Martina McBride, thank you for singing a song for breast cancer husbands. We really appreciate it, and you are absolutely right, we need to live up to the title: "I'm Gonna Love You Through It."
I only wish that the husband you sang about wasn't quite so perfect, always saying the right thing to his newly diagnosed wife: "When you're weak, I'll be strong/When you let go, I'll hold on/When you need to cry, I swear that I'll be there to dry your eyes."
As a veteran breast cancer husband, I must report that new members of the breast cancer husband club are often clueless about what to do. So, with the greatest respect to McBride, I offer my own breast cancer husband's song, "I'm Gonna Muddle Through It":
When breast cancer husbands get the call
The words we utter may appall.
I heard of a guy who asked his gal,
"Cancer, is that like a root canal?"
And a fellow who told his newly diagnosed wife,
"Honey, there's a Hooters. Let's stop for a bite."
And as my wife reminds me, again and again:
"Ew, that doesn't sound good" was my refrain.
I swore: I'm gonna muddle through it
Though I had no clue how to do it.
I wanted to find a cure for cancer's woes.
Needless to say, I failed! D'oh!
I said, "Breasts don't matter" to lessen fear of mastectomy.
My wife asked how I'd feel about a penisectomy!
(Yikes! I tried not to take it personally.)
And I tried really hard to cheer her up
When she just wanted to say how much cancer sucks!
A tip: Laughing at cancer helps beat the blues.
A Dolly Parton wig caused hilarity to ensue.
Oh, and I found a motto to ease all strife:
Shut up and listen — to your wife.
Marc Silver, an editor at National Geographic Magazine in Washington, D.C., is the author of "Breast Cancer Husband: How to Help Your Wife (and Yourself) During Diagnosis, Treatment and Beyond." His wife, Marsha Dale, was diagnosed in 2001 and is today in good health.
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