An education and support program for companions and families of prostate cancer patients
Supported by an educational grant from Abbott Oncology
Prostate cancer is a disease of the patient, the partner or spouse, and the family. While the patient experiences cancer in their body, those closest to the patient have an experience of prostate cancer that is very real.
The challenges of the caregiver may not show up on a lab chart or test result, yet they are often equally painful and traumatic. Their experience can leave them feeling helpless, confused and alone. Their lives are also dramatically impacted by the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer. They, too, experience the treatments, the doctor visits, interrupted sleep, sadness, fear and grief.
The Circles of Love is a resource and support program designed with the caregiver in mind. The purpose of the program is to acknowledge, empower and support companions, partners, spouses and family members of men with prostate cancer.
The tools we provide focus on prostate cancer issues from the caregiver’s perspective:
Diagnosis: Diagnosis can be a very stressful and emotional time for the patient and those people who stand beside him. Days, weeks and even months later, diagnosis can feel like blur. Information overload is very common.
Treatment: Treatment can be a long and challenging process. Simply becoming aware of treatment options then making a decision can be overwhelming in itself. What is your role in treatment decisions and in HIS course of treatment?
Living with Prostate Cancer: You may not have cancer in your body, yet you are experiencing cancer. You are experiencing stress, uncertainly, anxiety just like him, and this impacts your body’s well-being too. How do you cope with the uncertainty and interruption in your life?
Recovery: Every patient hopes for recovery. After prostate cancer, how do you return to “normal”? Has “normal” changed? Has your relationship changed? Your outlook? Your hopes? When does hopeful living return?
Advanced Disease: Sometimes recovery is not possible and the cancer progresses. Sadly, for some, thoughts of recovery turn to questions of palliative care and hospice. How do you respond to these decisions and make peace with the potential outcome?
We want to thank all our volunteer advisory panel members who worked so hard in developing this program, including Jo Ann, Mary, Debbie, Shirley, Elly, and Elizabeth!