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Navigating Your Road

Advanced prostate cancer can impact your daily life and your relationships. Part of living with this disease is understanding how it will change your relationships, your health and your daily activities, and then beginning to proactively take control.

Of course, side effects such as fatigue or sleep problems can make it difficult to find the motivation and energy to be active. Certain treatments can worsen these side effects, so if you are experiencing fatigue or other side effects, make sure to alert your doctor or nurse.

Beyond side effects, make sure your doctor or nurse is aware whether or not you feel like yourself while on your prescribed medication – side effects are one thing, but your health care team also wants to know how your condition and treatment regimen are affecting your everyday life.

Staying Active

You may not feel like staying active, but physical activity and exercise are critical factors in fighting the disease and staying as healthy as possible. Walking, gardening, playing golf, or playing with your grandkids are just a few ways to stay active. Talk to your doctor about what activities or forms of exercise are right for you.

Being active can help you:

  • Manage your weight
  • Maintain muscle and bone strength 
  • Help with potential side effects of treatment
  • Reduce anxiety and fatigue
  • Improve self-esteem
  • Increase feelings of optimism
  • Improve heart health
  • Boost muscle strength and endurance

In this video, Rob explains how his advanced prostate cancer diagnosis impacted his decision to lead an active and healthy lifestyle.

Maintaining Health and Wellness

Differences in diet and lifestyle may account for the variability of prostate cancer rates in different countries. Good nutrition may help reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer, slow progression of the disease and prevent aggressive disease. There are many resources from the Prostate Cancer Foundation about maintaining a healthy diet for good prostate health and guidelines for a healthy diet while in treatment for prostate cancer.

Many experts believe choices about our diet account for the vast majority of prostate cancer cases. It’s important to evaluate diet choices when it comes to risk of prostate cancer. Scientists have slowly uncovered a list of cancer super foods and supplements to optimize in your diet while also discovering foods and supplements that could actually contribute to cancer risk.

The foods you eat help you keep up your energy levels. A healthy diet includes:

  • Primarily plant-based foods
  • Plenty of fruits and vegetables
  • High in fiber
  • Low in fat
  • Limited in the amount of simple sugars

Talk to your doctor about what would be the most appropriate diet for you.

Relationships

Advanced prostate cancer is your disease, but it also affects everyone who loves and cares for you. Your loved ones experience prostate cancer in a very real way.

Your loved ones’ challenges may not show up on a lab chart or test result, but they are often equally important. Your diagnosis can leave them feeling helpless and confused. They, too, experience the treatments, the doctor visits, interrupted sleep, sadness, fear and grief.

“Would I live and who would I be? What would happen to us? She shared my loneliness, isolation and fear – often silently.”

- Alan W.

While some relationships remain unchanged, you and your loved ones may have to work to find the “new normal.” This means deciding what information you want to share and with whom, and how to best approach these conversations.

  • Take time to reflect: Your family, friends and colleagues care about you and will be open to supporting you on this journey, but you may wish to be upfront with them about what you are comfortable sharing.
  • Have a confidante: You may benefit from having people around whom you can trust with thoughts and concerns. Who is that person for you?
  • Ask for help: Asking for help may be difficult. But family and friends can listen, prepare a meal, run errands or drive you to an appointment – whatever you might need.
  • Seek support: A lot of men may have similar experiences with what you are going through. Openly or anonymously, you may use an online forum or in-person support group to discuss your thoughts through this process.
  • Be understanding: Your family and friends may be worried and tired, too. Put yourself in their shoes and consider seeking support together. It may help everyone cope during this time.

Want to talk to others who are going or have gone through what you’re experiencing? The Us TOO Prostate Cancer toll-free helpline or the PCRI toll-free helpline are great places to start that conversation.