Community Views: How We Deal with Side Effects of Prostate Cancer Treatment
When you learn you have prostate cancer, you face some big decisions. Making decisions about the various treatments is complicated. Every type of prostate cancer treatment has risks and benefits, and you may experience side effects at some point.
To learn more about how our community members deal with the impact of treatment, we turned to the ProstateCancer.net Facebook page. We asked you to tell us: “How do you cope with the side effects of prostate cancer treatment?”
We received more than 50 comments, and here is a look at some of the tips members shared.
Use exercise to boost your energy and mood
Exercise can be a way to improve your energy levels and mood. Consider swimming, walking, biking, or yoga. A little bit of exercise can improve your chances of feeling better, potentially speed healing, and keep your muscles toned. Talk to your doctor about what sort of physical activity is right for you.1
“I started walking just a couple months before I was diagnosed. I had radiation and brachytherapy. I walked every day no matter what, which wasn’t always easy since I couldn’t pee and had to wear a catheter for 2 months. I’m doing great now and still walking everyday no matter what.”
"Exercise for fatigue, increase in belly fat, and potential loss of bone and muscle mass."
"I find that keeping a positive attitude and staying as active as possible helps."
Find your support system
Learning to live as a prostate cancer survivor can be easier if you get some support. You may benefit from joining a support group or talking to a therapist. You can also talk to your cancer care team so they can help you get the right support. Just talking to a trusted family member can also go a long way toward making you feel better.2
“Having good support is vital. My wife Julie and I became even closer. Having someone to hug at those bad moments.”
"Positive attitude helps, and if you have family support that is even better."
“The emotions were pretty much over the top, so halfway through treatment I consulted with a psychologist to get a baseline understanding of what was going on.”
"My family and faith help to deal with my bad days."
Take things day by day
Side effects from prostate cancer treatment can be unpredictable. You may feel energetic for a few days but drained the next week. Your mental health can also vary from day to day. As you recover from treatment, give yourself time to adapt to the changes you are experiencing. Be kind to yourself, and just take things one day at a time.
“You just keep pushing and fight to have a positive attitude.”
“I took it 1 day at a time!”
“You do the best you can and hope things get better.”
"Don't lose hope."
"You just make the best of it!"
"Hang in there, friend. It can be a long road to recovery, but it will get better."
Thank you to all who contributed their thoughts about prostate cancer and how you cope with side effects. We appreciate your honesty and willingness to share.
What emotions have you experienced from your prostate cancer journey? (select all that apply)