Mark Whitlock

Tips from one Partner to another…

  1. Show your support! Attend as many doctor’s/treatment appointments as possible; even when she tells you that you don’t have to…go anyways. This allows you to live the experience/journey with her; something you are doing together.
  2. Your level of knowledge and interest in her condition helps you better cope and understand what she is experiencing, and it gives her confidence in knowing she can talk with you because the two of you are in this together.
  3. Patience is the Key! Know your loved one needs space and permission to cope in her own way. I didn’t want my wife to work while doing chemo and radiation but she insisted. Every night she came home exhausted and I’d lecture her. What I didn’t realize was although it was draining on her physically; mentally it was uplifting and gave her a reason to keep fighting. Working made her feel needed. Let your loved one find her own way to cope and respect her choices.
  4. When our loved ones are in pain we often try to ‘fix’ the problem…resist this urge. Ask questions and truly listen to what she has to say. Validate her feelings; even if they seem irrational. Just be her life preserver and flow through the storm with her knowing the sun will shine again. This act will increase emotional intimacy between the two of you.
  5. Remember to take cues from her. Let her know its ok to give you direction and that you welcome the feedback. It can be as simply as how to rub her head/feet or more intimate like where to touch her in that special place. Let her walk you through exploring her body…things are different now…be open to learning.
  6. Remember, her emotional and psychological scars linger long after the physical wounds heal…have patience and take it slow. Find new ways to create intimacy and closeness…cuddle, read together, take a bubble bath, back rubs, phone sex, etc.

Mark Whitlock is proud to be a cervical cancer advocate! His wife Michelle is a two time cervical cancer survivor. They are expecting their first child this fall via a surrogate.