If you’re a lesbian couple, your experience of the breast cancer journey may be different from a heterosexual couple. Some say it can be difficult “coming out” to medical professionals or that support groups do not work as well for them.
Make sure you and your partner find a medical professional you trust, whom you are able to communicate with clearly and effectively and who understands your personal situation.
You may like to make contact with the Mamazon Club – a lesbian breast cancer support network to help you through your breast cancer experience. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
For some excellent online information for LGBTQI+ people with cancer, check out this website produced by the Cancer Council of New South Wales.
Tips for lesbian partners on supporting a woman through breast cancer, include:
- Be a good listener. Listen to your partner’s thoughts and feelings. You don’t necessarily have to respond – just be there to hear her.
- Don’t pretend that the breast cancer diagnosis and treatment is having no effect on you. Let your partner know when you can’t handle certain information or a certain conversation.
- Go to hospital appointments with her, not only so that you can provide her with support but also so you know exactly what’s going on medically.
- Get practical help where you need it. You are likely to have to take more responsibility for day-to-day tasks and chores. Farm some of these out to friends and other family members if you can.
- Make sure there’s someone you can talk to, other than the woman in your life with breast cancer, about your worries and concerns.
- If you have children – make sure you monitor how they are responding emotionally. If they are having difficulty coping, seek professional help for them. Kenzies Gift and CanTeen have resources for children and rangatahi affected by cancer in their families.
You may also like to read our articles on sex after breast cancer if you and your partner are experiencing issues with sexuality and intimacy following breast cancer treatment.