When Ingemar van der Molen Kuipers was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010, the ground was also swept from under the feet of her husband Remco. He didn’t know how to fill his new role and fled into drink and prescription medication. Ten years after the diagnosis and five and a half years after the death of his wife, he has written a book called “Cancer in the Margin”. In it he tells his personal story, including tips that can hopefully help fellow sufferers to fulfill their role as “partner of”.
In The Netherlands, cancer is diagnosed almost 120 000 times a year. Hundreds of thousands of Dutch people live with a partner who has, or who has had, the disease. Because all attention is logically focused on the patient, the process partners go through is sometimes forgotten. Remco van der Molen Kuipers (1962) experiences this firsthand when his wife turns out to have breast cancer. Nothing is the same anymore. The disease threatens to destroy everything: her, him and even their relationship. While Ingemar fights in vain, Remco increasingly seeks solace in drink and prescription medication. He doesn’t know what to do. How can he best help his wife? Is it okay to be mad at her now that she’s sick? Can anyone still see him? And why is there no book with answers to this kind of questions? As Remco said: “I missed a manual from someone with hands-on experience.”
That is why he wrote this book: it’s the story of someone who has experienced being the partner of a cancer patient, learned lessons from it and who now wants to pass them on to everyone who can benefit. “Of course I hope to reach as many people as possible who are in a similar situation. But if this book keeps even one partner from making the mistakes I made, it will have accomplished its purpose.”
The book is written in Dutch and you can order your signed copy here
Remco van der Molen Kuipers
Patient Advocate Inspire2Live