Opening Up and Talking to Others About Prostate Cancer
Last updated: September 2023
Men go through so much with this disease. I know that my father didn't want to trouble people with his thoughts and fears or know about his treatment. He didn't want to share with anyone that he was in pain or needed help at times. There were times I used to tell him that talking about his situation can help people support him. It would also help to take a load off his shoulders.
First, in disbelief
There was a gentleman years ago that my father used to visit. He had regular checkups with his doctors. On one of his regular visits with his physician, the doctor suggested a test called a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. My father did not know about it categorically, but according to his doctor's advice, he gave a blood sample. It was sent to the laboratory immediately.
After a few days, a text report was ready, and it was immediately taken to his physician. The doctor advised him that some other tests had to be done after seeing his report. He became a little worried at that time.
A biopsy had to be done at the hospital. He was at home one day when the call was received from his physician. It was hard to remain calm when told he was suffering from prostate cancer. At the moment he was completely senseless for a while and couldn’t believe his ears, but it was repeated again. And I had to believe it ultimately.
Deciding to tell others
My father and I had a talk about how to tell people and how much to tell them about his illness. He is a very private person. I suggested we tell his close friends and some relatives.
I wanted him to be prepared if someone asked uncomfortable questions. Just say, "I don't want to talk about that right now." When we did have that meeting with family and friends, he had people that would ask how can they be of help. As this strong man, he would just say, "I don't need any help." I left it at that. There were people that if you want to drop off a meal or offer a ride to the doctor, it would be welcome.
It can be a real struggle having prostate cancer. Most people pray that they are healthy to their last breath. Many men lack communication that exists in this regard, but know it can be helpful to keep the door open to talk about things.
Raising awareness by opening up
Men, please open up your hearts and discuss prostate cancer with other people, if you feel comfortable. Because prostate cancer can be considered taboo in society as a whole by its nature. And due to this, some men do not open up about it.
If prostate cancer is affecting you, I think it's good to share that information with family and friends. Most people are scared to tell anyone because of their fear. Talking may make you feel better. It can feel like a weight has been lifted off you. You may also feel less alone, and telling your story might help other prostate cancer patients. They may also get some courage to talk about their own cases, helping create more awareness in the public.
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