Prostate cancer can have a profound affect on your entire family. While your loved one is coping and fighting the disease in his body, you're trying to support him and cope with your own feelings. Follow these steps to help carry your loved one through his prostate cancer journey.
Here are some "important reminders" that can enable family members to be as helpful as possible:
- Learn as much as you can about prostate cancer. You'll only be able to truly help and support your loved one if you understand all the aspects of the disease.
- Realize that there are usually no symptoms in the early stages of prostate cancer. So, when prostate cancer strikes, it’s a major shock for everyone. For that reason, be more understanding and patient in view of these circumstances.
- Work as a team. It's important to communicate and support each other during prostate cancer. Talk about your concerns with your loved one and show you care.
- Be there with your loved one at the doctor appointments. Since it's as important that you know what's happening as your husband, you should ask the doctor questions.
- Find out what the available treatments options are and fully examine the pros and cons of each. Ask questions. Get a second opinion, or maybe even a third. Once a treatment strategy is developed, follow that as closely as possible.
- Seek outside help from support groups and family members. Though prostate cancer carries a tremendous emotional effect, numerous online resources are available to help one cope with personal issues such as sexual dysfunction, incontinence and anxiety about the future.
- Understand that feelings of helplessness are natural. You're faced with a disease that you can't fix instantly. The best way you can help is to listen and support your loved one through an unknown medical health journey.
- Know that your loved one may want to talk to his doctor alone so he can address his questions and fears without upsetting you.
- Be understanding. Don't take over all aspects of your loved one’s prostate cancer treatment. Realize that he is in charge of his own care—not you.