My Mental and Physical Health: An Untold Story

I share my father’s journey to bring awareness to people with prostate cancer, caregivers, and others in the community. Some things are even embarrassing for me to write about, but my father wants to help others.

My father feels regret about many things; some decisions that were taken in urgency or ignorance. No one expects to have a bad life. It just happens. If you are not ready for it, it can destroy you internally. One of the worst things is when it happens, you may not know what to do. Here are my father's words.

Initially ignoring the symptoms

No one talked about prostate cancer back in the day. I had been a fairly healthy child. As a young man of 72, I was shocked when I was hit by this cancer. Nothing could stop me, I had a good life, a new wife along with my own landscaping business.

It was an afternoon; I just had my lunch, and I was back doing what I do best. Suddenly I felt a very sharp, painful sensation in my lower region. I went to the bathroom to urinate, but I couldn’t, and it was burning. The pain got worse, and I had to leave to go home early that day. When I got home, my wife asked me to visit a doctor to find out what was wrong.

I took a break from work for a few days and stayed at home doing nothing. Didn’t even bother to go to a doctor immediately. That was a mistake on my part, as I ignored its severity. After a few days, the pain started again.

I was in shock

I did go see a urologist, and he did several scans and tests. He diagnosed me with prostate cancer. Boy was I in shock, and it was very scary to hear that you have cancer. The situation was horrible, and I didn’t want to go back home immediately. I couldn't tell my daughter or my wife right away.

I did return home but didn’t want to talk to anyone or face my future. My first call was to my primary care physician for guidance and to help me figure out things. After a few meetings with him, he realized I needed to get psychological help. He referred me to a psychologist, and that did help a lot. I muscled up the courage to finally tell my family. Though they were devastated by the news, they supported me more than I expected.

A heart-wrenching experience

After that everything changed in my life. Cancer had a massive effect on my life: eating, work, and just doing everyday things. My family was there every step of the way. At first, the antibiotics and painkillers just didn’t work for me. My doctor had to figure out different medications and other options.

Unfortunately, I did everything to get out of the stress. While I did seek psychological help, I was initially in denial that I had cancer. It is heart-wrenching and very tough to deal with.

I finally opened up to my daughter about my emotional experience. She asked if she could share my story. Of course, I said yes. There is so much to tell people about my experience. Everyone must be aware that this might not be an easy journey for us. I think the most important thing is our motivation and strength. As men, we don’t want to show weakness. It’s not weakness, it’s our strength that keeps us moving forward. If you want to live, don't lose hope, and be proud of yourself for making it to another day.

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