Every day since I was dx with prostate cancer 4 years ago, I'm reminded that I'm a cancer survivor not once but multiple times throughout each day. Some are very pleasant reminders. Every night I sleep through the night it's a pleasant reminder I'm doing so because I no longer live with an enlarged prostate. The nights of waking up 3-5 times to use the bathroom have come to end. The benefit of uninterrupted sleep is that I think, feel and act much better than I did with interrupted sleep.
In the bedroom the reminder isn't as pleasant. There I'm reminded of two painful losses. I miss the pleasure of ejaculation, and I miss the ability to maintain an erection. I've had to grieve these losses before I was able to embrace a new and very satisfying sex life. Someone posted this comment of my Facebook Page:
"Dead men don't have sex" which is obviously true. I've slowly learned to be grateful and enjoy what I'm able to enjoy.
Everyday I must empty my bladder frequently so an expected laugh or sneeze won't result in my leaking a large volume of urine. This never ending diligence is a constant reminder I'm that I'm living without my prostate. I remember what my life was like when I was in diapers going through 15 of them each day. I've come a long way! Frequent trips to the bathroom are a very small price to pay in order to stay dry. Each and every time I empty my bladder I feel true gratitude that I am a cancer survivor who regained control of his bladder.
I've come to the conclusion that how we think and talk to ourselves about our reminders that we are cancer survivors determines how well or how poorly we will cope with life as a cancer survivor.
If you want to read my book about coping with Prostate Cancer you can buy it here:
I Left My Prostate in San Francisco-Where's Yours?
By Rick Redner & Brenda Redner.