There is no life instruction book that comes with a loved one’s prostate cancer diagnosis.
As wives and partners, we often “wing it” as we go, taking the ups and downs of the disease in stride.
A big job
Before he passed away from the disease in 2008, prostate cancer advocate Harry Pinchot gave a beautiful speech about how men need to acknowledge all that their wives and partners do for them.
Pinchot talked about how men with prostate cancer expect their wives and partners to:
- Always be there for them in their time of need
- Care for them
- Listen to them
- Cope with their mood swings
- Fix the special foods they need to eat
- Bear their fears and anxieties
- Be their constant cheerleaders
He also urged men to remember that wives and partners have their own fears and anxieties. In fact, we know from studies that wives and partners experience as much stress as their loved ones.
Pinchot also advised men not to dismiss wives/partners’ concerns because they are just as great.
That got us thinking that there should really be a “Bill of Rights” for wives and partners. So we create one just for you.
Your Bill of Rights:
- Cry as often as you need to but look for humor everyday.
- Worry all you want but know that it won’t change a thing.
- You can be a tower of strength and still fall apart.
- You don’t always have to know the right thing to say.
- Accept that you will never be the perfect wife/partner.
- Forgive yourself for making mistakes.
- On days when you have nothing to give, know that it will be enough.
- Take care of yourself and don’t feel guilty about it.
- Give yourself permission to forget about prostate cancer for a day.
- Hate the disease but always love the man.
- Grieve what you’ve lost and celebrate what you’ve got left.
- Let go of the illusion that you can handle this alone.
- When the burden is too heavy, give it to God.
You may also be interested in visiting our “Stories of Hope” section that contains personal words from other prostate cancer wives and partners to inspire you.