What she might be feeling

Women with breast cancer often say they don't have time to think about their partner much. Having some insight into how the woman you love might be feeling after diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer will help you respond more effectively.

  • She may be distressed if she senses you withdrawing. The feelings you have of fear, sadness and helplessness may cause you to do this to try to protect her.
  • Understand the emotional effects of the disease on her. Minor things may become gigantic. She may cry and snap at you – you may barely recognise the woman you love. Recognise that little things can become big issues. Sometimes angry feelings can get spread all over the place!
  • Acknowledge the 'bad things' associated with the diagnosis. The treatment may make her sick. It may make her depressed. Breast cancer is a life-threatening illness that she and you need to come to terms with. There’s a great temptation to be 'positive' but this isn’t usually constructive.
  • Provide support through listening without judging. When she’s distressed, allow her to express her feelings.