My wife Wendy is a participant in an online woman’s group for spouses and partners of men with prostate cancer. Gail, a co-leader of the group called PCa_Women@yahoogroups.com has posted information that I feel is important to all of us, so I wish to share it with you.
Women Against Prostate Cancer (WAPC) is a grassroots organization of women volunteers who have been adversely affected by prostate cancer. Its volunteers are advocates, widows, health care professionals, and caregivers who have decided to work in collaboration with other organizations and entities in fighting the issues presented by prostate cancer.
Specifically, the organization provides support for women and their families affected by prostate cancer by offering access to resources and supportive programming. WAPC is designed for women to be able to harness the power of their voices about prostate cancer and advance national and state-based policy, media, and educational efforts in our fight.
According to their web sight their mission statement is:
“Women Against Prostate Cancer (WAPC) is a national organization working to unite the voices and provide support for the millions of women affected by prostate cancer and their families. WAPC advocates prostate cancer education, public awareness, cancer screening, legislation, and treatment options.”
During the weekend of December 5-6, 2008, WAPC hosted The Second Annual Gathering of Women Against Prostate Cancer. At the gathering, there was a very strong consensus of the participants to place high priority on their continued development of their Intimacy Program which includes the development of a fact sheet / FAQ piece entitled: “Prostate Cancer, Sexuality & Intimacy: Things We Wish We Had Been Told and were Too Embarrassed to Ask”.
In order to make sure that the fact sheet addresses topics and questions that are relevant, effective, and useful to those dealing prostate cancer they are soliciting your help and input.
If you or someone close to you has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, WAPC would like to hear from you about the things you wish you had been told and were too embarrassed to ask, specifically relating to prostate cancer and sexuality or intimacy issues. Also, if you have since found an answer or solution to your question, please share that with us as well, whether it is in story form or just a quick one or two-word answer.
I will be collecting questions and answers throughout the month of January with a submission deadline of January 31, 2009. You can put your suggestions on this blog as a comment. I will forward them to Gail and WAPC so they can consolidate and prioritize all questions and solutions received.
Joel T Nowak MA, MSW
Great topic and much needed! I would say the most important thing that we should have been told was that it can take several years following RP for a man to being able to achieve an erection, and that usually some type of help will still be needed (ie, ED drug or injection) even with both nerve bundles preserved. Physicians tell couples to expect an erection at 3-6 months. So when that doesn’t happen, they start to wonder, “what’s wrong?” That’s why we tell women on our site(www.hisprostatecancer.com)that it can take up to 3 years–or maybe more. Hope this helps!