How can I support my husband who has been diagnosed with prostate cancer? My husband has been recently diagnosed with prostate cancer Stage II. I am worried for him as he seems very depressed. What can I do to encourage him during these times?
Cancer has a significant impact on those closest to them – most often spouses. Most spouses take an active role in their husbands’ experience and agree that the disease brought them closer. In your case, let your husband know you’re there for him while he battles prostate cancer. Without prying, give him the opportunity to share his fears and concerns. Listen to him, and avoid making him think it is his fault that he is ill. Don’t nag at him to do the things he normally does. Remind him that while he has an illness, he can get better no matter how hopeless he feels.
Show interest in what your husband is going through and encourage him to find out more about his condition. You can offer to accompany him on his doctor visits as it is the best way to learn about his health, treatment decisions and other important issues related to the disease. You may also want to seek advice and support from the hospital’s counselling team who are specially trained to counsel families of patients. To help him cope with depression, get him to simplify his lifestyle, set reasonable schedules and structure his time. Try to get him to participate in normal activities and get together with family or friends regularly. Encourage him to eat healthily and get sufficient sleep. Recovery from depression is an ongoing process and he may want to try stress reduction techniques such as meditation, yoga or tai chi.