An Interview With My Wife: Part 2
In May 2017 I had my runner's “groin strain” investigated by a sports injury doctor, as it was hampering my training for an ultra-marathon. This is my interview with my wife about what followed. Read An Interview with my Wife: Part 1.
The effect on our sexual relationship
Q We both experienced my libido falling and erections gradually fading away. How did you feel about this and our future sexual relationship?
A Sad at something else we’d lost. I went through a period of seeing no point in getting dressed up and looking nice for you. I realized that it was a side of our relationship that was still important to both of us. Speaking to the psychosexual therapist really helped, and I’m now reasonably happy with what we have. But it will never be quite the same.
Q 12 weekly PSA tests are anxious times. How do you cope with the anxiety?
A I just have to stay strong for you and keep going. I don’t realize how pent-up my anxiety has actually become until we get the results, but so far they have all been good. You do have to live with the knowledge that one day they might not be, and the longer it is stable, the more likely it is to fail.
Q I found my terminal diagnosis really tough and have been to some dark places, but you’ve been incredibly supportive. How do you do that?
A I have to stay strong for you and keep going. I want you here for as long as possible, so I need to help make you want to keep going. And focus on the good things we have had and still have and how lucky we are. Try to enjoy today, as we could waste years of potentially great days worrying about the future.
Q Have you ever felt the need to seek help/support for yourself?
A No, but I speak to my Mum a lot and walk the dog, which always helps. Also, my faith helps me believe that I’m not going through this alone. We just have to rely on the experts who will help us through.
Trying to live in the moment
Q It seems likely that the cancer will lead to my premature death. How do you compartmentalize that?
A I choose not to think about the future. If I do, I stop myself and enjoy what we have now and try to live in the moment. This is easier at the moment, as you are fit and well apart from the effects of the treatment. Don’t know how I will be in the future.
Thinking of life if cancer takes its course
Q You must from time to time think about what your life will look like if the cancer takes its course and you are on your own. Can you tell us how you feel about that and how you think you’ll cope?
A Yaaaay, no one to clear up after or shout at me when I’ve forgotten some shopping or complain about the bed clothes!
Partly, and a little selfishly, looking forward to not having anyone to look or clear up after.
Seriously though, I am sure it will be very lonely and much worse than I can imagine. Although I quite enjoy my own company, I’ll miss the companionship, the holidays, and meals out, as I won’t do those on my own.
I’ll miss having someone to share things with the good days and the bad. I’m grateful to have the children and grandchildren nearby, and I’m sure they’ll keep me going. Also, I’ll have the dog and dog walks to take my mind off things.
Do you have ways of managing your mindset for big decisions?