Identifying Emotional Roadblocks
As I have looked deeply into the emotional strains of having a father with living with prostate cancer, I look at how a chronic illness can take an emotional toll on our bodies. Most men I have met in my life hide their emotions most of the time. No matter what’s going on in their lives, they always say they are OK.
What are the roadblocks?
I know they have to be overwhelmed by their diagnosis; good or bad. They may be in denial and fail to receive treatment. This is why it’s good to have a good support system. You don’t want to wait to get treated; this only allows the cancer to progress to another stage. I believe the longer a man waits to get treatment, the more challenges to his wellness he'll face. Get treated right away.
You also have those who emotionally don't want to share with their significant other because they feel they may be a burden. You have men that are the breadwinners and taking time to accept this diagnosis. This diagnosis is a mind blower for them. They ask themselves who will pay the bills? How will my family eat? These are all these emotional issues most men may have to face.
Control vs. the unknown
I talked to a prostate patient recently and he told me that this cancer is more emotionally heavy on men than women. He said that men are supposed to be the stronger sex and they look at prostate cancer as a weakness that they have no control over.
Men can be stressed because, depending on what stage they are at, they worry about losing their sexual ability to perform as a partner and losing their partner. They may feel their loved one will leave them. So once again their emotions are all over the place.
Finding emotional support
Here are some suggestions for emotional relief:
- Be honest about your fears to family and friends
- Join a support group, talking to others who have experienced what you’re going through
- Understand your health treatment
- Get a second opinion
- Make choices that help your health
- Follow the doctors’ orders to the “T”
- Don't isolate yourself, share your story
- Mediation and quiet time, just to reflect on what is going on
Men all are different and deal with their illness differently. A positive attitude has so much to do with your recovery. Having a negative attitude can sometimes be a hindrance in the healing process.
Fear of chemo and radiation is understandable. So many times we base our fear from what someone told us. Once again, it may not affect you that way at all. My father had prostate cancer at 75 and he tolerated his radiation treatment very well. I was more stressed than he was. His positive attitude and keeping his mind occupied kept him going every day. Most fear is just a false illusion which has no support. Let us lessen our emotions and face these deterrents so we can have a promising journey.
Embracing emotional health
Early detection is crucial. We need to get our regular check-ups. It seems that this disease is not for the old anymore; young men are getting it too. Some men fear they waited too long and treatment will not work...never think that way. We must walk in boldness even with a cancer diagnosis and expect the best. Gather around those who will be loving, caring and will listen. You will need all these things in place to go through this stage in your life to get healthy.
Expect the best outcome and embrace the healing. Love yourself and just know that our emotional well-being is definitely connected with our healing process. Embrace healing in every breath you take and exhale all fear, stress, and anxiety for a non-stress body.
Who did you talk to first about prostate cancer after your diagnosis?