Adrienne L

Adrienne L
About Adrienne L

I never expected… my loved one has cancer. First, I knew something may not be right, and not only did I push him to go the doctor, I made the appointments to get tested, and yes he was diagnosed. I took many days off for blood tests, EKG’s. CT Scans– you name it. I totally exhausted my annual leave. I still work full time. The end result was a Gleason score of 8, surgery as soon as possible. As he began his Prostate Cancer Journey, I researched, asked many questions, called doctors and prostate nurse practitioners for help to make sure HE made the right decision on how he wanted to move forward with all of the treatment options. After all, it is his body and I wanted him to know all of the facts. But, what about me… the caregiver? How am I going to deal with the side effects of medication like Lupron, radiation therapy and who knows what else? I as usual had to stay strong, though many times when alone I wanted to curl up, hide somewhere and get some rest. I always reassured him I was in this for the long run and I will support regardless. I even slept at the hospital for 2 very uncomfortable nights to assist with managing his pain, to talk and to make sure he ate “the horrible clear liquid diet”. Though it was a overwhelming experience, no one never asked me or no one never knew. I just kept my head up and stayed positive as I possibly could, even though he thought “it was the end of the world”, ”doomsday”, and had the “why did this happen to me attitude” along with the wide range of emotions and outbursts of frustration. I encouraged him to participate in the Prostate Cancer Group at Kaiser Hospital, and I attended as well to make sure he went. I was greeted with the “you don’t have a prostate” joke… but I offered information from a woman’s point of view which the 11 other men appreciated.
The side effects are the next issue to deal with, other potential treatments and side effect. And intimacy… well that is a whole other novel. I have to keep conversations going on that intimacy is not just “getting hard and putting it in”. It is about affection, cuddling, and planning out how the ED meds, ED injections and pumps work together for that special moment. It has been hit and miss, but you have to keep on trying for their sake. Medication side effects including low testosterone, anger, depression, mood swings, memory issues and all the other things men don’t want to talk about, but I did. I pushed and pushed, and in celebrating life, you are still alive. I push and push to keep him talking, even now 13 months later. Though the first 6 months were the roughest it could ever be, things are getting back to normal as far as his attitude, hope, living a good life and enjoying everything we have in the present.


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