Man's Guide to Breast Cancer
Author John W. Anderson shares insights on how men can stand by women with breast cancer.
What can men do to help women in their lives feel good about themselves while being treated for breast cancer?
It depends on whether it’s a husband-wife, father-daughter, mother-son, or
another type of relationship. Husbands can make their wives feel good by
bringing her flowers and telling her you think she is as beautiful as the day
you met. Her femininity has been challenged in this situation and she needs to
know you are there for her. There is no cast-iron way to do this, but tune in
to her needs, wants, fears, and insecurities.
Many women with breast cancer say that their partners had a hard time with their appearance after treatment, especially at first. Did that happen for you?
“It is impossible to generalize how each man reacts to his partner when he
first sees how his loved one looks to him after surgery. Keep in mind that many
breast cancer surgeries are lumpectomies, which are partial removals of breast
tissue, not a full removal like a mastectomy, so the change isn’t necessarily
that extreme. With that said, sure there are men out there who have a hard time
with it, but I would say that most men don’t, especially if they truly love
their wives or significant others.
For me, I was so happy to see Sharon after her surgery, to know that her
tumors had been removed, that she looked more beautiful to me than ever before.
I still feel that today.
When Sharon looked at her mastectomy for the first time, she said that she
felt emotionally, as well as physically, numb. She didn’t know how to feel at
all. But after she showed me what had been done to her, and I told her how
beautiful she was to me, and how much I loved her, it was then that her
feelings came rushing back to her. Our marriage had taken a major step forward
when this happened. Sharon said it was right then that she knew that our
marriage was not only going to be fine, but better because of this