Monday, June 16, 2014

Why Grief Over Prostatectomy Took Three Years To Resolve

After my prostatectomy, it took me 3 years to finish my grief work. Part of the reason it took so long is was that I had to wait for three years for my Doctor to say my post-surgery healing was over. Understanding when it was time to stop hoping for additional healing released me from waiting and hoping for additional improvements that were not on the way.

For me to complete the grief process,  it was important for me know and understand where I landed post-surgery. This helped me to identify and understand exactly what I lost and would not come back and most importantly knowing what I left for my wife and I to enjoy.

There is no doubt in my mind, first year was the most difficult. In the first year I had to cope with ED, diminished libido, the loss of excitement to visual stimuli, and the end of ejaculation. I spent most of the first year depressed. I didn't commit to making the best of what I had. Depression's message to me was: "Your sex life is ruined forever, give it up."

Once my depression lifted I was able to begin the grieving process. Depression leaves you stuck in grief. Grieving is a process of resolving your emotional response to an unwanted loss. If anything delays your grief work, the emotional pain and depression will interfere with your capacity to enjoy your life.

 Today I can say my wife and I enjoy what we have. Both of us believe our sex life is better and more enjoyable than our pre-surgery sex life even though I have significantly diminished post-surgery capacities.

If you want to join in this discussion visit my Facebook page for prostate cancer survivors and their partners. We are a community of men and women learning to adjust to a new life and relationship changes that occur when your prostate is removed.