Prostate Cancer, Your Partner And You
Cancer has invaded your life and may have affected your privacy and intimacy with your partner. Some of the treatments you have received may have had undesirable effects that have made you feel less desirable or less focused on desire and unable to perform sexually.
Some patients’ partners take it philosophically, even fatalistically, and their men are all the more bruised. The important thing is not to remain silent and try to keep an open dialogue with your partner.
Communicate With Your Partner
Changes to your body or mood, the consequences of an intervention such as surgery on urinary and sexual functions, the effects of the treatment on the libido, and the inability to get or keep an erection are indeed ‘very undesirable’ side effects of prostate cancer treatment.
Since the disease disrupts your relationship, choose to deal with it together, positively! Talking is key; you should both say what you want, what you expect, miss or hope. Planning is the second thing; plan what you aim to do, and view it as an adventure together. Nothing stops you from building on your plans; work on planning things you want to do or see together.
Sexual activity is a regulator of our moods and it can be an important component of a couple’s relationship. One of the side effects of surgery and of hormonal treatment for prostate cancer, however, is impotence. Being unable to get or keep an erection can be very distressing for some men but help is available and so you should not be afraid to talk about getting help with your partner and both discuss the options with your doctor.
Maintaining intimacy is of course not just about being able to perform sexually. There are many simple tender gestures, from a hug and a kiss to a gentle massage that can help you show your affection for each other and keep your relationship strong.
Feel+ For Two
The lifestyle tips Feel+ recommends are good for everyone, including your partner. Discuss the plan with them and see if they are happy to join you on your healthy eating plan, your exercise sessions or your walks. It can be motivating to have support during your lifestyle changes and there can be many pleasant moments for you to enjoy together that will help maintain your intimacy as a couple. As a good point of reference; a good pace of walking is one where you can talk to each other without getting out of breath.