Me and my wife are very lucky in that we are also best too and this helps a lot - we are getting wonderful support and complimentary therapies from our hospital in East Yorkshire.
To all husbands supporting their wives there is help and support there for you too just ask Dr's, nurses and other staff are wonderful at their jobs but alas they are not 'mind readers' so if you have a drop in centre at your hospital call in for a chat it will I'm sure sure help you so much in difficult times.
hello and welcome to wellmeant
i am finding it really interesting and useful to read this thread, and the input of the people who are partners to people with bc, and i'm sure others are too - thanks for 'talking' to us about it.
the first time i was dx, we were already having some marital probs - based on communication - and almost lost our marrage. learning to understand the differences in our hard wiring and thought processes actually got us talking, and when we reach the inevitable 'downs', we do go back to that.
i also honestly think that as equal partners, as well as understanding how men communicate, we have to accept that our modes of communication might bamboozle partners and male children, dads etc, and think about what that means. like el katrano, i wasted years simmering - it took years to realise that simmering and then exploding from time to time wasn't helpful! when he was saying what he thought, i would spend weeks mulling it over, trying to work out what he meant, when he only meant what he said. and i never let it lie - still don't!
last thing to say is that i am generalising and appreciate that each individual and all relationships are of course different, but i think its a healthy, interesting and, for me, helpful.
best wishes all round
I'm sorry if you OHs are having a hard time because of this thread. The vast majority, I appreciate, are loving caring people who are doing their utmost to try and help with the awful BC situation.
No one gets it right all the time. It's largely the partners who deal with all the emotional and psychological stuff as well as the endless hospital appointments and day to day jobs which have to be done, at the same time having problems themselves.
You have my respect and admiration for that, yours is not an easy job and it must be like walking a tightrope at times.
You haven't offended anyone. Please continue to post on here, you will find so much support and there seem to be more blokes posting now which is good.
I wish you and your wife well. Your support is so important to her.
I am new to this community and my wife has stage 4 grade 2 breast cancer dignosed in February we are both 41.
It is difficult sometimes to be a husband i feel so useless helpless that I can't take this f thing away from her but I do my best - not all 'husbands' find it easy to cope with the situation and we can only imagine what our other half's are going through but on the whole we do our best and on occasion get it wrong. Also different generations cope in differnt ways. I hope I haven't offended anyone and maybe i haven't put my feelings into the right words - but there we go.
Another couple of differences to watch for.
The first is that we tend to think there is a point in talking. If you are saying something, you are passing us information. You want us to have that information for a reason. We don't "get" just having a chat over a cuppa.
By and large we are problem solvers.
Now put those two together and think about what goes through or heads when you come home and grumble about something that hapenned at work.
Yup - you want us to help fix the problem. I know what you probably want is someone to nod and say really and agree what a cad your boss is. We actually think you are looking for help on either getting out of that job, or getting even with whoever annoyed you, so we start thinking...
and to think I spent years SIMMERING with unvoiced anger in previous relationships about how they ignored my hints to do things - probably washed over their heads 😄
Now I'm a right demanding wench - ha ha ha.
Ha ha Larger Bloke.... it's true.
My OH years ago said to me "I don't get hints or beating around the bush or subtlety, You just have to tell me what it is you want"
SO rather than saying "I feel thirsty" say "stick the kettle on".
or "can you to hoover up" rather than "The carpet looks minging..."
And yes, he's come through the door some days and I've said "Oh come and give me a big hug I've been miserable all day"
I think this may be the secret to a relatively harmonious time, since I learnt this little gem about being very direct.
Problem is these days I don't always get the subtley of women now!!! Ha ha ha. Whoops.
But yes, say what you want, they don't always get the hint, not wired the same way, perhaps sexist but true, its so much easier in a mans world! I envy them.
CM is right. Us blokes are normally simple. If there is anything specific you ever want us to do is ask/tell us.
It would indeed be nice if we could tell you needed a hug as you walk in the door, or you'd rather we keep out of your way while you just get in and unpack the shopping. The latter is probably easier to manage without being too direct by directly asking us to do something else - walk in and announce you need a brew, could we put the kettle on?
Agree CM - am getting on much better with OH now that I'm being more direct - and interestingly enough had a Reiki session earlier this week and she noted that my "voice" area had much more energy flowing - so maybe I'm finally (after nearly 22 years of marriage) am learning about men!!
Well done, trish, and Mr trish too (bless 'im!)
An adage to think about if the OH is being a bit dense about what support we need:
THEIR BALLS AREN'T MADE OF CRYSTAL.
Blokes tend to be simple, straightforward creatures who take things as they find them, so if you want them to do something, tell 'em straight! They don't generally go in for the sort of hyper-analysis that we women sometimes do (particularly in times of stress, like during BC!) so it could be a bit unfair of us to expect them to guess when we need extra hugs and cuddles, or to be accompanied to appointments, or even to do more of the housework than they usually do.
So ladies, TELL your men what you want/need, rather than being disappointed when they don't guess. If they THEN refuse to do it, you KNOW they're doing it on purpose!
thank you for your support guys, we went out for meal last night and had good heart to heart , he admitted he`s almost scared to touch me because frightened of hurting me , i said that he needs to get his head out of the sand and recognise that i need emotional support , a hug or cuddle also goes a long way , we cleared the air without arguing so that was a bonus and today is another day , i have asked him to come with me for my last rads - feel that i shouldn`t have to ask but hey ho , i dont think for one minute he has done any of this to hurt me , i know he loves me very much , i just think a bit of denial was going on and being a mans man it is just his way ,maybe i should read men are from mars lol cus you would think at the age of 48 i would have some inkling of the way some men think xxx
@Trish - you may have had surgery/chemo/other treatments, but 17 shots of radio is daily trips to the hospital for three weeks. It will be tiring.
My wife did the chemo/surgery/radio ending in march and isn't 100% yet.
Maybe you need to sit down and explain the issues you are dealing with which come with BC. You still have a long way to go with your rads. It's very tiring and you need to take each day as it comes.
Maybe if you can explain the psychological side too then he will understand why you need the support. I do hope so.
Best of luck
Love Jan xxx
hello ladies , today ifeel the need to grrr men ! yesterday was a bad day , went up to the q .e to get marked up and dates of 17 sessions , my lovely 18 year old daughter came with me as O H cant possibly take day off work as only gets holiday pay , i know he has mortgage and bills ( we dont live together yet ) but surely i am worth a day off ? he came with me for results and surgery and thats been it , now its like the job is done and everything should return to normal ? but i dont feel normal , i feel c..p ! i am an emotional roller coaster and i suspect because of the tamoxifen i have this terrible anger inside me and have done for 2 days , his response last night to me asking him , pleading with him to read up on this and the effect it is having on me was -" u dont have cancer anymore , radiotherapy a precaution ", basically put up and shut up , do i have to beg for support - is that what i need to do because thats how i feel , i know how lucky i have been under the circumstances with small tumour and clear nodes and margins , i know that so much but does that mean i am not supposed to be on the emotional roller coaster ? should i have got off with 17 rads to come . wiped my hands and said job done without a backwards glance ? any advise welcolme please xx
Not read all through this thread (sorry), but I got a book off here called "In it together" - OH didn't read it though!
I think a book for men is one of those things that sounds like a good idea. When was the last time you saw us check the instructions for anything?
I am flattered that you think I could do something like that, unfortunately I am not the best of writers!
I do remember Jansman - he does drop in occasionally. I found his blog very helpful.
I think a book for partners would be a good idea. I appreciate that it must be very hard to watch someone you love having to cope with BC and all it brings with it. There seems to be a lack of information and support for partners.
However I think there are some people who are just incapable of empathy and compassion and in that case all the books in the world wouldn't help. My husband would never read such a book he is too self obsessed and thinks he knows all he needs to know anyway.
I agree that Largerbloke sounds like he's got the whole thing sorted. There used to be a bloke who used to post on here called Jansman (not this Jan unfortunately)and I think he probably knew more about BC, it's treatments and the issues that come with it than half the doctors *(I think he did a blog too). Maybe LargerB bloke and Jansman could get together and write a book?
A little while ago someone on this forum wrote that with relationships you go on for years getting on with it and papering over the cracks. Then something comes along and the paper isn't strong enough to hold and the whole thing just splits apart. That is so true. I became very good at papering over the cracks and putting the effort and support in to keep it all together but BC came along and I needed someone to put the effort and support in for me, and unfortunately that didn't happen.
I feel so sorry for those on here having to cope on your own. BC is no picnic and without the support of the person who is supposed to be closest to you and in my case, and many of yours too, the man who took marriage vows which clearly meant nothing at all, it takes so much strength and determination.
One lesson I have learned is never to expect and I won't be disappointed. It's been hard but now I don't expect anything. it works for me so that I can get on with my life. From time to time I have to call on a friend but very rarely now.
Love and strength to you all
You're spot on, daisyleaf. A huge life crisis like BC makes you re-evaluate your relationships and decide whether they're worth working on, imperfect as they are, or whether there's nothing worth keeping and it's time to move on.
there is a big difference isn't there between guys who mean well and just need guidance, and the utter sh*ts who don't deserve any further notice. i think we all know that no ones perfect and where there's a decent relationship you can work your way through it, but sometimes, its just the death knell to a poor relationship. Largerbloke, you are a great example of a good guy - although maybe all our men aren't THAT enlightened, there is just no excuse for some of the people we've heard about on here.
good luck to those who are ready to move on xxx
Yes they should OAL 🙂 my heart goes out to those in difficult relationships it really does this BC carries enough C*** without the added stress & love is a great healer
Hi Lilac thats a great idea, funny you say about the drifting apart me & my OH had I think over the years but this BC has brought us closer it sure makes you value others more 🙂
There's obviously a gap in the market for a handbook for partners of those living with breast cancer! Maybe you could write it, largerbloke, with help from us ladies on the forum.
I've got a large bloke at home who's worth his weight in gold. We had drifted apart, but cancer seems to be bringing us closer together again.
years ago there was a book called 'venus and mars' perhaps they should hand it out to people along with othe BC information. (except largerbloke of course)
I think some men bury their heads in the sand and believe if they carry on as normal nothing bad will happen and if it does it wont affect them.I remember when I was first diagnosed my insensative OH said well life carries on and proceeded to do just that. If I wanted any emotional care I had to ask whereas I thought he should be able to give it. Practically he looked after me well I had lovely friends and family who were there for me emotionally so it was ok.After a few months things did get better but it took alot of explaining on my part that it wasnt just physical pain I was going through. Have just had a LD flap reconstruction. Again physically he is caring for me but has just spent most of the weekend working on a car he is building. He has rightly said you cant expect me to sit there with you all the time.It would have been nice if he had particularly as I am still sore 12 days after the op. If he has any trauma and upset I have always been there. Am not sure if its just the way he is programmed. I said to him the other week "you always put yourself first" and he replied that he did and thought every body else considered themselves first. I have always considered others and usually have put them before myself.
Jan, i was reading what was going on with you and thought i'd written some of it myself!!!!!
The difference with me is that I have been with my partner for 15 years. I don't want to really give too much away because i know his family may come on here and guess who I am. At the start of our relationship he was a pig to me when i suffered from a horrid condition which steadily became worse over the years through the stress of it all. His friends said all he needed was to get married and settle down and have children. In my humble opinion I was not going to be the one to make that mistake. We never married so i'm entitled to nothing. We decided earlier this year to part but then things changed when I got the diagnosis.
He turned into a very caring person but i had been so used to him moaning at me for being too reliant on him that i wanted to be as independent as possible. I feel nothing for him now but asked if we could keep things as civil as possible until i was better. Halfway through radiotherapy, i'm knackered and yesterday because i couldn't make it to his family party (i needed to sleep all day) he told me for the 3rd time in 6 months that he was fed up of my selfishness and to figure out which one of my friends will put me up when i finish radiotherapy in a couple of weeks. He does this to me all the time when i'm low.
Well said Lemongrove
Jan I wish you all the luck in the world for all the bad to turn face
LargerBloke CM is right you have a fan club :))
Hi I came on your story by accident, I can totally empathise with you about your OH, I have been on my own for 8 years after my OH left me for the younger model after 24years of marriage, during which I was in hosp for an ovary removal due to cysts and he didnt come to visit during the whole 5 days in hosp due to work, he was a policeman. I had sort of got used to his attitude over the years but since he left have realised that I am worth so much more. You are too! Your friends sound brilliant and you will be fine with them by your side. Take care. K x
Do you know you lot are so brilliant on here. Thank you so much for your support. My heart feels lighter this morning because of it and I have my lovely grandson coming for lunch. He's the light of my life, 2 years old and the most desirable male on the planet.
You're right LG it is justification. Because he's perfect someone has to take the rap when his life goes wrong and you can guess who's to blame.
When I think of the wonderful speech I made when I came back from the hospital after hearing the dreaded news, all about how we would get through this together and support each other all the way. He wasn't to worry because I was determined I was going to get through and come out the other side. How wrong I was on the support score but how right on the coming out the other side and so much stronger because I've had to do most of it on my own.
I didn't think of Macmillan CM so thank you for that suggestion I'll see if they can help. I'm going to the solicitors on Tuesday to sort the house out. If anything happens to me I don't want him having anything of mine.
Thanks evertone for your good wishes.
I hope that you are all well today and the sun is shining outside which always makes you feel better.
Love to you all
LG, couldn't agree more.
LargerBloke, do you realise you now have yourself a fanclub, another member signing up here. Your approach is lovely, and I'm sure your wife is really glad of all the support you have given her, and continue to give her. Well done you, it's tough on blokes. (Except a certain perfect person described above who looks like he couldn't give a monkeys.)
Jan, good luck with finding a place. Macmillan may be able to help out with a financial grant to help towards a deposit, and they may be able to give you other advice regarding how to deal with your current situation. Best of luck. It's tough, but sometimes staying put is tougher.
Jan I don't know you, but just want to say I think you deserve better. Also, if you don't mind me saying, I think his excuse was simply a justification - not an apology. He doesn't seem to realise that it's one thing to be less than perfect, and another to be an absolute sh*t.
He won't leave, after all he is perfect!!!
I've seen a solicitor so I know what my rights are. Yes it is difficult to launch yourself into the unknown but I keep telling my self that it can't be worse than this and probably much better. It's finding a place I can afford which is the problem. I did retire but I'm back working, 1 day a week at present to give me a bit of extra money.
Anyway I seem to have hi-jacked someone else's thread. It was an opportunity to get a man's view on my situation when I saw a comment from Paul but I also got lots of support from you all too which makes me feel better. Thanks so much everyone.
Love to all
hi jan, i think your friends might even find it easier to be supportive when you don't live somewhere where there's an atmosphere - which i guess there must be. i'm not underestimating how difficult moving out must be, though, especially now. its really crap that you're in this position, i really hope you get sorted soon. is it worth seeing a solicitor - maybe you could ask him to leave, would that be a possibility
thinking of you
Thanks so much. Not sure about finding anyone else, it would be good just to be on my own and not have the constant feeling of being let down. I need to win the lottery,not a huge amount just enough to get me somewhere to live.
I went to the docs last week to ask if he could help me to get a council place to live. I told him the situation I'm in and when I told him what my husband had said about the perfect wife thing his jaw dropped too. I don't think the poor man knew what to say.
I have the most amazing friends I'm so lucky. Without them I just don't know what I would do.
Hi Jan im sitting here with jaw drop at your posts I am so sorry that you are married to such a P**** 😞
using that as an excuse to NOT be there with you when you had surgery this BC is bad enough on our emotions & well being without having the OH acting like a total moron.
I hope & pray you get better get through the treatments get strong again & that your true soulmate comes along & you can be happy again, with someone that deserves you & treats you as you should be treated. OOOOOO Im so cross :S
Sorry but any OH that can act & behave like this when you are going through this needs to dam well grow a pair or ship out FAST. Its a dam good job you have good friends I hope they will be with you every step of the way
much love to you
Yes I've come to the conclusion that I'll be better off on my own. Last week I visited my brother in Lancashire and had such a good time just being with people who care. I certainly think that I don't deserve the treatment I've had.
I'm into folk mainly but play classical piano and other stuff on my accordian like Sousa marches, some of my favourties. My V accordian has a Sousaphone sound on it so they sound great. I'll have a go at anything really. I've been playing the piano since I was three and singing in choirs since I was 14. I like anything from really heavy sacred music to Lady GaGa!!! Just love Michael Buble he gets me through my ironing and housework on my ipod.
You sound like a great bloke. Thanks for your observations. I've come to the conclusion that the man I married is a one off. Clearly he's not your regular sort of guy!!!
What a talented lot we are. We should form the BCC Forum Band!!!
oh, jan, that guy of yours doesn't deserve you. how could a grown person expect perfection from another human being - thats just silly and such a weird and inappropriate thing to say to you at such a time. it sounds like maybe he just can't deal with it but is trying to switch the responsibility for his inadequacy on to you. it sounds like, no matter how difficult it gets, your life would be better without him in it. good luck to you xx
largerbloke, it is great to have a male perspective sometimes x
sounds like there's a band forming here - i love music but all i can play is my ipod!
what sort of music are you all into
Jan, sounds like I may have given him more credit that was due.
Perfect? none of us are. We tend to run along safe in our lives, often taking partners for granted. Everyone has ups and downs, and we have to get along with life.
For me, she is the love of my life, and no matter what treatment she had to endure, I would still love her to bits. That's before we get onto vows made so long ago now. I hope she knows that (knowing and being told are not the same, especially when it comes to ladies and emotions) and that knowing that made treatment more tolerable.
I just couldn't see myself not being there as needed. The only bit I wasn't there for was every single radiotherapy session as that was every day for four weeks, but I still was there for the first few, and weekly doctor appointments.
By the way OaL - I play bass! hope you make the gig.
We also have two young bouys (8&4) so have had to try to keep things as close to normal as possible for them.
There's loads more, some amazing things he's done and said, but you'd be bored. Yes Big Bloke sounds a real nice guy.
As you can imagine we lead seperate lives altogether now. Any feeling there was just got killed off to be honest. It's been difficult and very lonley at times but I've managed it and I'm still here. Older and wiser by far. Looking for a place to rent so I can get out of the way, bit not many places around here in my price bracket.
I'm an accordionist. I had a big Italian accordian before dx which was made especially for me to my spec. I loved it but found that after my op it was just too heavy. It was my left breast and under arm that was affected and it's the left arm which does all the work when playing an accordian, pushing and pulling the bellows in and out.
Anyway I sold it to a brilliant accordianist so I know it's being played well. He only came to try it out and fell in love with it and had to have it.
I now play a virtual accordian which is electronic. It isn't quite the same but it's much lighter and I get on with it OK.
I'm sure you'll be fine with your drumming. I know what it's like, it's so much part of your life that not being able to do it is torture. You will do it though because you have to.
I do hope that it's good news for you and you can get back to your music soon.
jan, I just cannot beleive that is what your husband did. It has prompted me to go down and give my rock a big hug, he doesnt know why he got it but never minds getting a hug.
Mind you if I ever fancied a swap I think Big Bloke might fit the bill.
as to going to see grandson if its bad news--- I am not invited along on these trips, he goes up by himself. We do not travel well together. I am normally much happier here by myself and going off to some pub to play with my band (i am a drummer) But at the moment I cannot play, so being here by myself knowing that the band will probably not wait if i need more treatment would be horrid if the news were not good. If all is fine then I am starting three limbed drumming this week,so i will spend all weekend up at the studio practicing, trying to get my fitness levels up for a gig in August. So him going off will be fine.
Thanks for that. A couple of weeks ago I did ask him why he behaved as he did on that day and asked him to tell the truth. His exact words were 'For years you are a less than perfect wife. A major disaster comes into your life and you expect me to be a perfect husband'.
I've often wondered what his work colleagues thought on that day and also when I was visiting the hospital for treatment and he just went to work as normal. His editor's wife had been dx with BC 18 months before me and he told my husband just to take time off and not worry about anything.
Now I admit that I haven't been a perfect wife, I do find perfection rather difficult but I have brought up his 2 children along with my own and treated them all the same. His kids were 7 and 10 when I married him.
I re-trained and got a better job when his business wasn't doing well. I've never strayed and supported him particularly when he had a nervous breakdown in 2001.
There are loads of other instances, like when he decided that he'd go and spend the evening in a pub with an old girlfriend, leaving me sitting on the settee at home. That was 8 months after my dx. My objection didn't change anything and he just carried on but behind my back.
Anyway it's all beyond me. I'm just thankful that I have such great friends, one in particular is an absolute gem, and lovely kids.
Thanks Paul. It's good to have a bloke's view.
Your wife is lucky to have such a loving caring husband. I do hope she appreciates you.
Jan, the only suggestions I can make are denial or fear. Either way it is head in sand. If no one can tell him anything bad, nothing bad can happen.
Me? By the time my wife was back on the ward the nurses were almost recognising my voice! I was at the hosptital about half an hour ahead of visiting time in the evening. At least with the date of her op (23rd Dec) I could blame early arrival on setting off early because of the risk of christmas shoppers.
If I found a colleague of mine had behaved like that I think he would find he was aware of my opinion on where he should be. He would also probably find I know more, er, interesting words than people think I know.
Can I just ask you a question? Being a bloke you may be able to enlighten me.
Why would a husband of 27 years go to work on the day of his wife's BC operation, leaving her friend to take the day off work and take her into hospital. Then when he gets to work turn his phones off so that he can't be contacted, and not phone the hospital at all for the whole day. It's a good job there wasn't an emergency because I'd put him down as my next of kin.
I won't bore you with anymore details of his lack of support.
I just thought another man might have a idea.
Thanks in anticipation.