Coping with prostate cancer is an ongoing challenge that rarely ends when you complete your treatment.
I was reading a thread in a prostate cancer support forum that asked the following question:
Was your greatest battle with prostate cancer:
A. Before treatment. B. During treatment. C. After treatment.
Most of the men chose “C,” after treatment because they were living with a host of quality-of-life issues following their prostate cancer treatment. When I applied the question to my personal experiences as a prostate cancer survivor, there was no doubt that “C” was my answer.
I’m going to supply some abbreviations to make it easier to think about and share some of the quality-of-life issues men and couples face before, during, and after prostate cancer treatment.
- ED: Erectile dysfunction.
- UL: Urinary leakage.
- SE: Side effects of treatment.
- DT: Distressing thoughts or fears.
- MT: Marital tension or increased fighting.
- LM: Lost manhood.
- D or B: Divorce or breakup.
- BP: Bowel problems.
- LL: Lower libido; a drop or total loss of sexual desire.
- TS: Trouble sleeping.
- FP: Financial problems because of missed work or the cost of treatment.
I’m asking everyone who reads this to share when their biggest struggles occurred and to share a few of those struggles.
I’ll start. It was difficult and extremely stressful to receive the news that I had prostate cancer, but my biggest battles occurred after my treatment.
I suffered: ED, UL, DT, and MT. We went into counseling.
Also, LM. It took me years to realize my manhood had nothing to do with my erectile abilities.
LL: My desire dropped from a 10 to zero.
TS: There were times I needed prescription medication to help me sleep.
FP: My $6,000 deductible, times two. The first $6,000 went toward surgery. The second $6,000 went for penile implant surgery. Twelve-thousand dollars put a huge hole in my savings account and delayed my retirement plans.
When did your biggest challenges and struggles coping with cancer occur?
A. Before. B. During. C. After treatment.
Would you share a few of your struggles?
Note: Prostate Cancer News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Prostate Cancer News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to prostate cancer.