There is no avoiding the reality that a cancer diagnosis affects everyone in the family. It naturally changes the life of the person who’s been diagnosed, but it also affects people who are close to them. As with any family issue, everyone comes to the table with their own perspective and feelings. In the case of a medical crisis, this inevitably includes individual fears and a sense of uncertainty. Spouses may try to protect each other in different ways. Communication is likely to be deeply personal, and how it is managed can be deeply flawed, even with the best of intentions. Grant yourself and your loved ones grace and forgiveness every step of the way.
“When a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, it can blindside the men who love her – husbands, boyfriends, fathers, sons. It’s not just a ‘woman’s issue,’ say the men who’ve been affected. But many of them know little about the disease itself and find themselves at a loss as to how to help the women they love cope emotionally (much less cope themselves).” ~ Gina Shaw, WebMd Cancer Center
At Support Connection, we understand that it’s not always easy to know how to help and be supportive. Speaking with others who are in the same situation is an excellent way to learn, get ideas, and feel less alone. In support of this, we offer: For Men Only, Let’s Talk: An Open Discussion For Men With A Spouse Or Partner Going Through Cancer.
“Being with a group of guys with similar circumstances – guys who might be having a difficult time – is helpful. And of course, the amount of knowledge to be shared is priceless. I think support is not as much about us and what we get. I think it’s about being able to give and provide support to our spouses. It helps to deal with emotions without making it just about yourself. It also helps to be prepared when the unexpected shows up, as there is always an uncertainty about the future and fear that accompanies that.” ~ David Tartaglia
We also understand that in a different circumstance, learning how to cope with the grief and the impact loss inevitably has on your life is hard to do alone. Speaking with others who have also been through it is an excellent way to learn and feel less alone. In recognition of that, we offer: It’s Okay to Grieve, Let’s Talk: An Open Discussion for Men Living With Loss.
“Grief’s pull favors withdrawal. Friends lend a helping hand for us to start to pull free from the grasp of grief. After my wife’s “Celebration of Life” gathering, a friend forwarded a link for a Support Connection zoom session: An Open Discussion for Men Living with Loss. This motivated me to join the Support Connection Men’s Group. The group offers conversation about how to keep something deeply personal, that needs to be held onto, vibrant in itself yet also strongly dependent upon locking into new bonds, which wellbeing urges us to build.” ~ Paul Del Frari
Both of these Open Discussion Men’s Groups are facilitated by men who have navigated this journey. The Discussions are held via Zoom and open to men nationwide who have or had a spouse or partner diagnosed with breast, ovarian or any other gynecological cancer.
To learn more about Support Connection’s Men’s Groups, click here
In addition, these articles, written by men traveling this path, are a valuable resource:
As is this article written by Gina Shaw, posted by WebMd Cancer Center:The Guy’s Guide to Breast Cancer