Being Positive Amid Prostate Cancer and Life Changes

Last updated: May 2023

At almost every step of the way when you are dealing with prostate cancer new challenges can emerge when you least expect it.

Changes to my sex life

After 50+ years of marriage, it might come as no surprise to any reader that the original sparks of passion had dimmed over the years. My run-in with prostate cancer and its many treatments also took a toll on my sex life. On top of that, my wife at the time faced multiple health issues.

When it was suggested after my prostatectomy that I take a 6-to-12-month course of Viagra to encourage blood flow to the penis, I took the urologist up on the offer. Not so much for performance issues but more for trying to find whatever that “new normal” meant.

At 6 months I looked at the cost of the pills, which at the time were $60 each, and asked if I really wanted to spend $22,000 to continue that journey for the full year. I decided to stop at the halfway mark. While things were rising to the occasion, the thoughts of engaging in sex at the time was questionable, given the many medical challenges we both faced.

After sudden loss, a new door opens

Over the next few years, my wife and I settled into a comfortable and loving relationship and supported each other in our many times of need. Then one day in 2022 out of the blue my wife unexpectedly passed away. The shock of her loss was devastating, and for the next 10 months I thought my life would never be the same. I wrongfully presumed my future was one where I was to be alone. After all, who would be interested in a 79-year-old bald prostate cancer survivor?

Near the end of last year, I made the decision to move closer to my daughter and her family in Virginia and began looking at homes. Much to my surprise, that decision opened a series of new doors, including meeting an interesting woman who had also lost her husband to cancer a few years earlier.

I have always suspected while we all like to think we carefully plan our lives, in reality we actually spend much of our time ricocheting about and looking for the next opportunity. Or worse, we spend our time running away from opportunities that appear on the horizon.

An unexpected future

Unexpectedly over the past few months, as of my writing this, it appears that my new lady friend and I are moving along nicely, and my question now is: do I, can I, or should I consider investigating how I can reenergize my physical self to enjoy sex again? At this stage I am not sure Viagra alone will offer a “cure,” or whether I need to investigate the pluses and minuses of an implant. Perhaps had I not decided my sex life was over 10 years ago, I just may have been looking at different options today.

If nothing else, this article is a reminder that no matter where we are on our journey with prostate cancer, none of us can know what the future holds. We do not know what treatment will be the best, nor do we know in advance if a cancer will return. We do not know how long we will live, nor what the future holds for us medically, emotionally, or sexually.

My advice is simple: whenever you deal with prostate cancer, just take it all one day at a time. Plan on a positive future, even when things look dark. And lastly try not to make decisions you will regret at a future date.

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 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.

Community Poll

Has prostate cancer changed your life? (Select all that apply)