My prostate cancer
I was diagnosed three years ago. The cancer had reached a stage which made surgery and radiotherapy pointless. So, the therapy has been of the testosterone reduction variety. It was obvious within the first few months of commencing this therapy that my body was being changed by these drugs. My own research, together with conversations with my oncologist, made it perfectly clear that I was becoming a eunuch. When I confronted my oncologist about his being economical with the truth when he drew my attention to reduced libido as a possible side-effect of the therapy, his response was, “I don’t want to frighten my patients away.” This attitude smacks of the very worst in doctor-patient meetings. The assumption is that the doctor knows best and he is not going to share all the facts with you because it might frighten you away from the treatment. Well, isn’t that the point? The end of my life is going to be the same whether I engage with the hormone therapy or I don’t. What will not be the same is the joy I have experienced in lovemaking with my partner, Alan. I really do wish that I had not engaged with the hormone therapy. I have received support from family and close friends and I have been especially supported by Martin Wells of Out With Prostate Cancer. He has encouraged me to establish a support group in the West Berks/North Hampshire area. I have begun the process and feel passionately about reaching out to other gay men who, like me, have been ‘drip-fed’ incomplete information. Any help from MacMillan forthcoming?