To All the Men Who Support Women with Breast Cancer

To All the Men Who Support Women with Breast Cancer

Journey_Toward_Pink_Path_Jessica_Grono
On the occasion of Father’s Day, I wanted to take some time to reflect on the men in the lives of women who are dealing with breast cancer. I have so many feelings and thoughts on these men who support women in any stage of breast cancer. Some men feel powerless or give in to their own selfishness and leave a relationship due to cancer. Fortunately, I do not believe that is the normal reaction, and most men weather the storm.

Recently, I had a scare with one of my implants, which led me to make an appointment with my plastic surgeon. As I sat in the waiting room for a long time, I observed the people around me. Keep in mind that the department I go to is only for women who have breast cancer. My first observation is sad because of how many women are in the office. Too many. Breast cancer is a devastating cancer that touches too many lives of all ages. My second observation is happy because of how many men accompanied their wives, mothers, daughters, partners, sisters, or aunts. Each appeared to be full of kindness and concern.

Sitting in the office took my memory back to the first time that I sat in the same office for the first time with my husband. We had recently learned that I had DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ) breast cancer and were told that I needed a mastectomy. My dad urged me to get a second opinion, just for my own peace of mind. From day one, my dad supported me with information and companionship. So, I made the appointment and sat next to my husband.

I felt nervous and scared to be in a cancer hospital. All of it felt unreal, especially upon seeing how many other women were here for the same reason. But I wasn’t alone. My husband supported me from day one. I know a cancer diagnosis caught him off guard, as he was in his last semester of nursing school. But somehow he managed to put me first, and be there for any doctor’s appointment that he could. He’d listen to all my concerns that I would bottle up during the day. He was there when I told my daughter that they didn’t get all the cancer, as they originally had hoped. He was there to distract me and keep fun in my life when I needed it most.

I know my husband didn’t read a manual on how to be a great husband to his wife with breast cancer, but he sure could write the book. Not once did I fear he would leave or lose feelings for me. He stayed with me in the hospital and only left me for a very short time during the entire three days. He slept on a recliner. He saw me in the worst pain I had ever felt due to a hematoma and held me as they tried to figure it out. He ran with my gurney as they rolled me to the operation room for an emergency surgery, and kissed my lips before they took me in.

There are still days that I cringe looking at my body after the double mastectomy, and long for my body back to how it was. He will tell me that I’m beautiful then, now, and always. I know that I could have handled breast cancer alone, but I’m forever grateful that I didn’t have to.

If your wife or a woman in your life has breast cancer, take a cue from my husband. Don’t leave or complain, put her first and everything else will fall in line. If your husband or a man in your life was there for you, tell him thank you.

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Note: Breast Cancer News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Breast Cancer News, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to breast cancer.

2 comments

  1. AditiGhosh says:

    To All the Men Who Support Women with Breast Cancer.It’s really awesome and appreciate them who supported women with breast cancer.
    Make a pledge with Fight Cancer Global to fight against cancer
    Let’s beat cancer and make a Cancer free world.

  2. Ricco says:

    As a supportive husband for my wife I wanted to thank you for your kind words an and congratulate you for having a good man next to you.
    Nothing compares to have the news that you have cancer and we, husbands, cannot complain about our position. However it is tough to see someone you love suffering and equally tough to feel powerless while our role is to protect our family (I know it sounds a little old-fashioned but a lot of us feel like that).
    Sometimes I felt (and sincerely wished) I was the one with cancer. I was incredibly fortunate to have a wife that did not break down and stayed strong during all the treatment. She still is (NED for almost 20 month, TNBC stage 2 grade 3).
    Right from the get-go we formed the strongest team possible, dividing and conquering everything in our new life. I would do all the research, have all the discussions with the medical team, read about diet and supplements, organize week-end get-aways to relax etc. so she could focus on treatment, resting and be physically active.
    I created a support page on FB to share news and progress in her treatment with our friends (some being very remote) so she did not had to constantly talk about this with them and rather have them change her mind. I organized friends food delivery on days she had treatment and set-up a schedule for those who wanted to go with her during her injections. We had the most incredible support group around us. I will never forget was our friends did for us, how they stepped out of their daily life routine to help and support us.
    Sometimes (often) I found myself crying like a baby and I always found a shoulder that was not my wife’s so I could hide this and keep being strong for her.
    I informed work and prioritized being with her during medical appointments (did not missed a single one!) and when she needed me.
    I am not saying this to be celebrated but to give some ideas to other husbands out there on how you can be actively supporting your wife and have the feeling that you are having just a bit of control during the storm. Running away is not an option here.
    Good luck to all of you, you are stronger than you think!

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