Is prostate cancer also a woman's disease?
Wait a minute! What are you talking about Sam? A woman doesn't have a prostate! How can prostate cancer be a "woman's disease?" Well, it's a fact. Women don't have a prostate so they can't get prostate cancer. I never could have posed this question without going through the last several months of cancer diagnosis, surgery, and recovery. By my side, every step of the way, was my wife Noelle of 15-years. She was there for the biopsy. She was there for the biopsy results, and those fateful words from my urologist-"we found something." She was there for the 2nd and 3rd opinions on what treatment was best for my case. She was there when we made our decision. And she was there waiting for me to come out of surgery, and hear from the surgeon how it went. But it goes even beyond that.
Prostate cancer can be treated, or not, in many ways. I chose surgery...to have my prostate removed. It means we face the serious side-effects of incontinence and impotence.
Both weigh heavily on a man, and thus his wife. Both effect your daily life. Both effect some of the most intimate parts of your life together for months, maybe years to come. This is no small thing. Fortunately, Noelle made it clear from the start that she didn't care so much what the side-effects were, she wanted the cancer gone. Her mind was made up quickly. Her strength helped me make the right decision.
Like most couples we've had our good and not so good times. Again fortunately, we had a pretty strong relationship before the cancer diagnosis. And I think we both agree it's even stronger now.
I would be interested in hearing from other men and their wives about this very question. I'm willing to bet that prostate cancer is not the only disease that intimately effects a man's and woman's relationship.
My experience these last few months only strengthens my bond of love, friendship, and partnership with Noelle. And that is a great blessing we don't take for granted!