I remember this lovely man in his 50’s. He was told he had prostate cancer

“I remember this lovely man in his 50’s. He was told he had prostate cancer and the doctors offered him two different treatment plans. One of them was surgery and the other radiation therapy. It was my job to tell him more about what’s involved with each option, what the side effects are and the recovery process. As I walked him through the surgery option, I could see he preferred the idea of it but when I was talking about the aftermath, he seemed to become a bit panicked. I always try not to belittle the side effects but I said, ‘I know they may sound scary but there are lots of interventions available to help manage them and we have a lot of tools to help improve things afterward’. I could see it in him that he was really confused. Most of the time, people are scared that they won’t be themselves anymore or they will be less of a man after the surgery. He went off and after a week or two, I rang him and I asked him how he is doing, if he needed any more information or had any questions? To my surprise, he just said: ‘No, I’m grand! I decided that I’m going to go ahead with the surgery.’ I was quite surprised because based on his original reaction, I didn’t think he would choose the surgery, but then he said: ‘I talked to my mates in the pub and the golf club and one of them said he had the same and he went with the surgery. He said it was all done and dusted in two days, the first three weeks were a bit miserable but the side effects improved after that. He is flying it now!’ He said talking to his friend changed his mind. It means so much more for men to hear it from each other rather than us saying: ‘Oh you’ll be fine.’ – and that is why it’s so important to open up and to have these conversations. I’m not saying you should decide a treatment plan based on your friend’s choices, but it’s definitely beneficial to listen to other’s experiences because they can help make your decision less distressing.”

The subject was highlighted by www.movemberIreland.com