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Topic: Husbands

Forum: Sex & Relationship Matters —

A safe place to talk candidly about how your romantic relationships and/or your sex life has changed following your diagnosis and treatment.

Posted on: Feb 17, 2019 07:08AM

fancynancy1955 wrote:

Hello ladies ~ this is my first post -- completed radiation in November and have been on Arimidex and doing ok. My questions is this: How did you explain to your husband the emotional toll this has taken on you and continues to take on you?

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Feb 17, 2019 12:39PM rachelcarter35 wrote:

I finished chemo in August. We went through a really hard rough patch afterwards. Cancer changes you and we had to adjust to those changes. I was ready to celebrate end of treatment and he was just so negative and spooked. I had leaned on him so heavily through it all and he was just exhausted. I withdrew from him and lowered my expectations of what he could do. I leaned on friends and family. Slowly he healed from the trauma of it all ( yes they are traumatized too) and we are better than ever. I don't think we can expect them to really understand and we have to find our own way to heal from our own trauma. It takes time.

Dx 2/21/2018, DCIS/IDC, Both breasts, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 4/24/2018 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction, Nipple tattoo, Silicone implant, Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction, Nipple tattoo, Silicone implant, Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 6/15/2018 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Targeted Therapy Chemotherapy
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Feb 18, 2019 11:48AM fancynancy1955 wrote:

Thank you for taking the time to answer my question. I so appreciate it. I will reframe my thinking a bit and look at this from a new perspective.

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Mar 3, 2019 03:11AM - edited Mar 3, 2019 03:11AM by kec1972

Hi, I had lumpectomy on 1/7 and am going through radiation right now. Although he has been supportive, my husband has definitely withdrawn physically. Before this nightmare, we had a very active sex life; now, he never touches me anymore. It's really taking a toll on our marriage. I'm justpraying for no huge tamoxifen side effects once I start that I in April.

Dx 12/17/2018, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 1/7/2019 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 2/20/2019 Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Mar 3, 2019 11:27AM edwards750 wrote:

Although we are the primary victims I’m sure we sometimes forget how it affects our husbands. In my case and I’m willing to bet the vast majority of us are the caretakers of the family so a role reversal is something they can’t handle or won’t handle.

My husband was supportive but he still expected I would take care of it like I doeverything else. I am a strong independent lady but admittedly I was hoping for that role reversal. I would still look over his shoulder when he attempted to do things because he is so frankly clueless about some things and so consumed by his job as an engineer and he works long hours. I handle everything on the home front. Bills, service calls, grocery shopping, cooking, house cleaning, etc. There was no break in the action other the day of my surgery.

He’s not a hands off guy at all physically since I was DX but he still looks for me to give him the green light. I think at least in part he’s afraid of my cancer. I don’t blame him because I am too. No surgery or treatment is a guarantee. I’m optimistic and realistic.

I think the best course of action is talk to your husband. See what he’s thinking or feeling. You might be surprised it has nothing to do with the new surgically damaged you.


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Apr 18, 2019 01:04PM fancynancy1955 wrote:

Thank you all for taking the time to write. It's a difficult time for both the patient and the rest of the family.

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Jul 5, 2019 03:25PM dvhmouse wrote:

Everyone tells me what a wonderful, supportive husband I have and how lucky I am. Granted I love him dearly, even after 35 years, but he has always been a bit of a flatliner. He doesn’t get emotionally invested in things, so I’m having a hard time getting him to understand how much this whole thing is affecting me. Admittedly, I thought I would be fine, just take every day as it comes and deal with what’s next. What I didn’t realize was that I would be more surprised and scared than I thought I would be. And therefore I really want his support, someone to “hold my hand” and just be there for me. I start chemo on Monday and he just doesn’t get that I’m scared and depressed about it. He’s actually more interested in getting sex in before I start (well maybe not quite that crude, but he’s giving off those vibes). I’m not sure how to ask him to be there for me emotionally?
Dx age 51 Dx 6/13/2019, IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (FISH) Dx 6/26/2019, DCIS, Left, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER-/PR- Targeted Therapy 7/8/2019 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 7/8/2019 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 7/8/2019 Taxol (paclitaxel) Surgery 11/12/2019 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap
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Jul 6, 2019 12:55AM wallycat wrote:

Having been the patient and now the caregiver (DH was dx with metastatic prostate cancer to bone a few weeks ago), I can honestly say that the caregiver can feel SO much worse emotionally than when being the patient. Neither is fun or easy but as a patient, I knew how I felt and what I needed and I was inside my head to know my fears and concerns. DH is a quiet man and so hard to know if he is stoic or freaked or...or...or and I find myself going from exhausted and wrung out to hyper with heart-pounding anxiety. I don't know if bringing it up causes him to think about it (and that's bad) or helps him voice his issues and worries. It is such a delicate balance. Fear is so individual. It changes people.

Dx 4/07 1 month before turning 50; ILC 1.8cm, ER+/PR+, HER2 neg., Stage 1, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes. Onco score 20, Bilateral Mast., tamoxifen 3-1/2 years, arimidex-completed 4/20/2012
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Jul 7, 2019 03:55AM Proud_Patriot wrote:

i haven't really tried to explain anything to him. I think this has been harder on him than it has been on me.

Dx 4/26/2018, IDC, Left, 2cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR-, HER2+ (FISH) Chemotherapy 5/15/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Targeted Therapy 5/15/2018 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 5/18/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Hormonal Therapy 10/1/2018
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Sep 11, 2019 01:08AM CherokeeLady wrote:

This is my first time on this forum. Still not sure it's the right place to discuss this, but here goes.

Got my ER+ HER2- dx in mid-July and have not yet had my IORT lumpectomy (it's being scheduled). My husband has been extremely supportive for most of the intervening time. A few weeks in he asked my opinion about his sharing my dx/journey with his male friends, and I said certainly, whatever you want to do. Then he changed his mind and now practically grills me about what I said if I happen to answer the phone when one of his friends calls. Yesterday a shuttle driver brought me home after I took my car in for repairs and the driver happened to tell me he is a survivor. I mentioned to the driver I am dealing with a C dx and, when I shared this conversation with hubby he stated firmly, "I don't think you should be telling people our secrets."

Don't know where to go with this. Has anyone else experienced something similar? How did you handle it?

CherokeeLady Dx 7/19/2019, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Sep 11, 2019 05:44AM OnTarget wrote:

I think it has been harder on him than on me. He's been absolutely supportive and wants to be 100% a part of everything. I've already had my BMX and I'm in the midst of chemo now and I'm feeling pretty positive. I think he's still worried and he probably cried more about the diagnosis than I did.

Cherokee Lady- My DH let me decide how we'd handle telling people. I was secretive the first few weeks, and now I'll talk about it to anyone. Once I didn't mind people knowing, he reached out to his support network (his family and some friends). I'm really happy that both of us were able to reach out to our networks and find support. I'm not a big fan of keeping it secret, at least for myself. I didn't do anything wrong and I don't like feeling like there is something inherently wrong in me for having cancer and I'm not embarrassed about it. Talking about it and treating it like any injury I might have, a bad knee or whatever, has really helped me cope with it. I think that you should be able to decide what you want to share without feeling bad about it. You'll know what's right for you, and your DH should support you IMO.

Diagnosed at 42, Oncotype score 16, ITC in one node- considered node negative. Lost right implant to infection March 2020. Waiting to start reconstruction all over again. Dx 4/8/2019, ILC, Left, 3cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 4/23/2019, ILC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/15/2019 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 6/14/2019 Zoladex (goserelin) Chemotherapy 8/6/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 11/6/2019 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 2/15/2020 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting, Silicone implant Surgery 3/30/2020 Reconstruction (right) Surgery 11/6/2020 Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 6/1/2021 Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement
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Sep 13, 2019 06:37AM CherokeeLady wrote:

OnTarget, I told my husband and immediate family right away, then my two best friends (one is in a different state and has been through this herself), then my pastor and two church friends, then my work supervisor. It was important to me, for various reasons, that each of these people know. DH had no problem with who among my family and friends I wanted to tell -- the issue seems to be he wants to keep the private medical news from his men friends for now. From DH's occasional comments, my educated guess is he feels uncertain about one-on-one emotional support from his men friends and is reluctant to risk it. The past couple of days DH also has been more irritable than usual and needed some private time ... then today he started thinking aloud about what if he needs help from others to care for me post-op. From what I recall about my own state of mind while DH was going through his C journey, this is about how I felt when I was trying to Wrap My Mind Around DH's dx and prognosis.

CherokeeLady Dx 7/19/2019, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Nov 28, 2019 08:38PM Jojo0388 wrote:


My hubby and I are up front with people about my DCIS .we talk about it to people who ask and also in the family

Hubby wants it to end and he is scared that it won’t

we all face this journey differently and there are thing I want people to know and answers I wanted it find out about after my surgery especially around the fact that I often had test and mammograms as breast cancer is on my family and that did not change the way they dealt with me

Hubby gets angry and can’t explain it ,won’t talk to me about how he feels or what he thinks I try to get him on line help as he is an amazing man who is my rock

Tough year but we are working on creating a new way of sharing our roles responsibilities and the way we live

Here to making it all different if not better

Loving healing vibes to you all

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Apr 18, 2020 11:01PM Wereflyn wrote:


It has been awhile since your post and I hope you are tolerating the chemo with as little side effects as possible. My husband was in denial until the final diagnosis which in my case was good until it wasn't. He resisted my choice in having a double mastectomy wanting me to have a lumpectomy. Thank God for my breast surgeon whose wife had just been diagnosed and opted for the same surgery. He came around but was still detached during my recovery.

If you see my bio you will see my DX was a lot more than what we expected. Please don't hesitate to reach out through the PM section if you need someone to "talk" to. Sex after BC can be difficult physically but it was the psychological effects of it was the worst part.

Dx 7/22/2018, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 8/3/2018 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Chemotherapy 9/17/2018 AC + T (Taxol) Hormonal Therapy 3/3/2019 Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy 3/18/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall

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