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Prostate Cancer And Gay Men
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Misdirected anger?

I was really surprised at how furious I became at my radiation oncologist this week over things that ordinarily would be dealt with calmly. It made me realize how much anger I carry around over this diagnosis, and how much TLC I need. I also realize something that is probably obvious to everyone else here, and should have been obvious to me; you have to process your feelings instead of compartmentalizing them as I have been doing. I have a great deal of loving support in my life, but until now have been reluctant to share too much. I think I was afraid that if I did share my feelings about PC that it would unload a flood of uncontrollable feelings.

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Hi Spence,

I had a few episodes of heavy depression. I made my Oncologist and GP know right away what was happening. One intervention was increased my Cymbalta and the other is to talk with the Oncology Social Worker. And, both definitely did help.

I am very happy I choose Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center for care.

Dan58

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Who is your oncologist at MSK?

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Dr. Daniel Gorovets

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Thank-you Dan. The reason I am asking is that I have had a difficult time at MSK. I find the front office staff to be real slackers and my oncologist, Shasha, is forgetful and condescending, and only started to reply to my portal messages after I registered a formal complaint. I need to switch doctors but I am afraid to stay at MSK.

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Hi Spence,

I'm so sorry to hear about your time at MSK. I only went to the NYC facility for first 3 consultation with the surgeon and radiation oncologists. And another time for the HDR Brachytherapy treatment. I live in NJ and their facility in Basking Ridge is close to me for the 30 LDR Rad treatments and my experience with everyone and Dr. Daniel where excellent.

Dan58

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Glad to hear that!

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I have had such a positive experience at MSKCC (NYC). I am surprised to hear of your experience, SpenceNYC's . My original oncologist was from Mt. Sinai. The contrast between the two providers is like night and day. I found the staff at MSK light years ahead of those at prior office. Sorry to hear the adage, "one bad apple..." ring true. I am dealing with specific specialties there and perhaps the specialist are different than the general urology oncologists. All that said, I am keenly aware of my mood swings and combatting compartmentalizing this issue. I keep thinking my friends should understand better but in reality, how could they? I am not one for a self indulgent pity party. It would just be nice to come up for air occasionally.

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Thank you so much for your perspective. I am confused about the issues with my oncologist. On the one hand, I certainly have been short-tempered and irascible. On the other hand, I had no patience for him when he decided to argue with me about whether or not he had called in a prescription (he had not). I also do not like his condescending manner. But, basically, I could overlook these things if I had my normal reservoir of patience.

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Spence, you are not unique. We all do this. Glad for your realization--first step toward change and toward shedding negative energy. Good speed.

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I found that psychotherapy created a safe space in which to process my feelings, also a support group full of sympathetic men.

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You and I both. I had No sex is over 7 years

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That's rough. I am sure you've tried everything by now. I just joined the Restore study which I found on this site. It is designed to find methods to address sexual dysfunction in gay men with PC. If you write to the site admin, he should be able to direct you. Thanks for replying.

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You can sign up for the Restore intake. at Malecare.org/restore

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Darryl, I am enrolled twice, once as "dadzone" and once as "dadzone43.". An error on my part. Receiving double mailings. Can you tell me how to dis-enroll "dadzone"?

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Go to profile, account settings, general settings, close account

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We are so vulnerable and helpless we we are seriously ill. It's pretty easy to get angry, and sometimes it's with someone who may have messed up in a very minor way. My recent experience with a badly broken leg and a stay in a rehab center was unsettling in many ways, but I only got really angry once, when they messed up the schedule of my pain meds (which I really needed at that point). But it was pretty clear to me later that the anger I expressed included anger at a lot of other things (like at the driver who caused my broken leg, whom I never even met),. When I had my RP I recall one doctor (not my surgeon but another doctor on the hospital floor) who treated me in a dismissive manner, and I think I boiled for a couple days, but because I had no opportunity to express my anger either at him or anyone else it probably bothered me much more than it should have. Most people who work in a hospital, thank goodness, understand these things and know that their patients are hurting and sometimes it's going to come out in inappropriately directed anger, unfortunately. And sometimes the staff isn't perfect, either. Perfectionism on anyone's part doesn't help compassion.

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You have been through a helluva lot. Thanks for sharing.

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You're welcome Spence; I wish you good fortune in getting the best care which we all deserve.

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Hey Spence, From diagnosis until now, I've experienced intense anger, sadness and depression. I shared my situation with my family and a few select friends. Talking with the guys in my life, gay and straight, prostate cancer familiar and not, alleviated some of my fears. If only because I didn't feel so alone. (I was shocked by how many men I know had been through it and never said a word). The oncology department social worker was very helpful in referring me to a therapist experienced in working with men with cancer. Those therapy sessions helped get me to a place where I was able to process the feelings better on my own. Luckily, I found a support group of terrific guys which has been invaluable. I've come a long way in handling the sometimes-overwhelming feelings. The fear and anger still come up, but more frequently so does the calm and happiness. Lean on your people, talk through the emotions, you'll get through this!

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Thank-you so much!

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Hi Spence. Very sorry for that situation! I didn’t exactly have much anger, but I did have both anxiety and sadness/ depression. I had lost my partner 2 years earlier and didn’t feel I would have enough support if something happened. I still haven’t said anything about my PC to some acquaintances.

However I did take advantage of counseling support services offered by MSK even though my treatment was via NYU CyberKnife. It helped my release my tension and work out some issues.

Also I do go to a gym regularly and try to stay physically fit. I go in the evenings and then afterward it helps me feel relaxed and gets me to sleep.

I also have a cat and she has been a great comfort throughout. If you don’t have a pet you might think of getting one of some sort

I hope this may be helpful to you. We all need to be kind to ourselves. So give yourself a big hug from me. :-)

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I contacted the radiation oncology social worker who said she did not have time for regular sessions but would talk on the phone. I tried it once, but it was so NOT satisfying. Who at MSK do you see?

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Hi MSK has offices for counseling in an office building at 54th st between Third and Lexington address 641 Lexington.

I have met with Dr Andrew Edelstein and he is very nice. I think all staff there are professional therapists and not social workers and they should have referred you to their counseling support division.

lol, now I’m mad at that social worker!! Help is there for you so go for it!!

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This is typical of my experience there. The left and and the right hand. I don't feel safe there anymore.

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I am in the restored study

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I hope it helps you!

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I tried everything all the messages currently listed here. The only one that worked was the injections. However the repeated injections cause scar tissue. Before that happened I discontinue that method

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It happens forgive self and let go. We all have lots to process and it has been almost a year for me and I am still working on it. It not an easy thing at any age. But it will get better. I realize this is easy to say not to always be in sync with. One day at a time is all we really have to deal with. Enjoy the day!

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Thank you!

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All about having a support network that allows you to be 100% authentic with what's going on..Healthy to have a place to get angry, sad, enraged, depressed, fearful ..Joy and gratitude also have a place.

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I am finding that my mood has been negatively impacting people I love, particularly my partner.

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Find 2-3 people where you can vent, process, etc...Ask for what you want form your partner...Is your partner complaining about the impact? Time for a heart to heart talk? It may not be as bed as you think.

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I originally went to a urologist at NYU hospital. He asked me what my PSA had been prior to it going up and I said practically nothing. He got snippy with me and said all men have some level of PSA. Then he points to the female PA in the room and says if you have a vagina like XYZ, then you would have no PSA score.

In short I provided post-visit feedback saying I'd hoped for a supportive team, and then I found assistance at both MSK and NYU/Winthrop CyberKnife and never went back to the initial condescending arse urologist. :-)

Really suggest getting counseling support from MSK as they do have very supportive staff there and forget about getting to them via the social worker.

Stay strong, we're all in this together! I hope this may help you.

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