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Husband diagnosed today - HOW do I help him?????

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  • Husband diagnosed today - HOW do I help him?????

    Hi everyone! My husband was diagnosed today. We went and had all the pre-op testing done and then the CTs looking for more, etc. He is scheduled for surgery this week.

    He says he doesn't want to talk about it right now, so I'm not talking (I'm here trying to learn how to help him). I don't know weather to act like nothing is wrong and continue on normal conversations or just remain silent and wait for him to come to me. It's only the 2 of us in the house, so it's oddly quiet and strange. He's watching TV and I'm sitting here wanting to cry but trying to find out how to help him the best. I know many of you have been through this...so please if you can help me I would so greatly appreciate it. Thanks! Lisa

  • #2
    Hi Lisa,

    Sorry to hear you and your husband are going through this. I can't offer particularly sage advice, but I personally found it important to be able to read about and understand as much as I could about TC and its treatment. It helped give me more confidence to get into discussions about it, and the talking and sharing with friends definitely helped.

    That said, it affects everyone differently, and some people prefer to 'bury their head in the sand' a bit. I guess your best bet at the moment is to read up as much as you can, to give him some space to think about it, and to be there to discuss things when he's ready to talk.

    On the positive side, TC is one of the most curable cancers and the prognosis is likely to be very good. To many of us it's just a small blip in life and over almost as soon as it's started. Hopefully your journey will be smooth and short as well.

    Best wishes, and please do keep us posted as you get more results.
    - T
    30 Jul 14: Discovered lump
    31 Jul 14: GP referral to specialist
    4 Aug 14: Clinical diagnosis of tumour, blood samples taken, CT scans, USS (confirming ~2cm tumour)
    8 Aug 14: Left radical orchidectomy (plus test results back: CT normal, no mets; blood markers slightly elevated: AFP 14.16, HCG 4.9, LDH 149)
    29 Aug 14: Pathology results: Stage 1A Mixed Non-Seminomatous Germ Cell Tumour (composition: Yolk-sac Tumour and Mature Teratoma)

    24 Sep 14: Started precautionary adjuvant 1xBEP
    23 Oct 14: All clear; on surveillance

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    • #3
      Lisa,

      There does seem to be certain sets of reactions by men who get this. For example:

      1: Some men do not want to learn about their cancer. They don't want to know the stats regarding their prognosis, etc. They dont; want to get to know the medical and science mumbo-jumbo (1st time I've ever used that word in a sentence). You'll know this type because they will got to their appointments and not really ask any questions. They just want to know what to do, when to do it and what's next.

      2: There's first a shock reaction to finding out that you may loose a testicle (before you knew ut was cancer). Then actually loosing it and wondering how things will work after it's gone. Will I still get an erection ? Will my significant other feel this way or that because it's gone ? What about becoming a father ?

      3: Once they get over the shock they move onto acceptance. At this point he may open up a bit more.

      4: Scared. I was scared stiff with the thought of getting this surgery done. But before the surgery I came to accept what was in me and that I had to get it out....and out as quickly as possible. Once I got past that hurdle it became very easy to disucss it

      5: How's his sense of humor about this ? Personally my sense of humor to laugh about this and myself saved my butt in all of this.

      Talis is right. For 95% of us we get cured and this ends up just being some surreal bump in the road of life.

      I'd say for now you will want to leave him alone and let him come out when he is ready. If he's more talkative about this thing with his friends and/or coworkers than let him discuss it there. How he acts will also be dependent on your personality and the dynamics of your relationship.

      For example: I am a trained scientist and love to learn about stuff. I am the one to study up on my disease etc. I am the worrier. I * was * always the glass-half-empty personality.
      My wife on the other hand is very laid back. Has seen life and death since she was a child. She's the optimist. The one who doens't worry about it and just knows that we'll make it work out. She knew that she really couldn't help me much and left me alone....until I needed her. She broke down once and that was the day we learned that I needed the chemo. After that we just did what we did best and that was to deal with the problem the way we deal with other problems and keep life moving forward.

      I sincerely hope this helps some. I also sent you a PM.

      - Matt
      Last edited by JeskiM69; 01-21-15, 09:56 PM.
      March 4th 2014: [AFP = 2.5; bHCG = 6; LDH = 618]
      March 13th: Left IO 100% Classic Seminoma
      6.3 x 5.1 x 3.8 cm, no invasion of anything
      LDH never fully normalized
      Stage: IS
      Watchful Waiting
      May 1st: promoted to Stage IIB with two PET active tumors in the para-aortic lymph nodes 2.5 & 2.4 cm
      May 12th: started 3xBEP
      Neupogen during Cycle 2 and 3
      July 8th: Last Bleo shot of Cycle 3 -- chemo completed !
      August 4th: Post Chemo CT/PET scan
      September 4th: Port removed
      July 8th 2017: 3 YEARS ALL CLEAR !

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      • #4
        If he does not want to talk about it, he does not want to talk about it, nothing much you can do about that. You are more than welcome to talk to us in here & we will do all we can to help you deal with his problem. Depending on his personality, he may open up later, or not. Every guy is different. In the mean time, carry on normal conversation as best you can, that may be what he needs most.. Learn as much as you can about TC while you deal with the inevitable waiting, that will help both of you as you learn more about his particular case & treatment. The most important thing to keep firmly in mind, however, is that his odds of full recovery are excellent, even in advanced cases like Lance Armstrong, complete recovery is likely. Do not ever doubt that.

        Dave
        Last edited by Davepet; 01-22-15, 12:39 AM.
        Jan, 1975: Right I/O, followed by RPLND
        Dec, 2009: Left I/O, followed by 3xBEP

        Comment


        • #5
          Sorry to hear you and your husband have to battle this disease. I know for my treatment (orch. , 3 x BEP, post chemo RPLND, Chylous Ascites complication (10 wks), a few months of good surveillance, then a + PET which has since been ruled fals +) it was a long and hard fought battle. Over the course of my treatment, I felt my relationship with my wife transition from less husband wife to more patient / care giver. While appreciated her unwavering and great care, I missed being treated more like a husband. Approx. a year later, I still feel that we are working through this. I guess my advice would be there will be many folks who will have to treat your husband as patient, let them do that job. Focus on being a wife - no one else will be filling that role.

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