A Man and His Masculinity
I have been around men my whole life. Of course, I have a father, husband, two grown sons and 10 uncles. I have kept my ears to the ground on a lot of conversations between men. If they only knew the tall-tale stories I have heard over the years.
Prostate cancer affects masculinity in so many ways. I believe that is why nobody likes to talk about it. We need men to share their experiences with this disease. This is very important for new patients, especially before and after cancer treatment.
A taboo topic
Our society likes to be entertained and relaxed. Talking about sex is no problem, but what if that area no longer works? Well, now here comes the silence. This topic is taboo because prostate cancer and its consequences can affect sex life or bring it to a complete standstill. This shows how uptight we as people are.
If a man has prostate cancer, he is going to feel affected by this disease. He thinks he is defined by his potency and testosterone. Most men probably feel an attack on their ego and do not want to talk openly about sexual needs with their partner or anyone else.
Talking about masculinity and prostate cancer
I remember talking to a young man who brought up this subject with his colleagues. It was already awkward talking about masculine topics in front of them, and he was explaining things when someone said, "Don’t they have those vacuum pumps and medications you can use?" He immediately felt stressed and never brought the subject up with them again.
Had he simply said ‘yes’, his belly would have been cut open, just like old school. In plain language, it would have meant removing the prostate and accepting that the nerve bundles that are jointly responsible for the erection are also destroyed.
He would never have agreed to this. Yes, he had a tumor. But it was not so aggressive that it could be an immediate danger to his life. He decided to go in for a second opinion.
Months of rehabilitation
Today, his prostate cancer is undetectable, but he still must be checked regularly. Everyone's recovery is different, and it sometimes takes time to regain a sense of normalcy. Even the minimally invasive operation is not a small thing. During the procedure, his abdominal cavity was filled with carbon dioxide. This caused severe pain as the gas was not completely broken down. Because both lymph nodes had to be removed, he often has swollen ankles. He has to have lymphatic drainage.
Nobody gets better on their own
Open information is important for prostate cancer patients. Prevention saves lives, and there is still a lot to improve here. You owe it to yourself as a mature patient. After the diagnosis, look up facts about the treatment options, advantages and disadvantages, side effects, consequences, and solutions. Sometimes you must be your own best advocate.
The road to recovery is different for everyone and may require discipline. You may not be satisfied with all of the outcomes, but try to remember that support and understanding from your loved ones is one of the most important parts of the whole healing process.
Have you gone to a pelvic floor physical therapist?