The Caregiver, The Silent Victim

Oct 6, 2018 | 1 comment

When author Ken Wachsberger’s wife Emily was diagnosed with breast cancer, he discovered there were not many resources for caregivers so he wrote a book. Your Partner Has Breast Cancer: 21 Ways to Keep Sane as a Support Person on Your Journey from Victim to Survivor provides heartfelt advice from Ken’s experience as a support person to his wife of 40 years. Her Nexx Chapter has partnered with Ken to share excerpts from his book. The excerpt below is from the book’s Dedication:

“The perceived breast cancer victim is the person who goes into surgery, and with good reason. But the support person, the caregiver, is the silent victim, the one who takes over the perceived victim’s chores, answers questions for well-wishers, assumes double-income responsibility and becomes both parents if they are in a formal couple relationship, and is always the pillar of strength, even when he or she doesn’t feel like a pillar of strength.

This book is dedicated to the silent victims … When I needed help for myself, I found a lot of material on how I could help my spouse but nothing on how I could help myself while I was helping her.

You can’t help your partner if you aren’t helping yourself.”

Here are Ken’s 21 Ways to Keep Sane as a Support Person:

  1. Keep a journal
  2. Be the family reporter
  3. Share your feelings and thoughts with your partner as much as possible
  4. Let it out every now and then
  5. Have at least one confidante besides your partner
  6. Be honest with your children and get them involved in their mother’s recovery
  7. Laugh whenever you can
  8. Accept help from anyone who offers
  9. Read the literature
  10. Participate in your partner’s recovery
  11. At the same time, don’t succumb to guilt
  12. Don’t feel the need to “fix” things
  13. Find a spiritual comfort zone you can share
  14. Eat well
  15. Exercise regularly
  16. Sleep enough
  17. Take a deep breath often
  18. Find time to be alone when you need alone time
  19. At the same time, get used to being alone when you want company
  20. Nurture your creative outlets whatever they are
  21. And be patient


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About Our Author

Ken Wachsberger

Three more excerpts from his book will post during breast cancer awareness month.  To read Ken’s book, you can purchase a print or eBook copy through Amazon below:

or Smashwords at