helping my hubby....

Hi all,

I was DX with BC oct 08 and currently going through chemo at the moment. however my father in law has just found out he has pancreatic cancer which has devistated my hubby. with me still not through treatment and this he is starting to break. I really don’t know how to help him. I am being supportive and talking to him but have so much with my own treatment I don’t know what to do…

any suggestions??

Bcc have some male Partner Support Volunteers who have experienced the roller coaster breast cancer journey and would be a great help to him.If you ring the helpline number they will help sort it for you.However he has to accept he wants/needs to chat about things.Another idea is if he has a close friend have a word with them and see if they could help.
Men unlike women are not great talkers!
good luck
sharon x

thanks Sharon,

it sounds daft asking for help esp as I have cancer myself and we do question what people say to us but I just feel helpless with him. I have spoken to his friends partners to get his friends to take him out. we are just in the unknown with his father so its the waiting for the results thats the most painful.

thanks again. I am going to try to get him to talk to me.



My father-in-law had prostate cancer and he has now passed away from an unrelated illness. Because his death was unexpected there was a post-mortem and the coroner told us that he would never had died from his prostate cancer. He had had it for about 9 years and had hormone injections into his tummy every 3 months. Whilst I know that all individuals are different, and I also know of a friend of my FIL who did die from prostate cancer, it doesn’t always mean a death sentence by any means. Hopefully it has been caught early enough to be treatable.

It must be very difficult for your husband though as he must feel totally powerless with both you and his father suffering cancer. I know that I would sooner suffer than have to cope with any of my family having cancer and maybe your hubby feels like that too.

I hope you are able to talk to each other about your deepest feelings though as it is a time when you need to help and support each other and also get as much support from others as you can too.

Best wishes,


I’m not surprised your husband is feeling devastated…first you have breast cancer, and now his dad has pancreatic cancer which has a very poor survival rate.

Sometimes a GP can be a good source of help: either for a drug solution to help your husband cope, or for some counselling. What other family support does your husband have? What about his friends?Is there someone in his family he can talk to?

This must be hard for you also…coping with your own treatment while your father-in-law also faces a major life threatening event. Counselling could help you too.

Any of the cnacer support helplines could also be a source of help.

Sorry you are facing this.

best wishes


thanks Jane,

hubby is a worrier really br trade and has faced a lot over a small years of marriage. I have contacted his friends who are a lovely bunch and I feel will give him support. Our local cancer support - Beechwood has offered his support too although being a man (sorry stereotyping here) he is a little relucant to see someone. He find resolve in researching and this has helped him get his head around it.

there are 3 of us with cancer so our family is becoming consumed by it - me, my father in law and a family friend. we are def learning a lot.
plus with my father in law its still early days he is in hospital and awaiting surgery which is good for the type he has as only 25% are operable so that must up his chances. he had cancer 12 years ago so knows the system that we are becoming used to. but we still don’t know how big, grade or further treatment. They told him 2 years to live but that apparently is the average so could be more - you never know - I think we have all realised its not how long its what you do with it. I do feel lost though as still underway with my treatment.

I am supporting him as much as I can and giving him breathing room, I think just keeping the communication channels open will help and regular gym work out for him - its a great stress relief for him.

thanks again, its such a C**p condition Cancer.

I have just published a new website at which is intended for husbands of wives with cancer. Your husband may find it helpful, or may want to take up the invitation there to email another man.

Best wishes


I would strongly recommend counselling. I was dx with BC just three weeks after losing my mum to an unknown cancer (she died of secondaries to the brain, they couldn’t find a primary site). It is such a big blow to have two devastating things happen at once. I had counselling through a local charity ‘Coping with Cancer’ which I was referred to by the hospital. It was so helpful to have that one hour a week for myself, when I didn’t have to put on a brave face, or be strong for anyone else.