20 Things Men with Prostate Cancer Wish Healthy Friends, Family Knew

20 Things Men with Prostate Cancer Wish Healthy Friends, Family Knew
I was diagnosed with prostate cancer when I was 57. My PSA (prostate-specific antigen) remains undetectable seven years after my surgery. I expected there'd come a time when I'd give up my cancer survivor status. I thought I'd return to thinking about myself in the same way I thought about myself prior to my diagnosis. That never happened, and I don't believe it ever will. In other words, once a cancer survivor, always a cancer survivor. It doesn't matter whether you're in remission for 10 months or 10 years. I suspect most of us living with cancer live with the possibility of a reoccurrence. I realized I'll never go back to my pre-cancer days or identity. I'll always be a cancer survivor. I think all cancer survivors have certain sensitivites we wish our healthly friends and family knew. I asked several men with prostate cancer what they wished their friends and family knew about living with cancer. Some of their responses are listed below. I added a few of my own. 1. Looks are deceiving. You can't judge how well I'm doing based on my physical appearance. 2. Living with cancer is highly stressful before, during, and after treatment. 3. Please don't share stories about miracle cures. 4. I don't want to hear stories about people you know who died from prostate or any other form of cancer. 5. Don't feel pressured to say something wise, give advice, or cheer me up. 6. If you're seriously interested in how I'm doing, listen rather than talk. 7. Before, during, and after treatment, physical, emotional, and relational challenges occur. 8. There's no such thing as "good cancer." 9. Cancer isn't contagious. Using a cup, fork, or spoon at my home won't give you cancer. 10. If treatment has affected my erectile functioning, I probably
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  1. J. D. Mendes says:

    You need to add the following, When ever I complain about “leaking” and there is a woman around, they always say,” I have been leaking every time I sneeze since I had kids”. I find that really comforting (NOT) especially since you got a cute little kid and I got a death sentence.

  2. Ron Nelson says:

    Excellent article, Rick. You hit the bullseye twenty times. I’m now 7 years post-treatment, and can personally relate to many of your bullet points. I also communicate with many prostate cancer survivors via my book, blog, and public speaking and I’ve heard just about all of your twenty many times. Thanks for putting it together in such a concise, useful manner for us all. I wish you

    Thank you! Wish you the best as well.

  3. Phillip Salvador says:

    Good article Rick. It has general application beyond talking to people with prostate cancer. I have a cousin in the final stages of Parkinson’s Disease. Your article helps me talk to him. My own prostate cancer is irrelevant at these times.

    Thanks for sharing how my article can be relevant to other medical conditions.

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