Relationships

MM Everton HillsMember Posts: 7
since being diagnosed with DCIS the rlationship with my partner has taken a turn for the worst.  I am 61 and we have been living together for 2 years and dating 2 years peior to that.  When we met our life was wonderful, full of fun and lots of intinacy and sex.  Now it is dull and lifeless with both of us looking at perhaps bailing out!  Now, I feel unattractive and boring after a mastectomy and ongoing reconstruction and he has struggled to keep life going with work, me and the renovation we began before my diagnosis..
anyway, if anyone is going through this would they kindly respond.  
Marisa

Comments

  • Brenda5Brenda5 Burrum Heads, QldMember Posts: 1,504
    Its not all about the sex. Truthfully we haven't done the full on anything in a year and it wasn't just me, it was hubby with all the cancer stress of me. I am confident things will get on again sometime when the time is right and we'll probably be like bumbling teenagers again for the first time. We are joined in body and soul and confident in our relationship and still kissing and flirting so we're fine.
  • melclaritymelclarity Member Posts: 2,238
    M...I know the whole thing can be incredibly stressful! My first diagnosis was 2011 and it was just before my divorce came through, and I was raising my then 11 & 13 year olds. So so hard, I had little support and alone at that time. 2015 I had a recurrence which was soul destroying, I also was only about 7 months into a new relationship, I thought OMG he will leave for sure, why would he stay?? I even gave him the option. I was 47 at the time and he was 51. I went through 4.5 months of Chemo and its been a long recovery 1yr post. Im now having a mastectomy in the coming months. He is still here, 2.5 years on, yes it is absolutely tough on the relationship and sex life lessened but I think our saving grace has been we dont live together as our lives are complicated but we plan to at the end of the year. I am so self conscious of my scars and how I look now and having a mastectomy and diep flap recon and thinking Im not going to like how I look how will he. He's always had this amazing attitude, when I lost my hair he came over and pulled out his clippers and shaved his head. He says he doesnt care how I alter physically, I am still the same, yes changed from the journey but what I love the most of us?? is not the sex...its our beautiful friendship, our humour and his innocent way of looking at the simplicity of life and our relationship. Im sorry you are in that place currently, sending you the biggest hug...he just needs to love you through it..maybe find some time out together to reconnect, a nice meal or a drive and a coffee, something simple that allows you both to feel free from the reality of it all and just be in the moment and find each other again. Hugs Melinda xo
  • MM Everton HillsMember Posts: 7
    Thanks Melinda
    i think its the social isolation which is making me feel so lacking in every way.  My frinds still all work full time and have busy lives and my partner works a full time active job which makes him bery tired at night.  I have joined an art group which meets once a week but the days and weeks drag on.  Have thought about taking medication but it seems a quick fix to me.  
    Anyway, thanks again!
  • MM Everton HillsMember Posts: 7
    Thanks Brenda
    Our sex life is not that bad at times but its our inability to generally find fun doing other things in our daily life.  My feelings dor him which were once very positive are now very shallow and the spark after two years has gone in many ways.  We are both fed up with the whole relationship.  I know that I should be greatful to be still alive but think I need to see a psychologist ans or take some medicarion to get through all of this.
    have a good day....Marisa
  • melclaritymelclarity Member Posts: 2,238
    Ohhh yes I know the feeling, I work currrently 3 days a week as am not rehabilitated enough for full time, my friends all work and my partner lives a long way away, I dont see him through the weeks which is tough! and he works afternoon shift so weekends is so so tired. Certainly makes it really hard to connect, so the limited time we have together we forget everything and its just about us every 2nd weekend, we isolate ourselves LOL and just BE. The Art group sounds great!!!! the way Ive looked at it so far is so much time alone is tough, so its given me a chance to really spend some time on me, nurture, look into things I like. Im spiritual LOL been a Reiki Distant Healer for 16years now. It keeps me busy and something very personal. I became a Reiki Master a couple of yeas ago. People find me word of mouth across the globe which is humbling as I dont see the clients. Bizarre! This is my passion when Im not working with Autistic Children. Really indulge yourself in the things you enjoy and love...you will be surprised how it ripples out and helps all the relationships around you because you will be more content. Hugs Melinda xo
  • socodasocoda LeumeahMember Posts: 1,331
    Hi Marisa, Don't know if you are aware of the Otis Foundation? They have links to properties around Australia for those who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. The accommodation is free and all you have to supply is food. These properties are used to help families, partners take a break from the cancer treadmill and spend some time in a tranquil, relaxing atmosphere, don't know if this would assist your relationship?.  As for counselling are you aware that Cancer Council has telephone counselling Ph 131120 that you can utilise? The whole cancer situation is very taxing and if you are feeling the need for counselling or medication to help you through please reach out, we are also all here for you. Xx 
  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 2,806
    I know I feel quite changed after treatment and it is taking time to feel good about our own bodies again. Even the change in my regrown hair has an impact. My husband has struggled and having his own issues (loss of libido ..possibly depression / medication related ) and it's  easy for us to think it's because of how we look. Yet I know it's not... he loved me fat , thin whatever, it never mattered before. It's  not unusual I believe to feel like a spectator rather than being a part of life as things just stop for a while during treatment. Men are poor communicators. Psychology / counselling sessions are a great start, medication may be needed if no better but it is never an easy fix, you still have to work at reclaiming your life. I know my chemo really plunged me into depression and only now do I feel I have some of my life back...12 months on. I'm working again 28 hours a week, exercising in group classes and am planning future things. 6 months ago I couldn't do any of that.

    The art group is a great idea. Have you done the YWCA encore program? Great way to connect with others and get you back to fitness also. Exercise also helps to lift our mood and improve body image as we becone stronger and more toned. Chemo really impacts on that too.

    The mental recovery of this experience I believe is harder than the physical. Take care. Kath x
  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 754
    A serious illness or huge upset can bring underlying issues to the fore, or change priorities in ways that are difficult to deal with and may also be temporary. Talking to a stranger (and by that I mean a good, qualified counsellor!) can be helpful, for you first of all to help sort out what's a reaction to your diagnosis and what may not be. Many men find verbal communication hard, it's worth investing some time now not to regret anything later. 
  • ShareShare Member Posts: 217
    Hi Marisa, 
    As isolating as it makes you feel, please know that you are not alone in how you are feeling and your general outlook on life. 
    Prior to your bc diagnosis, you were in a relatively new relationship (always exciting), moved in together and started renovations. Such plans are so exciting and perhaps was another bond for you but if that has tapered off because of your diagnosis, then yet another commonality in your relationship has gone.
    Intimacy can be a major problem for both in a relationship - your partner is perhaps feeling so many things but is unable to express them to you (common male trait !).
    You mentioned that your feelings for your partner now seem "shallow" and possibly your diagnosis has given you time to completely re-assess your life and how you now view the world. I know that it felt - and still does - that way for me.
    The trained counsellors through the Cancer Council on 13 11 20 are great as are getting in touch with the BCNA number 1800 500 258 and they can organise for a counsellor to contact you directly. I found it very beneficial and used this as a springboard to then speak to a counsellor face to face, again organised through the Cancer Care Centre at a hospital where I had radiotherapy.
    If distance proves to be a problem than a series of phone sessions can also be organised. 
    Although your art classes are only once a week, that social connection is important for you. 
    My best wishes to you Marisa and your partner and your ongoing health. 
    Sheryl xxx
  • MM Everton HillsMember Posts: 7
    Thanks to everyone for their replies....I feel very normal now haha
  • KarenhappyquilterKarenhappyquilter Member Posts: 187
    I agree with the comments above, very wise words.  

    I wanted to add that I feel my brain was not working well through my treatment and what I thought wasn't necessarily right.  Nothing was much fun, in fact even now I rarely laugh out loud.  Tiredness and boredom are an awful combination.  

    The changes in our bodies take some getting used to.  I am already pretty tired of managing arm and breast lympodema I can tell you.  

    Art is a great idea.  Quilting which is my passion has helped me tremendously.  

    Also men are often not as good as women at expressing their feelings.  Your man may be reeling from the worry and responsibility of caring for you.  If he is still with you, that is a good sign he cares about you.  

    Good luck with the future. 
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