Your Wife and Breast Cancer
Sadly, one in eight women born in the United States will suffer from breast cancer at some point during her lifetime, according to a Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Statistical Report. Even grimmer, breast cancer is also one of the top 10 leading causes of death among American women.
On a positive note, the five-year survival rate for early detection is 96 percent. Since married women are more likely to get routine mammograms at age 40 than non-married women, the likelihood of early detection increases.
If your wife has been diagnosed with the disease, face it together as a team in the following ways.
Express Love For Her
As a married couple for years, you may feel as if you took things for granted. Now is the time to express your feelings. Make sure she knows that you love and support her unconditionally through small gestures.
Take over household responsibilities without being asked. If she isn’t up for going out to eat, order dinner from your favorite restaurant or surprise her by making a special homemade dinner for the two of you.
See her face glow by ordering beautiful online flowers and placing them on the table at that romantic dinner.
Stand By Her
Standbyher.org is the name of a website created by John W. Anderson, a man who supported four women in his life suffering from breast cancer – his mother, his sister, his mother’s best friend, and his wife. He also wrote a book entitled “Stand By Her: A Breast Cancer Guide for Men.” After checking out his website and picking up a copy of his book, you can even connect with other men who are going through the same thing by visiting Anderson’s online forum. Talking to other men in a safe environment may make you feel more comfortable about sharing your real feelings.
Embrace Expert Support
Look to other men who have traveled down this road before. Men who have gone through breast cancer with their wives have turned their experiences into a career in which they devote themselves to helping others, especially during the initial phase. As Marc Silver explains, men aren’t immune to needing help while dealing with their wives’ breast cancer diagnosis. Silver reassures men that even though they can’t fix the situation, they can still be there for their wives.
Almost all non-profit breast cancer organizations offer free information and access to online resources such as discussion boards, chat facilities, and more. Susan G. Komen provides useful information for men about support groups, what to look for, where to find them, and even an explanation of the different types of support groups available.
Participate in Awareness Activities
Get active during October, which is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Avon Foundation is a huge supporter of breast cancer research, and organizations raise money by sponsoring the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. These walks take place in many cities throughout the United States on different days, so even if you can’t walk in October, there are still scheduled walks at other times of the year.
As a husband, you may feel like a failure because you couldn’t keep her safe from breast cancer. What you can do is be there for her, and be the most loving, emotionally supportive, and caring husband you can be. Think of what you’re facing as a journey – one you’re going to embark on as a couple. When you reach the end of the journey, your commitment to one another will be stronger than ever.
Author: Fred Davis