Reactions to a Prostate Cancer Diagnosis, and the Heroes Who Helped Us Through it
Last updated: May 2023
Very few pieces of news hit harder than finding out you have cancer. Fear and anxiety are quick to set in. But so, too, are thoughts of friends and loved ones who can offer support as you start the treatment process.
To find out more about the prostate cancer diagnosis journey, we reached out on the ProstateCancer.net Facebook page. We asked, “What were your first thoughts about the future when diagnosed with prostate cancer?”
We also wanted to find out who the community turned to the most for support after their diagnosis. So, we also asked, “Who has been a hero for you in your journey?”
Nearly 100 people commented. Here is what they shared.
I did not think I was going to make it
Many people shared that their minds went first to the worst-case scenario. It is hard to hear the word "cancer" and not be immediately scared. However, a healthy outcome is entirely possible. Many community members shared that although they had feared the worst, today they are doing well and currently living with no signs of the cancer coming back.
“I am just not ready to go.”
“According to my oncologist, I was not going to have a future. That was in 2015.”
“I thought I would be dead by now. I had stage 4, locally advanced cancer with a Gleason Score of 9. Today, I have an undetectable PSA.”
I felt shock and disbelief
Denial was another common response. Community members shared that they did not believe at first that this could be happening to them. With time, the news sunk in and they found their way to treatment options.
“Oh no. What is next? This cannot be real.”
I immediately felt nervous and worried
For many people, anxiety set in as soon as the news hit. Fear and anxiety can be paralyzing. It can sometimes cause people to freeze up or isolate themselves. But most people shared that they were able to move through the fear enough to take the next step, whether it was setting up another doctor visit or calling a loved one for support.
“I was nervous, but I knew we had a family history with it. As soon as I found out I had it, I took the next steps to find out what I needed to do.”
“I have been a nervous wreck since October. I still have many sleepless nights.”
I was ready to start treatment right away
Many community members shared that their first thought was about treatment. As soon as they could, they set up appointments to meet with doctors and determine next steps. They stayed as positive as possible. The most important thing was to just keep showing up to treatment and do what the doctors recommended.
“My thoughts immediately went to the fact that we need to get treatment started as quickly as possible.”
“There will be no future if I do not have surgery!”
I turned to my partner for support
When asked who they leaned on after their prostate cancer diagnosis, the most common response was their partners. People shared that their partners offered comfort and emotional support. They helped with everything from scheduling doctor appointments to attending chemo sessions to celebrating the wins along the way.
“My wife. I could not ask for more.”
I leaned on my medical team
Community members also shared that they found support from their medical team. This included oncologists, nurses, and everyone else at the hospitals and treatment centers that were part of the journey.
“Everyone at the cancer center was simply the best!”
I could not have done it without family and friends
Many respondents shared that they found support and strength by talking to the members of their family who had already survived prostate cancer. Others shared that it was their friends from sports clubs and religious groups that kept up their morale along the way. Family and friends can be such a huge part of the journey, offering encouragement on the hardest days.
“My grandfather and my mom.”
“All kinds of family and friends. I have had a great support team.”
We want to say thank you to everyone who engaged with us on Facebook for this story. You all offer hope and support for those who are new to the community.
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