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How supportive is your partner?

NixNix Member Posts: 28
edited March 2021 in General discussion
Hi everyone, 

I had my biopsy on Friday and the radiologist said it was most likely cancer.  I was a complete fool and didn't follow up on the ultrasound and mammogram that was performed in October as the report said it was probably ok. Unfortunately it's doubled in size. 
I receive the diagnosis  on Tuesday. 

As you can all imagine I'm pretty stressed out at the moment. 

I'm not sure if I'm being to sensitive but I don't think I'm getting a lot of support from my partner. (my partner is female 🌈)

On the Friday she came over, we had the most ridiculous argument and she went home. This floored me as I would never leave someone alone after a (semi) diagnosis.

And tonight I was blown off as she was tired and had a few red wines. Really?? Catch an Uber. I’m not that far. 

My point is, what have been your experiences with partner support?  I'm already worried. We've been together for just under a year so not sure how she copes with stress. 


  • MicheleRMicheleR South AustraliaMember Posts: 337
    Firstly sorry about your diagnosis. Its a scary time for you and you are probably reeling. I hope you are ok and have others who will support you.

    Unfortunately cancer makes people react in lots of strange ways. Maybe she doesnt know how to react or what to do. People unfortunately dont know how to deal with tricky topics like this.  It might not be that she is deliberately unsupportive just that the situation might be felt with intensity that is uncomfortable.

    My partner was initially quite upbeat, more than i felt because he didnt comprehend the seriousness at first. Later he felt angry and it felt like he blamed me. It has been a rollercoaster for the whole family. Its happening to you but it also kindof happens to them and they feel helpless and guilty about their own emotions. There has been resentment at times because i couldnt do the things i used to. 

    Im not sure if my comments are really helpful. Sorry. Its very common to feel a bit alone because noone else seems to get it. 

    You are in the right place here with people who understand and will support you.


  • AbbydogAbbydog Adelaide, South AustraliaMember Posts: 299
    Dear Nix,
    I'm so sorry to hear that you most likely have cancer. Don't panic too much until you have all of the details.
    Partners vary heaps with their responses. Hopefully she comes around to being more supportive, and even goes to the Dr's when you get results. Stay strong, seek support anywhere you can. 
    It doesn't help you but my husband has been excellent. But we've been married 43 yrs(teenage bride) and still get along very well.
    I hope that your results are better than you may expect.
    Let us know how you go, lots of advice here.
  • NixNix Member Posts: 28
    Hey Michele.

    Thank you for replying. That made me feel a lot better. I guess maybe she might be emotionally immature, who knows 🤷‍♀️

    Stuations like this really make you see who will be there for you,  I had cervical cancer two years ago and it was the people I never expected were the ones that supported me.  

    I just don't want to burden people, I feel like I really am because it's the second time. 

    Thank you for making me feel better. It sucks and I'm angry and hurt but there are so many women like you, like me that are going through the same thing.  We can support one another. ❤️

    Kinderst regards and a whole lotta love. 


  • NixNix Member Posts: 28
    Thank you Abby.  43 years marriage is just beautiful. I'm glad he supports you. I'ts a precious thing. 💕❤️

    I'll be in touch post results on Tuesday. Maybe, just maybe it will be ok. 🤞
  • AbbydogAbbydog Adelaide, South AustraliaMember Posts: 299
    Fingers crossed
  • FLCloverFLClover Sydney Member Posts: 1,426
    edited March 2021
    Hello Nix
    So sorry to see you here. Hopefully your results are negative, but it’s still a very stressful time you’re going through.
    This is quite a delicate topic, but I also think it’s a really important one, so I’ll share my experience with you.

     I started dating a guy beginning of January last year. I’d already felt my lump, but thought it was most likely not anything and forgot to get it checked due to already being stressed about something else, and being too busy. I found it again almost mid February, and made and app with my GP. I told the guy I was dating of course, who until then seemed really keen on me, and even told me I was perfect for him. That I was the perfect ‘partner’. He was supportive and told me it would be fine. He asked if I’d made an appointment, and kept checking with me to see how I was going. I was living on Central Coast then and him in Syd, so we couldn’t see each other every day. Also, he told me he wasn’t a talk-on-the-phone person, so mostly we texted when we were apart.

    Anyway, I eventually got diagnosed and saw a specialist. I saw the guy two more times after that, then it was only texting because of Covid. He texted me every day, all day. I had my double mastectomy, and again he texted to see how it went. After that, at post op, I was told I’d need more surgery. I had issues with the surgeon regarding this, and started to get anxiety. I tried speaking (texting) to my ‘partner’ about it, but he’d disappear mid conversation. Then he told me that weekends he was trying to be tech-free, so I’d hear nothing from him for about 2-3 days. Then he started texting less and less even weekdays.

    Two weeks after my DMX, I went for my second surgery. I was in prep, and he still hadn’t texted me good luck or to even see how I was. I ended up getting a fever while in prep and surgery was postponed. I wrote to him about it. He was surprised it was on that day, as he thought due to my issues with the surgeon it might have been called off. All that made me realise was, just how uninterested he seemed in me and the whole thing. Then I started getting really angry that not only did he not ask to visit me while in hospital for the DMX, he didn’t even freaking call. I just thought I don’t care if you’re not a phone person. If your ‘partner’ has just had a double mastectomy, you MOFO CALL HER!!!! And if she’s having trouble with the medical team, and feeling anxious and depressed, you need to be there to help her through it!!! That’s a true partner, not someone who only wants you when it’s all flowers and rainbows. A fairweather  partner.

    I was fuming that I was ‘perfect’ while I seemed ok, but the second I got sick that was it. I called him out on it the day before I was supposed to have the surgery again for the third time. Through text again, of course. I told him I didn’t appreciate the lies and pretence, and all he had to do, if he felt like he couldn’t support me, was freaking tell me. I know most people don’t know how to deal with ca, I understand that. But a partner should be there no matter what. In that moment I told myself I didn’t need him, or any other guy, to fight and overcome ca. I’d always relied on myself for everything, so I could do this too on my own, with my own unconditional love and respect for myself. I also cancelled the third surgery and changed surgeons. Most liberating feeling ever. Anxiety and depression both f***ed off after that.

     And about 3 weeks later, I met my current partner, the most wonderful and caring man I’ve ever met. Supported me 100% through the whole thing. And just made it all the more clear how disgusting that other guy’s behaviour was. I still rely on myself and am my own go to person, but it feels so wonderful to have such an amazing partner that I know is also there for me, no matter what. That I can lean on him in my many moments of doubt and fear, in any area in life. 

    Typing this, my anger is resurfacing, because I don’t think it’s ok to get this treatment and to keep making excuses for these people. When it’s not ok, it’s not ok. And we shouldn’t feel guilty for admitting that and demanding more. It needs to be give/take, in both good and bad times. Anyone can be a good partner when life is perfect. But that’s not a real partner, and life is never perfect. 

    I knew that the way that guy was treating me wasn’t right from the beginning, but I kept it going because in that extremely difficult and vulnerable time, I didn’t think I could do it on my own. I felt crushed. That is until I had had enough, and my dignity and self respect started screaming at me. That’s why I want to emphasise that I still rely on myself, because in life people come and go, but you are your one constant. And I never again want to lose sight of myself and think I can’t do anything without support. Because I can. The support is wonderful and beautiful, and I’d love to always have it, but it’s a bonus, not a must. That’s if I’m single. If I’m with a partner, his support, in addition to my own, is then a must. 

    Sorry for the very long reply, but it’s a sensitive topic. And I think a lot of women find themselves in similar situations, but feel too scared to admit it even to themselves, let alone their partners, and so they suffer in silence. But it shouldn’t be like that. We deserve a loving and caring partner, especially when the chips are down. I hope more women start fighting for themselves. 

    Once again, sorry for the essay. This was just my experience. I hope it helps you somewhat, and good luck 🍀♥️.
    M Xx
  • FLCloverFLClover Sydney Member Posts: 1,426
    And please! Do NOT feel like a burden!!! No one in their right mind asks to have ca, especially more than once! And other people might not have ca, but I’m sure they have other ongoing issues that you’ve helped them through. This is life. As I said above, give and take. If it’s not one thing, it will be another. If there’s love, supporting someone is not a chore ♥️
  • SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 4,957
    @FLClover What an absolute shit he was - I can believe that, even though you've moved on, it would still be simmering.  

    @nix What others have said is absolutely right - she could just be in a panicky denial - it's hard to know how people will react.  Some people come through completely unexpectedly while others you thought would be supportive, disappear.  She may make a definitive move either way when you know what's going on but importantly, you must focus on yourself.  I'm not going to give anyone relationship advice but you need to call it as what you can live with, although if it was me, I wouldn't be rushing to confront.  It may be just that she needs time to process what's going on.  In the meantime, I hope that you have other supports in family and friends.
  • AllyJayAllyJay Member Posts: 861
    I think that our partners are probably as diverse as we ourselves are, and that there is no "one size fits all" in how they react. I also think that sayings become sayings, because they resonate with us with their truth. "Trust your gut"...yes, what is your gut saying? Only you know, but I have to say, it seems to me she is withdrawing, either from you, or the potential diagnosis. Many of us have found that breast cancer has resulted in a sifting out process and that there are some who go straight through and down the drain. In my case, my husband (42 years now), needed a little instruction regarding support. We had had a row where I complained that I felt he was not supporting me and that I was alone with my feelings. He was  somewhat confused and pointed out that he took me to all my appointments and now did all the shopping and cooking. (I was having a terrible time with chemo...56 days all up in hospital). I had to point out that trans-port and sup-port were two different things. For transport I could call an uber or cab, groceries could be delivered to the door, and meals...ta daaa they could be delivered too. I told him I needed him, not a servant. I needed him to listen, to hold me, to love and soothe me. Not to always ask "What do you want me to do"?? I told him I knew he couldn't "fix" anything...he didn't need to be my "Screwdriver or spanner"...he needed to be my "blotting paper" as it were. To absorb my grief and anger, not try to fix it. By the way, he is a full on Aspie as is my daughter, so I know from hard earned experience that he need things to be spelled out literally. Euphemisms don't work. I need to say "orange jam" not "marmalade". Tell your partner how you really feel and if she apologises and gets her shit together, well and good. If not, then do what's best for you. One thing is for sure, you don't need to schlep around an albatross as you prepare for the second shitfest of your life.
  • iserbrowniserbrown Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 4,991
    There's a lot said already that makes a lot of sense. 
    By the sound of it your relationship is in its infancy.
    Your gut instinct will or maybe will determine what's going on.
    At present you need to concentrate on yourself and what's happening medically.
    Do you have Mum or just a good friend who may join you at appointments?  
    Surf the BCNA website as there's lots of information to absorb including for families,  friends and workplace et cetera 
    Take a deep breath and concentrate on your own well being so you are not emotionally distracted when you go for results 
    Take care
  • iserbrowniserbrown Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 4,991
    Thank goodness you walked from the can't talk on the phone so and so!
    Hopefully your anger and hurt will subside and happiness will dominate 
    Personally my hubby is my rock.  We've been through a lot over the years and the love and support is as strong as Day 1, back in 1975.......now I am showing my age!
  • LocksleyLocksley Macedon Ranges, VictoriaMember Posts: 790
    @Nix sorry to see you here.  Hopefully your results will be negative.    There is lots of support here too.   Hope you have your Mum or another close friend to support you too.    

    @FLClover so glad you got rid of guy you were dating.    It sounds like your new partner is wonderful.  
  • NixNix Member Posts: 28
    ladies thank you. I really mean that. Your words mean so much.

    @FLClover I feel slapping that guy. What a cold-hearted piece of sh$t. Oh yes, I would definitely have unresolved anger simmering inside. However your words to me are lovely and mean heaps. You helped me, [email protected]@k him! 

    You know what I find almost amusing is that you would think a female partner would be more emotionally connected to you and more supportive. Apparently not. 😣

    Have a great day ladies 💕
  • FLCloverFLClover Sydney Member Posts: 1,426
    edited March 2021
    @sister @iserbrown @Locksley
    thank you so much ladies ♥️♥️. He was a shit, and I’m glad I found that out early on in the relationship, albeit it had to be cos of ca, but nevertheless didn’t waste more time on him. And yes, my current partner is absolutely wonderful. The total opposite. But I only found him after I truly decided, felt and believed that I deserve the best 🥰.

    @Nix thank you, I felt like slapping him too 😆. And I’m completely over him, I have been since then, but my anger remains because of myself, not him. It’s because I allowed that treatment from him, and didn’t say anything while it was happening. I did tell him off when I broke it off, but I feel it wasn’t enough. There’s still things I’d like to tell him that I didn’t then, when I was putting aside my own beliefs just to keep the peace with him. I might write him a letter. Just for myself, to prove to myself I am always on my side, and will not be trampled on for anybody anymore. 

    Anyway, I’m really sorry because I didn’t want to ambush your post. My aim wasn’t to get sympathy or steal attention, but to describe it in a way that would be understood and hopefully help you and others. I wanted to show I didn’t just give up on the relationship at the first sign of trouble. And he had a close friend who had just had surgery for recurring cancer and was pretty much terminal, so I thought that’s maybe why he couldn’t support me. I thought I won’t make a big deal about it because he was already going through so much with his friend. I even apologised to him after my specialist app for the hassle of my diagnosis 🤦🏼‍♀️🤦🏼‍♀️.

    Basically, I wanted to tell him he didn’t need to stay with me if he felt he couldn’t. But I was too scared to say it in case he actually didn’t. But then as I said, I got angry bc I didn’t choose ca. And I shouldn’t be the one apologising! And he was the branch manager of an engineering company, so with all his ‘people skills’ I’m sure he would’ve been able to tell me if he couldn’t be there for me!! Well that was my reasoning. Apparently he wasn’t able to, and for all his academic intelligence, it appears he had zero emotional intelligence. And I also thought that having a friend going through it wasn’t enough reason to not support me too. It’s not like he had to do the surgery himself. If he could support his friend, he could support me, the woman he thought might bear his children one day!

    Life throws things our way, we can’t ignore one important thing because of another, it doesn’t work that way. So, I’m not here to give relationship advice either. I don’t know you or your partner very well, and I’m def not a relationship specialist. I just wanted to emphasise one thing: what is important to YOU in a partner?

    We can all share our stories, but you’ll see that different people tolerate different things. Our demands are not always the same. It’s about you and your values. For me, I decided that I couldn’t be with someone who would ignore me through my toughest time. What would happen later, when I was pregnant for example? Would he have ignored me then too, and come up with excuses for it? And how long are you prepared to wait for your partner to come around and be able to help you deal with difficult situations? A week? 2 months? What happens in that time while you’re waiting?

     And what does your partner expect of you during difficult times? Are you always there from the get-go, or do you need time too, to come to terms with things? If you’re the kind of person who gives a lot, can you be happy knowing your partner might not be your equal in that way? These are things I guess you need to answer for yourself, and decide what’s right for you. Because as I said, I can’t tell you what to do, and neither can anyone else. Also, after nearly a year, you should each know how the other deals with stress. If not, maybe this is your indication. And I know we think women tend to be more sensitive, but I honestly think it’s up to the individual. I know heaps of men who are much more sensitive than my female friends. I understand your disappointment though. 

    Most importantly, please try and focus on yourself. I know how you feel, I went through the same thing, and it’s soooo hard to be let down now, with this going on. So hard. But you are your priority, and always should be. So put her aside, get support from a good friend or family, and concentrate on getting yourself through this, whatever the results are tomorrow. You’re strong and you can do it ♥️♥️. 

  • MicheleRMicheleR South AustraliaMember Posts: 337
    Its hard to know at the beginning of relationships if your values are aligned. You might expect a person to do certain things under certain circumstances but there might be different expectations. Its up to you to know what you want and encourage that or move on.

    My hubby is a lovely person but he can be a bit slow sometimes in understanding the things that im dealing with. Ive had to guide him and have vented a few times.

    Just because your partner is female doesnt mean they are any more able to deal with it. Cancer is very feared. Breast cancer in women is very feared. I know it doesnt make sense when you are the one it impacts most but there you go. Friends and non romantic partners can also be cutting. My brother only contacted me via text twice during chemo. Does it bother me - yes - do i think he doesnt care - no. Likewise close friends all visited me just once. In the end i just decided that the place we are at in life, they are still living it and my life has slowed and become quite concentrated.

    My sister rang me every day and she is my bestie. My parents were amazing. 
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