A partner’s perspective | PERSONAL STORY

There’s no way I can truly understand what my wife has been going through, from the moment she found a lump in her breast, through tests, diagnosis, surgery, treatment, scares and medication side effects. It’s difficult to express my feelings, which may be insignificant in the scheme of things, but I’m sure there are plenty of men in similar shoes.

My wife was fortunate that she bumped into a screen door left ajar and hurt herself, because that’s when she discovered the lump in her left breast. At first she thought it was from the injury, and she kept the knowledge from me until we visited our GP. It was diagnosed as an aggressive cancer, but small because, fortunately, it was discovered early. I couldn’t believe the roller-coaster ride from there. It was a scary and emotional time.

The hardest part for me still is watching helplessly while my soul mate of over 40 years suffers. It’s now three-and-a-half years since her diagnosis and she has constant pain in her joints, aggravated by what we believe to be the unwanted side effects of her medication. We hope the pain eases when she comes off her medication.

I have mixed emotions. Sexual intimacy is mostly a distant memory for us, but we’re still close. She’s hurting and I’m afraid I might hurt her more. I love her and support her in every way I can, but am frustrated because I can do nothing to take her pain away. It’s her journey, but I can be there with her, and will be while I have breath in my body.

David, QLD

Man smiling

David

Issue 79
Winter 2017