What To Do If Your Partner/Spouse is Diagnosed with Testicular Cancer
Testicular cancer is a serious and sensitive topic. It can be bewildering to know how best to support your partner if they are diagnosed with it. Here we’ll help you know what you can do to help in that situation.
Find Out The Facts On Your Own
There is a fair chance that neither you nor your partner has any experience or history of dealing with testicular cancer. That’s understandable and very common. While your partner thinks about his condition and maybe makes his own enquiries, it can be helpful for you to start doing your own research and building your own understanding of the condition and how it can be handled. You’ll be getting opinions from your partner, the family doctor and maybe relatives and friends, so building up your own impartial point of view will help you making decisions and giving sound advice in coming months and years.
Talk With Your Partner
Finding out that he has testicular cancer may make your partner quiet and withdrawn. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to talk.When faced with a new diagnosis of an illness about which he previously may have had only passing knowledge, it’s normal that your partner may feel confused and a bit lost. He may be reflecting on his life so far and on his health in general. This can give him the appearance of being quiet and maybe even sullen. But he will want to discuss his concerns, hopes and fears with someone and as his partner you will be amongst his first choices. The old adage said “a problem shared is a problem halved”. In terms of the emotional support he can get by sharing what is on his mind, that is true in this situation.Being willing to listen hard and act as a sounding board in a supportive way is a great first step here. It may be that your partner also wants to seek your opinion, and hear you talk, or it may simple be that he wants to unload what is on his mind. Either way, as talker or listener, being there as a conversation partner for whatever your partner wants to share will be helpful.You also may have a lot of questions and concerns as a result of your partner’s diagnosis. But initially let the focus be on him and supporting him.
Reassure Your Partner About Your Support
Testicular cancer may result in permanent changes to your partner’s body. As well as the pain of surgery and tiredness, there may be scarring which makes your partner concerned about whether you continue to find him attractive in the same way. These physical challenges, combined with the mental stress of coping with a serious illness, may lead to changes in your sex life or other parts of your relationship. That can be even more true if you had plans to have children in the future.It’s important to reassure your partner where possible to do so. You want his attention to be focussed on how best to deal with the cancer, not worrying unnecessarily about the state of your relationship.
How To Lift The Mood
Cancer is a very serious topic and a diagnosis may change the household mood visibly and immediately, affecting everyone.At the same time, testicular cancer is the subject of the odd joke on late night television and some people may think that making a joke about it in the right way could lighten the mood at the right moment. Whether it’s making jokes, a small gift, a little trip away or something else to shake up the atmosphere, anything you can do to lift the mood even a little bit will benefit not just by your partner but also in turn by yourself.
Consider Finding A Support Group
A support group can be a convenient way to find support and let off steam.Both for you and for your partner, support groups could provide a welcome external support network of friendly faces, practical help and experience. Even if you can’t find a group specific to testicular cancer, joining a general cancer support group will help you feel understood and relieved in a way which is hard if only speaking to family and friends whose familiarity with what cancer sufferers and their partners go through will be more limited. Testicular cancer can come as a shock but it’s treatable and often doesn’t turn out as badly as a patient may fear at first. Still, there is no doubt that it can cause tension, heartache and lethargy. As a partner you can play a vital role in stopping that happening, not just for your partner’s sake but also for you and for the relationship.