PARTNER / FAMILY SUPPORT

When your partner has been diagnosed with breast cancer and is having surgery and/or undergoing treatment, it is a difficult time for both of you. Here are some helpful hints from the Breast Friends Group - women who have been on the journey...

  • The most important thing is communication - talk to each other
  • Be involved in treatment - it is vital to attend medical appointments so there are two sets of ears to take in all the information
  • Ask questions - don't be afraid to ask your partner or your medical specialist if you want more information or need further explanation
  • Support your partner by attending their chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy sessions
  • Be available as a "shoulder to cry on"
  • It is okay for partners and the children to get angry
  • Notify school teachers of young children so they are aware
  • Don't be scared to touch your partner - you will not physically hurt her
  • There is sex after breast cancer
  • She may be bald but she is still feminine
  • She is still the same person on the inside
  • Don't let this be the defining part of your relationship
  • Give her some "time out" to be alone with her emotions
  • Give yourself some "time out" to do what you would normally enjoy
  • Offer practical assistance in the domestic scene, eg. vacuuming, hanging washing out, shopping and other jobs which she may find difficult because of her physical wounds

Resources

  • BCNA On line network "Partner support Website - www.bcna.org.au network or Phone 1800 500 258
  • BCNA Booklet "I wish I could fix it
  • National Breast Cancer Foundation CD audio "When the woman you love has early breast cancer"
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