One Day at a Time

Hi, my name is Rachel and my boyfriend, Adam, is getting treatment for his 6th cancer in about 3 and a half years. He lives in Louisiana and I have been living in CT/RI. We have been dating for 4 and a half years and met online a little over 5 years ago. It's so hard being so far away from him. I have never been able to stay with him for a long period of time when he was going through treatment because I was still in school. This cancer is slightly different than the other ones. He has had bone cancer that has moved to his lungs and brain, which were all treated and "fixed." This cancer is an unrelated cancer and is in his skull and spine. The chemo he is going to get is going to be invasive and different. I am trying to stay positive but realistic about everything.
Is anyone else going through a long distance relationship and cancer??
I feel so lost and alone at times. I have an amazing support system but I feel like no one truly understands what this is about. Adam has a beautiful soul and needs all the support he can get. He always reminds me through this process that we just have to take it one day at a time.
Can anyone relate or have any methods to making this feel at least a little bit better?


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  • Hi Rachel. I don't know if I'd qualify as being a long distance relationship, at least not in way you were... My boyfriend and I only became long distance when he was diagnosed, and moved to another prefecture for treatment.

    I wish I could help you feel better... But all I can do is remind you that you are doing enough. I feel guilty a lot, myself. I often feel this overwhelming urge to quit my job, fly down there, and spend every moment as near to him as possible. But what would that achieve? I like to think we have different roles, different jobs: his job is fighting cancer, his mother job is his primary caretaker, and my job is, well, keeping my life stable! Keeping a job, keeping myself healthy so I can be there when he needs me... These are my jobs.

    The distance hurts, too. Unlike those close to their loved one, I always fear that things will go bad suddenly, and I'll be too far away to say my goodbyes... To counter this, I make sure I say everything I want to say, every time. I make sure that he knows I love him every time, so I'll never have regrets.

    And honestly... No one outside the cancer "bubble" can really understand it. And even more, as partners of those with cancer, we occupy an even stranger place. Well meaning friends have told me sometimes that they get it, because their grandmother or great uncle died of cancer. While they have their pain, it isn't the same pain. We aren't loosing an aged relative of a predictable cancer. We are young people, watching out future getting cut down in front of us, powerless to stop it. We're watching cancer push the big 'pause' button on our lives, and hoping it doesn't push 'stop'.

    I wish you guys good luck! If you ever need someone to talk to, message me anytime.