extra-special
so, visiting with a dozen men a day, five days a week, year after year, decade
after decade can wear you down. Getting paid less and less every year while the
work load steadily increases is hardly inspiring either. A midlife crisis was in the wings and I had no
idea how my passion for the medical profession could be restored. So back in
2005, I was looking for a new challenge when Ralph first approached me to write
a book . I even agreed after he told me the zany title, “Invasion of the Prostate Snatchers.”
when Ralph invited me to be a cowriter, he didn’t give a second thought to the
paucity of writing skills. (Ralph has so
much confidence in his own writing skills he believes he could train a monkey
to write). Over the next four years we clashed on many occasions. Considering that
English was my worst subject in school I have to give myself some credit for
having the courage to accept his proposal.
then I had little interest I had in developing the craft of writing. Writing is hard to do. In addition, with limited free time in a busy
medical practice, it’s no surprise that developing writing skills was a low
priority to me. But I was also starting to get upset about the injustice of so
many men’s sexual identities being robbed by unnecessary surgery. The dawning realization, that men, rather
than being helped by surgery are actually being tremendously harmed, is what
motivated me to finally confront the painful task of developing some writing
skills so I could convey my observations to the naïve and unsuspecting patients.
Thank God I had Ralph to tutor me along through this long and arduous journey.
to write about topics that matter to me (such as saving men from the loss their
sexual identity) has saved me from the “meaningless” philosophical wandering
that characterizes a midlife crisis. And as I get older and further polish my
writing skills, I have enjoyed even more satisfaction by helping men to avoid
numerous medical pitfalls. For example, in my next blog I’ll be exposing another
incredibly repugnant policy—men on Active Surveillance who have 12 large
needles plunged through their rectal wall into the prostate gland every year.
the meantime, let me express my genuine appreciation to Ralph for having the
patience and skill to draw me down this totally unexpected pathway. At this
point I am happy to report that I see no hint of an existential crisis looming on