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Relationships after Chemo

Posted by @firelady405, Sep 5, 2011

Has anyone gone through a tough time in their relationships with spouses after treatment? did you change for the better or the worse? Any suggestions?



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Joined: Sep 30, 2011
Posted by @dozer, Sep 30, 2011

Just signed up. Sorry no responses as of yet. I’m a 16 month survivor of Stage IV jejunal (small intestine) cancer. Very rare. My wife and I were having problems before my diagnosis. We’d been married 22 years before my diagnosis and were having troubles the 4 years prior to diagnosis. My very first thought upon diagnosis was “who will take care of me” because she had all but checked out. She came through like a champ and the love was even starting to return. But as I started to get better, our relationship started to regress. So now I am at a point where I struggle between trying to recover and trying to save my marriage. So I may not be able to help answer your question per se, but I would love to have others chime in on relationship challenges and if they are in the same boat as us: struggling with our relationship AND our illness. And how do you decide what to do? I look forward to the conversations.


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Joined: Oct 05, 2011
Posted by @maggiemay, Oct 5, 2011

My husband and I are really having a tough time of it. Our relationship has always been fragile but this past year he suffered a heart attack and had a 5 way bi-pass. Eight months later came my cancer diagnosis. Even though he says he’s “there for me” he is anything but! These kinds of things really make you face what is important in life and constantly butting heads with my husband is not in my future plans. I nursed him through his heart condition and all that entails. He talked with my Oncologist twice for about 10 minutes each time. He never went to my chemo appointments and it was only when my son took one look at me during a particularly rough patch of chemo that the suggestion was made that “Dad, you better help mom.” If anything, I have realized that my friends were there for me more than he was. Life is precious…I am in the process of purging the negative. As soon as I have the strength I will find a place of my own. As long as I have a roof over my head, soup in the pantry and supportive friends I know I will get through whatever is in the plan for me. So sorry you are going through this but you can’t fix anything but yourself right now.

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Posted by @careofus5, Nov 3, 2011

I can understand this so well.. They say they are there for us but we feel the difference. we need to thinkof ourselves and keep the negative people out of it.. Best of luck to you in the future


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Joined: Nov 30, 2011
Posted by @motherbunk, Nov 30, 2011

Yes. My husband was good in the beginning, but has recently “checked out” as far as support goes. No affection (non sexual) at all. I feel like a freak. You are not alone. You need to do things for yourself and put yourself first! I have Stage 3C breast cancer and am struggling with depression and anxiety. It is hard for me to take my own advice but I have to think of myself first now. You should too.


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Joined: Mar 02, 2012
Posted by @aamarion, Mar 2, 2012

Hey there, I was only 18 when I got sick and had been dating my boyfriend for 6 months at the time. I had chemotherapy and radiation and my body changed a lot and I was bald and had very low self esteem. We both kept a journal and it seemed to help. I tried to keep things normal as they were before and never be sorry for myself or have a pity party. Seven years later we are still together and now getting married. There were times where I thought we were not going to make it because he seemed, “checked out” but I honestly think he did not know how to deal with it any other way. They have to check out a little bit so they can stay sane in some situations. Chemotherapy and all of the drugs sometimes made me into a very angry bitter person, and unfortunately we take most of that anger out on the people we are closest to because we know they will not leave us. It does take a toll on them over time, so we need to be careful about that. It is a very normal thing thing for family members to do.

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