We have come a long way in our battle against cancer. Many advances are being made in all areas of society to both prevent cancer and cure it. In manufacturing, for example, fume extraction is being taken more seriously. Moreover, medicine companies and the health industry are constantly working to develop preventative measures and find a cure. Despite our progress, cancer does still exist and affects a great many of us. Not only does it have the potential to change the life of the person suffering with the illness, but it can change the life of any family members and loved ones too. Today we are going to explore how supporting a partner with cancer can be done. Although it is never easy, it is important to open up and support your partner through, arguably, one of the toughest challenges life has to offer.
Facing Cancer With Your Partner
A cancer diagnosis can put a huge strain on a relationship. Perhaps you are married and have been together for many years, or you are a recent couple. Whatever your circumstances, finding out your partner has cancer can be earth shattering. A lot of couples simply fail to survive something as significant as a cancer diagnosis. Others really struggle. If you are eager to stick by your partner and support them through this difficult period, you are in the right place. Although a lot of people struggle, there are things you can do and implement to make this period a lot easier. This is not to say it won’t be a challenge. Undoubtedly you will experience some bumps in the road. But by following our advice, your journey through supporting a partner with cancer will be made easier.
- Be a Team
Your partner is going to be struggling. A cancer diagnosis, however serious, is really scary. The fear of the unknown is greater than ever, and your partner will be confused, frustrated and sad. If you want to be there, it is important to make this a team effort. Do not pull away but make it very clear that you are there for them. Ensure you make decisions together, try to make a plan that involves you both and simply be there for them. You do not necessarily have to have the answers to this huge challenge, but just being there can go a long way.
- Keep Communication Open
Some people and couples struggle with being communicative at the best of times. In the face of cancer, many couples break down. They may not know how to speak to their partner, and their partner may not know how to communicate their feelings surrounding their diagnosis. If the cancer is terminal, they may be terrified by the prospect of death and the great unknown. It is important that you make every effort to stay communicative and try to articulate your feelings. You should encourage your partner to do the same. Feeling stressed? Tell them. Feeling utterly miserable? Tell them. Had a really great day? Definitely tell them. A lot of the time, sharing concerns can lead to you both coming together to find ways to overcome them. The challenge of cancer can force people to bottle up their fears and thoughts. It is always best to meet it head on.
- Tackle Sexual Issues
The loss of libido and a decease in sexual performance is common in people battling cancer. Perhaps your chemotherapy treatment is impacting your sexual relationsip. It could be that you are experiencing body image issues or you are depressed and anxious as a result of your diagnosis. All of these things, undoubtedly, will put a stake in the sexual relationship you have with your partner. As suggested in the previous article, it is best to be open and honest about the challenges you are facing. Once you address the concern you are both sitting on it soon begins to dissolve. It may even help, and coax you both into trying to find some common ground sexually. It is important not to be resentful, act passive aggressively or take it personally. Your partner is going through a lot, and sex may be on the back burner for them for now. There are a number of ways to generate intimacy in a relationship however, and it does not start and end with sex. With patience and communication, it is an issue that can and will resolve itself.
- Have Fun
You are both facing and navigating something confusing and scary. If you make your partner’s cancer diagnosis the basis of your relationship, it will make you both miserable. Especially for your partner, it is important to have some escape every now and then. Their diagnosis may be tedious, and they are probably very eager to get their minds off the whole situation. Arranging date nights for you and your partner can not only provide this, but it can help to generate intimacy and togetherness. It is worth noting that plans may change, as your partner may feel unwell sometimes. We encourage you to persevere and, most importantly, create opportunities for you and your partner to escape and have some fun.