Receiving a positive breast cancer diagnosis is a life-changing event. You are forced to face your own mortality with dizzying speed all while trying to process what needs to happen next. Unfortunately, it doesn’t end there. So let’s look at talking about breast cancer with your partner.
Talking About Breast Cancer with Your Partner
When you eventually leave your doctor’s office and go home, you have to figure out how to tell those closest to you. If you’re in a committed relationship, starting with your partner is usually the best course of action. Assuming your relationship is a loving and supportive one, your partner will be able to provide support as you inform others who need to know.
Here are some tips on how you can talk about breast cancer with your partner.
Start with the Facts
Discussing cancer is likely to have a strong emotional effect. Sometimes the best way to get it out is to briefly hold off on the emotional response and just start with the facts. The easiest way to start might be to describe why you went to the doctor in the first place. Then give a brief description of events leading up to your positive diagnosis.
Your partner is likely to have a strong response. Try to keep them calm, and discuss the plan for your treatment. Once all of the necessary medical information is out, you can dive into the emotional part if you’re ready for that.
Discuss Going to Appointments Together
Having a support person present at your appointments can be very helpful. They can provide moral support and even take notes. Surgery and chemotherapy can be very taxing, and you may need someone to help you keep track of details.
At the very least, you should have someone waiting for you after your mastectomy in Houston. Prior to surgery, discuss what you’ll need help with. Go over post-surgical care, child care if applicable, and household duties. Thorough communication will help to ensure a smooth post-surgical period.
Have Clear Expectations
Breast cancer and its treatment are demanding. You will need help throughout your treatment and recovery, so your partner should be fully aware of this. Go over what your household requires on a daily basis and make it clear what your expectations are as far as their role in getting those tasks done.
If your partner is already overwhelmed, discuss what you can do to help lighten their load. Reach out to family and friends for help or find someone you can hire to help with regular household tasks. By discussing these expectations early, you’ll save yourself a lot of stress later.
Maintain an Open Dialog
Chronic illness is hard on all kinds of relationships. Even the most loving couples will have their struggles under the strain of a cancer diagnosis. That is why it is so important to discuss your feelings and your relationship as often as necessary.
If you feel like there is unresolved tension in your relationship, then consider couple’s therapy. It won’t fix your relationship overnight, but it can give you the tools to slowly unravel current issues and prevent them from getting worse.
Every Relationship Is Different
The suggestions above are very general, and they may not perfectly fit your situation. For more personalized advice, talk to your doctor. While you’re discussing breast tumor treatment options in Houston feel free to ask about local therapists and support groups who specialize in helping couples through breast cancer.
Your breast cancer doctor will likely know groups in your area that can provide advice and support as you go through the various steps of your cancer treatment. Cancer will always be challenging, but it can be a lot easier with the support of people who care.