• To Single Cancer patients-How did you react emotionally to your diagnosis in terms of a romantic interest?

    Asked by Mikeysgirl on Saturday, March 16, 2013

    To Single Cancer patients-How did you react emotionally to your diagnosis in terms of a romantic interest?

    My fiance & I had been dating for 2 yrs when he was dx w/colon cancer.He was stage lll w/1 cancer cell in 1 nearby lymph node.There was also a spot (size of a dime) on his lung just above the tumor site.PET scan indicated that it was most likely scar tissue from a childhood injury.He had surgery & 6 mos of chemo which was finished last summer.Two follow up CAT scans, 3 mos apart indicate that the spot is bigger each time.He just got the news from the 2nd scan & was told it needed to be biopsied.He doesn't know if he is going through w/the biopsy.His reaction to the news was to prompty tell me he no longer wanted me in his life.Says he still loves me very much, but he is not going to put me through "watching him die".I need to get on w/my life without him.I have not seen/talked to him in 6 weeks.I'm devastated, scared & worried about him.Has anyone else reacted this way?Will his survival instinct kick in?He does suffer from depression normally.I don't know what to do for either of us.

    17 Answers from the Community

    17 answers
    • AlizaMLS's Avatar

      Dear Mikeysgirl,

      I think that the community onsite here be able to understand that Cancer or any such illness places an enormous strain on a relationship and one or both parties may not feel up to the task of continuuing the relationship.

      I think we should not be a "jury of this couple's peers" and "judge them" for not "plighting their troth" or for being married "in sickness and in health" (btw, this is not the liturgy used by all religions as part of a marriage ceremony). This is not (underline not) a Victorian novel. This is life in the 21st century. It is here, it is now. It is Cancer and yes, it's sad. But this man has a right to make a choice. No one should be forced into a relationship that they don't wish to be in - for any reason! It has even been shown that children who are in a household where parents are only staying together for their sake grow up thinking that miserable relationships are the norm.

      Mikeysgirl deserves much support for her role in haviing been Mikeys caregiver and it's awful what happened. I'm not minimizing that. She should probably go for counseling, but she should move on.

      Relationships often (at least 50% of all marriages fail [whether folks have cancer or not]). These statistics are not improved upon when someone becomes extremely ill. My Rabbi told me (his wife's a Hodgkin's disease patient) that they learned in a support group they attended that when a woman is ill, frequently the man in her life will split (what Carm has said is very true).

      A good friend once told me that when one member of a couple feels that either something is wrong with/or they don't want to be in a relationship, that's it, it doesn't matter what the other person thinks - it's true! Those of us who are divorced can attest to that - whether we instigated our divorces or whether they were thrust upon us. Done is done.

      It's better to move forward and look toward a brighter future.

      about 8 years ago
    • Mikeysgirl's Avatar

      FROG1210 -
      Thank you very much! And I wish you ALL the best as you finish up your chemo treatments.

      geekling - I didn't leave him by ANY choice of mine. I have made numerous attempts to convince him I am / was in this for the long haul. These attempts have been met with: dialing the phone to have me arrested for trespassing when I went to try and talk to him, being called every name you can think of bc, in his words, "he wants to make me hate him bc it will be easier for me", being horribly criticized for sending him letters or cards, getting yelled at when I told him about a site i found that might be helpful (I was intruding on something I had no business researching), being ignored, not responding to texts, being told I am not to have any contact with his friends after I tried to let them know what was going on so he would have some sort of support base, if you can think of anything else I should try, please let me know. That was the purpose of the original question. However, I will not go to jail or continue to take unlimited, unconstrainted and undeserved abuse bc he is angry or wants to spare me pain. I certainly understand anger and taking it out on the one you are closest to, but without going into details, believe me it passed all boundaries, even he admitted it. At some point I have to respect that he too still has choices. He continues to go to work everyday and since he is the "top" boss, you can believe he could not treat his employees and associates this way, proving he does have some self control. I still pray for him daily, cry daily, miss him horribly, but I also know of no other options.

      AlizaMLS - I did call the counselor's as you suggested. They listened but admitted they didn't really have any suggestions, other than just do what I am doing, getting thru it...

      Thanks all....Mikeysgirl

      about 8 years ago
    • AlizaMLS's Avatar

      Dear Mikeysgirl,

      I think for you the idea of counseling is basically just to give you an opportunity to vent (and if you go to CancerCare [because you were a caregiver]) it gives you the opp to do so with people who understand exactly what you went through with a relationship with a Cancer patient.

      There is no magic bullet that's going to ease the pain of this for you. I wish there was, but all breakups are no fun (to say the least) and awful to say the worst! You just have to get through it. However venting or airing your feelings with someone professional is a good way not to use your friends all the time to listen to you go over and over this scenario.

      Very close friends will understand and you need their support, but after a while, it gets to be a drag if this is the only thing you can discuss. It's important to go to Counseling, so that you can have fun with your friends and distract yourself. You will feel pain (don't try not to), you will get through this experience, and you will come out a stronger person for it.

      Again, don't hesitate to email if you want/need to chat.


      about 8 years ago

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