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Caring for someone with Hodgkin's

jlzobr
Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2001

My fiancee was diagnosed with Hodgkin's stage 3B in February 2000. Last year when things were not going so well with the cancer, he called off the wedding saying he was not ready to commit. It was a very diffucult time for us, but we managed to scrape through and are still together. When things started going well, he wanted to reset the date. This February, we found out the cancer was back and he was going to need a stem cell transplant. He struggles in dealing with this and once again has called the wedding off, this time only 6 months before the wedding. Again, he says he is not happy and does not want to commit. I don't know how to deal with this. I wonder if it is all related to the cancer and his fears or whether he truly does not want to commit. He says it has nothing to do with the cancer or me, yet it seems to only happen when we receive bad news and he shuts me out of his life completely. He doesn't even talk to me. He says he loves me. So, I don't whether to stay or go. I do love him and I do want to marry him. He seems so angry and he doesn't really talk to anyone about his feelings. I wish he would but know that it has to be his decision. Any suggestions on how to talk to him or deal with this? When I try to talk about how I am feeling, he gets very angry and doesn't want to talk at all.

rory
Posts: 33
Joined: Oct 2000

Hi, my name is Rory. I know exactly what your finance is going through. You see, I was diagnosed with HD in 1974. I started seeing my wife that same year. Subsequently, we discussed marriage but I felt that perhaps I did not have the right to be married given my illness. I also felt that if the cancer recurred that this would'nt be fair to my wife. I struggled with these emotional feelings. It even cross my mind that maybe she was pitying me. My then fiancee said to me "I would rather have a week, month, year with you than anyone else". She saw me through the radiation treatments. I had a lot of fear and uncertainty about my future. We also had a talk with my oncologist about the long term effects of treatment on fertility. Your fiancee probably has a lot of fears about these things and the future, especially since the recurrence. He needs someone to talk with about his feelings that he can really relate to about his illness - someone who has been where he is now... Support groups are very good at this. Talk to his oncologist if you can or the local cancer society for sources of groups. Also, just be there for him. The treatments are very tough at times, and he may just need you to be there for him.

There is a book that touches on some of the emotional issues that you might find helpful in understanding what he is going through. The book is entitled "Childhood Cancer Survivors - A practical guide to your future". It provides good information and URLs for further support.

I hope this information was helpful. Healing prayers and thoughts are sent your way for your fiancee and you.

Rory

tauras769
Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2001

Hi! I am Michelle...when I was 21 I got very sick and then 11 months later, right after Thanksgiving, age 22, they found I had Hodgkins...I was in the first stage, it was all above the diaphragm, but it was still cancer...I dont know how to explain this without looking at you and really telling you my deepest feelings about the reality of having the disease, but I will try...I feel it is the whole situation of life and death and sickness and committment....it's hard to commit to a happy life, when you dont know if you are going to be around...I had a really hard time staying in reality while I was taking treatments...Many times I couldnt think, therefore, I really had no feeling about anything, except SURVIVING...It's a miserable road to travel, but once you get all of the medicine out of your body and you are cured, and time passes by, and you realize you still have a life to live, then you feel the need to add to what you have and to be truly happy...I really have so much I could say to you....I will add more later...if you have any specific questions, please ask and I will be glad to try to assist you....Everyone thinks differently, but having had Hodgkins, maybe I can help a lil....Dont give up on him..... :):):):):) His mind is in 1000 other directions than you realize....Pray and have faith....If you are feeling rejected, try to understand, that he may not even realize how he is making you feel...even if it seems that he does....Just Love Him, He needs you :)

autumnrae
Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2001

Hello,
My husband was diagnoed with Hodgkins in November 1999, just after his 20th birthday. He jokes it was his birthday present. We were not married or even engaged at that time. We go engaged December 31, 1999 and were married April 1, 2000. I had to do the asking. He told me he was waiting until he was cancer free. Well it's been a year and he spent our first anniversary in the hospital have his second BMT. I can honestly say I am glad we got married. My husband tries to be independent and so do I. We neither one want to worry the other. Your fiancee should talk to you. He might be afraid that he won't make it through this and doesn't want to put you through facing being a widow. It's very scary. But, to me God is bigger than cancer and I waited to get married. I was 35 when we married. I joke with my husband that I proved my end of the vows so he had to marry me!!! Keep a sense of humor. We've laughed and cried. I suggest you get married, even it's just a small private, family only wedding. I feel better, even facing what I'm facing, knowing that we got married. If you want to talk, you can e-mail me at autumnrae821@hotmail.com.

slight
Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2001

As a female Hodkin's patient, I may not be able to offer such great advice, but being diagnosed with cancer is difficult. The fear of death is always looming over our heads. it is possible he is thinking to himself, why should he marry you and put you through unncessary pain and anguish; What kind of man can he be to you; can he support you; will he be able to work; will he be able to have sex with you; will he be able tot ake care of you if you become sick; and who is to say you will be around when the going gets "really bad". These issues are not male or female issues. I had a similar issue. I told my then boyfriend, that we should break up because taking care of myself was my FIRST priority-- that I would have to be completely selfish for my own survival. I couldn't see myself being in a relationship when I was first diagnosed. But most importantly, I didn't want him to leave me ever if he decided to stay!

Be patient--BE THERE

cschrock's picture
cschrock
Posts: 7
Joined: Mar 2001

If you love him don't leave him. He is going through a difficult time. Also, he should be lucky to have you by his side. As I went through my battle with Hodgkins, if it was not for my wife I do not know what I would have done. What you need to do is to get him to talk with someone that has gone through what he is going through. The American Cancer Society in your town chould help you with making that connection. Finally, He maybe scared of what you will have to live with or he may feel he is not the same man that you wanted to marry. Just let him know how much you love him and care for him and that nothing can break your spirt or your love for him. Good Luck. My prays are with you and your fiancee.

Chuck~

Faith0104
Posts: 3
Joined: Jul 2009

I am sort of in the same boat. Only without the engagement. My boyfriend was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma in February. We started dating in April. Reading your post felt like I was reading about my relationship. When he is feeling well, he is one hundred percent sure about our relationship. When he isn't feeling well it's a whole other story. He tells me that he doesn't know what's wrong or why he goes through these phases. He tells me he is experiencing about a hundred different emotions at the same time. Once day we will be making future plans, then the next he says he can't promise anything about the future. In the beginning, I thought it had to do with me, but I soon realized that what he was telling me was the truth. He is experiencing a hundred different emotions at the same time. He says it isn't fair to me. It is very hard. I thought it was just our relationship that was like this. All we can do is stick by their sides and just love them.

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