A husband’s guide to support his spouse during breast cancer treatment

Guide to handle breast cancer

When the person you love is diagnosed with a disease as straining as breast cancer, it is a battle you both fight together. You have to support each other through it. A husband may find himself coping with the difficult task of standing by and supporting their loved one while trying to manage his own emotions. 

No rulebook can be prepared for such a situation but here are some tips that may help you and your partner cope with this difficult time. 

The first and foremost thing to do for your spouse is to be prepared and educate yourself about cancer and everything related to it. Getting general knowledge about the disease is the first step and helps you better understand the complications and treatment related to the disease, the second step is to gather information regarding the specific condition of your spouse to help them. 

1) Be There for Them

Accompany them to a visit to the doctors. Clinical tests are a trying time for the patient. Lengthy conversations with the doctor, multiple tests and diagnosis of the same, and many, many more complications make the experience is extremely distressing. By being there for your spouse at such times, you help them cope with test results and also by knowing what steps are to be taken to help their health improve. It keeps you updated on their condition and helps you discuss concerns with the doctor regarding daily care and medicines. 

2) Be Real

It is good to be positive but there are times when both you and your spouse will be going through extreme emotional upheaval. You both feel like crying and letting out your sorrow. Encourage yourselves to do it. It is good to be transparent with each other how you're feeling instead of putting up a brave face. Repressed emotions can lead to negativity being harbored and eventually lead to miscommunication. Treatment for breast cancer is an exhaustive one and will lead to both of you feeling extremely exhausted and tired. Hence it is important to communicate what you feel. 

3) Be Patient

The treatment for breast cancer is a long tiring process. You could have major setbacks just when you feel that completed the process. And these major setbacks could leave you demotivated. In such situations, it is important to stay patient towards the process. When you feel tired from supporting your spouse through the treatment, it is good to take a step back and evaluate. They are the ones going through the treatment and probably feel ten times as tired as you do. 

4) Be Attentive

One of the many hurdles with battling breast cancer is the number of doctor's appointments, prescriptions, test reports, medical bills, and a hundred other receipts that involve the different aspects of the treatment. Your spouse is busy battling the disease, so it becomes your responsibility to be attentive and check all of these are in the correct order and nothing is being misplaced. It is essential to document all diagnoses and expenses.  

5) Be Accepting of Help

You don't have to do it all on your own. Don't be afraid to ask for emotional and financial assistance from your friends and your family in times like these. From day-to-day appointments, taking care of your partner during work hours, or carrying out small errands, the help of others is essential in such a situation.  

6) Be Self-Sufficient

If you wish to take care of your spouse, it is just as equally important to take care of yourself. Supporting your spouse can cause huge emotional distress as you see them suffering, It is essential to create a support group whom you can rely on.  It is often recommended that you take therapy and counseling sessions to ensure emotional stability. Your spouse already has a great burden and a tough fight to battle. If your partner feels that they are bearing their troubles upon you, they may not share their concerns and fears with you. Hence, it is important that you take the required help for your own self.

In the year 2018, over half a million people are expected to suffer from breast cancer. This means a lot of spouses will have to fight the battle together with their partners. A lot of spouses will have to learn to navigate through this journey as a team. Supporting someone you love who has been diagnosed with breast cancer is difficult because it brings emotional and physical challenges. Through our guide, we hope we have made this journey slightly easier for you. 


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