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Breast Cancer Husband: How to Help Your Wife (and Yourself) during Diagnosis, Treatment and Beyond Paperback – Sep 9 2004

1.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Breast Cancer Husband: How to Help Your Wife (and Yourself) during Diagnosis, Treatment and Beyond
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  • Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hope & Healing for Your Breast Cancer Journey: Surviving and Thriving During and After Your Diagnosis and Treatment
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books; 1 edition (Sept. 29 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579548334
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579548339
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 2.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #231,233 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Silver, an editor at U.S. News & World Report, speaks encouragingly in this heartfelt, useful guide for men whose wives or girlfriends have been diagnosed with breast cancer, as was his wife, Marsha, in 2001. Silver, who consulted with surgeons and oncologists for this book, first helps readers deal with the diagnosis, addressing men's stereotypical reactions (usually saying little, followed by overbearing urges to fix the problem), then advising them how to behave (ask questions and, more importantly, listen). He nicely interweaves comments from men and women who have gone through breast cancer diagnosis, setting them off with pull quotes and how-to sidebars such as "Husbanding Her Energies" and "Caring for the Caregiver." His advice is simple and sound: rather than saying "Cheer up, honey, the doctor said things aren't that bad," Silver recommends, "Is there anything I can do to make you feel better?" He discusses the surprisingly numerous cases in which men have left their spouses, discusses the importance of wives having an "appointment pal" and advises on explaining cancer to children. Silver also smartly examines the various treatments and suggests ways for readers to find sexual intimacy after mastectomy. This guide is an invaluable complement to Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book and John Link's The Breast Cancer Survival Manual.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


“Husbands and partners are usually the odd men out in books on breast cancer. Silver, an editor at U.S. News & World Report , didn't know what to do when his wife was diagnosed. Finding no books specifically from his perspective, he decided to write one. Gleaning information from medical professionals and other men in his position, he created a helpful guide that covers all manner of providing support, even down to instructions for washing a woman's hair while she has drains in place. Silver's Husband is funny, tender, and rock-solid.” ―Library Journal

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Speaking from personal experience as the spouse of a breast cancer survivor, I can state with confidence: don't waste your time with this book. Rather than help us through the experience, the author instead raised unreasonable expectations that caused us undue grief.

Keep away.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars 96 reviews
52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Essential! Sept. 30 2004
By Frank Sadowski - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are reading this, there is a good chance that you are a new (and doubtless unwilling) member of the not-so-elite group of men who have become Breast Cancer Husbands. If so, stop reading this and buy this book. (Full disclosure: I was contacted by Marc Silver, the author, last year and interviewed extensively about my own experiences; I am quoted several times in the book.) I only wish that this book existed two years ago when my wife of 23 years was disgnosed with breast cancer; it is an invaluable resource that informs men in an accurate, succinct fashion exactly what is likely to happen at each stage of the diagnosis and treatment process. But Mr. Silver's arroach to the topic is hardly clinical. He deals with some of the most heart-wrenching topics any man will ever have to face with an eye on reality and a deft touch of humor. Breast cancer and humor in the same sentence? You've got to be kidding, right? Well, he pulls it off, managing to inject a lighter touch without ever minimizing the seriousness of his topic. Personally, I think most people use humor anyway to deal with the toughest situations, and the big "C" was no exception for my wife and I. Whether you are starting this journey, or if you've been through it like Marc and I have, this book is bound to become your most valuable resource, because it is told from the mouths of real Breast Cancer Husbands with real, true-life stories. With literally hundreds of books available for women who are dealing with this horrible disease, a book like this directed at the men simply did not exist. It was long overdue.
41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars There's a reason it's popular Dec 30 2004
By San Franciscan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'll chime in from the daughter's point of view: I got this book for my stepfather after reading the reviews, and it did not disappoint. It speaks directly to men and concerns they might not want to talk about (no beating around the bush) but the tone isn't annoying or Neanderthal. After reading it one thinks much of it is common sense-- but sometimes one needs to be reminded of what's common sense! (And maybe what seems like common sense to a 30-something woman may not be the first thing that comes to mind for the average 50 to 80-year-old guy under stress.) Anyway, my stepfather finished it in three days, so that's a good sign. It opened my eyes to some things too.

One tip: Cure rates are very high for early-stage breast cancer these days. Guys, skip the later chapters about "dealing with loss" unless you get to that point. Most women will recover, so no need to freak oneself out at the beginning. As we say in my family, "We'll fall off that bridge when we come to it."

Also recommended for women or for very involved family members: "Just Get Me Through This" (lots of helpful tips) and the two books by John Link (lots of technical info).
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-have, must-read book for breast cancer husbands Aug. 29 2005
By T. Zlotnitsky - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
My only regret about this book is that I didn't get it sooner. I found this book while my wife was already half-way through treatment, at a breast cancer symposium. (As an aside, very few husbands attended the symposium other than me, a real shame; I felt deep anguish for the many women clearly going through treatment who were there alone and unsupported.) My wife is young, and her diagnosis really hit us from nowhere. I'm someone who is an eternal optimist, and the succession of worsening news about her condition nearly brought me to my knees. When I found this book I believe I was quietly depressed. It was so important to me not to "steal the spotlight" of attention from my wife that I intentionally avoided dealing with my own fears, trauma, and anger. I started reading the book on a long plane ride back home from a business trip, and as I read it I literally felt weight lifted off my shoulders. I cried, and I laughed, and mostly I felt tremendous relief. I have had the opportunity to meet the author at a speaking engagement, and I spoke up and told him that at a moment in my life where I felt all alone and very scared, he was my best friend. If you are a breast cancer husband, you simply must read this book.
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Helping my husband IS helping me too! Dec 23 2004
By Marie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is wonderful! I bought it for my husband after we recently learned that I have breast cancer for a second time and we are both reading it. It is packed with information but somehow reads like a good novel. I already can tell my husband is being more sensitive to my needs because of Marc's advice. So many things Marc Silver has written that I am so glad my husband will be reading. They are things I want him to know!
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Learning What to Expect Aug. 16 2005
By James H. Finkelstein - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
First, a disclaimer. The author and I know each other. Both of our wives were diagnosed with breast cancer in about the same time frame. We were intereviewed for the book. By the time the book came out, my wife had "finsihed" her course of treatment so much of what is in the book I had to learn on my own.

The day after we got the diagnosis, I found myself standing in front of the "disease" section at one of the local book store chains. I didn't know exactly what I was looking for at first. My original purchase of about a half dozen books were either very focused on the medical aspects of the disease or on women's experiences as survivors. While one or two of these books had parts of chapters for husbands, partners or significant others, none gave much information on what to expect and how to help. Ultimately, I sought out a therapist who specialized in helping those who deal with medical crises.

That helped a great deal, but Marc's book offers so much more. He is recounts the experiences of couples from almost every part of society, shares insights from medical experts and relates his own personal experiences. While no substitute for working with a qualified and caring therapist, his book is one of the only resources out there for husbands. Had it been available three years ago, I suspect I could have avoided some of the mistakes I made along the way.

While it is true that the learning curve is pretty steep, the first few weeks are crucial. No husband should leave the first appointment with the surgeon or oncologist without a copy of this book.