There’s no sense in sugar coating it… dating a man with prostate cancer is not easy. You’re going to have some ups and downs. You may see a side of your man you didn’t know exist. If you thought you were strong before, this situation will certainly put your strength, courage, and relationship to the test.
In reality, going through cancer treatments and the side effects are likely hardest for the man who doesn’t have a significant other. Having a family member or friend is not the same as having someone there for you full-time as a partner would be.
When you have cancer, you wonder how long will you live among other things. When you have a disease that could be deadly, it’s difficult to contemplate a relationship. You may not want to involve anyone who wants a commitment or ironically, could be committed to you.
What Men Think
What I know is when something drastic happens to us, it can affect how we see ourselves. Sometimes, people in an uncertain situation may feel as though a long-term relationship is a waste of time and that perhaps no one would want the responsibility. If we’re honest, taking care of someone going through cancer treatments could be a huge load.
You wouldn’t know a man has only one testicle just by looking at him. Some physical scars are visible while others are not. It’s natural for any man to think about how someone new would handle the news. Negative thinking could prevent him from even considering entering a new relationship with anyone.
For countless individuals, internal scars are the worst. Still, acceptance is very much on their minds. Because of the nature of the illness, this is the time to have someone close around. With this in mind, how do you go about revealing this information to someone you are dating? I know it’s easier said than done, so here are a few tips on dating a man with prostate cancer.
Talk About Prostate Cancer Intimacy Issues
When it’s time to talk, make sure there aren’t any distractions around. Leave your phone in the other room, put the kids to bed or take them to a friend’s house, or go somewhere private and pour the wine. You want to ask questions which generate other questions and answers.
This is so you get a better understanding of dating with prostate cancer – what this kind of cancer means and the stages, what to expect as far as treatments, doctor visits, and daily living.
The surgery and treatments impact a person’s life including their sex life. Realize dating someone with prostate cancer may mean your boyfriend or husband may not have any interest in having sex for a while. He may suffer from a low sperm count or have dry orgasms. Hell, his joystick may even shrink a bit.
Dr Scott Shelfo, Medical Director of Urology in Atlanta, reminds us that “sexual dysfunction is a possibility for nearly all treatment options for prostate cancer, including surgery. Treatments may affect sexual function, resulting in no ejaculate or the ability to attain erections.”
Some patients involved in hormone therapy have a low libido, however, this is not true for every patient. Some men maintain their drive for sex but can’t get an erection. Even if they do, they aren’t able to experience an orgasm.
On the other hand, a man can have an orgasm and not be erect. Fortunately, Dr Shelfo says, “Most of the men we see are in their 40s, 50s, and 60s and still enjoy a healthy sex life.”
The Reality of Rejection
Once the cards are on the table, you both can make a decision about your futures together or decide you don’t want to be involved. There are numerous situations to consider as cancer is a serious condition.
Cancer changes everything about a person’s life – their financial situation… their personalities change but so does their appearance. The man you once knew as fine, confident, and fit may not have the same face shape anymore, washboard abs, sense of humor or resilience.
Will you still look at him the same? The truth is, you won’t because all of that is why you were attracted to him in the first place. However, try not to focus on surface matters but rather coming out on top. He can always get back in the gym once he’s well and on his feet.
Let’s face it… cancer or even a serious injury or illness can happen to anyone, including you and me. The results could alter our bodies and mindset in the worse way. Could you handle rejection because you no longer had flowing locks? Yeah, you can see how concerning yourself with appearances is shallow thinking now the shoe is on the other foot.
I don’t know what I would do if my boyfriend has prostate cancer. I would support him, however, and would be willing to marry him. I would arm myself with as much information to help him as possible. That includes making the doctor visits with him, to therapy if needed, whatever it takes. I mean, I love him and would remain loyal until the end, but I don’t need a piece of paper for that.
Still, it’s best you do marry because a wife can do more than a ‘girlfriend’ when it comes to getting him the help he needs. Until then, here is a tip of my own to help you get through.
Don’t Stop Living!
What is the life expectancy of someone with prostate cancer? The doctors can give you answers based on statistics, however, some people believe in a Higher Power and know He has the last word.
With this in mind, having a life close to normal is of the utmost importance. If you are dating someone with prostate cancer or a cancer survivor, make the events you were invited to attend when you can. Plan outings with your friends and family. Do the things you normally would do if he were healthy.
Dating someone with prostate cancer doesn’t mean you have to put your life entirely on hold. When you can, the both of you should continue living as much as the situation will allow. If you’re having a hard time, it’s a good idea to talk with the wives of prostate cancer survivors and get some practical advice from them.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this blog is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or other certified health care provider. Discuss any questions you have regarding a medical condition and treatment. Nothing contained in this blog is intended for medical diagnosis or treatment of any illness, condition or disease.