Relationships are hard.

I have had a boyfriend for almost 3years, and this has been the hardest thing we have had to go through. Were young, Im 20 almost 21 and hes 26. he was so good to me in the hospital, but now that im home he thinks that this is all over, that im cured and i should be normal. I try to explain to him that it will never be what it used to be, this shit kinda changes who you are, and what your goals are. But he doesnt understand, and its hurting our relationship horribly. Being intimate isnt the easiest thing either, and most likely im infertile which isnt easy either. I dont want to break up but how the hell do you explain that things are different, he just wants it to go back to before i was sick, and i feel bad.


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  • You hit the nail on the head with this. Alot of people think that once treatment is over its all daisies and rainbows. There is alot of emotional and long term physical effects that aren't explained or discussed in the heat of just trying to survive. It's hard for people to understand this who haven't been through it. It's not cut and dry unfortunately. My wife and I had and still do have some trouble with this. We suppressed alot of emotions during treatment and they've slowly come out over the course of my recovery. What helped us was seeing an oncology counselor, this forum, and reaching out to other couples who have been in a similar situation. We've read alot on life post-cancer and tried to be more open with each other and to discuss our hopes and plans as we enter the recovery phase. There are alot of people on here who have or are going through similar things with our significant others. Feel free to shout out if you need help. I'm always happy to talk to anyone.
  • thank you. this would be easier if he was open with his feelings but hes so guarded. My hospital offers so many different counseling programs maybe i will take advantage of one.
  • I met my fiancee when we were both sick, I was about to have surgery and he was in month 3 of what ended up being 9months of chemo and radiation, so we didn;t have any of the fun pre diagnosis relationship, we jumped right into having movie dates at home in bed with a bucket. We are now both in the recovery phase and handle things copmletely differently. He never talks about cancer, except to say that he's had it, that he's in remission and plans to stay that way. I am on this forum, I also participate in another e-group for caregivers through cancercare. I guess what I'm trying to say is that post cancer recovery is something that everyone does differntly. It's great that you found this forum. Now I gotta say, and this may seem old mom-ish, but While he may have been an excellent boyfriend and wonderful during treatment, it may be that his role in your life, now that you are done treatment and moving into a huge new phase of your life that maybe his role is done, or changing. My Dad always told me that your early twenties are supposed to be about figuring out yourself and figuring out what you do and don't want from a partner. I personally know one couple my age who have been together since high scholl. it may be that your BF was good for that time in your life, and now you know some things to look for in a partner and somethings to avoid. Maybe this was not your rest-of-your-life true love anyway and you would have figured it out one way or another without stupid cancer. But without cancer you might have ended up in a miserable marriage and unhappy down the road. Now I don't know you or your BF, and I think I come off as kind of harsh in email. But you seem like a strong awesome person, I mean you kicked cancers ass. So maybe this is your time to heal yourself and figure the whole post cancer crap out. Maybe down the road your BF will realize how unrealistic it is to expect you to be over it and done with cancer.
  • your feedback isnt harsh, i expect real thoughts from people, if i didnt want them i wouldnt post. I have thought about maybe that being a stepping stone to other things and too break up because we are different or because our relationship will never be what it used to be, but i cant just leave him because he doesnt understand. I love him, he is who i want to be with, this is just a rough time because hes never had cancer or had to deal with it this closely. If i left him because he didnt understand what i was going through, then i would have to stop talking to everyone in my family, and friends because they dont understand it either,unless you have been through it, you just dont understand. thats why maybe group sessions or somethign will help so he sees in my perspective because he is totally willing to try to understand it. Before cancer i had moved into a huge new phase of my life with him, hes not just a boyfriend i have lived with him for three years, and done most major things in my life with him. I have a career as a dental assistant, and am enrolling in nursing school. I think that he knows cancer doesnt just go away but he wished it would and hes more street smart, then book smart so he struggles really grasping the whole thing to begin with. I do appreciate your feedback and its such a learning experience for me (thats how i cope just to keep learning..its probably the medical side of me, but it helps). It sucks that you and your boyfriend had cancer, but at least you understood it on the same level and could be there for eachother. I hope all is well.
  • Relationships are difficult, especially when challenged with cancer.. I am four months out of treatment for non-hodgkins lymphoma. I got engaged a year before being diagnosed and we were in the middle of planning our wedding and thinking about starting our lives together. Our lives both pretty much stopped and I was in the hospital for most of three months and we pushed our wedding back to early next year. My fiance was amazing and spent every day in the hospital with me, which I am so grateful for and will never know how to express to him what that meant to me. When it was all over with, he went back to work and sort of started back his normal life. I know it can't be completely back to 'normal' for him but I do know what you mean about how people don't understand the aftermath of the treatment and everything you just went through physically and mentally.. it doesn't get easier mentally when the cancer is all gone, the challenges just change. I know it sounds messed up, but when my fiance went back to work and he started acting like my cancer was all over and done with, a thing of the past - I almost felt abandoned by him in some way. I feel so selfish saying that. It was like he was able to move forward so quickly and I was kind of left alone to figure out my life again. I think its important to communicate with your significant other - he doesn't know what I'm going through or feeling unless I tell him. It's important to let the other person know what you need from them. I think its also important to have a support group outside of your relationship. Anyway thats my two cents! Wish everyone the best.

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