Home Supporting someone with breast cancer


Vinn2016Vinn2016 Member Posts: 72

ok, I have just gotten off the phone from my husband who took carers leave today to come pick me up from hospital (stayed in over the weeked due to high temperature from last round of chemo) but I have not seen him since he dropped me off this morning. I had to drive to my Breast oncologist this afternoon for an appointment and now I am going to pick up the kids from school. Feeling very light headed and not the best. He has just asked me if I am going to come and help paint our investment property apartment ( which is over 45mins drive in afternoon traffic from home) after picking up the kids. I am still feeling the effects of my last round of chemo and  I have nerve damage in my fingers and it feels like my nails are going to fall off any minute. I Just can't believe he asked me to do this. Now he makes me feel guilty for not helping.



  • jjshepjjshep GeelongMember Posts: 41
    edited July 2016

    Someone needs to sit him down and explain to him what you are going through. Is there someone, doctor or some one that could do that

  • jd48jd48 Member Posts: 484
    edited July 2016

    Oh boy... You too have one of those ??

    Been throught it with mine and while he had gotten better since the surgery and since Chemo started he still has his moments and relapses...

    All I can say hang in there. Find the strength to sit him.down and talk to him honestly about both how his bad behabiour affects you and about how you feel physically and emotionally.

    Mine did admit when I had a meldown few weeks into my initial chemo that he did not think I was really unwell as I did not look sick - and that feankly was my own fault as I pushed myself past human limits to try and be 'normal'. And as already suggested above maybe going with him to your GP to have the GP help explain the difficulties you have to deal with would help.

    I hope you do not have to go through all the pain I went through with my husband but what did end up getting him to cooperate in the end is my basically spelling out and making him write down what his duties were - literaly writing down chores he would have to do and frequency and simply ordering him that from now on if I am in the Emergency he will stay by my side regardless of how late or long I am there (instead of going home to rest up) and when I am admitted he has to make the food at home to ensure I have food when discharged and what time he would have come by to be there in time for me to be discharged.

    It may sound mean and extreme but I had to make that a condition of him staying in the home. Yes he has been an arse and he regrets it afterwards and is all appologetic but it does not help when I am ill and weak and suffering consequences of his irresponsible behavioir.

    You have to remmeber you have to think of you so you can get better. If you are not putting yourself first there will be no way you can take care of anyone else (including your children) so sit down, if need be write down what you need from him. Spell it out and if you need to get a 3rd party to help you get the message across then get them involved.

    GPs can help, family and friends can help and also the Cancer Centre or the breast care nurse or the Oncologist can put you in touch with Psychologists who can help. Both you and him can get counselling and maybe that is exactly what he needs - a 3rd party sitting him down and getting him to understand what you are going through and what he needs to do for you as if he cannot steo up then you need help to figure out where you can get that support.



  • AlsoptAlsopt Member Posts: 225
    edited July 2016

    My partner has been really good but because I'm such a doer not many recognise how treatment and after treatment impacts unless they have been there. I'm not defending him but I did find that my partner didn't speak to anyone it made it worst you have to conserve your energy I still find it hard to say no but I find it easier now big hugs 

  • iserbrowniserbrown Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 5,203
    edited July 2016

    Goodness this sounds like head in the sand! Take the advice offered and get him involved with consult with GP or Counsellor or whoever you think will help turn the light on for him to realize.  In the meantime don't allow it to sit heavy on you he sounds like he's in denial and doesn't realize this is a long haul.

    Moan and groan on here with us as it will help you to release the frustration. 

    Take care from Christine xx 

  • Brenda5Brenda5 Burrum Heads, QldMember Posts: 2,409
    edited July 2016

    I don't know if some men really get it. Mine was pretty blasé about it as well. Of course I didn't know half the time if I was in health trouble or what and sometimes I did feel like I was the one being slack. Reading lots of ladies reports on here how they end up in hospital here and there it tells me I did pretty darned good getting through myself without having to leave home for help. I tell my husband of their troubles and he seems amazed. I think it was self preservation denial he had. If he admitted I was really unwell then he couldn't cope?


  • ScorpionQueenScorpionQueen Wilton NSW Member Posts: 768
    edited July 2016

    So sorry you are struggling with your husband.....I think sitting down and talking to him is a good idea, but maybe get a close mate of his to prompt him into talking? It may be he's reacting this way to distract from the situation? Everyone is different and handles things in different ways.....Out of sight out of mind ......My Brother in law always cracks the most inappropriate jokes at the most inappropriate times in times of great stress....

    I get my hubby's mates to make sure he talks about it...my hubby has been my rock through this, but sometimes he does say selfish things...(rare) but i quickly put him in his place!

    I think sometimes we can often forget the trauma this an cause to other members of the family especially our partners... I really hope he can see that his behaviour is effecting you in a negative way....

    I hope you get the help needed to get back on track with each other.......wishing you all the best

  • DebzaDebza Member Posts: 27
    edited July 2016

    Feeling your angst omg,I don't have a partner,but my son is in denial.But he was before that lol.Men,and others are so doom and gloom,they think you finished your treatment for the day or out of hospital,snap to it back to! 



  • Vinn2016Vinn2016 Member Posts: 72
    edited July 2016

    hi, that is just the icing on the cake.

    He also has been threatening to cut the health insurance if I don't toe the line and behave like a wife should and have to go public. He dragged me out nite clubbing one nite until midnight because he wanted to celebrate his birthday  (he is 51) I was laughed and stared at because I had a scarf on my head. I felt humiliated. I was abused by the security for not having ID (I'm 48). My husband told me the other day 'I should take time off work and start looking after my family as I am neglecting him and the kids. He's told me that my cancer is not his problem, he did not marry me for this crap, I am a ship anchor in the relationship. He has only come to one Dr's appointment with me. He has come to my chemo twice and sat with me (where he played the supporting husband). He goes off dancing at nite until all hours of the morning, came home the other morning at 3.30am. He tells me I am not contributing enough financially to the bills and I should be paying half of all the bills (even though I only work part time and earn heaps less an hour then him). My Medical bills are not his problem. I pay my own way with what I earn. Then I hear from all his mates that he cares so much for me and is so worried about me as this is the second time I have had breast cancer and doesn't want to loose me. He emails me all this stuff about cancer trying to help me.

    He was great at first and then just turned on me. Told me to get my friends and family to help, then has go at me and tells me I am using people for help and I better pay them back. Everytime he helps me he tells me I owe him and I have to pay back. He tells me the reason I have cancer is because I am a 'B****. He accuses me of being cold and nasty to him (but I am like this because he stresses me out and I get so upset how he treats me) There was one evening when I had to drive myself to emergency because he would not give me a lift.

    He is like Jekyl and Hyde. One moment the loving, husband that is so worried and concerned about me and does everything to help me and then downright nasty.

    I am so  stressed and I know this is not helping my situation getting better. I have tried to tell him how it is making me feel and how he is upsetting me and his reply is 'well if you did what you were told I would not have to treat you like this'. I can't talk to his friends, they all think he is the best thing since sliced bread so to speak

    Sorry to vent but has anyone else experienced this behavour from their partner? I am seeing a physchologist about this.

    Oh and for the record once my treatment is all over and I am back on my feet financially I am walking out of the marriage as this has been the final straw.


  • Vinn2016Vinn2016 Member Posts: 72
    edited July 2016

    hi all,  I forgot to mention he does tell me that he is not coping with me having breast cancer, he says he is angry that this has happened to us again and he says it is so unfair. But I don't understand his behavior as it is just downright nasty and upsetting. I could cope better if he was just nasty 24/7 I would know where I stood but to be nice and caring one minute and then turn on me the next is just so confusing and frustrating. Thanks for your comments and replies.

    Straight after this diagnosis he put me onto his friend who is natropath and paid for it, costing him hundreds, he was paying for the natropathic stuff for a while and then told me I had to pay for it all as he could not afford it (again confusing me) I cannot afford it personally but he wants me to keep taking all the natropathic stuff while having treatment. One minute he will offer to pay for it and then the next tells me he has no money and I have to pay myself. AGHHHHHHHH


  • jd48jd48 Member Posts: 484
    edited July 2016

    Oh Hun, he does need a serious kick in the balls... and he needs to seek professional help as he is onviously not coping with it and then taking his frustrations out on you which is definitely not on...

    Mine was an absolute pain in the arse but not that bad. Well he started out pretty badly and we had a few serious incidents but I am a dragon and can definitely hold my own and managed to get him in line.  Yes we still have some moments and frankly just a week and half ago I locked him out at 11pm and threw both out cats out for him to chase to try and keep from running off as he threatened he was going to 'walk' so figured he was walking then and there and as much as I loved the cats I was not capable of caring for them and my self so they had to go with him (both are elderly and ill and require constant medication and care). Faced with me calling his bluff and acting on it he did back off and he knows now I am serious so next incident means he does not get allowed back but then again my situation is easier as we do not have kids ... I honwstly do not envy you having to deal with that shit.

    Stick with the counselling as you need to keep your sanity and see if there is a way he starts seeing a counsellor either independently or as a couple but you do need help. It is not just therapies that affect healing but your sanity and peace of mind.

    You need him to help and not be abusive you so you have to find a way to cope with this. And if there is a way you can get some help from family or friends use it... Do not allow yourself to be bullied into exhausting yourself.

    I know it is hard and easier said than done so do not forget we are here too at least for you to try and get some of this frustration off your chest if / when you need to.



  • TonyaMTonyaM Member Posts: 2,745
    edited July 2016

    Hi Vinn,so sorry to hear all this. You are in a vulnerable state at the moment and need his support. This is domestic violence or emotional abuse at its ugliest.Keep phone text records,write down his nasty conversations in a diary- just in case you need it later.I don't think there is any excusing his behaviour unless he admits he is wrong, says sorry and gets help.Good to surround yourself with family and friends who care about you.Put yourself first and when you get your strength back you'll be in a better position to make difficult decisions about your husband. My heart goes out to you- big hug.xx

  • jd48jd48 Member Posts: 484
    edited July 2016

    Regardless of having appearance of having good intentions one moment and then being an abusive jerk the next it is not OK to act that way. He is not coping and for whatever reason is taking his frustratuons out on you but his not coping cannot be made into your problem.

    He may be acting like an abusive a-hole because he is not coping or could be because he is an abusive man and is using your physicall weakness to pounce and then uses 'not coping' to get sympathy from you for his bad behaviour. Abuse is not just physical violence - emotional and psychological abuse is just as bad if not worse... And you need support NOT abuse if you are to get better. What he is doing is making you suffer both emotionally and physically and that cannot be acceptable.

    All you can do is tell him to get professional help to help him understand what is going on and to find a way to cope.

    I do not know him or your history so really do not want to try and judge him and what his reasons are for behaving the way he is behaving but it is not a healthy situation for yourself and not healthy for your kids.  

    You have to find a way to get some peace so you can get the best outcome from your therapies. BC and beating it must be priority for you so really if there is any way you can get 3rd party help please try to do so. Since he is manipulating you having a 3rd party that is experienced in dealing with this may be the only way...

    And when the active part of your therapy is done then you need to think of yourself and your kids long term. Sadly it is not just the spouse that suffers when someone is behaving the way he has been behaving. Kids are far more perceptive than given credit for and one thing you will need to remeber when this BC mess is over and you are re-evaluating that relationship is that exposing the kids to it is at the same teaching them what is 'normal' in a relationship and you will have to decide if you want them growing up learning that being treated that way is 'normal' and OK as dynamic between our parents kind of pre-programs us for life and we tend to gravitate towards spouses that exhibit that same behavious that we grew up with - even if bad and abusive ??

    But right now, regardless of what he says and what he tries to persuade you into doing or not doong you must remember that you have to be No 1 so you can get better. Unless you get better there is no 'tomorrow' for resolvong problems... The fact is cancer is a deadly disease and you are fighting for your life here so he has to pull back as this is not just a a partner having a tanty and playing 'mine is bigger than yours' but a serious danger to your wellbeing so make sure you take care of you. If you can live together while javing treatent withiut allowing it to affect you negativelly hang in there but if this is getting to a point where your health is suffering you need to act to protect yourself and if you are not well at the end of this who will take care of you or your kids... 

    Do what feels right for you and ignore the rest...

    All the best


  • Cook65Cook65 Member Posts: 733
    edited July 2016

    Hi Vinn,

    my husband was useless the whole way through treatment. My brother and girlfriends who helped were so angry with him. I was also very angry at him and my boys for their lack of support. He refused to talk about it and refused to see anyone for help. He came to one appointment with me in 16 months.  It wasn't until after my treatment had finished that he was actually able to talk about it. He wasn't coping at all and didn't know what to do. As I said, doing something, anything would have been better than nothing. He just wanted things to be normal so he kept his head in the sand. I worked part time throughout 16 months of treatment, including chemo. I look back now and just don't know how I did it as I was just so ill.  I was very angry and resentful towards him and he was very angry and resentful towards the cancer but of course he couldn't take it out on the cancer so rightly or wrongly he took it out on me. My counsellor and nurses told me that I had to forget about him and concentrate on myself and what I needed. So that's what I did. I look at things now and I can see that he is depressed ( I believe he has post traumatic stress as does my counsellor). I stand my ground now though. If he says something I don't like, I tell him now. He is far more understanding now 12 months later than he ever was at the time. Look after you. And don't fret about having to go public. I went public and they were absolutely fantastic. I couldn't fault the care I received. Cancer messes with not only your head but everyone around you as well. Maybe it's the cancer or maybe it's just a bad marriage. Now is not the time to worry about that though. You need all your focus on you and gaining your health back. Stand your ground and say what you need. If you are too tired then that's just how it is. Take care of your self and vent on here anytime you need to. Karen xox

  • ScorpionQueenScorpionQueen Wilton NSW Member Posts: 768
    edited July 2016

    Oh wow Vinn.....Reading the rest of your added comments......I am so sorry you have to deal with this on top of everything else......

    I was thinking that yes, maybe it's his way of coping....but I sadly do think it goes way deeper than that with him....sad for everyone involved.

    I hope you can find the support you need....hope he finds the support he needs....

    I don't know what else to say....except I wish you all the best....

    I'm counting my blessings right now......

  • Brenda5Brenda5 Burrum Heads, QldMember Posts: 2,409
    edited July 2016

    Nothing wrong with switching into the public hospital system and its saved many a marriage too. There is not way in hell we could have afforded to go private throughout my treatment.

    Your husband is 6 years younger than mine but mine tells me that for years he seems to have been waylaid in the brain somehow with a men's change of life. Of course you know men, won't go to a Dr and get depression properly checked out so me in menopause and on hormone therapy and him with his depression, we just sort of muddle though. Its taken a while for hubby to admit it but now I think we are at a turning point for the better.

    The way I look at it, he's lucky he got me to marry him. Also lucky I gave him children. I'm not perfect but together we are a team even if one of us goes down for a while. The vows were in sickness and in health. Remind him of this.

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