When your partner has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, the whole world around you seems to change. You and your partner may feel afraid, overwhelmed and confused. You will undoubtedly need to take more responsibilities.
Learn what to expect:
The step you should take as a partner of a man with prostate cancer is to know about the disease. Prostate cancer and its treatment can cause many side effects that you should be prepared for. These can include:
- Surgery or radiation therapy may make your partner infertile. If you and your partner are planning to have a child then you should investigate such option as sperm banking before he undergoes treatment.
- Impotence is common after treatment. It may be temporary or permanent. This changes your sex life.
- Lack of control over urination and bowel problems are the side effect of surgery and radiation treatment. Try to be patient and be by his side at this time.
- Your partner experiences numerous hormonal changes after a hormonal therapy. These include loss of weight and muscles, tiredness, low sex drive and hot flashes. Convince him to see the doctor for some exercise and diet chart to gain weight and muscles. Some subtle changes too like loss of memory and multi-tasking difficulties may also arise. Empower yourself to deal with the situation and help your partner know when and how to take action.
Be your partner’s primary caregiver:
Offer lots of encouragement to your partner. Make him feel that he is still a whole person and that it would take time for his emotional wounds to heal. Make sure that he eats properly, gets enough rest and does not stress himself too much. Be available to your partner as much as you can. Encourage him by accompanying him to the treatment sessions and tests. Make sure he knows that you want to be part of the process.
Encourage him to look forward to the life he can enjoy once his treatments are completed and successful. Help him in regaining his strength so that he can go about his daily living. Meditation and exercise would help both partners to adjust and accept low sex life after the treatment.