Our partners share our journey. Our cancer support group last night welcomed three partners of PCa patients in the group. Their sharing of their experiences and observations was powerful. We talked about the replacement of sexual intercourse with a broader and deeper kind of intimacy. We talked about the enhancement of physical contact from penile injection and for two of our members from from penile implants. So much --maybe too much-- of men's identity is tied into their penises. Loss of penile function through both incontinence and impotence is devastating to us. Blessed is the man whose partner continues to love him for all that he is!
Listening to Partners: Our partners... - Prostate Cancer N...
Listening to Partners
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My prostate cancer support group does not allow partners or caregivers, but has separate groups for them. The reasoning is that the men may sometimes want to talk about the effect of their cancer on their partners without fear of hurting the partner's feelings. Sexual discussions are also more candid without the partners present. Also, the goals of the patient may be different from their partners leading to conflict about therapy choices.
Agree and this was our first and previously-discussed-to-consensus time. It was lightly attended. It was beneficial to us who attended, but IMHO should not be the norm.
Also, the goals of the patient may be different from their partners leading to conflict about therapy choices.
That could be a reason for having joint meetings. The discussions might be hard, but worth having.
Absolutely. So much can go unsaid. A partner may want one around forever but the one who endures the Pain, weakness, malaise __whatever__ may not want to go thru all of that. Gotta' talk about it.
The purpose of a support group is not the same as couples therapy.
Agree. What in my description made you think this was couples therapy?
I replied to cpcohen, not you. My comment was that support groups may not be the best place to hash out issues that are more appropriate for couples therapy. No one needs to feel ganged up on by a group of strangers who may side with the perspective of one or the other.
totally agree. responsibility of the facilitator to keep that from happening.
Or- just don't allow mixed groups, since there is no advantage to either the patients and caregivers and many disadvantages.
I agree that "couples therapy" is not the function of a PCa support group.
My local group has been open to women/partners during its "lecture" time (the first hour, or so). After that, there are separate breakout groups for men (discussing their own problems, and receiving feedback), and any women/partners who are there.
Several women have become "honorary men" -- they've been around a long time, and sit-in on the men's session if there's only one woman (which happens often).
The gap I see:
. . . Where _is_ a good place for "couples' therapy" around the problems of
. . . prostate cancer?
Our group leaders are trained therapists who sometimes recommend individual or couples counseling, and have people they recommend.
Ahh -- we don't have any such resource to fall back on. Maybe I should talk to our leaders about setting something up.
Thank you --
I know there are therapists who specialize in couseling individuals, couples and families of patients with chronic or incurable diseases. When my father was diagnosed, the whole family went together, and it was more useful than I could have imagined in just a couple of sessions. The one we saw was affiliated with Weill Cornell and was referred by my father's oncologist. I think most of the top cancer centers have such people. Sometimes clergy can fill that role (my mother's Rabbi was invaluable).
Yes, that's worth investigating. The peculiarity of prostate cancer, in couples, is that one party may not be dying, but may be in a living Hell that the other just doesn't understand. In a now-defunct PCa forum, someone said:
. . . "Don't bother seeing a "sex counsellor" who hasn't had prostate cancer -- he/she just won't understand your situation."
The BC Cancer Agency probably has expert counsellors on staff. I don't know what the wait time is, to see one. but that's a whole other topic . . .
Sex support is what a peer group excels at, imho. Men and women have evolved with certain sex differences, which must be acknowledged. Sex differences are not just a social construct, at least not predominently - they are biological. I've heard women try to convince men that it should be about intimacy rather than fucking. But to the male psyche, they are much the same - which most women don't understand. A man can override his biological programming, but it takes some motivation and training - it's not just a matter of being browbeaten with the "correct" info.