FINALLY: SUPPORT FOR THE BREAST CANCER SUPPORT PERSON

Ninety-nine out of 100 breast cancer victims, according to accepted statistics, are women, which means that men are by far the most likely primary caregivers. And yet men are the most inept at asking for help, especially in taking care of themselves.

In celebration of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Azenphony Press is pleased to announce a special month-long reduced cost of $6 for the soft cover version of Ken Wachsberger’s Your Partner Has Breast Cancer: 21 Ways to Keep Sane as a Support Person on Your Journey from Victim to Survivor. The cover price is already a low $7.50.

Also for this month, the ebook price has been slashed 50% from its already ridiculously low price to $0.99.

You can order soft cover or ebook version here.

Your Partner Has Breast Cancer was written to satisfy Ken’s own need to figure out how to keep sane while he was coping with his wife’s breast cancer adventure and also losing his job during the summer of 2000. The first draft was finished at the hospital while Emily was receiving her final chemotherapy treatment.

 

Features include

  • Discussion of the 21 ways
  • “The Cancer Journals,” a section Ken included to inspire support people to write and share their own journals
  • Additional resources to help the support person keep sane
  • Focus on becoming a survivor, not just being a victim

While the breast cancer patient is the designated victim, with good reason, the support person, the caregiver, is the silent victim, the one who takes on both shares of the household chores; answers questions from well-wishers; assumes double income responsibility; becomes both parents; feeds, clothes, and washes the designated victim; sleeps less; and is always the pillar of strength, even when he or she doesn’t feel like a pillar of strength.

By addressing the emotional needs of the main support person, Your Partner Has Breast Cancer fills an important void that social workers, religious leaders, support people, surgeons, and nursing staff agree has been empty for too long.

“Ken has in a thoughtful and caring way shared effective ways that worked for him as he was a great husband and father supporting his wife and children in his family’s battle against breast cancer. I am confident that these ways will have a powerful impact in helping all support people, but especially guys who may be struggling, to be loving partners as they battle breast cancer in their families.”—Marc Heyison, President/Founder, Men Against Breast Cancer

“All I can say is wow! I found this booklet helpful, informative, moving, and clearly a labor of love.”—Dr. Helen Pass, Director, Division of Breast Surgery, and Co-Director of Women’s Breast Center, Stamford Hospital, Stamford, CT

Ken Wachsberger is a long-time author, editor, educator, political organizer, and book coach who has written, edited, and lectured on a wide range of topics including writing for healing and self-discovery. His upcoming book, You’ve Got the Time: How to Write and Publish That Book in You, is set for February 27, 2020, release.

Azenphony Press has published and promoted a diverse catalog of books since its founding in 1987 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Subject areas include the Vietnam era underground press, censorship, the Holocaust and Jewish resistance, the I-Search paper (a first-of-its-kind textbook), writing for self-discovery, how to keep sane as a breast cancer support person, and puns.

Showing Your Feelings about Your Partner’s Breast Cancer: Timing Is Everything

You just found out that your partner has breast cancer. Do you cry in front of her to show that you are caring and sensitive, or do you hold back your natural tears to show that you are her rock? There’s a thin line between being strong, which is good, and being unfeeling, which is bad. And sometimes timing is everything.

When Emily learned that she had breast cancer, she was at work. Stunned, she called me to share the bad news. I told her I would bring her home.

On my way to pick her up, I thought about what I had just learned and I imagined possible outcomes. I was alternately terrified and calm. I wondered how I should react when I saw her. Should I be strong and show no fear so that she could see I was her protector? Or should I break down sobbing in her arms because I was scared of losing her? I rationalized that I had to keep my cool because I had to drive us home.

As I pulled into the parking lot, Kathie, our friend, who had been waiting in the lobby, came out to meet me. She climbed into the front seat and asked right away, “How are you feeling?”

Her question surprised me; I was waiting to hear how Emily was doing. I started to cry softly, not difficult if I didn’t say a lot.

I answered Kathie’s question in sentence fragments. But I dutifully kept my cool. “Are you ready to go in?” Kathie asked. I held back my tears, wiped my eyes, and nodded that I was ready.

Emily was by now deep in shock; when she saw me she began crying again. I let myself cry in our embrace but forced myself to remain composed.

Later that evening, while Emily was asleep, I sat downstairs at my computer and cried freely. At the time, it was the right decision.

Six weeks later, by now 12 days after Emily’s first chemotherapy treatment, I lost my job. Emily was physically and emotionally fragile. In addition, she’s the one in our partnership who traditionally has handled the bill paying so when money is tight she’s the first to feel the stress.

I didn’t tell her for three weeks because I didn’t want to add to her stress. In retrospect, I’m glad I waited as I did. But holding on to that secret did little to enhance my own emotional well-being.

Only after a trip together to our nutritional oncologist, where I witnessed a new level of strength and confidence on Emily’s part, was I willing to take a chance and tell her. I steeled myself to the possibility that she would panic that we were going to lose the house, and I prepared to condemn myself for hindering her progress by being so self-centered.

To my surprise, she was calm, confident, resigned, spiritual. “The worst that’ll happen is we lose the house, we move to an apartment, and I support us on my salary,” she said, adding, “All that matters is that I’m alive.”

Once she knew, I could begin to work out a job-hunting strategy with her in the support role. The role reversal was empowering to us both.

If such open communication is more than you’ve ever been able to handle by yourself, know that a support network already is in place in your hospital and community. Social workers, psychiatrists, support groups, religious leaders, interested individuals, and, of course, your surgeons and their assistants are there for you. Visit them with your partner. They may not know you need help until you ask for it.

So ask for it.

(This entry was excerpted from my e-book Your Partner Has Breast Cancer: 21 Ways to Keep Sane as a Support Person on Your Journey from Victim to Survivor. It may be purchased at smashwords.com or amazon.com. Please feel free to provide a review, good or bad. Print version coming soon. Thanks to caarer.com for inviting me to post this excerpt on their site.)

My First Ebook Addresses Needs of Breast Cancer Caregivers

Ninety-nine out of 100 breast cancer victims, according to accepted statistics, are women, which means that men are by far the most likely primary caregivers. And yet men are the most inept at asking for help, especially in taking care of themselves.

With that idea in mind, I’m pleased to announce release of the smashwords.com and amazon.com ebook versions of Your Partner Has Breast Cancer: 21 Ways to Keep Sane as a Support Person on Your Journey from Victim to Survivor. It is available for free from smashwords.com through July 7, the end of the July 4th weekend. I invite anyone with any passing interest in breast cancer or its caregivers to download it in your favorite version.

My request: Please give it a review on smashwords.com and amazon.com in the next two weeks and encourage your favorite breast cancer organization to provide a link to the smashwords.com site on their resources page.

In its original version, released in Fall 2000, Your Partner Has Breast Cancer was written to satisfy my own need to figure out how to keep sane while I was coping with Emily’s breast cancer adventure and also losing my job during that summer. The first draft was finished at the hospital while Emily was receiving her final chemotherapy treatment.

This newly revised and expanded second edition is even better. It includes

  •  Expanded discussion of the 21 ways;
  • “The Cancer Journals,” a section I added for support people to use as a guide and an inspiration to write and share their own journals;
  • A list of additional resources to help the support person keep sane; and
  • A new focus on becoming a survivor, not just being a victim.

While the breast cancer patient is the designated victim, with good reason, the support person, the caregiver, is the silent victim, the one who takes on both shares of the household chores; answers questions from well-wishers; assumes double income responsibility; becomes both parents; feeds, clothes, and washes the designated victim; sleeps less; and is always the pillar of strength, even when he or she doesn’t feel like a pillar of strength.

Your Partner Has Breast Cancer is dedicated to the silent victims—especially husbands, who form by far the largest bloc of support persons and yet are the most inept at asking for help.

I know from my own experience. When I needed help for myself, I found a lot of material on how I could help Emily but nothing on how I could help myself. This book is what I needed then; I am confident it is exactly what you need now. You can’t help your partner if you aren’t helping yourself.”

By addressing the emotional needs of the main support person, Your Partner Has Breast Cancer fills an important void that social workers, religious leaders, support people, surgeons, and nursing staff agree has been empty for too long.

“Ken has in a thoughtful and caring way shared effective ways that worked for him as he was a great husband and father supporting his wife and children in his family’s battle against breast cancer. I am confident that these ways will have a powerful impact in helping all support people, but especially guys who may be struggling, to be loving partners as they battle breast cancer in their families.”—Marc Heyison, President/Founder, Men Against Breast Cancer

“All I can say is wow! I found this booklet helpful, informative, moving, and clearly a labor of love.”—Dr. Helen Pass, Director, Division of Breast Surgery, and Co-Director of Women’s Breast Center, Stamford Hospital, Stamford, CT

Download it today. And please take a few minutes to share your review with others.