Upon knowing that your partner is struggling with prostate cancer, the first thing that would come to mind would probably be, “How can I help?”
Technically, there’s nothing that you can do about his condition. But then again, your presence is necessary for practical and emotional support to help your partner positively cope with his illness and help him see it through the daily challenges of battling with prostate cancer.
Get Your Partner To Talk
Proper communication is always a sign of progress for couples. A lot of men who have prostate cancer are usually hesitant to talk about their condition, but there are also those who value the sense of having someone around to open up to and share thoughts with. Allowing your partner to vent his feelings and emotions about his situation will significantly help him in dealing with his illness for it will widen his perspective and make him feel that he is not alone in his struggle.
On the other hand, for those couples who find it hard to communicate with each other, there’s always the availability of friends and family members. More so, couples can quickly seek help from medical professionals if things in their relationship go out of hand.
And because support systems like significant others, friends, and members of the family are exposed to the stress and turmoil of having a loved one with cancer, they are not excused from dealing with their feelings and finding someone to listen to their grievances or thoughts about their situation.
“The intervention is creating a space for people with different perspectives to feel safe to open up and come to terms with the reality of the situation and find ways to effectively communicate about feelings, fears, and hopes,” writes Jana Bolduan Lomax, PsyD.
“Ordinary conversations are frequent among couples who face cancer, and they are associated with patients’ psychological adjustment, providing a foundation for potential interventions for coping with cancer that do not focus on illness,” adds UC Riverside psychologist Megan Robbins.
Dealing With The Diagnosis
A diagnosis of prostate cancer can significantly change and influence a family’s usual way of living and can immediately affect harmonious relationships and friendships. Expect that a lot of alterations will happen – getting plans canceled or interrupted, no longer interested in engaging activities, not wanting to indulge in social gatherings.
“Trauma can come from a serious medical diagnosis,” says Dr. Wayne Jonas, MD. “Cancer is a diagnosis that often does result in trauma – from both the name and the treatment.”
Usually, these changes occur due to the side effects of cancer therapy. People realize that as the stage progresses, the adjustments also progress. But what can partners of individuals who have prostate cancer do to deal with the diagnosis efficiently?
- Gather more information about the condition.
- Communicate with people.
- Don’t hesitate to ask for help from close friends and relatives.
- Don’t change your daily routine entirely. Yes, there might be minor modifications in your living condition, but that does not mean that you have to redefine the way you live entirely.
- Treat the condition as part of life and don’t let it become your life.
- Attend social gatherings, go on dates and vacations; do what couples usually do.
Most importantly, do family activities and go on holidays to enjoy time together. Having prostate cancer doesn’t mean that you are no longer allowed to bask in the goodness of life and each other.
Focusing On Yourself
Since your partner has everything he needs to get through with his condition, you, on the other hand, must also look after yourself. Remember, when you are feeling down, anxious, or are unable to cope, support and treatment are available. The diagnosis of prostate cancer can also have a massive impact on your well-being which is why, for your sake and for the sake of the one you love, you also have to be mindful of your health.