Relationships - Stronger or Weaker???

Kari_2015Kari_2015 Townsville, QueenslandMember Posts: 107
edited September 2016 in Day to day

Hi All

Not sure I even want to type this - once its out there I then have to deal with it!! I am now at the end of chemo/rad and going back to work on the 7th. My treatment is obviously not over (pesky little squatter in my vertebrae) and I haven't yet started on the hormone medication. I fear that social media leads us to believe our lives and relationships are not so great as they don't meet the standards of those that like to post only the good times. Throughout this whole cancer journey I have heard of so many stories of wonderful partners/spouses and their fantastic support. My story is opposite to this - I am not blaming just him - and I was wondering if there are others with this experience and how their relationships are once things have returned to "normal". I. I have always been very independent and probably didn't ask for help when I needed it, but I also felt that it was up to him to keep asking what was next, how can he help, etc, etc. Instead he seemed to hide at work (using the reasoning we needed extra money with me not working) while I was left at home to manage the household and his 3 children. There are been good and bad from this experience - the kids and I now have a better understanding of each other (their mother has all but abandoned them), but by not being around and engaging in home life as much, I don't feel like he is a part of this "new" life of mine. He is a very caring person and I suspect he is struggling to deal with it. I have suggested and given him all the info regarding cancer help available, but in the end the decision is his. The gap between us prior to the diagnosis had started to widen so it isn't like we have gone from a loving, happy couple to this, I am not a very affectionate person which I was trying to work on prior to BC. He has his own health issues, nothing serious, but have lead him down the path of being overweight/depression. I am so torn between putting time and effort into working on our relationship to just not being bothered and getting on with this type of lifestyle where we co-habitat and giving myself time to heal and deal with the cancer. Walking away is not an option for me as I have made a commitment to the kids (18,14,14) that I wouldn't leave them at least until schooling is finished and unfortunately I am the stable person in their life. What makes it even easier for me to stick my head in the sand is that I work away and initially will only be home for 3 nights a week.

I would love to hear other's stories - both inspiring and not so......

Kari

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Comments

  • BeppieBeppie Member Posts: 168
    edited February 2016

    Hi Kari, 

    Mine is the same. I had breast cancer in 2004 with a lumpectomy and radiation and it returned same breast in 2013 and I had a mastectomy and 6 months of chemotherapy this time. My daughter took every Tuesday off to take me to chemo and my husband worked 3 days a week to look after me - the only thing he did was cook dinner at night - huge horrible meals that I couldn't eat and he'd get the shits. He admitted years earlier that he doesn't do sickness , he's not interested and doesn't really want to know about it, the selfish prick! I looked after myself with some help from my 3 kids. First time they were aged 9, 11,13 and my husband doesnt remember me going to radiation every day for 7 weeks in 2004 and sometimes I'd have to take them too as I had no one to mind them. I wasn't allowed to put anything or dressings on my breast and I'd cry myself to sleep and no pat on my back or a cuddle or any comfort from him. Same as the mastectomy , never looked at it or asked how I felt - a big fat zero, like it wasn't happening. When I was bald he wanted me to put on my wig before sex, not exactly a positive for my self esteem. I was fat, bald , had one breast and slept /cried every day for 6 months. So like you I always look after me and my kids, always have and the kids all know what their father is like too. I raised them and now they are 21, 23 and 25 . I love my husband but I don't like him at all. In the last 2 years he's turned into a nasty , mean , know it all old man. My youngest is still at home and has 2 more years of Uni to go and has just been diagnosed with Chrohns disease. After that I'm gone !! As the song by Moving Pictures says " What about Me" ! Ive looked after everyone the best years of my life and indulged , cared , loved then all and put myself last but that's going to change. I no longer want to put up with negative people and creep around on tippy toes in case he's in a shit mood.  I want to enjoy what left I have of my life and hopefully not get cancer again for the 3rd time! Life is too short and you only get one go so I'm going to make the most of what's left!  Why is it always up to the woman to try and fix relashioships when the man does nothing! You  deserve to be happy too and live a peaceful life . Hope you do??. Sorry for the long rant ! 

  • rowdyrowdy Member Posts: 1,165
    edited February 2016

    Hi ladies so sorry to hear your partners have not been there for you. I'm not going to say mine was perfect because we both struggled. We were having issues just before I was diagnosed and I was getting help but he always thought that it was my issue and there was  nothing wrong. I have come to the conclusion that over the 33 years we have been married I have changed and he hasn't. In his defence he did come to every doc visit and chemo and most of my herceptin. Since I have finished treatment he thinks I'm all well now and I can do everything, NO not happening. I now have a diary that I write in for things we are doing together and things that I expect help with. The advice I got from my counselor was accept that he is never going to change and find a way to deal with it. The diary has helped heaps. Thankfully my husband was never critical of my appearance and loved my bald head

    I have come to the conclusion that I do love him but some times I don't like him. I have always believed that we only have one life and we need to be happy and now more than ever. Take care of yourself sending you a hug xx

  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 5,186
    edited February 2016

    My journey has just begun but my husband has been there. But this has only occurred because I had health issues and major depression before and we both have done counseling. What I learned was to tell my husband what I need. I told him when I cry I just need a cuddle. I told him I can't  do this and that. Men are very different from women and really lack that intuitive aspect that most women have. We are very good at being annoyed they didn't guess what we wanted and becoming angry when they don't do it. Lack of communication does destroy marriages...it nearly destroyed ours. But having that scare and telling him what I wanted and visa versa has made the difference. My husband was distant and basically lead a separate life...that conversation returned us to a couple. Good luck. Kath 

  • Brenda5Brenda5 Burrum Heads, QldMember Posts: 2,336
    edited February 2016

    It sounds like there are 4 kids in your relationship. My sis was in a similar situation, no bc but two kids to raise. As soon as they were moved out of home she was gone. She had no wish to devote the rest of her life to raising the big pouty spoiled fat adult partner/kid. Divorce is thru in March. New life, new job, new car (he took everything plus her life savings), new big rental house. She's doing great!

  • ScanxiousScanxious Member Posts: 24
    edited February 2016

  • iserbrowniserbrown Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 3,827
    edited February 2016

    Hi Kari - It's very brave of you to share your innermost thoughts.  I'm in a very happy long term marriage, 37years.  Our marriage has been built on friendship as well as, a cornerstone I believe is vital in all relationships.  We set out on life's journey and  life has thrown some dreadful curve balls at us that we've endured.

    I like Rowdy's advice that she received from a Counsellor, keep a diary. Writing things down, as you've done in this post, is therapeutic.

    In your post you've said that he is a very caring person and you suspect he is struggling to deal with it.  There is a building block for you "caring person".

    It is only you that can decide what you want.  Eventually you'll find your new normal. Don't put undue pressure on yourself when you're dealing with healing.  As the saying goes take a deep breath, look at where you've come from for a moment or two but concentrate on the now.  The now is your most important to deal with.  You're still in the middle of the BC battle. The future will be here before you know it.

    Sending you a virtual hug, take care

    Christine xx

     

  • ScooperScooper Member Posts: 113
    edited February 2016

    Dear Kari

    I am sorry that you are going through all this at home as well as dealing with a stage 4 diagnosis.  I was diagnosed stage 4 in August last year and have had major surgery on my vertebrae and then a lumpectomy.  My other half has been great but sometimes he does drive me crazy.  It is a very difficult time physically and emotionally and you have the additional task of looking after three teenagers!  You must be exhausted and then to top it off you are going back to work and starting your hormone treatment. 

    Is it an option for you to cut back on your work and concentrate on yourself for a while.  Hormone therapy can knock the wind out of you and the side effects are pretty average for some of us.

    I am sorry to say but he needs to step up to the mark a little.  You are doing far too much and I am afraid that this will take a toll on your health and well being if you don't rest some more.  I am sure that the kids will help you out if you ask.  They are very lucky to have you.

    Take care Kari and know that we are all here to support one another.

    Love

    Sandra

    xxxxx

     

    I

  • Kari_2015Kari_2015 Townsville, QueenslandMember Posts: 107
    edited February 2016

    Hey, wow you have been through the wringer!! I hope for you that either your husband does a back flip and realise before it's too late or that you get on and enjoy life with whatever you choose to do with it.  Fingers crossed there is no 3rd time.

    Kari

  • Kari_2015Kari_2015 Townsville, QueenslandMember Posts: 107
    edited February 2016

    Thanks Kath, you hit it on the head - communication!!  He is a gently caring man but just so clueless. 

  • Kari_2015Kari_2015 Townsville, QueenslandMember Posts: 107
    edited February 2016

    Thank you ladies, surprising how much less emotional I feel about it once I had written it down.  I think I will take the advice and start writing things down more and give it to him to read - an insight into my feelings.  I don't think I am prepared to chuck away a man who has a huge heart but needs a bit of "training" just yet.  Luckily we have a great friendship which I imagine is why neither of us has walked out the door yet.  

    Thanks again, I love having this place to confide in.

     

  • Cook65Cook65 Member Posts: 733
    edited March 2016

    Hi Kari,

    I am 7 months post treatment. I had 16 months of surgery, chemo, radiotherapy and herceptin. In that time, my husband attended 3 drs appointments. He made a few meals each week and that was about it. He's normally pretty hopeless around the house anyway but he didn't step up at all over that period. I worked part time throughout my treatment and that upset me greatly, particularly after the fact when I realised just how damn sick I had been. 

    We have only just started talking about the bc recently. He didn't know what to do to help me. He thought just being with me was enough. He struggle immensely with the thought of loosing me. He also struggled with me being so ill during chemo. He had never seen anyone so Sick before and was convinced I was going to die. He was completely overwhelmed. He didn't feel like he could talk to me at all because what he was going through was nothing compared to what I was going through. He also, he just didn't want to do the whole bc thing.  We both feel that we are suffering post traumatic stress now. The thing is, bc didn't just happen to me. It happened to him,my kids, my brother and my closest friends who supported me.it has affected all of our relationships in some way, with some negatives and some positives. 

    At this time, you need to focus on you. You need to do what you need to do to get through and surround yourself with those who will support you. Look maybe you just have a bad relationship but now is not the time to be making life decisions. I would recommend getting some counselling for you both but if he won't go, as my hubby refused to, then go yourself. They will be able to give you strategies for dealing with the way you feel but also strategies for dealing with your partner. 

    I love my husband and kids but have been dreadfully hurt and disappointed in the lack of support both emotionally and physically they were able to give me.  As far as my hubby and our relationship goes, I think we are  coming closer than before as we both open up about our experience of bc. Having said that though, my greatest fear is of the cancer returning as stage 4. Who is going to look after me as they have already proven that they can't/won't  look after me!  Hang in there love. Karen xox

  • Kari_2015Kari_2015 Townsville, QueenslandMember Posts: 107
    edited March 2016

    Thanks so much Karen.  Its not that I enjoy hearing how others have struggled but in some strange way it is a relief to know that all partners are not this fantastic supportive rock!! You have summed up exactly how I feel - disappointed.  And you are right, I had no idea of how bc affected everyone around me, each week I get a little bit more insight to how those around me were feeling and not wanting to burden me with their fears.  

    Thanks again for caring.

     

  • Cook65Cook65 Member Posts: 733
    edited March 2016

    I understand. It's so nice to know that you aren't the only one. It makes you feel less alone. Xox

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