About 1 out of every 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime, making it the most common cancer in men. Treatments like surgery, radiation, and hormone therapy remove or destroy the cancer. However, all of these treatments can have sexual side effects. This can include trouble getting an erection, having an orgasm, and fathering children. Prostate cancer may dampen your sex drive.
But I wanted to make sure that we were ready to handle any complications. You have to do your homework and determine what you can live with and what you can't live with.
We couldn't do nothing, and none of the options were great. We had to pick our priorities and go with that. Joseph ended up having a nerve-sparing radical prostatectomy at a hospital in another city several months later.
Remember, you are placing your life in the hands of someone else, so ask how many procedures the person has done and what the outcomes were - and get the statistics to back it up. The operation took longer than expected and was complicated by the fact that, in the words of the surgeon, Joseph had "one of the largest prostates I've ever seen. After two weeks, the catheter was removed, and Joseph has had no problems with incontinence.
But Joseph's erectile function still hasn't returned. See "Nerve-sparing prostatectomy doesn't always work. My main concern going forward is that he is healthy. We understood that this could happen. There is more to our relationship than sex - talking about cancer for so long brought us closer together - and we can be intimate in other ways.
Asked what wisdom she could pass on to other couples, Ellen mentioned another important relationship: the connection she and Joseph have with their grown children. She says, "We did a lot of research before involving the kids. We needed to get a handle on the facts before telling them.
We knew that they'd have lots of questions, and we needed to have the answers. We told them that we didn't know what the end result would be, but because we had done our homework, had made appointments, and had a plan of action, the girls were reassured.
That was important to us. Surgeons strive to protect nerves that control erectile function when removing the prostate.
Dating someone with prostate cancer
However, sparing nerves is not always possible, depending on a prostate tumor's location. If nerves are spared, they may be damaged or traumatized during surgery. Even if the nerves recover, which can take up to two years, other damage may have occurred by then, preventing the return of erections.
Asked how she and her husband of 16 years, Tom, decided on a radical prostatectomy to treat his prostate cancer, Catherine bluntly says, "Our priorities were breathing, continence, and sex, in that order.
We were both in agreement on that. But we had a bias toward surgery. We just wanted the cancer out. We've had lots of family members who've had cancer, and this had been their approach.
We never talked to a radiation oncologist about radiation therapy because we knew what the possible side effects were. At that time, inradiation wasn't as focused as it is now, and we really wanted to avoid rectal problems and fecal incontinence, which were more likely with radiation.
Tom ended up needing radiation therapy anyway. The lymph nodes were clear, but cancer had penetrated the prostate capsule, because his PSA never dropped to zero as it should have. Tom's doctor recommended radiation, which Tom started several months later, after his urinary continence returned. It worked, and his PSA has been nonexistent ever since. A man can create an erection with a vacuum pump.
A man lubricates his penis and puts it into an airtight plastic cylinder attached to a hand-held pump. Air is pumped out of the cylinder to create a vacuum, which increases blood flow to the penis and causes an erection. An elastic band placed at the base of the penis maintains the erection.
Tom's potency, however, still has not returned. I miss it, too, because he was very good. But we cuddle as often as we always have, and he helps me achieve orgasm. It's different, but if it were a choice between this and not having him at all, well, there's no contest. Even so, Tom has sought solutions for his erectile dysfunction.
He tried penile injections at a specialist's office, but the result paled in comparison to "the real thing," and the needles proved to be a mental hurdle.
But I don't want him to get an implant for me. One thing Tom and Catherine regret is that no one talked with them about using sildenafil Viagra or the other PDE-5 inhibitors right after Tom's surgery. See "Early therapy to recover erections. Maybe that would've changed things, but that wasn't the thinking five years ago.
Catherine's relationship advice for other couples: talk. Fortunately, Dr. There are numerous situations to consider as dating a man with prostate cancer is a serious situation. 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. Dating a man with prostate cancer? Will you still look at him the same? However, try not to focus on surface matters, but rather coming out on top.
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. Of course, I would support him and would be willing to marry him. Arm yourself with as much information to help him as much as possible. That includes making the doctor visits with him, to therapy if needed, whatever it takes.
Passionate Souls: 10 Things To Know Before Dating A Cancer Man Or Woman
Until then, here is a tip of my own to help you get through. What is the life expectancy of someone with prostate cancer? With this in mind, h aving 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. I was incontinent. So, that certainly was a little bit of a turnoff. And then ED. Certainly, I guess what went through my mind was what do I have to offer a woman? Why would a woman want to be interested in me? It really, really weighs heavily on you when you start jumping into the dating scene. However, I had moved into a renovated mill building in Manchester, New Hampshire right on the Merrimack river.
How and when to share your cancer diagnosis when dating
A very cool place filled with a lot of millennials, a lot of young professionals, a lot of recently divorced people, and a lot of empty nesters in transition.
Di Gesu: Yeah. There was an opportunity to kind of start socializing with folks, and I was invited to go to pubs and bars and a number of restaurants in Manchester. I made a couple of good friends, and that started opening up my social life. Not my dating life but my social life. And it gave me a little bit more confidence.
Sep 19, When it comes to dating, we are either in it for the long haul, or we're not going to waste our time. When we do commit, our loyalty is stronger than anything. However, we expect the same from you. Break your loyalty to a Cancer, and you'll regret it for the rest of your accessory-source.com: Stefani Pappas. Apr 05, If you ask the spouse or partner of a man diagnosed with prostate cancer about the disease and its treatment, you'll often hear answers in the first-person plural: "We opted for a . Telling someone whom you just recently started dating or with whom you have become serious that you have cancer is a surefire way to weed out the bad apples from your bunch. Someone who can handle your diagnosis while dating will most certainly be able to better handle the multitude of other concerns that arise when couples have been together a long accessory-source.com: Lisa Fayed.
And I was still dealing with incontinence. I was still dealing with the ED. Bearse: Yeah, what did you say to him or her that said that we need to get you on one of these dating sites?
What was the first reaction? And around the same time, I had a visit with my urologist. And I brought this up.
I want to have a relationship. I want to jumpstart dating, but you know, I have these issues. One of the things that he said to me that stuck with me was look you had cancer. Bearse: Does he also have a psychology degree? And maybe he had had this conversation with someone else at one point or another. But that stuck with me and helped me get enough nerve up to get on a dating site and start looking for someone, looking for love.
At the same time, things started to improve. I graduated from Depends to pads. And ED, I was trying a variety of different approaches to kind of getting things working again. And my urologist had prescribed - we tried Cialis. Viagra seemed to help me. And that gave me a little bit more confidence as well to get out there and start dating. Rachel Rubin. One, remember that, and two, is that many women view intimacy as something much more than time in the bedroom.
Did that ever come up in any of your conversations as you were getting back into the dating world? To look at it that way in terms of because you had said what do I have to offer a woman, and we just joked about the dating profile of men with prostate cancer and erectile dysfunction and all that.
At what point did that sort of enter your mind as you were getting ready to jump back into the dating scene, if ever? I think I was more having a crisis of confidence. I was kind of confident enough to go out on a date and engage with a woman and talk and have dinner and drinks. Where my problem was what happens once you like that person enough to want to be intimate with that person? So, I was matched up by one of my friends, and it was one of those disaster dates, but it was all a learning experience for me.
It was all good because it gave me the confidence to keep pushing ahead and keep trying to meet someone. The erectile dysfunction was always there. I happen to be now with a very understanding woman who loves me for who I am. Di Gesu: So, I think that if I was to give advice to other guys - just go out there.
Just go out there and be yourself. When you get to the point of intimacy, maybe have that conversation with that person.
Di Gesu: Yeah, no. I went through a rollercoaster of emotional reactions to both incontinence and ED. I mean, as you know, Jamie, after a divorce, you have the same question. Will there ever be anyone else? Will I find someone else? Do I want to find someone else? The same thing was coming up now but in spades because I had the divorce, and then I had cancer.
I think those are just normal reactions whether you have cancer or not. And even though she lives in Virginia, we talked often.
And what I found in her that was helpful is that she and I both felt that we were no longer a whole man or a whole woman. And I think breast cancer survivors have similar reactions and probably cervical cancer or ovarian cancer survivors.
And I think by sharing that with someone particularly a woman, it was really good for me. And it was really good for her.
WHY MEN WITH PROSTATE CANCER OFTEN MAKE BETTER LOVERS. Some recommendations which can make a difference to relationships and to quality of life. A summary of positive guidelines taken from a personal journey - and many case histories exchanged confidentially over at least 17 years. Nov 29, 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 a man with prostate cancer doesn't mean you have to put your life entirely on hold. Prostate Cancer Uncensored Podcast - with Guest: Jon Di Gesu. Just six months after a divorce, Jon Di Gesu was diagnosed with prostate cancer. While navigating his prostate cancer journey, he quickly realized that there was a lack of resources for single men battling this disease.
Bearse: Yeah, I can relate. But I remember going through that whole experience for that first couple of years, and you really question your self-worth - Am I a whole person? Could somebody really care for me? And would somebody love that? And am I worthy of that? So, I can kind of relate on that level but certainly not on a having to live through cancer and go through what you went through.
It takes quite a bit of courage. Di Gesu: It takes courage to do what you did too as well, Jamie. You mentioned it a little bit but take me back to your first date after diagnosis. What was the first date with her like? So, you go on your first date.
Tell me about your nerves. Di Gesu: Well, we met on eHarmony, which is an interesting platform because you have to do a lot of work with eHarmony. You start with a little smile at one another and then you build up to you send 5 questions and 5 questions and 5 answers. So it was a couple of weeks of kind of online chatter, and I wrote to Francine.
Her name is Francine. I kind of play the games by the rules. I had never really been on dating sites, and eHarmony said that the first thing you need to do is connect online and set up a date and you meet for coffee or a glass of wine and it should have a very specific time - 1 hour. And I did. Anyway, she was in the Boston area. I was in Manchester, New Hampshire. A little bit more than an hour away from one another. So we met here in the Boston area. I drove down.
As with any disease, when prostate cancer strikes, its reach goes beyond the patient. Entire families feel the impact. But because treatment for prostate cancer can affect continence and sexual functioning, it can hit at the core of romantic, intimate relationships. Nov 25, Hi sassysage, Welcome. My husband had surgery for prostate cancer a year ago. He was 59 at the time. I realize that this is a new relationship where you are being wonderfully supportive, and not an established relationship where you might be involved in medical decisions, but a few things bother me about the advice your friend has been given.
I got there early like a good Boy Scout, and I was very nervous. Of course, I was nervous. Di Gesu: This woman walks into the restaurant, and my heart kind of jumps because she looked like someone I wanted to be with. She looked like her pictures online. She had a big smile.
She was very well dressed. And we sat down at around