Family Ties: Learning to deal with cancer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Going through breast cancer is unimaginable for most of us, despite probably knowing at least one woman, or man, who has been diagnosed. Imagine watching your loved one go through chemotherapy treatments and now infusion treatments.

That's the case of Lisa and Duane Friedlander. They met at a dance. She says she liked him for his dance moves and boldly told him, "Don't take my number if you're not going to use it."
That was more than 20 years ago.
Last November, she found a lump, right before Thanksgiving.
"Fish stop swimming. The birds stop flying. You don't know what to do," said Duane.
"It was kind of apparent just by looking at it that it was concerning," said Lisa.
"We had the whole weekend over Thanksgiving to kind of sit on that. Can't tell you how much fun that was," said Duane.  
She told her sisters at Thanksgiving dinner and then told her mother. She got her port put in in December and started chemo treatments the next day at MD Anderson. She finished those in March, but now has to undergo 17 infusion treatments. 
"You can't fight this. You can't kill this. You can't. You have to learn to deal with it," said Duane. "You can't do anything. All you can do is hold her hand and make sure she's comfortable and follow the directions." 
He said he felt helpless. But, if you ask Lisa, she says his being there, made getting through cancer a little bit easier... 
"Knowing that I had Duane in my corner definitely made a huge difference," said Lisa. "I knew that I would be okay and that I would be healed and survive. I knew that in my heart."
She says he took the worry away from the situation. 
"I just really felt like it allowed me to do and feel what I needed to do and feel and to rest and to take care of myself. I think that was huge. I would come in and everybody would always comment on how good I looked and my color was good and I think that was because of the support I was getting. I think that made a huge difference," said Lisa.
Duane says for the men out there, it's important that you find someone to talk to. 
"Find someone else who's been down this road and talk to them. I know that if I were approached by a man whose wife was going through this, and he asked me for help, I would gladly stop what I was doing and help. I think that's most important of all," said Duane. 


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