New mum struggles just got more challenging

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Leeloo_XS
Leeloo_XS Member Posts: 3
Hi everyone! It’s lovely to meet you all despite this being the location.

I was officially diagnosed on Tuesday but I’ve suspected it was breast cancer for over a week since the mood at my biopsy seemed urgent (and extremely sympathetic).

I’m 34 years old and first time mum to an awesome little 11 month old boy. I’ve been struggling being the default parent because of the surprisingly small amount of help my partner offers. I thought we’d be more of a team but I let him get away with doing the bare minimum early on and now it’s slipped into a pattern that isn’t sustainable. I struggle with resenting him and it’s definitely affecting our relationship. I feel especially snappy and reactive now.

This diagnosis is extra troubling as I have almost lost all faith in him stepping up more. How did others navigate their parenthood and relationship/marriage challenges while dealing with their cancer journey? 


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  • iserbrown
    iserbrown Member Posts: 5,582
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    https://www.bcna.org.au/understanding-breast-cancer/talking-to-family-and-friends/information-for-partners/

    From the website- may help!

    It's certainly a so and so being in this predicament.  Having your partner come along to appointments may shake him into this is really happening 

    Your medical team/hospital as well as BCNA Helpline have resources to help

    Ask about a Counsellor as coping strategies will help 
    https://www.bcna.org.au/health-wellbeing/emotional-wellbeing/
  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,755
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    So sorry to see you join our exclusive little group & sad to read that your partner is not at all supportive of you and the bub xx  There may be a measure of post natal depression in there as well - so as @iserbrown says, reach out to your GP/medical team & see a counsellor sooner (than later) to get you sorted - maybe your partner should attend one meeting as well, for them to see how he interacts/not ....

    You have enough on your plate just now & need all the support that you want & don't need extra stress :( 

    I hope his parents (and yours) are more supportive of you - and may help 'sort him out' too? xx

    Jump on here to see links to various areas on the forum that you may like to explore when you have a few moments spare xxx
    https://onlinenetwork.bcna.org.au/discussion/23477/a-big-welcome-to-all-our-new-members#latest

    take care & all the best for your ongoing meetings & treatments xx. Consider recording all your meetings on your phone, so you can go over them later, if you need to - as it is easy to miss bits in the emotion of the moment xx   Also take a trusted friend of family member with you, as physical & emotional support (and hopefully, a driver too!)
  • Julez1958
    Julez1958 Member Posts: 1,160
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    Hi @Leeloo_XS
    I am in a different situation to you - currently 65 and 62 on diagnosis with a hubby of 32 years.
    My hubby was my absolute rock through the whole thing and continues to be so.
    I saw a psychologist specialising in cancer related distress early on and that helped.
    Hard to know what advice to give to others - it’s a time where you really need those who love you to step up but some fail the test for a variety of reasons.
    The main advice is this is a time where you have to focus on you - the physical and emotional toll of a breast cancer diagnosis are tough .
    Take care and sending virtual hugs.😊
  • Edithead
    Edithead Member Posts: 12
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    Hello from Perth too. You seem to have insight into how these unequal patterns can become embedded…you will need the partner here to step up. You don’t say what your diagnosis or treatment will entail but with a baby you are going to need to make it really clear to your partner about what you are going to need. Others recommend counselling…I think including your partner in all medical appointments is essential ❤️❤️
  • Leeloo_XS
    Leeloo_XS Member Posts: 3
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    Edithead said:
    Hello from Perth too. You seem to have insight into how these unequal patterns can become embedded…you will need the partner here to step up. You don’t say what your diagnosis or treatment will entail but with a baby you are going to need to make it really clear to your partner about what you are going to need. Others recommend counselling…I think including your partner in all medical appointments is essential ❤️❤️
    Thank you 😊 

    I’ve got the PET scan tomorrow to stage my cancer but so far we know it’s a grade 3 invasive so I’ll be doing chemo asap to shrink it before surgery - the main lump has already doubled in size in just under two months. What surgery that is will depend on results from a gene test but we’re hoping for lumpectomy/radiation. I’m open to anything that’ll give me long term quality of life with my son though. Just got to press on with it. Xx
  • TonyaM
    TonyaM Member Posts: 2,836
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    Hi @Leeloo_XS,
    You are at the scary,anxious stage where you are waiting for results and a plan to be put in place.The waiting is awful.I’ve been through this crap bc experience twice.It’s now been 20yrs for me and I seem to be ok- most women will be.
    As for your partner, leave your son with him for an entire day so he knows how to look after him and also has insight to how full on it can be. Now is the time to get his help with at least one chore- this will become routine and he won’t even realize it! Back in 2007,I broke my ankle and my husband had to bring me breakfast in bed- he’s still doing it! I find a written list can work with men rather than expecting them to mind read what we want done.Just start with a few things on the list. I understand the resentment- I felt it at times when my kids were little and my husband’s life went on as usual.Gather a tribe around you now because you’ll need lots of help. Coming here to ask questions and vent will help for sure.How did the PET scan go?
  • Afraser
    Afraser Member Posts: 4,390
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    Writing a list for your partner is a good idea. For those who handle most of the day to day stuff, what needs to be done seems obvious and it isn’t to someone else. Not a huge list to begin with, just some useful things that are done regularly.

    And when they’re not done particularly well, don’t complain but also don’t take the tasks back! Getting them done is the goal, it actually doesn’t matter that much if they’re not  done the way you would. Just note they’ve been done with thanks. No need to go over the top and wishing that you got thanked regularly may not help either! 

    I have a very handy and helpful partner but I made the mistake at work of letting a couple of staff cruise because I’d take over rather than watch them do something badly! Took quite a while to get out of that pickle - but it’s worth doing! Best wishes. 
  • Tarma
    Tarma Member Posts: 73
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    @Leeloo_XS How are you? 
    💟T.
  • Leeloo_XS
    Leeloo_XS Member Posts: 3
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    Tarma said:
    @Leeloo_XS How are you? 
    💟T.
    Tired and over it, honestly. First cycle of chemo is underway and it was difficult the first week but I’m almost my usual self this week. My partner is stepping up more… when he’s in a good mood. I feel we have a long way to go with our relationship surviving cancer treatment, let alone new parenthood. Baby steps though. I remain cautiously optimistic. 

    My surgery is scheduled for November after six cycles of chemo to shrink my tumors. I’ve learned I have triple positive breast cancer either stage 2 or 3 since writing the original post. So far I’m blown away by all the support and kindness I’ve experienced through the public health system which is a real mood booster! 
  • Tarma
    Tarma Member Posts: 73
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    Glad to hear Hubby is making an effort. 

    And I absolutely agree with you Leeloo, our public health system workers are doing themselves proud.. 👍

    I'd love to know how chemo progresses for you, but only if you have time 😊

    Take good care of yourself 

    T.
  • Julez1958
    Julez1958 Member Posts: 1,160
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    Hi @Leeloo_XS
    Totally agree with comment above about doing  a list for hubby.
    My hubby was retired when I was diagnosed at age 62 but needed “direction “ 😊
    I feel for you with a young child but we have to deal with the cards we are dealt.
    I learnt to accept help that was offered and to say “ no” more often.
    The physical and emotional toll this takes is often under estimated and if you don’t  look after yourself who will?
    Take care🌺
  • PrisMay1
    PrisMay1 Member Posts: 70
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    I agree with others about a list for partners! My husband manages really well with lists and a whiteboard- I kid you not! We’re retired now and this is my second time around. Men fall into the fix it role well but some need guidance!  I wish you well. 
  • TJ_77
    TJ_77 Member Posts: 9
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    Hi there,
    I read your post with such sadness knowing that you're here too, so i wanted to reach out.
    I'm also a first time mum, i got my diagnosis in July, just two days prior to my little ones first birthday, so our bubs are a similar age, and it sucks (well i would use stronger words, but...). I'm having a mastectomy in October, so have been spending the last few weeks weaning fun times!
    Prior to getting the news i was already struggling with motherhood, especially the invisible load, and found a lot of help in a podcast series https://www.momwell.com/category/invisible-load https://www.momwell.com/blog/carrying-the-mental-load-how-to-redistribute-the-burden-and-give-moms-more-freedom
    Throwing a new cancer diagnosis & treatment on top of that is enough to throw anyone over the edge so i do hope you've managed to find a good support team.
    I ended up just sending links to my husband of episodes i wanted him to hear, including the BCNA Ep 10 Stuart Diver's one
    https://open.spotify.com/episode/2TknNUcxvW4Y7xaU6WPy3A
    Please know I'm standing by your side on this one <3