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Coping With Cancer As a Couple

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Published on February 6, 2014

When a husband and wife are faced with a cancer diagnosis, communication becomes key. Rob and Tish Beck, married for 30 years, share how, despite a decade of multiple cancer recurrences, they've managed to cope with fear and continue to support one another. From confronting anxiety as check-up time approaches to reaching out to the newly diagnosed, Tish and Rob share their advice for other couples dealing with cancer.

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Transcript | Coping With Cancer As a Couple

They've been married 30 years, but 10 years ago they had an unwanted visitor.  Tish was diagnosed with sarcoma, and she's has recurrences along the way, so it's been quite a journey.  Communication is so important. 

Thank you so much for being with us, Rob and Tish.  Tish, tell us about how you've worked on communication. 

So, yeah, I'd say 50 percent of the time.  When I just get to a real place where I feel like, oh, I can't handle it right now, then I share.  But when I just know it's those butterflies and I'm kind of nervous, then I just, you know, hang onto it and wait it through.

Rob Beck:

Every four months when we go to those checkups, neither of us realize how stressed we are. And this is after 10 years of going through this, or 11 almost now.  We don't realize until afterwards.  We're in the car heading for home for a four-and-a-half hour drive home and, boy, you just, you know, then you start talking about it and realize all the pent?up things for the last three or four days that we've gone through. 

Rob Beck:

No, absolutely not.  It's interesting when she talks about somebody she saw that recognized us as beginners, and we've been in the same position.  Three, four, five, six, eight years into it, and you go in for appointments and see people acting exactly like she said, afraid and together, and yeah, you just want to reach out to those people. 

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