Looking after my loved one
There are lots of things you can do to help your loved one.
Some men with prostate cancer feel uncertain about the future and worry about what might happen. Finding out what to expect can help you and your loved one prepare. It may also help to answer questions you have about physical problems, such as pain. Read more about what to expect.
It can be difficult to know what care is available for you and your loved one. Thinking and planning ahead can help you and your loved one get the support you need. Read more about thinking and planning ahead.
Spending time together
Spending time together can help you and your loved one feel less isolated or anxious. Some men don’t feel up to talking or doing anything very active. But even if you're just around, it will let him know that you are there for him.
Talking about what is happening
Talking about feelings can help get things out in the open and make you both feel less anxious. There is no right or wrong thing to say – sometimes you might just need to listen. Letting someone talk shows you want to understand what they’re going through.
Some people find they need some help to open up and say how they are feeling. Talking to another person, such as a friend, health professional or counsellor, might be helpful.
If he doesn’t want to talk
Some men prefer to cope on their own and don’t want to talk. You might find this frustrating or upsetting.
Some men may be going through the process of accepting that their treatment isn’t working. They might feel disbelief, denial and shock. They might find it hard to take in information about their cancer or accept help.
You could let him know that you are there for him if he needs anything or decides that he does want to talk about things.
If he does start to talk, try to help him think about what he wants, rather than telling him what he should do. You can do this by asking questions and listening to what he says.
Remember that you are dealing with your own feelings too and may need to talk about them with someone other than your loved one.
Supporting someone in the last few days
It can help to prepare for physical changes your loved one might have, such as sleeping more or changes in their breathing. Read more about what to expect in the last few days.
There are things you can do to help, like talking calmly to him or holding his hand. Read more about things you can do to help in the guide from the National Council of Palliative Care, What to expect when someone important to you is dying.
Supporting someone in the last few days of their life can be upsetting and stressful. It can also be very tiring. It’s important to look after yourself as well as your loved one.
Talking to my loved one’s doctor or nurse
You might want to ask questions about your loved one’s cancer or treatment. But you may not feel able to ask about these things in front of your loved one. He can give his doctor or nurse permission to talk about his health with you.
If you want to talk to his doctor or nurse without his knowledge, they can listen to your concerns. They may not be able to talk about his specific condition but they will be able to give you general information. They might need to tell him about the conversation if it affects their care and treatment of him.
Read more about talking to someone else’s doctor or nurse on the NHS Choices website.