I don't know how to express what I need

So I am 23 osteosarcoma survivor. I've had over a dozen surgeries and 3 dozen chemotherapy treatments and now have a lot of severe chronic pain and depression. I've been having a super hard time expressing what i need from my first serious boyfriend after treatment. I need more comfort and support when my chronic pain/depression gets really bad. but instead of my boyfriend actively comforting me, he wants me to express and tell him what i need when I need it.
does anyone else have a hard time expressing what they need from their loved one? I feel like my words get stuck in my mouth. I also feel like i loose a bit of dignity or strength every time i ask for help.


  • 1 Comment sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Trying to explain all the emotions that come with a cancer diagnosis is incredibly difficult. It feels so overwhelming. I'm glad you have a boyfriend who wants your input in how to help you. It was so difficult talking with my girlfriend about how I felt/what I needed at the time. What made a major difference to me was talking to other survivors, it really helped me understand and verbalize my needs. Stupid Cancer has a link to find a meet up where you can go share your struggle with other people going through the same thing (https://www.eventbrite.com/o/stupid-cancer-events-37913550). Also there is Imerman Angels (http://imermanangels.org/get-support/) which is an organization that helps you find one on one support from a person with your cancer close to your age. Another thing that helped me was seeing a therapist. I found it essential to learning how to understand my needs and share those needs with others. For right now it's okay to tell your boyfriend that you don't know how to tell him exactly what you need, but that you just need him to physically be there for you (if that makes sense). If he wants help understading how to help you Imerman Angels also has support for caregivers, and there are groups specifically for caregivers. It's not easy to ask for help, but remember that you are going through one of the most difficult challenges anyone can ever face, there is no shame in asking for help. No one on this planet has ever made it through life without some kind of help along the way. I'm sure the people who love you want nothing more than to help you, you're not loosing face when you ask them for help, you are giving them the opportunity to help you which will make them feel useful and needed. People can make it to the other side of this. If you have any questions or are interested in any other resources, please feel free to shoot me a message on here.