Husband support

Hi, I don’t really know where to start as I’m sure everyone has similar feelings. We have had a rough few months with my father being diagnosed with cancer and now my wife, to say my world has spun out of control doesn’t seem to do it justice. We are still awaiting results from scans but the suspected diagnosis Is IB1 which meant nothing to me until I googled it. Worst thing ever I know because it seems to bring up American websites and they aren’t exactly hope inspiring. I have now reduced my research to here and medical staff. I have asked my wife how she feels and what can I do but I feel powerless to help her especially whilst caring for my father. I want to be there for her but so far I seem to be taking the news worse than her. In part I believe this is down to my fathers prognosis as they say it is curable for him but he might have another 5 years, my mind boggles as to how that is curable. I am now terrified to hear the words curable for my wife if we are lucky enough to be at that stage. I know everyone is different and it’s impossible to predict but what are other people’s experiences with this but more importantly from a female perspective what support from your partner helps the most.

Robert, I’m really sorry to hear that you are in the middle of coping with two people with cancer at the moment. It must be truly dreadful. You haven’t said what type of cancer your father has, but it sounds like the prognosis is uncertain - it could be cured, or it may not.

For your wife, Stage 1B1 is infinitely curable. Stage 3 Cervical cancer is curable. Some Stage 4 is curable - it’s all a matter of how far it has spread (if at all) and choosing the best treatment. In order to do this her health care team will need to do a number of scans, including likely a whole body scan to look for any lymph nodes that might be involved. The scans will also help them decide the exact size of the primary tumour, because at stage 1 this will make a different to the treatment. During this process your wife will probably benefit from you being calm and reassuring and (assuming she’ll have to do these things alone because of COVID) asking her how it went and supporting her when she gets home. My husband used to ‘track’ me on the phone, so that he was waiting at the door when I arrived home. It made me feel very wanted!

I was Stage 3C2 - so there was a primary tumour and spread to the lymph nodes in the pelvis and abdomen (para-aortic, just below the stomach). I was given radiotherapy, chemotherapy and something called brachytherapy - and at my first post-treatment checkup in May I was given what everyone wants to hear - ‘NED’ - no evidence of disease. We are followed up carefully for 5 years - 5 years is the benchmark for cure. If there is no recurrence in 5 years then you’re reckoned to be done with that particular cancer. Maybe it doesn’t always work like that, but you’ll see lots of women talking about their checkups on here.

I was 64 at the time of my treatment (and still am). I was VERY tired. I needed someone to take over the household tasks and find me something to eat when I came home from the hospital. But treatment affects everyone differently - and some women still manage to look after their young children whilst undergoing treatment.

Once the stage is decided, treatment should start quickly. I don’t know your wife’s age or whether you have a young family, but what is really special is that you love her enough to come on here and find out how you can help her and support her best. There is another husband on the forum who is also supporting his wife at this time. Perhaps you’ll be able to make contact with him.

I’m sure other people will reply, and sorry if this is a bit of an epic. Do look after yourself too, as you sound like you’re a very important person in your whole family’s life at the moment!

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Hi Robert,

Firstly you’re a wonderful husband.
Secondly avoid Google at all costs. It’s outdated and often always jumps to worst case scenario.
I’m Stage 2b adenocarcinoma cervical cancer. I’ve been told my prognosis is excellent and on being treated to cure. I’ll be have 28 radiotherapy, 6 chemo followed by brachytherapy. It’ll be tough but very doable.
All I want from my husband is to just be there. Yes he’ll help around the house and with our children but being there for me is much more important.

I sincerely hope things start to move in a more positive direction very soon.

Any questions feel free to ask .

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Thank you both for your replies they have been very reassuring. I’m in awe at just how strong and brave you all are on here.
We have had the MRI and now await the PET scan.
My wife is 34 and we have a 4 and 1 year old so I am doing everything I can for her at the moment and trying to stay strong whilst we play the horrid waiting game.
Thank you both again x

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@Robert The waiting game is awful. I’m currently in the waiting room for my PET Scan. My poor husband is in the car with a book and take out coffee, but its reassuring to know hes out there.
Once you start getting answers etc you will start to cope better. You get very practical and start to organise things for when treatment starts and that helps.
Be kind to your self and encourage your wife to do the same. Rest,watch your fav films, walks etc.
We’re all here with you

Take care x

Thank you

Hope your scan goes well and you get some positive news x