Learn how couples have to endure not only the trials of the breast cancer, but also the trials of the relationship during the treatment stage.
Read the full transcript »
Susan Gregory: I did not know how to handle it. We believe we have a strong marriage. We believe we’re committed to each other but this is a big test. I was not only going to be changing emotionally but I was changing physically would he really be there for me and he was. Tim Gregory: When two people get married and they have that dream of becoming one and that dream of having a close love I don’t think we fully understand what that’s going to be like and this has really provided Susan and I that opportunity to experience with the oneness that the Bible talks about as God brings two people together and experiencing oneness. Jill Eikenberry: Statistics show that many marriages break up when faced with struggles such as this one. Tim and Susan took to heart what they have been teaching for years in their marriage classes and applied these principles in the situation they never expected to face. Susan Gregory: You know one of the things we decided at the very beginning on the way home from finding out about this diagnosis was we were just going to be straightforward with each other no second guessing. If this is what I say I am feeling and what I say I need or want, that is it. I am not playing games with you. This is it. Tim Gregory: So I’ve been able to focus on this particular area is a need that she has at this time and here’s how I can meet that need or hers what I can do to have that meet on. Susan Gregory: And I think it’s actually worked both ways because there are times Tim just needs to be away from all of these and when he is able to express that to me then it’s easier for me to understand and be all right with him just going off and leaving it behind for a while. Host: The physical changes presented tough challenges as well. Susan Gregory: The day that we took the bandage off I just watched Tim’s face and he turned white as a sheet when he saw the scar but then he looked up at me and he said Susan I’m so glad we’re married. He could have said anything that would have meant anymore to me than those words. Tim Gregory: What that woman had is what they’re dealing with, and so am I a real woman or am I still an intact woman. And for us guys we need to let our wives know that we still desire them, that they’re still lovable and that we still want to spend the rest of our lives with them. Susan Gregory: I feel so much more confident in Tim’s love and in his care for me. He has been patient and compassionate. He has been so kind and that has strengthened and deepened our relationship. Tim Gregory: I love you and I wouldn’t miss this part of your life for anything. Michael Tucker: We learned this with Susan’s story breast cancer affects the whole family. The treatment of breast cancer is perhaps the most challenging time emotionally for patients and their families. Jill Eikenberry: There maybe the loss of a breast involved and grieving is a natural result. Chemotherapy isn’t necessarily debilitating anymore but it isn’t easy either. There’s bound to be some fatigue and some hair loss. Jill Eikenberry: Here are the standard treatment options for breast cancer. Each case is different your age, type of cancer and stage of cancer will largely determine which treatments are recommended. This is a time to get involved in your own healthcare and learn all you can about the disease and its managements. Most treatments combine a local approach with the systemic approach. The big news with radiation and chemotherapy is that both are becoming increasingly better targeted to the cancer itself and that means less damage to other tissues. Hormonal therapy targets cancer types sensitive to estrogen. Immunotherapy is a developing approach with the promising potential of sharp shooting cancer cells with monoclonal antibodies. Jill Eikenberry: More good news, there is no reason breast reconstruction can’t be offered after a mastectomy, not all women want it and results do vary. But it can make a difference in your self image. Alternative th