These were the thoughts running through Georgina’s mind after the doctor informed her of the test results. The impact of the diagnosis she was sure would have an impact not just in her life but also in those close to her. Worse still was the doctor’s opinion that the breast could not be salvaged and had to be surgically removed. This was the last blow to her already bruised physical and emotional stability. This is in the understanding of the role that breasts play in a woman’s sexuality and self image.
They are the core source of their feminine identity and anything that may interfere with their existence and well being is bound to damage a woman psychologically (ehealth MD, 2004). The normal functioning of the family structure is also at risk; the family members may not understand enough or may be unaware of how to cope with the situation. Sometimes the breast cancer patient out of emotional stress maybe making demands that may seem unreasonable to the family members who might not understand her special needs.
A woman has a higher risk of anxiety and depression immediately after losing her breast and it may lead to a family crisis like divorce should they fail to adjust according to the changing situations (ehealthMD. 2004). Communication among the family members should be encouraged and if possible professional counseling and guidance should be sought. This will be in the hope of easing any family or mental distress that might arise. Marriage institution at this time faces eminent risks of breakup, a factor further exacerbated by the extra ordinary support required by the woman (Hodgson et al, 2003).
Georgina considers herself to be among the luckiest women despite the minor setbacks. She attributes the progress she has made in breast cancer as having come from the support she has continually received from her loving husband, children and her other family members. Her husband she says has all along been very encouraging and even took the initiative of looking for her the best physician they could get. He takes the day off from his busy schedule to see that the children needs are met when Georgina is either in the clinic or when she is recuperating from the ongoing therapy.
The family is a very fragile institution solely held together by the nature of the bonds that exists among the family members. Other families, unlike Georgina’s might not be able to absorb the shock of breast cancer in their family. To cope with the complications of breast cancer requires an insurmountable amount of emotional and financial strength that might be lacking in many families. Women may feel sexually unattractive and inadequate. This is a scenario that requires to be attended to with utmost care and diligence from their partner.
Counseling should be provided to those partners in the understanding that their sex-life is not to be affected by the emerging developments. Misunderstandings and conflicts usually arise from this sole factor. It might lead to a major break up in the family. Women diagnosed with breast cancer require support and care from their close relatives and friends. Mere diagnosis of cancer should not be used as the source for family conflicts and dissatisfaction in marital affairs. Rather these situations should be handled amicably as the mother undergoes a series of therapy to improve her situation.
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