Hailing Mental Health Warriors

Educating people about prostate cancer and supporting those affected can help us cope. People who have lived with the disease at any stage, be it Stage 1, 2, 3, or 4, understand the journey all too well.

Finding out from a doctor that you have cancer for which there is no cure, as I did, is devastating. It has been a challenge to overcome advanced prostate cancer.

Trying to persevere

But I'm still smiling because of my unsurpassed inner strength and courage. Although I got back up quickly after falling, it took me a while to smile again. Each day I wake up, I engage in a struggle that is invisible to me.

This didn't stop me from fighting, no matter how it affected my mental health. I am a warrior because I persevered rather than because I prevailed. It was a process rather than a destination to achieve mental well-being. Especially as it's a road filled with obstacles, twists, and turns.

Despite this, each challenge I overcame strengthened my resolve. It became apparent that crying, losing, and having awful days was okay. In addition to feeling alright, not feeling alright was also acceptable.

It took guts to admit I needed help

As my journey unfolded, I realized I was not traveling alone. Across the globe, millions more people were discreetly fighting their struggles and sharing their suffering. In their eyes, my 12-year cancer story and fight, along with my tenacity, offered many people hope. I've come to terms with the fact that asking for help is appropriate. Furthermore, it took guts to admit I needed help. I needed to communicate with others and be open to hearing their opinions.

To everyone who has faced mental illness, you have my acknowledgement, understanding, and support. Your courage is inspiring. Please continue, don't give up, and keep shining. I salute all of you brave, powerful, and wonderful people equally, and I honor everyone who fights mental illness.

Above all, never forget that you are seen, heard, and loved. I'm at a place in my life now where I can let the past go and focus on the future. Today, I see a reflection of myself in the mirror, formed by everything I've gone through. Compared to any previous version of myself, this one is more resilient, astute, wiser, driven, and intellectual.

The power of resilience

Over the years, I have been incredibly proud of my ability and resilience to undertake a clinical trial journey. This ultimately contributed to the drug's progress after that. I would encourage anyone who fits the criteria for a trial drug to embrace it with confidence or at least explore their options.

My ability to see, touch, smell, hear, taste and laugh continues. As a human being, though, I accept that life will not always be rainbows and sunshine. Remission for me is not to be, and the struggle to survive continues daily. There have been moments when I've felt so worn out that it has impacted my mental health.

It was just me who knew what I needed and how I felt right then. However, I found it beneficial to hear from others. It was comforting to hear about their experiences and the things that supported them.

Dum, Spiro, Spero (while I breathe, I hope).

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

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

Join the conversation

Please read our rules before commenting.