Coping when prostate cancer
has metastasized

"It was really hard at first"

In October 2005, we received sad news about our life. My 42-year-old husband had prostate cancer that had metastasized to his bones. We left the doctor’s visit with the word “incurable” engraved in our minds. I spent the rest of the evening wrapped in my husband’s arms with him telling me everything is going to be ok.

I don’t pretend that I could say all of what this last three years has been like since that doctor’s visit, but if you are reading this web page it must be because you have experience with this disease. You know the stress of sitting in the oncologist’s office waiting for tests results, or the daily measuring of PSA like people who test for diabetes. I will try to focus on what it was like for us emotionally during this time.

It was really hard at first, and we had some fear, wondering why this was happening to us? At the time, our children were 15, 11, and 3. We felt that it was important to continue living as normally as possible. This attitude has helped our family to continue with our lives as they were before the diagnosis. We travel, go out with friends, and have gatherings and parties just like normal.

I won’t deny that we have not had hard times, very hard times. There are days that we cry and are depressed thinking we won’t have the strength to go on.

Every birthday, and every Christmas we smile on the outside, thinking on the inside that this may be our last time together. Sometimes the psychological weight is harder to bear than the physical challenges. Fortunately, we are a family of faith, and at first I was mad at God, and I stopped praying and going to Mass.

However, Carlos never weakened in his faith, and it was such an example to me that I was restored to God. Now our faith is solid and we have confidence in God, even though we don’t know why these things have happened.

We believe in miracles but we are also praying for a cure. Right now we have the miracle of surviving the past three years and this terrible diagnosis. We have the miracle of a quality life in the face of the threat of death. We also have the miracle of faith that has sustained us in spite of these difficulties.

We have also had the help, support, and counsel of our family and friends. We have also had people that have disappointed us and not stood with us in the hard moments because of the fatigue of pushing through this illness.

These disappointments are not worth focusing on. A sickness of this kind makes you grow as a person, and changes what you value in life. You learn to give importance to what really matters.

Submitted by a wife named Rosa on 3/2/09. 

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