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Partner diagnosed w/breast cancer

luvher03
Posts: 8
Joined: Jul 2009

My partner of 6 years found a lump in April '09 and was diagnosed with IDC in June. She will have a bilateral in OCT and will start chemo in a few weeks. Are there any other caregiver partners out there who are struggling w/ becoming a caregiver and have dealt w/ the changing emotions that come about when life changes like this? Cancer is such an uninvited guest...neither of us planned for this (who does?)

This is her second cancer. 12 yrs ago she was diagnosed w/ NHL but had a full recovery...but there was always this threat in very back...and now here it is.

What is normal now? Everything seems so business-like w/dr appts, consults, planning, insurnace, juggling 3 kids while I am taking over the bulk of the repsonsibilities now...so i am as tired as she is.

I hate the growing lump in her breast.

Any experience, wisdom, thoughts would be helpful.....

thank you

tjhay's picture
tjhay
Posts: 655
Joined: Oct 2008

I am not a caregiver I am a breast survivor. What you and your partner are facing is very hard, and I am sure it seems very business like. It is business like at this point. My partner had the hardest time excepting the lump that was growing in my breast.
Cancer is an invasion of your life not just body, it effects everything in your everyday life, that's one of the reasons we call it the beast. I can tell you though that if you two hold on tight to each other, keep the lines of communication open, and take each day on together no matter how hard it may seem, it will make it easier to bare. You can also go to the breast cancer boards the women there are very supportive and they don't judge. They will advise, and support the both through it all
Good luck
Tjhay

TraciInLA's picture
TraciInLA
Posts: 1836
Joined: Jul 2009

I'm a breast cancer survivor currently in treatment who identifies as queer, and my girlfriend has been my rock through all this.

I've just joined the breast cancer forum on these discussion boards. There always seem to be 20-30 people on that forum at any time, there are caregivers who post regularly, and all the posts I've seen are so positive and supportive. I would also encourage you to come on over to that board -- I so empathize with you about how "business-like" everything seems at this stage, and you should make sure that both of you have positive people to support you, even if only those of us who can be there for you "virtually."

Traci

luvher03
Posts: 8
Joined: Jul 2009

We do have great friends who have been more than supportive....that has been great. Her sentinal node biopsy results came back yesterday and 2 of the 5 nodes they took out were cancerous. At this stage it is still too early to know what that really means. We go in next week for a pet (sp?) scan, an appt w/ a cardiologist (she had chemo-CHOP therapy for her last cancer along with radiation to treat her Non Hodgkins lymphoma 14 yrs ago, so her heart is working below average and the chemo she will be going on TCH, the Herceptin primarily is hard on the heart) and start chemo next week. Her bilateral mastectomy will be in OCT sometime. I understand she needs to process and grieve every time the news is negative, but I am having a hard time helping her with the silver lining. She is having a hard time and remembers her treatment from before and doesn't want to go through it again. I suppose it wont hurt to go over to the other side to talk about all this. I just noticed there wasnt a lot of activity on this side of the boards and I wanted to see if any sisters were here. My own selfish struggle that I did not feel comfortable sharing on other boards was that her boobs were my boobs and now one is invaded and I am grieving the loss of them as well. I feel it affecting my intimacy toward her because she has this growth in her body that is foreign and deadly. It doesn't make sense, I know. And I get past it each time, but it still creeps me out. And I hate that she is sick, I hate seeing her this way. I want things back to normal and normal is gone now, for a while anyway. She sees me as her rock...she needs me to be a rock and a rock I will be....it does get hard after a while though. This is harder than I thought it would be. I am work right now. It is 1:20 am and we found out about the nodes yesterday at 4 and I was so busy with the kids and comforting her that I haven't really processed it myself. Ummm.....this seems long, so I am going ot go for now. Thanks for your words and kindness.

tjhay's picture
tjhay
Posts: 655
Joined: Oct 2008

I sent you an email to set up a time to chat, let me know i will be there for you and her
Tj

lisaonthenet
Posts: 68
Joined: Nov 2009

Yes, there are others out there/here. My partner of 9+ years has metastatic thyroid cancer that has mets to her lungs, kidney, liver, adrenal gland, femur, hip and spleen. Over the past year and a half it's gotten more aggressive and she's been getting chemo treatments and more recently radiation to her left hip. She was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2003 so she's/we've been fighting this most of our relationship.

Normal for us is a new normal I say. Whatever the day brings or we choose to bring to it is our new normal if that makes any sense.

I hate Kelly's cancer so I know what you mean. I'm dealing with many of my own emotions as well, anger, irritability, being tired, etc.

What kind of support do you have?

Lisa

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