A husband of a breast cancer patient fills a vital role in the healing process; actually he fills many roles. He must wear many hats and be prepared, without notice, to seamlessly shift depending on the needs of his wife, her health, the needs of the family and the demands of running a household and taking care of children.

He’s been both my shield and my sword. He’s protected me when I needed protecting and he’s been out there getting me what I need. Which has been wonderful, but quite frankly what I would expect. It’s what I expected from the man I married almost 20 years ago. –

Most women facing breast cancer treatment are acutely aware of the demands placed on their husbands and the abrupt change in the dynamic of their relationship. Yet because of the toll of the diagnosis and treatment, often they are simply unable to alleviate the burden. Many women find a deeper kindness and solidarity with their partners as they face their cancer diagnosis and treatment. When asked what they most need from their husbands, most women will simply say that they just need him to “be there, be supportive and be understanding.

The husbands and partners of women going through breast cancer treatment are thrown into unfamiliar terrain, negotiating medical appointments, household responsibilities, and children’s schedules. Their love and support is desperately needed. Their tight hugs and whispers of “It’ll be okay,” can bring peace and, for a little while at least, stop the flood of tears or the relentless anxiety. To be the rock of stability in another’s life can bring purpose, meaning, and a sense of being needed., but it also brings awesome responsibility.