Breast Cancer Husband: How to Help Your Wife (and Yourself) during Diagnosis, Treatment and Beyond Paperback – Sep 9 2004
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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.
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“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 JournalSee all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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).
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.
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