Navigating Support in Challenging Times: Partners Connect Workshop Experience

At any point in life, reaching out for help can be challenging. When your partner is going through a breast cancer diagnosis, it becomes even more challenging to seek help for yourself. However, at BCCWA, experience has taught us that there is great benefit in providing support for Partners.

Tom, a father of two young children, faced this challenge, but was encouraged to attend our ‘Partners Connect workshop’.

“The first thing I thought when I saw the workshop on the email, was, there’s no way I’m going to be able to attend that. Not with a 1 and a 4-year-old and during the busiest time of the day”

Tom’s wife played a crucial role in his decision to attend. Her encouragement and recognition of the importance of well-being and self-care helped him see the value in participating.

Tom approached the workshop without specific expectations and appreciated the relaxed atmosphere of the workshop. The first thing that stood out for Tom was connecting with men facing similar challenges. Before the workshop, he hadn’t spoken with anyone in a similar situation, making these newfound connections invaluable.

Secondly, Tom mentioned the workshop’s focus on mindfulness techniques, which included practices aimed at being present in the moment. While Tom had some prior knowledge of mindfulness, the workshop reinforced its importance and encouraged him to incorporate mindfulness into his daily life.

Tom admitted that before attending the workshop, he hadn’t actively practiced mindfulness, despite his wife’s interest in it during her pregnancy. However, the workshop served as a catalyst for him to embrace it as a valuable tool for managing stress, especially since he found it challenging to switch off from work-related stress.

Tom attended the workshop during a demanding phase, caring for two young children. Despite the challenges, he recognised the workshop’s timing was right. Though finding time was tough, its benefits far outweighed the inconvenience, providing him with skills and support that he still carries with him.

“Through the Partners Connect workshop, I’ve learned the true value of carving out time for yourself and living in the moment. It’s not just a luxury; it’s a necessity. In the hustle of everyday life, we often forget that taking care of ourselves allows us to better care for others.”

Tom’s positive experience led him to encourage others to attend the workshop. He acknowledged that finding time can be tough, especially for those with demanding schedules. Nevertheless, he emphasised that the workshop’s value becomes evident after participation and stressed the importance of prioritising self-care, even amidst life’s demands.