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Having a tough time

Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2010

I'm 37 and had a radical hysterectomy 3 years ago due to uterine cancer. I am still having a difficult time coping with not being able to have children. My marriage is going downhill...it appears my husband is not coping well either but refuses to talk or go to counseling. I brought up the idea of adoption but he does not want a child that is not his and I feel as though he blames me for getting sick. Don't get me wrong, I feel so grateful that I've been given a second chance and since then I've finished my bachelor's degree and am currently in a master's program. I've never really talked to anyone, professional or otherwise about my feelings other than my mom who had the same cancer 10 years prior to my diagnosis. Mom just tends to tell me what I want to hear. I'm open to any ideas on how I can begin healing emotionally. ~~I'm glad I found this network and wish everyone the best.

bluerose's picture
Posts: 1104
Joined: Jul 2009

Hello. First of all let me say that I am so sorry for your diagnosis and all you had to go through with your cancer but am happy to hear that you have been able to get out and back to school, that is a great accomplishment in itself and helps to make survivors feel more 'back to normal'.

Your might be surprised to know that relationships issues are quite commmon with survivors because of course the diagnosis and following treatments affect the whole family as you have found, not just the patient. I am a 22 year survivor of non hodgkins lymphoma and my then husband had a nervous breakdown after I was on my feet. He coped not too badly IT SEEMED all through my treatments and hospitalization but after I was getting back on my feet just a bit he broke down. He was holding it all in I guess. I felt him distance himself in many ways for years afterwards, couldn't quite explain it but he wasn't as involved - denied it when I mentioned it. I got him into counsellling but he never really participated much and I felt as if he almost didn't want it to work but dismissed it. Apparently I have been told by another survivor that the incidence of divorce amongst survivors is quite high, cancer is quite a challenge to a relationship for sure.

Flashforward a decade later and it got so bad between him and I that I actually asked him to leave for a break and he broke alright, I caught him with another woman not long after, walking hand in hand down the street - how long had that been going on and I find out later she worked with him.

Cancer puts a ton of stress on a relationship and for the lucky ones it brings them closer but it can do the opposite. You are also dealing with issues of wanting kids as well and until you work this all out with your husband of course I wouldn't suggest you go ahead with adoption at all, if he changes his mind, as you wouldn't want to bring a kid into a situation that is unstable only to have Dad leave soon afterwards would you?

If I can give you some advice I would suggest that if he won't go to a counsellor with you then you go alone, for your own sake and the counsellor might then work with you to get your husband into counselling with you later on or give you advice on how to deal with him so that your marriage doesn't fall apart completely.

I heard someone say that sometimes there is a high price to pay for a cure for cancer and I know that personally that was/is the case for me. I have many late effects from the treatments and one of them was at least in part my marriage breakdown. It's a tough road, the cancer journey, for all concerned.

Hope that your husband sees the importance of counselling so you can both work on your marriage and dealing with untreated issues for him about the cancer. Sounds like he has built up resentment and maybe anger about it all. Some do.

Let us know how it's going but know that you aren't alone in this. Blessings, Bluerose

Posts: 892
Joined: Jan 2010

I'm having a hard time with prostate cancer. It certainly has changed my life and it certainly has impacted my marraige. I had a long paragraph typed but deleted it. Instead, all I want to say is cancer changes things. It is just plain nasty. And my wife is still putting up with me. Amazing.

Curly, I wish you well.

slickwilly's picture
Posts: 339
Joined: Feb 2007

I doubt there many things like cancer that can bring a man down. It hits right at the core of our whole life. Providing for our family, working around the home, financial issues and our intimate life. Its easy to think of ourself as a drain on the family. A couple years after my cancer I ended up on disability. It was like taking a hit twice when thing were just starting to get back in order. So I am now the butler in the home. And I am a damn good one. I do dishes, laundry, cleaning, cooking and everything my body allows me to do. And I send my wife off to work each night with a lunch and a cup of coffee. It was a hard adjustment but I no longer feel like a drain.
I can't list all of the emotional issues I went through with my cancer. But my wife is still hare after 7 years. This week I ended up in the ER. I had Cellulitis in my face and it blew up like a basketball. As my face was getting eaten up my wife was right there with me. And we spend hours on the road driving to specialists. I had a tooth drilled and left open, a drain put inside my mouth and lots of antibiotics. I will survive another bout with death. I guess I can understand why my wife will not kiss me. It taste like I ate a skunk that was roadkill for a couple days. But at the end of the day she will still be here. Sometimes we just have to accept what is or has happened and try to be the best person we can be. I hope things go well for you Trew. It takes time to deal with everything and things are constantly changing. Take one step at a time and set short term goals. You are blessed with a supportive wife and that is pretty hard to beat. Best wishes Slickwilly

bluerose's picture
Posts: 1104
Joined: Jul 2009

Firstly, so sorry to hear about your recent medical hastles and trip to the ER. Hope things have evened out for you, sounds like a horrible experience but so glad you have the support you do, makes things 99% easier eh? Hugs.

It's so great to hear about couples who are there for each other when one is sick, like you and Trew, mine is off with a younger healthy woman -remarried as you know Slick, and that is very hard for the remaining spouse for sure. You guys are so lucky, you have seen the percentages of marriages that don't make it through cancer so you are both truly are blessed.

You are so right that you have to just, at some point, accept what is with our health and do your best to go on, why fight against it? Of course it's hard and I sure know that big time personally and yup there are days when we whine ourselves to our knees and that's okay too but in the end what is is what is and we all try our best to make the best of it all.

Curly I hope you can find some good info on these boards in support for all you are going through and do join us in the chatroom on this site if you feel like talking in real time with other survivors. Most know where you are coming from in all of this for sure.

Blessings, Bluerose

Posts: 892
Joined: Jan 2010

Nice testimony to a good marriage. I can see that cancer has messed with my life, but somehow reading expereinces like yours lets me know that is just how cancer ofter works.

Every cancer is different and affects everyone in different ways, and even though I do not like what it has done to me, at least I see I have not been singled out by it for special aflections.

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