Seeking emotional support and adopting a healthy diet are important.
The end of treatments for prostate cancer can be both a relief and anxiety-provoking time in a man’s life, as well as the lives of his caregivers and loved ones. While there is usually great relief that the treatments are complete, many men may be worried about whether the cancer is really gone. Which is why this a great time for men to focus on some well-deserved self-care. Regular check-ups with your doctor will be ongoing, but there are some things you can and should do for yourself.
-Seeking emotional support
-Adopting a healthy diet and exercise routine
-Restoring sexual health
-Embracing a new normal
The cycle of prostate cancer treatments and the instructions and restrictions that can come with them is stressful for many men. While your friends and family will have your best interests at heart, it may be difficult for them to understand what you’re going through. Finding support is important. If you’re unable to openly talk with those who are close to you, you may want to seek out some like-minded people who understand firsthand what you have experienced.
There are in-person and online support groups that can help. If you find the idea of talking to a group of strangers a bit daunting, perhaps seek out some of your fellow treatment “buddies.” If there are men you bonded with during your treatment journey, consider reaching out and keeping in touch with them. Indeed, support may prove to be more important than just surviving prostate cancer treatment.
Diet and Exercise
Considering a celebratory feast with food and drink post-treatment? While these types of indulgences are OK in moderation, you want to land on a healthy routine with exercise and a balanced diet that you won’t hate as critical features.
Load up on fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and fewer refined foods. Adding in some regular exercise can make a big difference in your recovery timeline, as well as your mood. Some studies show a healthful diet and regular exercise after treatment can help prevent prostate cancer recurrence. Yes, even a walk around the block counts. Take the dog or your grandkids and enjoy the view. The small effort can have a majorly positive effect on your overall outlook on life.
There may be a change in your sex life after prostate cancer treatment. Anything from being unable to achieve an erection to loss of desire entirely is common, and it’s also often temporary. Try to be patient and in not too great a hurry to get back to whatever “normal” was for you before treatment. The body needs time to recover and heal. If you reach a point where you’re concerned, talk to your doctor. There are plenty of treatments available.
Creams, pills, injections and, in severe cases, surgical implants are all options you can discuss with your doctor or health care provider. You should also talk openly with your partner. Couples therapy, individual therapy and group therapy are all options to consider. No man should be ashamed to make restoring his sexual health an essential part of his overall wellness focus after prostate cancer treatment.
A Different You
Your life will be undoubtedly different after a prostate cancer journey. From the symptoms and diagnosis to the treatments and life afterward, the “new normal” can be uncomfortable at first. But that doesn’t mean it’s all bad. While there’s no surefire way to prepare for life after prostate cancer, have confidence that you will find your way. You have gained wisdom and a perspective on life that may very well help another man who finds himself at the beginning of a prostate cancer journey.
Remember that emotional support is just as important as the medical treatments, and a healthy lifestyle afterward will help with physical and emotional recovery. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or guidance from your doctor, health care team and trusted loved ones and friends.