When you become a care partner, you may find yourself in a new role. This can be challenging if you're caring for a spouse or partner who has been a part of your life before or after they started their prostate cancer journey.
It's common to feel overwhelmed, and it's OK to ask for help.
Many care partners say that, looking back, they took too much on themselves. Or, they wish they had asked for help from friends or family sooner. Take an honest look at what you can and can’t do on your own, especially as their support needs change throughout their prostate journey.
Whatever your situation, it can be tough to balance caring for a loved one with other parts of life — your career, children, and even your health.
AS MY HUSBAND'S VOICE OF REASON, I'VE ALWAYS ENCOURAGED HIM TO TALK TO HIS FAMILY MEMBERS AND MAKE HAVING DISCUSSIONS RELATED TO HEALTH HISTORY THE NORM.
Jay R., Care Partner
When you're helping a loved one through their prostate health journey, there are several questions to keep track of. They might even be different from the questions he has in mind. Choosing what to do next can be difficult, but having the right information and the full picture of any next steps is vital.
Here are some questions you can bring up with his doctor:
- How can I help him learn about prostate cancer?
- Will his insurance cover this screening or treatment?
- How often should he have PSA screenings?
- What preparation is needed for prostate cancer screening? How can I help?
- What information do I need if he needs help scheduling his appointments?
- Are there any release forms he needs to fill out to allow him to share medical information with me?
- Is a follow-up visit necessary? If so, what appointments should I attend with him?
- What should we be looking out for? Will you call us about the results?
- What should we do next if something is abnormal?
- If we have concerns, how can I help him get a second opinion?
- What's the best way to communicate with the medical team moving forward?
- Are there any foods or lifestyle changes that I can help him with?
Navigating the health care system is tough.
Phone calls. Doctors' visits. Medical records. Insurance coverage. Billing statements. Health care portal passwords. There are many moving parts to help manage. It's even possible that your health care system recently changed the location or access to services. All these changes can make the process even more challenging. Know that you're doing your best; we're here to help.
Here are some steps you can take to help him receive the prostate health services he needs:
As a care partner, you may have to decipher medical information, help schedule visits, solve financial matters, and be a source of emotional support for the Black man you care about in his cancer journey. You do so much for him and everyone — and we respect that!
SUPPORT YOURSELF WHILE SUPPORTING HIM
Being a care partner can also be overwhelming! It requires patience and empathy, as well as physical and emotional endurance. Taking care of yourself allows you to be there for him as well. The good news is that there are strategies to cope with stress and resources at your disposal.
He may not always admit it or know how to express it, but he needs you. And we know you need help too! Here are some potential helpful resources:
This site is published by Janssen Biotech, Inc. The above links to third-party resources are provided as a service to our website visitors and may be helpful to them along their prostate health journey. This site is not intended to provide medical advice. You should always talk to your doctor and health care team about any medical decisions and concerns.