Navigation Links
UT Southwestern support group's book reaches out to husbands, partners of women battling cancer

DALLAS July 28, 2011 When a loved one has cancer, it affects the entire family. For men, many of whom are less likely to take advantage of a support group, this can leave a void with devastating emotional consequences.

A UT Southwestern Medical Center men's support group is intent on filling that gap through its recently published book, Stages, which shares stories of members whose wives battled cancer.

"It's very difficult to put on paper. I just kept telling myself the benefit this will give others outweighs that," said Mark Mester, who tells his story in one chapter, along with chapters by co-authors Art Bourgeault, Bob Graham, Ralph Long and Scott Baker.

Open to any man whose wife or partner has cancer, the group meets twice a month at UT Southwestern's Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center. The purpose is to provide education and support, said Jack Hamilton, group facilitator.

"There's a wealth of knowledge of men in the group who have been traveling this journey for a while," Mr. Hamilton said. "It really is the model of what a support group looks like."

Five longtime group members decided to write the book as a resource for male caregivers and also to spread word about the group. Free copies are handed out to cancer center patients or family members. A gift from the Alan and Nancy Baer Foundation funded publication of 2,500 copies.

In the foreword, Dr. James K.V. Willson, director of the Simmons Cancer Center, notes that for every one of the 6 million women now battling cancer in the U.S., there are just as many or more family members affected.

"They are helping ill loved ones get through the practical challenges of day-to-day life as well as cope with the emotional hurdles of living, and sometimes dying, with cancer," wrote Dr. Willson. "In this book, you'll find the stories of five men who know firsthand what it's like to love and care for a cancer patient."

Each of the stories is different in its advice, experience and outcome. Three wives did not survive their cancers, while the other two patients are either in treatment or remission.

"There's a common thread in all of the stories, yet each person brought a different perspective to what happened to him," said Mr. Baker, whose wife, Victoria, is doing well three years after a stem-cell transplant for leukemia treatment.

For Mr. Graham, who lost his first wife to brain cancer in 1989, going through the demanding process again without support would have been too much to handle. When his second wife was diagnosed with leukemia, went through treatment and later died of an infection, the group's involvement provided empathy and shared experiences.

"These guys are incredible," said Mr. Graham. "For people going through what we've gone through, if they don't find a support group, they're fighting a losing battle."

Visiting that first group meeting was not easy for the authors, all of whom said their wives prodded them into attending. The men were glad they did, emphasizing that the group is not for therapy, but rather genuine support.

"If I reach out to these guys, they will follow through, and I find that a huge source of security and comfort you can't get anywhere else," said Mr. Long, whose wife, Linda, is now undergoing chemotherapy at the Simmons Cancer Center for metastatic breast cancer.


Contact: Debbie Bolles
UT Southwestern Medical Center

Related medicine news :

1. Urine protein test might help diagnose kidney damage from lupus, UT Southwestern researchers find
2. UT Southwestern researchers uncover Fragile X syndrome genes role in shaping brain
3. UT Southwestern participates in nationwide study offering free lung tumor genetic testing
4. Belly fat or hip fat -- it really is all in your genes, says UT Southwestern researcher
5. Novel anti-malarial drug candidate found by UT Southwestern researchers
6. Those with allergic asthma face double trouble during flu season, UT Southwestern findings suggest
7. UT Southwestern investigators perform head-to-head comparison of incontinence treatments
8. UT Southwestern unveils next generation CT scanner that views whole organs in a heartbeat
9. Simple eye test measures damage from multiple sclerosis, UT Southwestern researchers find
10. Interferon might help asthma patients breathe easier, UT Southwestern study suggests
11. UT Southwesterns cancer center earns National Cancer Institute designation
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Pixel Film Studios Released ProSlice ... "Film editors can give their videos a whole new perspective by using the ... of Pixel Film Studios. , ProSlice Levels contains over 30 Different presets to ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can now turn ... to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey brings specialization ... selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under the direction ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Dr. Calvin ... injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method for treating his ... of the first doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are substances that orthopaedic ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... June 19, 2016 is World Sickle Cell Observance Day. ... the benefits of holistic treatments, Serenity Recovery Center of Marne, Michigan, has ... , Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a disorder of the red blood cells, which ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Diego, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... with the American Cancer Society and the Road To Recovery® program to drive cancer ... to seniors and other adults to ensure the highest quality of life and ongoing ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) announced that it ... (procalcitonin) assay as a dedicated testing solution for people ... Roche is the first IVD company in the U.S ... assessment and management. PCT is a sepsis-specific ... blood can aid clinicians in assessing the risk of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. , June 23, 2016 ... 9:00 a.m. CST on Thursday, July 7, 2016 , , ... ) , , , , EXPERT PANELISTS:  ... Sciences, Nitin Naik; Senior Industry Analyst, Christi Bird; Senior Industry Analyst, ... The global pharmaceutical industry is witnessing ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 The vast majority of dialysis patients ... Treatments are usually 3 times a week, with treatment ... travel time, equipment preparation and wait time.  This regimen ... for patients who are elderly and frail.  Many elderly ... rehabilitation centers for some duration of time. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: