This Article is About
prostate cancer
negative situation
research phase
answering questions
retrospect
little time
curve
emotions
circumstances
phrase
brain
fear
What Emotions Are You Dealing With? Dealing With Prostate Cancer
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Emotions

What did you feel when the doctor dropped the "C" bomb? Did your heart drop through the floor? Did you just nod and continue answering questions not really feeling anything at all? Were you so numb that you weren't sure what the doctor had said besides, "You've got prostate cancer."

First Reactions

Your answers to the above questions are important in helping you figure out where you are. I know for me, there was a little fear lying there in the background. I know I heard the doctor tell me that based on the information he received from the labs, that I had some time before any decisions needed to be made. He implied that I could take six months or a year to make my decision. Then, he went on about my age and the slow growth rate of prostate cancer and how we had plenty of time to get this thing figured out.

I was left feeling a little ambiguous about my situation. I was confused and unsure of what I should tell my wife and family. The phrase, "Prostate cancer is the most curable of the cancers," lulled me a little into thinking I could wait a while before I told anyone. Of course, that kind of information isn't something you can keep to yourself very long.

What Next?

After I got home it was time to begin the research phase. I went to the internet and pulled four or five articles about prostate cancer off the net, and began to read them. It took me a little time to digest what I was reading because my brain seemed to be mush for awhile. It took me probably two, or three, weeks before most of what I was reading really registered. Then, life threw me a curve and forced me to make a decision before I was really ready to make the best decision for my treatment. So I chose what seemed to me to be the most time consuming as far as short term recovery would be. This decision allowed me to pretty much escape the negative situation at work for the time being. With other circumstances, would I have chosen surgery? I don't know. In retrospect, I am really unsure what my decision would have been.

I would hope that you will be able to take adequate time to discuss with your spouse, or significant other, what the options are and what the possible outcomes might include. Really talking about each of the treatment options with some one is important, as a different perspective might help you ask some questions that you might not think of, or think of as important. Asking the doctor about the various side effects relating to the different treatments for prostate cancer is a very important step in your decision making process.

The Decision

Once the decision was made and surgery scheduled, I took care of what I thought I needed to and began to inform most of those around me. Then on the appointed day, I went in for surgery. Everything went pretty well and I went home about when we were expecting. Several days later, I went back to the doctor's office for my follow up appointment from my surgery. I was then informed that the prostate cancer was much more advanced than the pre-op tests had indicated. The cancer had involved 60% of the prostate. Wow.

Had I waited and taken the time that I thought I originally had before I needed to make a decision, the cancer would probably have metastasized and would have then been a much more difficult recovery. I dodged a bullet, and I am grateful for how things worked out. My PSA's have been none existent, which is exactly what the doctor and I had been hoping for. It appears that I am cancer free.

YOUR DECISIONS

Don't delay in engaging in conversations with those around who are your support system. Get as much information as possible. And, if possible, talk to any prostate cancer survivors available to you. Get their input and pick their brains and share your emotions with them. Let all of these people help you in making a decision that you can be comfortable with for the rest of your life. It was with these things in mind that I created a website, BeforeProstateSurgery, to assist anyone in this situation.


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