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Boyfriend/partner now has cancer his denail is a lie... 
Started by DJ 74
24 May 2016, 3:00 PM

I was in a relationship for almost 2 years with my guy who liked to drink a lot all the time.  This obviously put a strain on the relationship being drunk all the time, hence my, "I was in a relationship for 2 years.  During the last 4 months of those 2 years together he became tired, sick and not himself.  I had told him he must see a dr and get blood work espically since he was in his forties.  He became more horrible in the relationship, and I too became horrible so I ended the relationship and said I need to step out for a while.
At that time he decided to go and do blood work and OMG!  All this horrible stuff came back.  He lost weight like no ones business.  He was sick and they didn't know what it was.  He also had stopped drinking and he became this great guy.  Anyway, long story short we got back together as we were, and are doing great.  He is the man I used to know and without booze we are doing even better.
But he got sicker again.  More xrays, blood work, ct scans and ultrasounds.  He was saying every thing was okay just bad lungs from his work history.  But things didn't add up so one day he had issues breathing so I said that is it we are going to the ER. 
Well.  All the shit that is going on has come out of hiding/his denial.  He has fluid in his abdomen which has been tested positive for cancer cells.  He has swollen lymph nodes in his lungs.  He doesn't have liver cirrohsis, but possible cancer.  He has lost 30lbs. 
I don't know what to do about his lack of taking serious interest in his health.  He appears to be in denial.  His parents don't have a clue, as I didn't to the seriousness of this.  He doesn't want any basic medical intervention, like shunts/drains put in for the fluid being build up.  He doesn't want to participate in the cancer center meet and greet.  I don't know what to do.  He also seems a bit over reactive on his symptoms, which kind of makes it a bit hard for the Dr's and myself to take him serious.  I'm new to caring for someone you love and live with with a new cancer diagnoses.  I feel as though the world is looking at me for moving back in with him, what could I possible want with a sick person.  I'm worried for when I get mad at him for his lack of caring for himself.  I worried if I can handle him, I worried that I become the care aid and not his loving partner in life.
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Reply by Carlyn
24 May 2016, 3:35 PM

Hi DJ 74 and Welcome to this forum,

I'm sorry you've needed to be here but really glad you found us.

This is a very complicated and difficult situation and you've expressed it really well. The first thought I had was to ask if any of his doctors have linked both or one of you with a professional counsellor in the cancer services area of the hospital? They exist in my city though I'm not sure if every community has this option.

That's my first thought and question because I can relate to all you've shared as i've been there in bits and stages with loved ones but it's a lot. I feel like it's best if we start piece by piece on this.

Let me know what you think. If you don't want to go slow, that's ok, we can do this faster. It's a lot to process emotionally is all I worry about for you and for him..

Sending virtual ((Hug)) from me

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Reply by DJ 74
24 May 2016, 3:41 PM

Thanks Carlyn!

Yes he is getting to meet the cancer team this week before the medical appointment and I know that there is a good team for support for him.  However our cancer center really requires the client with cancer to really work hard to make it work and participate in his own healing.  I'm a bit nervous about his attitude when it comes to him helping himself and allowing people in.
I will enquire with the center this week when we are at the meet and greet to see what services are available for myself and him.  So that has been pasted on, but how much help I am unsure of until that meeting.
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Reply by Carlyn
24 May 2016, 4:08 PM

Excellent! You'll feel a lot better personally at least once you've met the team. You need to bolster your own supports if you're going to be his primary at home. 

About losing the relationship and turning into the carer....it's not like that usually. It feels sometimes like that a bit maybe but I don't think you have to worry about that. You love him. That will hold and actually make you stronger and able to better handle a lot of this. Same for him.

When things happen suddenly like this, the news I mean, and so much moves fast in medicine during times like this, it's normal to have endless questions. I remember feelling like I was on sand the whole time, never solid ground. But that was because of the disease, more than the people. So I guess consider that preparing for that feeling and it being a bit of normal most of the time might alleviate some of the panic and stress for both of you.

Take a deep breath and slow or stop when something starts - the panic, more news, more decisions, his parents in shock or a sudden crying fearful episode - be a calm center. And to do that I found it helpful to keep telling myself that I don't know anymore than they do and we all just have to hold onto each other and be strong and solid for each other. You will feel like you're failing occasionally maybe. That's normal if you do. You're not failing. Just remember and tell yourself "I don't know" - all you can do is breathe, help them remember to breathe calmly, hold their hand, skin to skin contact is important sometimes for calm, a gentle hug, and so on. 

All you can do is the best you can, both of you. I believe you both will. You're very on top of this in both emotions and getting organized. And if there is anyone close who is not supportive of you and your decisions to care for him, just avoid those people and try to keep them at bay. Enlist others to help with that if necessary. You need strong safe supports now. It doesn't matter what the world thinks. It only matters what you think and you sound very dedicated and loving to me. 

There are a lot of other really experienced and wise people here, several professionals who post here. I'm waiting for them to show up :-) They will. Don't worry, you will have lots of great supports here and use us in tandem with the team at hospital, community supports - whatever you need, use it if it's there and offered. It will make this better for both of you.

Sending good thoughts. 

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Reply by Marymary
24 May 2016, 4:16 PM

Hi DJ 75 - first off you are so lucky to have found this site, it truly is helpful when you are need - it so is.  

Sorry you have to be going through this all as well as your boyfriend even though it sounds like you two have been dealing with it for awhile now it sounds like.  

Some people can't handle or deal with the realities that come at them or the situation they are dealing with...honestly...this is how they deal with it?  Strange as it sounds - I know but you do and have gotten through to him, just in his own time not yours.  He knows.

Just Think after you left he did decide to go get blood tests and took him some time but he darn well knows he is sick but some guys choose to not deal with all of the reality of it all.  Sorry I am going to get blunt here ok I am a caregiver to my ex who has Stage 4B Throat cancer 2nd time with cancer so I do know some things.  

It is their own coping mechanism.  He knows how sick he is but at the same time his way works for him and it is not he can't see it or doesn't know it - he can deal with just a little bit at a time not all of it all at once. 

This is his choice on how he sees his own illness - his own not anyone elses way of looking at it.  I don't think there is a right or wrong here sorry.

We all have free will/free choices.  Your choices or way of looking at a situation is yours and his is his - that is what free will is all about.  You could get mad or have a negative attitude about how he is choosing to handle it (denial) etc. that would be your choice & his would be probably to withdraw a little bit more.  But with him it sounds like you do get through him - you do have influence on him so be thankful for that.  He knows in his own head but he prefers to portray another to the world - his choice. 

He may never act or say the way YOU THINK HE SHOULD - sorry but that is his choice.  

Keep telling him to keep up on his health and what you think would be good (not 24/7 mind you) but reminders your know.  For you do get through to him - you do.  Go with that aspect remind him of your love and you care and your there for him.  You are his light through all this darkness right now & he will at times cling to that and may even at times take advantage of that = take his anger out etc. on you why because you are there and he knows you are safe person to do this with.  Guys don't want to allow others to feel sorry for them or bad for them they don't want the cancer to be their life.  They want to be treated like they use to!

You have to accept the above or you will drive yourself crazy -you don't want that.  I know this all because of the person I have been taking care of for last 3 years has same mentality and way to dealing with or coping (well I took as not dealing with it or making it so much less that what it really is in reality) - this is what I learned.  Be there to share and care but do not try to change how they are dealing with their own situation, you can gently remind them of how sick they are or they still are sick YES do that but be ready for some anger at times.  This is how some men cope - I don't get it but that is the way it is and I've accept it.

After 3 years I refuse to harp 24/7 at him, I will gently remind him of his condition when something comes up BUT when we are by ourselves  and NOT in front of others, I will at times do so in front of our son t(19 now) too.  He doesn't like that because he thinks he is protecting our son by not talking about it, told him that is gone so suck it up buttercup.    I have told him I love and care for you BUT I will NOT allow you to pass on your denial of the situation to OUR son, so do not ever even try to do that with him.  He has respected that and we talk now took some time mind you but I know he was and still is at times cared, he doesn't cripe so much and understands regardless of how pissed off, angry etc. he gets at times guess what I am still here - so there.  I felt at times he didn't want me or his son around because well he didn't want us to see him that way but at the same time he needed us there - so there he is torn in half - his way of looking at it or dealing with it.  I am still here as I told him and our son - MY CHOICE is to be here you can't shoo me away with your mad or angry outburst.  

He actually appreciates that now I believe and knows I am here for as much as our son as I am for him.  My son so appreciates it and loves me so much and told his friends my mom loves me and here is here for me and my dad and put her life on hold for us - wow.  Her life is us now (not living on her own or living her own life).  In the midst of it all I am showing my son somethings - teaching him which I did NOT even realize til we talked - wow huh.  He is a great young man and so matter of fact about all of it.  He deals and I even at one point told his father that - your son is dealing with it and as should you....he knows and accepts all our son and helps his dad out that way too.  Wow wow wow. 

Life throws things at you - how you react or act is all up to you - but it is yours.  No one can make you mad or have a bad day you have chosen to react that way to some situation in that way.  

FREE will FREE choice each of us are honored with this.  

You are his love, light and way that brings a positive into his day!!!  Even when he is mad remind yourself of this...us women are emotional beings MEN are not they are more rational not emotional.  (PS I was raised with 5 brothers so I do know guys lol) .  There is another thing how was he raised has a lot to do with his how he is choosing to deal with this too.

Sorry went on there for a bit.  Hope you get the gist.  I know been there and doing that still.  He gets his cripe on still not as much mind you but we have an understanding now so....

Take care of yourself in the process of all this too ok.  Take time out for youself., walks, swim, coffee dates with friends etc.  ok

Hugs to you and sending you positive thoughts 
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Reply by DJ 74
24 May 2016, 4:43 PM

Thanks Marymary.  Yes I do understand that he will think his way and feel his way.  I allow that, and always have in our relationship.....OK except for the times I go on the crazy train thought path LOL !  We have a true bond in that way.  This is all new for me and I was completely set back on what I was hearing from the ER Dr of his condition and my Guys lack of sharing this information to me, and apparently his parents/family.  I see now what must be done to not allow this to happen again, I must be in the loop without seeming pushy. 
I just don't want him to die.  He looks terrible.  He sounds terrible, (I swear his wheezy lungs were talking to me last night....creepy).  I want to throttle him.  The only time you want to quit drinking and make things better for us is when you have cancer.  Mad am I!!  What if he dies after this change in him.  How long does he bloody have till he is gone.  Will he survive this no one can know right now.
Yes, i do plan on taking time for myself.  Keep going to the gym to stay healthy.  Keep making creative nutirious meals (even if he doesn't want to eat them.  I just share with my coworkers the left overs the next day).  Doing this even makes me feel guilty, but I must.  Having a bloody beer makes me feel guilty for gods sakes.
But he gets lots of hugs and kisses.  He gets told he is loved.  He even hugged me and said I love you back last night.  That blew me away as he never says that.  But I just hugged him harder.
Yes, people who are questioning my life are not to be part of my life.  I have erased a few of those appinoinated bastards already :)
My guy feels he has lost a couple of life long friends to his condition and I said they are not worth being around if they are mad at you for having cancer and what they think the reasons are that caused it.  None of their business.
Calm is my new matra right now.  Plain and simple but it seems to work!
Thanks for all words!
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Reply by Marymary
25 May 2016, 3:01 PM

Good for you on the "old" friends aspects, it so sucks it does.  But as I figured out people I think when they are close to someone else who has the "c" word is they have to really look at their own life as in the mortality of it.  Weird / strange as it is some people just can't help it.  So ya I think well know the same thing - less calls less people in your life we all on this forum can so relate to that we all can to some extent as we have discussed this - no rhyme no reason to it.

You know another thing - I personally think it is OK / good to be mad or angry - it is a form of release and only thing I can highly suggest is NOT to stay in that place - you know and try not to take it out on him all the time as you know already & vice versa he can't do that to you 24/7 either and it's ok to tell him that too - if it happens?

My son's dad just about died 3 times after surgery was in ICUfor 4 months and this time they did not even think he was going to make it through treatment (35 rad/3 chemo) and he is still here kicking away - I just thank god for that.   As I told our son you know we can't think is this dad's last xmas or last birthday or father's day etc. we will go crazy thinking that way let's just go with today ok.  NO thinking about next month or next week or even few days from today - let's just go with today.  It works.  It so does but that is us and how we function it makes it less (?) to us anyway.  Takes less stress or strain maybe but today only.

He was & at times still can be quite angry, he knows and he calls it his chemo brain - cuz he's so forgetful, short term memory - lng term is good but not short term and as a man he feels like he is 88-90 years old the way his body is now he's only 57 so he gets mad at his own body and how it is - nothing to do with us as we have talked about it....when I have had enough and he's calm.

What can we do today, what can I deal with today, housework, cooking, etc. that I will do and that is what we can do.  Maybe another day is dr's appointment and scans etc. but today is today.  Walks outside as a family or dinner out, we will throw something in there, movie night to break up the monotony of it all but yes - today. 

Hope you realize what you are feeling is all "normal" closest word that comes to mind.  Normal for people who are dealing with this dis-ease.  SO yes thank god you found this site - it so helps.

One day at a time sista!!!   What can we do today or what is on the table today
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Reply by Marymary
25 May 2016, 3:13 PM

PS - forgot to say this lol - love these words:


EGOTIST - someone who is ME deep in conversation

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Reply by DJ 74
30 May 2016, 1:52 PM

So we go to the first chemo treatment today.  The weekend was a rough one for me and the realization of what it will be like be the care giver. 
His ex has ignored him since I have moved back in and has keep the kid away from him.  I thought it was important that he see her so I called her fridayto let her know about the cancer and before I could say anything she hung up on me.  Then sunday she starts calling because she finally heard what was going on and storms over to the house, starts going thru all the calendar, the pills, the cuboards, the office and I tried to explain about the treatment and I was told to shut up and she is here to only visit with my guy with the kid.  Hmmm....my guy let this all happen and was happily chatting away with her.  Who the hell is she to just come in like this and demand all this info and be all the kindly wife offering water and a kleenix.  And be all, if you need me I"ll be here for you.  WE GOT IT COVERED LADY ALL THE PILLS ALL THE APPOINTMENTS AND I AM EVEN IN DAILY CONTACT WITH HIS MOTHER AND FATHER SO WE DON'T NEED YOU TO COME IN TO TAKE OVER AND LET HIS PARENTS KNOW HOW HE IS DOING.  and then she showed back up later on in the evening with out any notice and just walked in like she owns the place.  I'm pretty hurt by this, but feel selfish saying this. 

Am i wrong to feel mad?  My guy and I ended up arguing about this and he doesn't want to say anything to her.  And she planes to show up today after chemo to check on him.  Then it will be a happy little family get together as he folks are showing up today and I well be made to feel like I got leave the house.  I don't know what to do. 

HIs Brother feels that I can't do anything until he says something to the ex, but that is not going to happen.  I don't know what to do.
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Reply by Marymary
31 May 2016, 2:58 PM

DJ 74 - oh my like you deserve that kind of treatment - I mean really come on - NO you don't. 

I personally would say before she comes over again - share with him your feelings when you are calm mind you and how you FELT you were treated by her and you DESERVE respect.  Ask him to please just listen while you get it out and then allow him to speak.  

Depending on how his response is - I personally would bring the kid on this conversation and MAYBE just maybe start the conversation that way would you allow a person to treat your child this way and explain what happened with the ex and after you finished then say well that is how your EX treated me and there was NO respect or anything else here.  SO???  just suggesting that is all but from a place of calm cool and collectedness.  

I am sorry but I would not put up with that and if he chooses not to discuss with her then advise him you will be next time she comes - you will be having a talk with her.  I am here for you but I will NOT allow another to treat me so callously.  Maybe Ask him why is it ok for her to treat you that way?

I'd tell her BEFORE she comes over or when she comes over - if you care to see him then you will be here in a calm manner and treating me with more respect - I do NOT deserve this kind of treatment - we both love him and care for him and concerned for his welfare so we are going to have to come up with some sort of arrangement or understanding.   You will always allow the child to see his father you would never ever take that away from him but you also won't allow her to treat you the way she has.  Ask her straight out would you allow someone to treat you the way you treated me when you were over last time?  See what she says.  

He very well could be ok with her the way she is because of the child, for fear she will NOT allow him to see his kid?  Who knows?  So there is always some kind of fear of apprehension when it comes to someone with cancer, in regard to her and the child is where I was going with that.

I also on the other hand may just tell her when you come over next call do NOT just walk in and when you do come over let me know then I can go out and do what I need to do to keep this house going, while you are here (groceries, pay bills etc. or just plain ol quiet time whatever it is).  

So whatever feels right to you but I personally would be speaking with him and then with her but in a calm cool collected manner explaining we are all adults here.  You will know when the time is right.   

I do feel for you and sending you positive thoughts and strength.  YES you are deserving and worthy and you are there doing it all - you the caregiver.  You are there 24/7 and we are here for you regardless of what takes place there - he knows you are there for him too regardless so take some comfort in that too ok. 

Take care of yourself!!! 
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