Bob Each shares the inspiring story of his prostate cancer journey and some practical ideas about living with the disease.
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Prostate cancer support groups can be an invaluable platform for peers exchanging questions, offering information and sharing their personal experiences with treatment options and related side effects. There is genuine empathy and unmatched credibility from interacting with others who have “been there and done that.” The collaborative format of a support group facilitates conversations among group members who are assembled with the common goal of empowering each other with relevant knowledge and best practices.
Survival. It’s a huge word. Yet science uses it often, and without pause. It is a statistic. But for the cancer patient, the word survival is more than a statistic. It is one of the most personal statements about him and his cancer journey. It deserves more than common reference, and more understanding of its true definition. For the newly diagnosed prostate cancer patient, survival is one of the first thoughts. But we are still learning how to explain more clearly that every prostate cancer is different, and the majority do not even shorten survival.
You had surgery, or radiation, or both, and you may have been doing just fine for years, enduring all the anxiety-provoking PSA tests, and regular check-ups without alarms going off. So you thought and hoped that you were cured or permanently in remission. But apparently the treatments failed to wipe out the cancer completely. Because it’s back!
Fact of life: The presence of even a single man in any support group changes the nature of the conversation about prostate cancer.
As one woman told me, “When the men aren’t there, we talk much more freely about how the disease is affecting both of us psychologically—our worries, our fears, our need to put on a brave face. And how we feel about everything that is happening— or not happening—in the bedroom.”