I was treated for prostate cancer in 2018 when I had a radical prostatectomy. This was followed by hormone therapy, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. My treatment finally came to an end in 2020.
About 2 weeks into the radiotherapy treatment, I started to have urinary and bowel issues. I was told that these symptoms would probably get worse before they settled down. It wasn't expected that my symptoms would ever go away completely, but I was told that after about 2 years I should be living as the "new me".
Yes, I have been left with side effects from the pelvic radiation, but I feel lucky that the symptoms are now manageable.
I have experience and knowledge of Pelvic Radiation Disease (PRD) and feel that I can help fellow patients to feel less anxious about what they are going through. I find it heart-warming that I can help others. I understand how upsetting PRD is and if there is anything that I can do to help other people, then I would like to do it. I know that as a PRDA Volunteer I can help people in so many different ways; doing so also aids my own mental recovery.
For me, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and mindfulness transformed the journey I was on. I know how important good mental health is and how mental health affects everyone in different ways.
I think that every person's experience with PRD is unique.
We may have all come from different cancer journeys, but in an important way we are in a very similar place and it is like there is a bond between us.
If anyone is thinking of volunteering, then I would say that everyone has something to contribute: everyone can make a difference.