My husband got his (our) diagnosis of prostate cancer in September 2007. We had already started doing research and discussing what he might do if the biopsy came back positive. I had a gut feeling from the day we were told his PSA was elevated what the outcome was going to be.
When we actually got the diagnosis; I sobbed harder than I had in a long time. I didn’t sleep all night—I lay there with tears streaming down my cheeks, holding his hand and gazing at him. I was terrified! The doc said it’s not life-threatening—but I felt threatened. I was scared to death they were wrong and I would loose him. How would we know for sure? How would we deal with the after-effects of treatment? Would our marriage be strained? Would our intimacy be over? Would he shut down? Would I shut down? What about depression?
It has now been a little over a year since hubby had da Vinci prostatectomy. My husband’s prognosis is very good. Pathology report was clear margins, Gleason score unchanged (3+3) = 6; all PSAs thus far are undetectable. This experience did make us face our mortality; as any cancer diagnosis does.
We have grown and gained a lot this past year.
My husband has not gained sexual function as of yet; but the intimacy and closeness in our marriage is far better than it ever was! We use penile injections for intercourse—and that’s great! I am thankful that we can still have that type of sexual intimacy with the help of the medication. We have also learned new ways to be intimate sexually.
The sexual intimacy is important and good—but the spiritual and emotional intimacy that has so INCREASED in the past year is far more beautiful! We feel we have come to the full meaning of being one—not just the physical, sexual part. We are one, with or without the sexual intimacy.
We have grieved what we lost and are moving on. Our marriage has reached a higher plane. It was there somewhat before; but the struggle of this year and coming to terms with many things has made such a difference in our lives.
I am so proud of that man of mine! He has been a real hero through this whole journey. He has been brave, giving, kind, understanding—and a REAL MAN. Yes, he misses not having the “performance” (erections on his own); but he has not allowed that to come between us. He has faced it and dealt with it and he is more of a man than he ever was.
The closeness that we have is priceless. The hugs, kisses, chats, smiles, sharing of little things has become so much more meaningful. Cuddling has become so wonderful!! It was great before—but all the little things have become so much more important. Many things taken for granted before, we now very much appreciate.
We have learned how much more there is to intimacy than the act of sex. THERE IS SO MUCH MORE! We see so much more now how important the intimacy is than we did before. Intimacy and sex are wonderful, but they go hand in hand. Sex without intimacy is “sex.” I’ll take the intimacy over the sex—and I never would have thought I’d say that. But, I realize how important the intimacy in a relationship is—I didn’t quite understand before.
I was not sure a year ago what would happen to our relationship and our marriage. I thought it would be okay. But you never know for sure. I was more afraid of how I would handle it all—how supportive could I be.
I am grateful that I can sit here today and say—yes, it was an extremely rough year. There were times of incredible sadness—but we, hubby and I, hung in there together and we made it through this first year and came out on the other side better people and with a much better relationship and marriage than I thought possible.
Yes, we lost something in one hand; but we gained so much more in the other hand.
Hubby, I love you with all my heart. Next to our heavenly Father, You are my rock, my strength, my courage, my hope, my everything. Because of your loving kindness, courage, unselfishness, tenacity…………..we have made it through this first year. I am so proud to be your wife. Whatever lies ahead for us in the future, my love and respect for you will never change. And I know that we can and will face it together hand in hand. I pray we have many more years to walk this journey of life together hand in hand.
The most important thing is that you are here with me and that we love each other.
Submitted by a very blessed wife from PA, 2/09
Click here to learn about da Vinci prostatectomy (robotic-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy).
Always consult a medical professional.