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Prostate Cancer Can Affect The Entire Family

Since my father was diagnosed with prostate cancer, it has been a challenging time for the entire family. I felt the need to talk about how the entire family can help deal with the presence of this life changing disease.

Prostate cancer affects more than just the patient

When it comes to prostate cancer, it’s not only the patient that suffers. The disease is also known to have a significant impact on most of those around the patient. Most often the spouses and their children. From the beginning, we all dealt with the diagnosis of my ailing father. It was a full-time responsibility for each one of us to indulge in every aspect of the disease. Some were there though the diagnosis while someone ensures he had monthly check-ups. I also had someone in place to talk to the doctor about available treatment options, prognosis, and more.

A time to rally around my father

We all took care of the physical aspects of my father. Those close to him were responsible for ensuring the overall emotional wellbeing of him. This included keeping him laughing to ensuring that treatments were given properly. It was also the duty of the family members to make sure that they are providing the right assistance when he needed it.

In most cases, the spouses are known to experience the same emotions as the patient. I spoke with my father’s wife who is 85. Her and my father got married at age 72 and he was diagnosed at age 73. She told me that most days she felt anxious, depressed, helpless, and felt a higher level of intimacy towards him.  She wanted to be by his side at all times. They were already close but this brought them closer to each other.

How to cope with the illness of a family member

If either your spouse or any family member has been diagnosed with prostate cancer recently, I wish to unveil some of the helpful strategies that I had to endure out of personal experience that you might be able to utilize for coping in similar situations:

  1. Plan for your life ahead. When someone is diagnosed with prostate cancer, they will need a future to witness some positivity in their life. The future planning applies to medical, financial, legal, and various other issues.
  2. If you intend to be employed and have access to a reliable health insurance plan, then you can consider moving the patient to your health insurance plan, as well.
  3. Discuss with the patient about some advanced health directive. The given document helps in making wiser decisions for the patient who might not be able to do so.
  4. Offer that the patient in your family signs over the respective powers of attorney on financial grounds to some other family member.
  5. Maintain open communication. Let your loved one know you are with him or her throughout the cancer battle. Without creating an environment of doubt, allow the patient to discuss the respective fears, doubts, concerns, and general thoughts.

Family is there to support each other

While it might be a hard time for the entire family discussing the important aspects of the disease is of utmost importance to all of us. My father is 85 now and going strong. I believe that knowing that everything was taken care of and that his family was there for him made this process so much easier for him.

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