Simple Rules Of Life And Common Sense

Professor Louis Denis - Strategic Consultant, Europa Uomo – The European Prostate Cancer Coalition.

Both my job and my medical history have led me to favour an active personal life and a more holistic approach to the management of prostate cancer patients.

You can very easily end up feeling lonely and helpless at the start of the disease; the diagnoses, and the treatment options offered by the medical profession, the undesirable side effects and their management; and the psychological and social consequences of the disease.

Isolation, ignorance, silence and fatalism are your main enemies when faced with the disease. The aim of the ‘We TOO’ Belgian patient association of the Europa Uomo network and the Feel+® initiative is to support the patient in each of these aspects, convincing them to live a full life with the disease, and not against or in spite of it.

“Keep moving, eat healthily, obtain information, view life as an opportunity and share your feelings; the recommendations of this programme are a simple rule of life and common sense.”

You can collect information, motivate yourself and come out of it alone, you can find the necessary support around you, but the communal journey is beneficial for many patients. Many men are reluctant to take the first step, to talk about their illness, their doubts and their suffering. To all of them I say: “come and listen”. You learn from the questions and stories of others, you realise that you were feeling lonely and, gradually, that you are no longer alone. The association is like a Spanish inn; everyone contributes what he has, what he is, including his silence and discretion, if he so wishes.

Initially, we had decided to meet at a cafe to encourage patients to get together to exercise and support each other, to walk together or perhaps even have lunch or dinner according to the dietary recommendations detailed in this programme. In particular, it will convince those who were doubtful that there is hope of a life with or after cancer that there are ways of getting help and also opportunities to help others.

This programme requires effort, and so much for the better! Too many patients give in to depression, physical weakness and fatalism. While it is important at any age to have plans and fulfil them, it is all the more essential at ours, and even more so when we are suffering from prostate cancer, its consequences and the anxieties resulting from it.

Keep moving, eat healthily, obtain information, view life as an opportunity and share your feelings; the recommendations of this programme are a simple rule of life and common sense. I want everyone to find or recover his balance and vital energy.

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