Mental and Emotional Wellness

There is a need to understand mental and emotional wellness in the course of prostate cancer therapy and treatment. Societal and pandemic-related issues have made mental health a central part of the national discussion.

Diagnosed at a late stage

There are additional therapies associated with receiving a cancer diagnosis, particularly one for prostate cancer. Being diagnosed with prostate cancer at age fifty-four, I felt, was unfair, especially having been diagnosed at a late stage. I never had the opportunity to go into active monitoring mode or have my prostate removed. It still gnaws away at me to this day.

The interesting thing with prostate treatment is that if you wait a minute, a new treatment may pop up unexpectedly. One of science's wonders is that modern medicines can offer more effective and less invasive treatments than before.

So many emotions

During my treatment, I experienced many of the emotional challenges that men do. Firstly, that sense of disbelief and shock at being diagnosed. Then, you start bargaining and conversing with yourself: Why is life so unfair? Why me? It's similar to all the stages of 'grief' that one goes through when struggling with a diagnosis like this.

I did not have any form of medical training to lean on, which would have allowed me to understand my diagnosis and staging better. I found myself using a strategy to address the worry, mood, and instability that follow a diagnosis. That was to place myself in a locus of control.

Educating myself properly about the reality of my condition and not recoiling from it or hiding it. These led me to accept all relevant information and attempt to establish a point of control where I could feel secure.

Involving my partner

The other thing was to acknowledge my partner in the process. We men must remember the mental health of our partner, for those of us with one. Prostate cancer treatment may affect sexuality and sexual functioning. We must be mindful that they may feel something about this.

By including your partner in the conversation openly, you encourage participation. The same is true of you. You may fear that you will get so focused on yourself that you will fail to notice what your partner is doing. Since your partner is also going through an experience, I think it's important to align your lines of communication with theirs. I know it brought my wife and I much closer.

Confronting fear

The prostate problem can make us males feel inferior and quite ashamed. We may feel as if our masculinity is in jeopardy. It is that fear that often delays the diagnosis. We must confront this. A delayed diagnosis could represent the difference between a favorable outcome and a less successful one.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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