Lorraine is a nurse specialist and sex therapist and volunteers here to answer your...
I am going for stereotactic radiotherapy for a single small metastasis having had a radical prostatectomy. The outlook is fairly positive for now unless more metastases were to develop which seems inevitable at some stage.
I am 66 and still working. I need to keep working having not saved enough to retire. The erectile dysfunction is unpleasant for myself and my wife but it’s not getting me down. Nor does fear of dying preoccupy me. My distress is over money. The prospect of being unable to work and spending my final years in poverty is driving me close to clinical depression. And unlike many depressions which are based on distorted thinking about reality, this is based on an accurate appraisal of reality.
I've no experience of your situation, but I do want to wish you well and remind you that any form of depression is likely to suppress your immune system to some extent, which is the very last thing you need as you strive to maintain your health.
Very best wishes,
I totally understand your situation , for me the run of the mill stuff always took precedent over my PC problem, not sure if I would have been the same if I had been diagnosed with an aggressive type though.
With reference to your last sentence though, u don't know at this stage that u will be unable to work in the future.
At your age u must be receiving or about to receive your state pension which will obviously help. Could u not consider working part-time at some stage?
Also there may be some benefits that u could claim?
All is not lost
Thank you very much for that. I remember now reading about the damaging effects of depression on the immune system. Knowing this is a very good motivator to get whatever help is needed such as CBT to be overcome depression
Thanks very much for this. I am not in any financial difficulties now but my worry is for the future, if and when I have to go on hormone therapy and chemo and am no longer able to work. My plan was to work as late as possible so I will just have to wait and see what turns out to be possible down the line. As the joke goes “ How to make God laugh? Tell him your plans”
I would contact your MacMillan nurse as they can advise you on what benefits you and your partner/spouse may be eligible for. If you do not have access to a Macmillan nurse then if you have a Cancer Self Help Group near you ssuch as a Maggies Centre at your cancer hospital or another Cancer Charity such as Tenovus if you are in Wales as they always have a Benefits expert who will advise you of any benefits you are eligible for and also help you fill in the forms.
I wish you all the best for your treatment.
Thanks very much for your advice.
Sorry to butt in on a group I'm not eligible to join but can you consider asking for early retirement on ill health grounds? Guess it depends who u work for n what your work pension would b.
Thanks a lot for your advice. You are not butting in. However you misunderstand my position. Without going into details about my finances, my point is that my pension will not be adequate. i have a few years left on my current contract before I retire. I have not been with this current employer for a long period of time as you assume. I have some possible solutions but one of them was working for at least the next five years. There is no opportunity for “early retirement “ - that is what I fear. My worry is that while financially OK now, progression of the disease may push me out of work ahead of time resulting in great financial difficulties.
There is much focus in these forums on diagnosis and treatments and prognoses, understandably. But there is s whole other dimension, the impact of cancer on work, finances, family commitments, retirement, financial stress an mental health. Cancer is bad enough but some also have to cope with the financial consequences.
I sympathise with your situation Pat. It used to be the case when you hit 60 or 65 a company pension scheme kicked in. With the demise of final salary pensions individuals are facing a bleak retirement.
I've saved into defined contribution all my live but the pot is small. I'm sorry for your situation and trying not to sound dismissive things sometimes seem worse than they are. It would be worth speaking to someone (Macmillan) about current and future entitlements to help you put things in perspective. Perhaps (if you haven't already) draw up a budget, look at essentials housing costs, utitities and food. Consider areas that you'd be prepared to compromise and areas you wouldn't.
I hope you can speak to someone to put things into perspective and you can move forward.
Sorry for getting wrong end of stick.
Youngman talks a lot of sense
You can get advice about possible financial help from Macmillan. There are many Macmillan Information and Support Centres you can phone or visit, just drop in.
To find the nearest to you use this webpage
Or you can phone the national helpline on 0808 808 00 00
You can also get advice from your local Citizens Advice Bureau.
Macmillan nurses, as such, don't exist as such. Nurses funded by Macmillan are usually clinicians not providing an information service.
You might also find this webpage helpful
I understand your disappointment about the Erectile Dysfunction. (ED). It isn't 100% inevitable however and there are many factors which affect it. It does also depend on how long it is since your surgery. If you haven't sought any help and it's not too long since your operation there are things that may be able to help. The longer you leave it, the less likely you are to recover any function.
Prostate Cancer UK have quite a bit of information on ED and you can also ask your GP for a referral to an ED clinic.
Try this link
Firstly I am so sorry for everything you are going through.
This may not be relevant to you but I thought I’d make you aware of a few things lenders can look in to for you if you have outstanding debts like a mortgage that is concerning you as recent studies have indicated there is a 23% increase of people going in to their retirements with a balance owed on their residential mortgage.
Most banks have now set up what they may call a specialist or vulnerable customer services team who are specially trained and there to support customers going through difficult periods on their life like suffering a bereavement, long term illness and indeed many have a dedicated team helping any customers who have been diagnosed with cancer and have money concerns.
If you have outstanding debts (and I am not presuming) like for example credit cards, loans and a mortgage they can discuss ways to help, as an example freeze or even remove interest which reduces the balances and would enable you to re pay sooner or save for your retirement.
I hope it’s useful, I know many people don’t like to talk to their bank or think they don’t think they will or can help but sometimes they can and it may take a little bit of a load off your shoulders.
Thanks for your advice.
Thanks, I really appreciate your advice and links
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