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This week, I'd like to talk about your spouse, partner, soul mate, the person with whom you share your life. How has cancer changed your relationship?
Experiencing a cancer diagnosis can strengthen a relationship in many ways. However, cancer can put an additional stress on a relationship and may cause challenges.
When we enter into a relationship, we think mostly of the good times we'll share together; and may not be prepared for the reality of how cancer can change everyday life.
You may find that you both are dealing with the emotions of cancer ... such as sadness, anxiety, fear and anger. Roles and responsibilities can change, when one partner takes over the role of caregiver.
Household chores, work responsibilities and social obligations also get mixed in and it can be overwhelming to manage. Changes that occur in your physical body during either surgery or treatment can put intimacy on hold as well.
Here are a few thoughts to keep in mind:
Every couple will have their own way of dealing with a cancer diagnosis. What has worked for you? Share your thoughts and experiences.
Follow me on Twitter @SherylNess1. Join the discussion at #livingwithcancer.
Sheryl M. Ness, R.N.
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My boyfriend has stage IV colon cancer with mets on his liver. He has told me I need to move on and I have no say in the matter. I want to stay I dont want to leave him. How do I make him understand to not push me away?
i have stage ll lung cancer had surgery and now will start chemo in 6 days. i am so angry at everything. i am also very mean to my husband who has been saintly throughout. i don't know what to do or how to snap out of this bitch-i-ness. help!!!
Great book on Amazon to help everyone deal with the emotional toll of cancer called "Survivng Cancer: The Emotional Toll" Getting great reviews:
I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. I did not handle my emotions very well and my husband did very little to assure me that everything would be alright. typically he leaves me alone. He left me alone and never wnet to one chemo treatment. There was one time during chemo that I became dehydrated, fortuantely I had a visitor that day. untimately I was left at home alone. He never even called to see if I was OK. This has put a strain on our marriage. I feel like Lou's wife, I feel like I need to divorce him and start over cause you know what, when you hear "you've got cancer" your whole world changes.
My wife of 25 years was diagnosed with stage one breast cancer almost two years ago. They also determined she had the BRCA 1 mutation so after radiation and chemo she elected to have both breasts and her ovaries removed. We went through everything together - I was with her at every doctor visit, every chemo treatment, every surgery. I took time off from work when the chemo treatments would get her down. I thought it actually that horrible experience brought us closer together, but now she suddenly doesn't think she wants to be married any more because she has a new outlook on life and wants to live each day to it's fullest...I'm not really sure why she can't do that with me...I'm devastated.
It has only been about two weeks since my husband of 25 years was diagnosed with Stage III (possible Stage IV) colon cancer. After the surgergy he is healing well, but he doesn't want to talk about the next step. We have our first appointment with the oncologist tomorrow. We have always shared household duties, etc. as I have fibromyalgia, etc. Now I have to come home and take care of him and the house and be strong for the other shoe to drop and I am already tired. I cannot imagine my life without him. We are more tender with each other now with less fighting, we are just both scared.
I have Prostate cancer and have battling for 3 years with on going treatments, right now I'm taking trial drugs, getting a monthly shot and my quarterly (4) month Luprin shot. My wife has been there for me through all of this and has kept a positive attitude all through it. I'm still working my butt off and I'm just wondering if it is time to slow down at work and start spending more quality time with the wife and kids. Doctors said I have 2-3 years but maybe longer. More new drugs and treatments they say. Open for suggestions from all.
my husband had his appendix removed and at his check-up was told he has colon cancer, our first visit to the oncologist is coming this week. what questions do i need to ask, what should i expect and how can i help my husband cope
I have Ph+CML in remission, but chemo pills to continue forever and find my spouse of 54 years mostly sympathetic and helpful. However, he still expects me to travel with him--to the beach, to Italy, etc. We have traveled extensively and now I am just too tired all the time to even think about it. We have learned to treasure every moment together. I just want to spend my moments at home. He absolutely cannot understand my attitude. Fran
My diagnosis completely caught us off-guard. My husband and been wonderful and caring, but hides many of his emotions and frustrations from me because he doesn't want to burden me. I feel guilty that he works and I'm on disability. I love him for all that he does and for being by my side when I've been scared out of my mind. Our relationship has changed physically, and not just because of my surgery/treatments. He's physically tired that his libido is definitely suppressed. In some ways it's good, since my surgery has left me with little drive as well. We snuggle and hold each other every night.
I was truly shocked with stage one cancer. I have been a Wellness Director, personal trainer and health avocate for 35 years. Whoa, this doesn't happen to me??!! But it did. My significant other of 15 years who was also a fitness instructor, PE teacher pretty much never got it. So He did a 2 day stay and bailed. I have to say it was probably better because I needed healthy attitudes, no other distractions and now I am strong, independant and have had a 6 month clean mamo. Keep positive!!
My companion of six years experienced a change in his feelings a year ago and after sharing that information this past fall, we no longer share companionship.My cancer was diagnosed four years ago and the changes following treatment were difficult for both of us.I have been able to return to my work, however do continue to experience side effects from ongoing hormonal treatment.
My Wife of 47 years was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer seven months ago. I love her more today then ever before. She is the joy of my life, and next to CHRIST, is the most wonderful blessing my Heavenly FATHER has ever given to me. My heart goes out to all of you who have lost loved ones due to you illness. I do not know your names, but I will think of you daily and pray to the FATHER of light that He provides you with all your daily needs.
My wonderful spouse of 27 years couldn't handle it and bailed out on me, physically, emotionally and financially.
God help him. Karma is hell.
I have a family who completely hold me at arms lenght because the diagnosis is so hard for THEM, imagine that so hard for them
I am so fortunate to have my cancer in a later stage of life--my spouse & I have been together for nearly 50 years. We've become best friends, not just lovers, and he has amazed me with his empathy. This probably wouldn't have been likely in our younger years. We also have a strong faith as Christians, and that has made all the difference.
Was diagnosed last year with stage 2 anal cancer, 29 years old with a 2 year old child. My once thought soul mate, my childs father denies the cancer, refuses to help me make critical choices about treatment, and after 6 years together, i believe he feels i have somehow done wrong to him for my diagnosis. I have now learned,i am #1 to be a strong woman and want to be alive to raise my child. I tried all those techniques, failing each time, over and over.
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