Supporting Your Partner After A Breast Cancer Diagnoses
Your partner being diagnosed with breast cancer can cause your world to turn upside down. Many people note feeling a range of emotions after being told their partner has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Shock, disbelief, anger and sadness are amongst these emotions. While it is perfectly understandable that you feel this way, it is important to remember you are now required to support your partner in ways you may never have imagined. It can feel as though your whole life has been disrupted, and it has. Your partner, however, has also been shocked to their core and is facing this illness.
Knowing how to support them can seem completely out of your abilities but you will surprise yourself at how strong you can be when your loved one needs you.
Here are some ways you can support your partner after a breast cancer diagnoses.
Make Yourself Aware of the Treatment Process
It may be the last thing you want to do, or perhaps you’ll want to flood yourself with information. Either way, knowing the treatment process is very important. The term “knowledge is power” springs to mind. You will feel more confident in speaking to both your partner and their medical team as treatment begins.
Attending Treatment and Appointments With Your Partner
It is extremely important to have a running conversation with your partner about your level of involvement in their treatment and other appointments they are attending. Your partner may want you to be there constantly at the beginning, but this might change based on different circumstances as treatment proceeds.
Of course, if you work or have children it can be hard to attend appointments and treatment together. You should inform your employer of your situation as they will more than likely be very sympathetic towards you and your partner. Family and friends will also play an important role if children are involved. Do not be afraid to ask for help.
Prepare for Physical Changes
During breast cancer treatment, your partner may be offered a mastectomy, a surgery to remove the tissue of the breast. Many people diagnosed with breast cancer often worry about this operation which can result in losing some if not all of their breast(s), and losing sensation in their breast(s). Your partner may worry about you not being attracted to them, or the operation affecting your sex life. It is important to support your partner by reassuring them of their physical attributes.
The two of you may find it helpful to prepare for this by looking at pictures of the surgery.
Chemotherapy is another treatment used for breast cancer. Chemotherapy can cause hair thinning or hair loss. Your partner may become very self-conscious so again, it is important for you to reassure them, and remember once chemotherapy is finished it will grow back.
Tiredness Is a Part of the Journey
While your partner is going through treatment they will experience many side effects. Tiredness is a big element of this. It’s important to remain supportive at these times, and perhaps try your best to help out with bits and pieces around the house. Your partner is probably feeling slight guilt about being tired a lot, reassure them that you are very capable of running the show. Again, don’t be afraid to ask friends and family for help.
Your partner being diagnosed with breast cancer is awful, we can’t deny that. It is important to support your partner but also to look after yourself. Allow yourself to feel your emotions, ask for extra help if you need it, and take a moment for yourself every now and again.