My boyfriend’s Mom has breast cancer

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

My boyfriend has found out his mother has breast cancer. I am looking for advice on how to be supportive for him. I want to know what to say to him. I have never lost a parent to death. I want him to know I am here for him. I don’t want to be selfish.

I went searching for books on supporting a loved one who is losing a parent and could not find any books. My boyfriend and I have known each other six years. We have only in the last eight months been devoted to being with each other in the future. We hope to marry each other and have children. I curently live on the West Coast and he lives on the East Coast. I am moving back to be with him.

I have never met his mother because she lives in another country. We live in the United States. He wants to go visit as soon as he can. I am sure right now he is very overwhelmed with the information and I want to say the right things to him. I don’t want to avoid the topic. I know I shoud only talk about it when he wants to, and I want to be ready if and when he does. I would really like to find a book on the issue if you have any suggestions.

A: You are already showing your love and caring by trying to figure out the best way to help and support your boyfriend through this difficult time. Hopefully, treatment will be effective and his mother will go into a long remission. In the meanwhile, this is a scary and emotional time for the whole family. I’m so glad he wants to spend some time with her to lend his support.

You might talk to your boyfriend about whether he wants you to go with him to visit his mom. Depending on the situation, it might be a wonderful gift to his mom to have the joy of a wedding to think about. It might also be a wonderful gift to you to get to know his mother and to join him in being a support to her.

Fortunately there is a great deal of information available to you. I did searches on both Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com for books that might be helpful and found quite a few. If I were you, I would go to my local bookstore and library and browse the shelves until I found a book that spoke to me. You can also find good information on the American Cancer Society website.

I wish you all well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 16 Jul 2007

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2007). My boyfriend’s Mom has breast cancer. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2007/07/16/my-boyfriends-mom-has-breast-cancer/

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