Saturday, October 18, 2014

How Do You Want Cancer To Change You & Your Relationships?

A few years ago I met a man who had surgery to treat his prostate cancer. Fortunately for him his cancer was confined to his prostate. Unfortunately for his wife and family, he came out of surgery with a sense of entitlement. He was now a cancer survivor who came face to face with the reality that his time on earth was limited.  He decided he wanted to the time he had left to live in the selfish pursuit of pleasure. (selfish was his word, not mine) The first thing on his on his bucket list of things to do was to leave his wife and children. They were a responsibility and he was done with responsibilities.

Another man I knew with PC was suffering from ED following surgery. His wife was turned off by his need for penile injections. Rather than work out a solution, they stopped having sex. Not long afterward he found a girlfriend who was turned on by penile injections, So much so that she wanted to be the one to give him his injections. This man felt he'd met his soul mate.  He knew a divorce would disrupt this relationship with his children and grandchildren, so he decided he'd let his marriage decline, while he enjoyed his relationship with his girlfriend, children, and grandchildren.

Both men were cured of cancer. One abandoned his wife and children in the pursuit of selfish pleasure.  The other decided to become a liar and an adulterer. I suspect at some point in the future he'd get caught and/or end his marriage.  On a survey on  my Website I ask the question: How has surgery effected your relationship with your partner? Forty-eight percent say they grew closer.

I want to be in the 48% club! I want the people  who know me to say "Rick's grown kinder, more compassionate, more loving and generous. We've grown closer since his diagnosis."

This didn't automatically happen because I wished it to be true. Coping with cancer and the aftermath of treatment is a very difficult journey. At times my marriage was stressed to the max. There were times when I was so depressed that I withdrew from everyone I loved.

Coping with cancer is a journey. In my next blog I'll share what I believe you need in order to become a member of the 48% club. My wife & I wrote our book: I Left My Prostate In San Francisco Where's Yours? Coping With The Emotional, Relational. Sexual & Spiritual Aspects of Prostate Cancer  in order to help couples make it into the 48% club.