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Thread: Wife Is Facing a Mastectomy...Relationship Advice Needed

  1. #26
    Member DianeT's Avatar
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    I am sorry for what you are going through. Your wife is a very courageous person. Take the problems one at a time. Right now she is rightly the center of your preoccupations, as I assume it must be one of the most difficult moments in a woman's life. Good luck to you two.

  2. #27
    Occasional CD Alexandra Collins's Avatar
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    Leslie, my best wishes for a positive outcome for you and your wife. I hope this will bring you both closer together.

    Alexandra

  3. #28
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    My wife went through her radical mastectomy in her early 30s. It saved her life. She was a beautiful woman who suddenly felt she had lost her beauty. The biggest thing is your attention toward her. If you reject sex with her she will feel that you no longer love her or find her repulsive. My wife has lived 30 more years. I truly believe the mastectomy saved her life. We have had friends who had a partial mastectomy and are not with us today. You can find a lot of information online. She will probably need treatment which will cause her to loose her hair. It will grow back. Today women are much more open about it. If you send me a private message I?ll try and answer your question. My wife has always known that I was a CD. It diid upset her The best reason for reconstruction is that removing one breast causes balance problems. She will need a procesis for a while until she is ready for reconstruction.

  4. #29
    Silver Member giuseppina's Avatar
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    Hello Leslie,

    Did the surgery go ahead as scheduled yesterday?
    Cheers
    Giuseppina

  5. #30
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    I will only say to be there for her emotionally and physically as much as possible. This is a very serious situation that she has to deal with. I and I am sure others on here will be praying for your wife.
    Deborah

    My desire is to create an illusion that is a compliment to all women.
    It is meant to uphold and celebrate their presence and beauty.

  6. #31
    Lady By Choice Leslie Langford's Avatar
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    For those of you who have been following my post on my wife's cancer diagnosis and planned mastectomy, and who have expressed their much-appreciated support for our current situation regarding this - here is an update:

    My wife had her surgery on January 20, 2021 as planned, notwithstanding her fears that it might be cancelled at the last moment due to the current Covid-19 "second wave" crisis and the pressure that it is putting on hospitals to maintain their past levels of service. Luckily, her type of surgery does not require a stay in an ICU ward, and one hears horror stories of people with other conditions such heart problems requiring bypass surgery (or the like), or else individuals who are on an organ transplant wait list who do need that type of post-surgery care, but whose procedures are being postponed because those wards are being flooded with Covid patients who require that level of life support.

    In any event, the surgery went well, it ended up being day surgery after all, and the after-effects have been minimal. My wife was actually surprised by the lack of lingering pain after the first day...a far cry from what she experienced after a knee replacement procedure she underwent 4 years ago. She is in good spirits, fully mobile now after spending the first day in bed and even did a load of laundry today. That was a bit ambitious on her part as it did tire her out, but she is the type of high-energy person who can't be held down. She has, however, seen the error of her ways now and is taking it slower again. A community nurse comes by every two days to check up on her, change the dressing, and see how the wound drain that was installed during the operation to help evacuate residual body fluids is going.

    So far, so good. Lots of friend and family support, and our house is beginning to look like a botanical garden, what with all the flower arrangements she has received over the last couple of days. The next big hurdle will be getting back the biopsy results to see if there is any evidence of the cancer having spread to the adjoining lymph nodes. Those are due in a couple of weeks. Fingers crossed...

    Thanks again for all the on-going support, ladies!

  7. #32
    Senior Member michelleddg's Avatar
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    Thanks for this upbeat update Ms. Leslie, sounds like everybody is dealing. Fingers crossed on the biopsy. Hugs, Michelle

  8. #33
    Member Sandy Clifton's Avatar
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    Here's hoping for continued favorable medical outcomes!

    For what it's worth, a friend I went to high school with
    battled breast cancer a few years back, and she is going
    strong - we attend the same outdoor exercise "boot camp,"
    and she puts me to shame!

  9. #34
    -1.#QNaN Lydianne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leslie Langford View Post
    She is in good spirits, fully mobile now after spending the first day in bed and even did a load of laundry today. That was a bit ambitious on her part as it did tire her out, but she is the type of high-energy person who can't be held down.
    It's all that extra oxygen. Too much photosynthesis going on in the house 🌾 . Don't light a match! 💥.


    Seriously though, the up-and-down might not have been a bad thing because now she knows that the taking-it-slow is a choice rather than a constraint. Plus her mind & spirit continue to be in a positive place. I know she was able to draw upon some tremendous mental strength on the day of the diagnosis, but you can never know for sure what impact the surgery would have until it has happened.

    All the best for the test results, and I hope you are well too! 🤞🙏.

    - L.

  10. #35
    Gold Member bridget thronton's Avatar
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    Prayers for continued healing and no further spread of cancer

  11. #36
    GG ReineD's Avatar
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    So sorry for what your wife and you are going through.

    But if I can offer a perspective from a mature (past 60) woman:

    The prospect of losing a breast is not half as devastating now (let alone should this happen in my 70s!), as it would have been during my child-bearing years. There really is a season for everything and as we GGs age, we do place much more emphasis on our inner selves and on all the richness that life has to offer than on the exterior package. We no longer care so much about looking "sexy" at a party, or physically attracting a male should we become single again. Relationships in our 70s aren't nearly as physical as they used to be. I dare say that the prospect of losing a breast is much more devastating to you as a crossdresser. CDers have always given me the impression they prioritize feminine things and female body parts much, much more than do GGs.

    Of course no one wants to lose any body part, but I do believe that your wife was able to pull herself together quickly and sign the documents once she got over the immediate shock that she has cancer because was able to realistically assess the situation. In her shoes, I would be grateful that it is only a breast, rather than a limb, eyesight, or hearing. Prosthetics are readily available and no one will ever be the wiser, since a prosthetic breast is always worn under clothing. I'm sure your wife knows that you will not love her less after her surgery. She may be worried that the cancer might spread, however.

    So please don't feel bad for agreeing with the doctor. Any husband who loves his wife would choose the option that would extend her life. Breasts really are negligible once we are past the lactation stage, which your wife has been for 40 years!

    I would like to comment on one of your statements, which I have seen expressed in this forum by many members over the years, and which may be the cause of you feeling bad:

    Quote Originally Posted by Leslie Langford View Post
    on some level, our partners see our female selves as either some sort of competitor for their love and attention i.e., the proverbial other woman,

    or else that we are creating some sort of fantasy woman for ourselves whose standards she cannot live up to and is therefore a repudiation of her own sexuality, sexual attractiveness, and innate femininity.
    The first point: while it is true that some wives see the femme side as competition, it is more about a competition for their husbands' attention. I've known many wives of CDers and a common complaint is simply how much more the CDing husband seems to enjoy the pretty things and dressing up, than simply the enjoyment of hanging out with his wife in guy mode the way he used to. Many wives feel that husbands prioritize the CDing over the wives and so it makes the wives feel sad (or angry).

    The second point: no, no, no. I have never met a wife who felt that she could not "live up to" her husband's femme clothes or makeup. After all, these are things any wife can purchase for herself if she is at all interested in "competing" (which wives are not). Wives know they are women and there really is no competition between a GG and a CDer who presents as one. Nothing a CDing husband does will ever take away any GG's innate femininity.

    An example: In my prior marriage, my ex had an affair with beautiful woman who was younger than me. Not once did her looks make me feel bad about who I was as a woman. I thought that my ex was a jerk for betraying me, but my image of myself was never affected by the way this woman looked. And she was a real GG! I disliked her for her lack of morals - her selfishness and callousness - she knew that my ex was married, and she knew me. I did not dislike her for her looks and I did not think myself less attractive just because my ex had sex with her.

    So please do not project onto your wife how you think that wives feel about the CDing, as if your femme clothes/makeup/wigs/forms/jewelry/etc are somehow the cause of her feeling "less feminine", which you now imagine is compounded by the removal of her breast. This thought is more a reflection of your inner beliefs than her reality.

    Just be there for her and tell her how much you love her and you appreciate her in your life. Don't even bring up the CDing, since it has nothing to do with the cancer she is facing. Although you might want to pamper her for a period of time when she recovers from surgery - I don't know what would work for you guys - breakfasts or coffee in bed? Making meals? Offering to do things that you know she hates doing? Surprising her with flowers or something else she would see as a treat?

    I send my best wishes to you both, Leslie.
    Last edited by ReineD; 01-23-2021 at 03:41 AM.
    Reine

  12. #37
    Senior Member Laura912's Avatar
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    What Reine said.

  13. #38
    Aspiring Member April Rose's Avatar
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    Again, what Reine said.What matters now is you being there for her, and her being secure in the knowledge that you are there for her.
    I am a vessel of the goddess. Let me express my calling to a feminine life through nurturing love and relatedness.

  14. #39
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    Leslie kind thoughts and prayers to you and your wife

  15. #40
    Senior Member GretchenM's Avatar
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    So very pleased to hear things are going well. I am keeping you two in my thoughts.

    Great wisdom Reine. It is always so refreshing to hear the GG's perspective and there is nothing in what you said that I can disagree with. My wife recently had a hysterectomy. At 74 it losing all that female stuff is really no big deal to her, but she relied heavily on my help with keeping her meds going on time, making good, healthy meals for her, and comforting her in ways that no outside nurse could do. It is the most important activity you can do, Leslie and. of course, that applies to everyone else as well. Our vows nearly 52 years ago included the traditional "in sickness and in health" phrase. If you made that promise keep it.

  16. #41
    Member DianeT's Avatar
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    Reine this is interesting stuff. From many genetic women's posts I read here and exchanges I had with a few of them (including my wife) which discussed the potential discomfort induced by their hubbies (including me) wearing prosthetics, several observed that breasts were a female identification landmark for them, and some were women past their fifties or sixties. So my lasting impression was that losing one would be lived as a very painful experience. Your words are putting this in a different perspective.

  17. #42
    Lady By Choice Leslie Langford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReineD View Post
    So sorry for what your wife and you are going through.

    But if I can offer a perspective from a mature (past 60) woman:

    The prospect of losing a breast is not half as devastating now (let alone should this happen in my 70s!), as it would have been during my child-bearing years. There really is a season for everything and as we GGs age, we do place much more emphasis on our inner selves and on all the richness that life has to offer than on the exterior package. We no longer care so much about looking "sexy" at a party, or physically attracting a male should we become single again. Relationships in our 70s aren't nearly as physical as they used to be. I dare say that the prospect of losing a breast is much more devastating to you as a crossdresser. CDers have always given me the impression they prioritize feminine things and female body parts much, much more than do GGs.

    Of course no one wants to lose any body part, but I do believe that your wife was able to pull herself together quickly and sign the documents once she got over the immediate shock that she has cancer because was able to realistically assess the situation. In her shoes, I would be grateful that it is only a breast, rather than a limb, eyesight, or hearing. Prosthetics are readily available and no one will ever be the wiser, since a prosthetic breast is always worn under clothing. I'm sure your wife knows that you will not love her less after her surgery. She may be worried that the cancer might spread, however.

    So please don't feel bad for agreeing with the doctor. Any husband who loves his wife would choose the option that would extend her life. Breasts really are negligible once we are past the lactation stage, which your wife has been for 40 years!

    I would like to comment on one of your statements, which I have seen expressed in this forum by many members over the years, and which may be the cause of you feeling bad:



    The first point: while it is true that some wives see the femme side as competition, it is more about a competition for their husbands' attention. I've known many wives of CDers and a common complaint is simply how much more the CDing husband seems to enjoy the pretty things and dressing up, than simply the enjoyment of hanging out with his wife in guy mode the way he used to. Many wives feel that husbands prioritize the CDing over the wives and so it makes the wives feel sad (or angry).

    The second point: no, no, no. I have never met a wife who felt that she could not "live up to" her husband's femme clothes or makeup. After all, these are things any wife can purchase for herself if she is at all interested in "competing" (which wives are not). Wives know they are women and there really is no competition between a GG and a CDer who presents as one. Nothing a CDing husband does will ever take away any GG's innate femininity.

    An example: In my prior marriage, my ex had an affair with beautiful woman who was younger than me. Not once did her looks make me feel bad about who I was as a woman. I thought that my ex was a jerk for betraying me, but my image of myself was never affected by the way this woman looked. And she was a real GG! I disliked her for her lack of morals - her selfishness and callousness - she knew that my ex was married, and she knew me. I did not dislike her for her looks and I did not think myself less attractive just because my ex had sex with her.

    So please do not project onto your wife how you think that wives feel about the CDing, as if your femme clothes/makeup/wigs/forms/jewelry/etc are somehow the cause of her feeling "less feminine", which you now imagine is compounded by the removal of her breast. This thought is more a reflection of your inner beliefs than her reality.

    Just be there for her and tell her how much you love her and you appreciate her in your life. Don't even bring up the CDing, since it has nothing to do with the cancer she is facing. Although you might want to pamper her for a period of time when she recovers from surgery - I don't know what would work for you guys - breakfasts or coffee in bed? Making meals? Offering to do things that you know she hates doing? Surprising her with flowers or something else she would see as a treat?

    I send my best wishes to you both, Leslie.
    Reine, you scare me!...but in a good way

    Before I elaborate on that (somewhat provocative, yet tongue-in-cheek ) statement, let me begin by extending my heartfelt thanks for the time you took to write your lengthy response, as well as for all the wisdom that you imparted therein. You have hit so many nails on the head, I don't even know where to begin.

    As for the "scary" part...even though you have never met my wife, my jaw began dropping ever lower as you described the range of emotions that she might be experiencing at this time. Not only were you 100% accurate in your assessments, it was as if your words had come directly out of her mouth instead based on the discussions she and I have already had.

    The thought of losing a breast at her age (early 70's) - although clearly troubling - was not as traumatic as it would have been had it happened at an earlier stage of her life by my wife's own admission. She has begun to look at this whole thing philosophically, and is now grateful that her breasts were intact while they still mattered. It had always been very important to her to be able to breastfeed our two children while they were babies, and she did that admirably. The way she now looks at it, her breasts did their "job", and the rest is incidental. Joining a number of online breast cancer survivor support groups as well as tapping into similar community-based breast cancer support groups has also been a bit of an education for her. They have provided her, with among other things, specialty bras designed for mastectomy patients as well as soft knitted temporary breast forms to wear during the early stages of healing ("knitted knockers" as those ladies affectionately call them ). This outreach has also put my wife into contact with younger women of the type that you have described and who lost their breast(s) in their 30's and 40's but are still within the dating and/or relationship forming demographic, or else are still in their child-bearing years. If anything, my wife now considers herself lucky that if this really was destined to happen, she is grateful that it was in the twilight years of her life rather than during early adulthood. And as you have so rightly pointed out, the idea of losing a breast is of far less consequence than taking the necessary steps towards dealing in a direct and forthright manner with the primary objective - eradicating this cancer and hopefully getting it to stop in its tracks. That is exactly how my wife sees it, and therefore never having had a second thought over consenting to a full mastectomy as opposed to a possible partial one. She wants to continue to live and see her grandchildren grow into adults to the degree that she can control this outcome.

    Another "plus" in my wife's eyes is that she was never overly-endowed in that department in the first place, so the contrast between what she has left on one side of her chest compared with the intact breast is not as stark as if she had been, say, a 40DD or the like, and which might have been much more troubling to a woman in that situation. She has already seen the healing wound along with the stitches when the visiting community nurses have come to our house to change the dressing, and was not freaked out by that visual. If anything, she is quite pleased with the way it turned out all things considered, and with what a neat job the surgeon did in minimizing the extent of the incision and associated surgical intervention. So on that basis, I believe that we have already overcome one of the major hurdles on the road to full acceptance of the mastectomy procedure.

    Right now, I am doing all I can to be supportive of my wife - both physically and emotionally - and precisely as you have recommended. And again, you are exactly on point here. My wife sees that, is deeply appreciative of my efforts, and if anything, facing this unexpected challenge together (probably the biggest and most far-reaching one of our lives to date, notwithstanding my father's suicide years ago) is causing us to draw upon strengths we likely never knew we possessed. This can only serve to draw us closer and strengthen our marriage even more...the proverbial "silver lining".

    So again, Reine, thank you so much for your insight and wisdom to help us make some sense of our current situation as we navigate through it...and also for showing that you truly care, even if we are only "virtual" friends within the context of this Forum.
    Last edited by Leslie Langford; 01-23-2021 at 04:46 PM.

  18. #43
    GG ReineD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leslie Langford View Post
    So again, Reine, thank you so much for your insight and wisdom to help us make some sense of our current situation as we navigate through it...and also for showing that you truly care, even if we are only "virtual" friends within the context of this Forum.
    We go back a long ways, you and I. I do very much care and I'm so glad that you are feeling better than you were when you first posted.

    The sun keeps on shining and soon it will be Spring

    [SIZE=1]- - - Updated - - -[/SIZE]

    Quote Originally Posted by DianeT View Post
    ... several observed that breasts were a female identification landmark for them, and some were women past their fifties or sixties. So my lasting impression was that losing one would be lived as a very painful experience.
    Losing any body part is of course a painful experience but my point rather was for an older woman, given the choice of losing a breast or a limb, what would your friends choose. Learning to go through my senior years without an arm, leg, or eyesight would be exceedingly difficult. But a breast? Meh! I could still do anything I am used to doing.

    As to identity, I consider all my body parts equal in that I am the sum of all my parts, plus my mind and my inner self. My breast doesn't identify me as "me" more than any other part of me. But if I were faced with cancer and in a pretend-world was given a choice, I consider it is much easier to live without a breast (especially past a certain age), than it would be without a limb, eyesight, or God-forbid, the loss of my mind i.e. in the case of Alzheimer's.

    But, this is rather macabre and really, I only mentioned it above to help put it in perspective.
    Last edited by ReineD; 01-24-2021 at 01:04 AM.
    Reine

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