Please help me help my wife.

HowdyPartner Member Posts: 2
My wife was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in January and is BRCA1 so a double mastectomy is more than likely happening soon. 

I'm getting better at just letting her vent and holding her sometimes instead of wanting to fix everything.

I don't know how to help her with her own mental state with the impending surgery on top of the already completed hysterectomy.

She said the other night, and excuse me for being blunt, "Would you still feel like a man if you had your d*** and b**** cut off?".

Now I don't care what she looks like, surgery could remove anything and I would still love her and be lost without her, but I'm at a loss as to how to help or what to do when she gets sad about the last of her "woman parts" being removed.

Of course having bits taken off is better then some of the less desirable outcomes, but how can I help her deal with her feelings moving forward? 

Have you been there? If so got any tips?


  • Afraser
    Afraser Member Posts: 4,373
    Dear @HowdyPartner

    It sounds like you are on a good track - you can’t fix everything and being reassured that she is loved, valued and cherished is important even if your wife is a bit lost in her own grief about what’s happening to her. It may need to be handled sensitively but sometimes it’s important to treat the mind and the emotions, as well as the body, when it comes to cancer. A good counsellor can be invaluable but it has to be a good one, your medical team may be able to advise. Talking to a stranger can be very therapeutic - you don’t have to consider their feelings or worry about exposing your own anger or despondency (both perfectly natural). But releasing those feelings and facing them can help immensely. It’s a difficult time - for both of you. Try and be gentle with yourselves and take one thing at a time. Best wishes. 
  • Julez1958
    Julez1958 Member Posts: 1,123
    Hi @HowdyPartner
    Its great that you have posted here and shows what a caring husband you are.
    A breast cancer diagnosis sure brings home the “ in sickness and in health” vow between spouses.
    There is a private group on here for carers called “Carers Corner” you might like to join.
    Call the hotline if you need help joining.
    My husband has been my absolute rock through all this - the best line he said was “ breasts are a superfluous organ ( we don’t have kids and I was 62 anyway) - your most important organ is your brain”.
    I had always had big breasts and ended up having a double mastectomy - I had reconstruction but it was all pretty awful.
    We came through and I believe our marriage is even stronger for the experience.
    Best things you can do are show her you love her no matter what and just be there when she needs you  both emotionally and fir practical things .
    I know for my part there was an awful lot of crying in those first few weeks.
    All the best and you can ask anything on this forum - we are all here to support  in any way we can,
  • Cath62
    Cath62 Member Posts: 1,279
    Your a good husband @HowdyPartner! Just keep supporting your wife. Everything takes time. Keep telling her you love her as I am sure you do. 
  • Tarma
    Tarma Member Posts: 73
    HI @HowdyPartner
    Great advice from everyone 💟 and I agree with Cath62,, keep up the "I love yous" and lots of long cuddles, squeeze her, and don't let go until after she does..
    I think a long loving embrace can be incredibly cathartic .. 🩷

  • marilyn_p
    marilyn_p Member Posts: 3
    Hi @HowdyPartner
    I have only just joined here and I do wonder how you and your wife are doing now that it is October and you first posted in July.  I'm an Aussie nutritionist and I would like to offer you my help if I may.  Thank you.
  • HowdyPartner
    HowdyPartner Member Posts: 2
    Hi, and thanks for reaching out.

    News in this space is my wife's MRI came back clear so the surgery has not been classed as urgent. We have an appointment with the surgeon on Tuesday in Bega.

    Also my wife will be starting 2 years of Olaparib this weekend, so this is causing her a lot of anxiety.

    Things are just starting to return to normal after chemotherapy so we are both hoping the Olaparib doesn't knock her around too much.
  • Abbydog
    Abbydog Member Posts: 482
    If and when she has Mastectomies, It may be a more simple Reconstruction, than for those who had Mastectomies for Cancer. She will need to find out more. But she may be suitable for immediate Reconstruction with Implants.
    You sound very supportive, and that is what she needs most. My husband has been great.
    I don't know about the Chemo she is on. I hope that she tolerates it relatively well.
    I hope that the Ovarian Cancer is well under control. All the best for you and your wife.