We are a drop-in support group for those whose
mates, girlfriends, mothers, daughters or sisters have or had breast cancer or other potentially lethal diseases.
"Women, of course, are the ones whose
lives are being threatened. It's natural they get the biggest
share of attention and sympathy," a group member once
noted. He sighed heavily, then added: "But I would like
just a little bit of those things."
Through the good times and bad, most men
loathe the stepchild-status these diseases give them. But the
marvelous synergy of our Marin Man to Man group often acts as
an antidote to that particular toxin.
Our fellowship stems from us all paddling
to keep the same boat afloat. And from frequent laughter. We
can't care less if what we say is clichéd, trite, hackneyed.
The conversations themselves lift us, for the most part. And
we generally know pretty much where one another's head is.
"We don't talk about it much but there's
pride in our very existence — especially since there's so damned
little support for male caregivers anywhere on the planet,"
another guy once noted.
Founder Bill Bowersock's wife had realized
he, too, needed support. And he was smart enough to see his needs
were not unique. So he called a couple of other fellows he knew
whose wives were breast-cancer patients. Voila! The group was
born in 1993.
Our dues-free meetings
draw male caregivers who choose to shed their machismo, to voice
their fears in a friendly, confidential atmosphere.
Members of Marin Man to Man prefer chatting
about mundane, non-disease subjects. We've been known to gab about
fix-it projects and auto repairs, weather, computers, the size
of mosquitoes, vacations, buffets, politics, dogs, motorcycles,
death (yes, some of the members’ partners have died), religion, five-legged cows, and jobs. Contrary to ordinary men's
groups, perhaps, sports rarely makes it onto our agenda.
But anything about breast cancer or another life-threatening disease, of course, is always
Topic A whenever anyone needs or wants to talk about it.