Coping With Prostate Cancer Along With Your Partner
A cancer diagnosis is a huge thing to handle for any of us. It can shake up your life. You're undoubtedly concerned about what the future holds. Keep in mind one thing while you process your feelings, acquire information, and come to grips with your treatment plan: the diagnosis is upsetting not just for you, but also for your spouse or partner.
My father had just gotten over throat cancer a few years ago, and now prostate cancer rears its ugly head. He and his wife were stressed and nervous. But this was the time for them to support one another during this cancer journey. Here are a few ways people can cope with prostate cancer as a couple.
Ways to cope as a couple
It is important to educate yourself and be aware of the treatment's consequences. It’s important to make informed decisions, such as to be prepared for erectile dysfunction and discussing potential remedies.
One thing I have heard many times is that I don’t know what my partner or spouse is thinking or how they feel. It is vital to communicate. You can plan talk times to bring up the challenges ahead. This can help you both to move forward. Talk about the emotional elements that having this disease can bring up. Fears and worries are common, and voicing them may provide support and understanding.
Exploring new forms of intimacy
As we all know, changes are unavoidable. They will come. You might have to try new sexual activities or be very creative. If tiredness is a problem, which can be for some, then pick your playtime when you’re not tired. You can always enjoy kissing, snuggling, or massage if intercourse isn't possible. You can be very creative.
Remember that it is possible to be intimate. Intimacy can mean a lot of things to many people. Prostate cancer may require you and your partner to look at intimacy from a different lens or a different perspective.
Make sure to never forget that it is possible to sustain intimacy in non-sexual ways, regardless of what occurs in the bedroom. You can share a joke or a laugh, hold hands, or even have a candlelit dinner together. Whatever you both like doing as a couple can certainly help in keeping your relationship going strong for many years.
As with any illness, everyone experiences things differently. Just remember to do what is best for you. Some join a support group to confront the impact of the diagnosis collaboratively. Many may react angrily or reject the diagnosis altogether. There are many that go into denial.
If you and your spouse are having this response, therapy may be beneficial in helping you and your partner develop new methods to communicate and collaborate.
Having a supportive partner is a blessing
My father has said many times that having a supportive partner to walk you through your diagnosis and treatment is a huge blessing. He was happy to have a wife to engage in his treatment and support choices. He got diagnosed with prostate cancer at the age of seventy-two and was just newly married, but they did talk and were upfront about sex and lifestyle-related issues.
It's often tough to take in all the things that are being said, particularly when a doctor is giving you so much unpleasant news. Just having a spouse or partner present can help you in remembering whatever you ought to remember about your treatment options.
What emotions have you experienced from your prostate cancer journey? (select all that apply)