For most of the men diagnosed with prostate cancer, treatment can be very efficient and remove completely the disease, yet completing the treatment can be both stressful and exhausting. I was relieved to finish that period, but I found it hard not to worry about the disease growing or coming back. My Doctor told me that it was very common if you had to deal with such event.
For some men, the cancer comes back in other parts of the body and never godes away. So they must take hormone treatment to keep the disease under control which can be even more difficult and stressful.
What I have done!
Even when I have completed treatment, my doctors invited me to come and visit them regularly to keep a close watch.
I never canceled any follow up appointments and consider it as critical to go and discuss in depth with my doctors to ensure that all was under control.
During these visits, my doctors asked about problems, or feelings that I could have that could explain if I am recovering well or not.
They were doing regular exams such as imaging tests, lab test or scans to check if they were signs of recovery or cancer coming back.
They were also evaluating side effects such as fatigues, sexual issues, pain in the body, depressions, or any other changes that could be a concerns.
What I realise is that it was very important as a prostate cancer survivor to talk about my health or any new symptoms or problems. It was a way for me to release fear or stress and to be more confident about my health and myself!
I made and kept History of my cancer!
I worked with my doctors to develop a survivorship care plan that included:
A summary of all the treatments, medications that I received since day one,
A Calendar for all my consultation, before and after the exams and tests and treatment,
Some assumed calendar for other treatments in case I had another need for such,
Side effects sheet to track and monitor my feelings and overall health,
A list of mental, moral, psychological feelings day by day, with a ranking and rating to evaluate how do I feel,
A track records of my s, invoices and bills to check how much it overall cost and prevent for the future, and
Suggestion and initiative sheet for the things that will help improve my health,
Changed my lifestyle
First I decided to do regular physical activity
Doctors told me that if I do regular exercise such as running or gym, the chance of recovery fully will be higher and faster. This is because my body will build up antibodies and strength.
It will also help me keep good body weight in line with my size. It is known that overweight or obese have less chance of surviving when diagnosed with a cancer than an healthy men.
I also quit smoking and started to eat good and healthy dietary supplements that are rich in vegetables and lower in animal fats. They were all prescribed by my doctors. We all know that a healthy diet have positive effects on health.
Very important, if you are thinking about taking any type of nutritional supplement, talk to your health care team first.
Finally, I also changed the way I was socialising! More than drinking every Friday, I decided to cut significantly on alcohol! It does not mean I stopped completely, but I refrain myself of getting too drunk too fast! I also realised the importance to be supported by my family and friends!
It is maybe this last thing that helped me becoming a proud Prostate cancer survivor!