Photo: Judy Boles
Four years ago, Cindie Hubiak embarked on the most difficult journey of her life. Actually, it was more like she got drug along to a cold, dark and lonely place where she never wanted to go. The thing is, between here and there she discovered herself. Now, she is helping others find their way too.
It all started with the cancer bomb.
Hubiak’s husband, Steve Frohman, was diagnosed with prostate cancer. After the initial shock of the diagnosis and the roller coaster of hospitals and treatment, the Scottsdale, Ariz. couple found themselves teetering on a razor-thin edge of marital ruin.
Hubiak is author of “A Woman’s Guide to Thriving After Prostate Cancer.” (2011, paperback $19.95) The book looks at prostate cancer from a woman’s perspective as the primary caregiver. Hubiak says she wrote the book to heal some deep emotional feelings and to help other women heal themselves and their relationships.
“I struggled in silence for years after Steve’s diagnosis,” she said. “Writing was therapeutic because it caused me to look at myself. I was reacting to Steve’s prostate cancer in some really unhealthy and ugly ways. I don’t want others to struggle,” she said, “so I wanted to share the techniques I learned that has helped me to thrive.”
Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in American men, according to the American Cancer Society. There are currently more than two million U.S. men who are living with, or are cancer survivors. This year, 218,000 new cases will be diagnosed. Hubiak says that is a lot of women -- be it wife, partner, co-worker, mother, or daughter -- who are also affected by the disease.
More than ever before, thanks to new therapies, prostate cancer survivors are beating the disease, but they still face significant emotional, psychological and physical challenges.
Experts say most men experience some sexual dysfunction regardless whether the nerves were spared during prostate surgery or the most precise dose planning is used during radiation therapy. Problems may include erectile dysfunction, difficulty reaching orgasm, decreased intensity of orgasm, pain and leaking urine at orgasm.