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I'm a caregiver, my fiancee is a survivor, and a patient and his prognosis is good. We are in Watch and Wait Limbo.

skwilliams
Posts: 4
Joined: Aug 2011

I'm having a hard time right now. My fiancee is a 10 year testicular cancer survivor, and is in remission from lung cancer (ok not really remission, but he has no heath insurance and the indigent care at the hospital says watch and wait until it becomes life threatening again and then we'll look at more treatment.) We started dating when he was in treatment, for Squamous non small cell lung cancer, my family thought I was nuts to date a cancer patient, or at least not making a very good long term life choice, and some people even asked why I would do that to my young daughter, to bring a cancer patient into her life. Now that we are engaged, my family just avoids the issue, it feels like they look at it like I'm engaged to a corpse. This amazing man who is my best friend and an awesome "father" for my daughter, she is devoted to him and accepts his limitations better than the rest of the family. It sucks being stuck in limbo tho, and no one knows how to relate, I don't know anyone who is engaged to a cancer patient. Friends seems overwhelmed to deal with his wheelchair and often get offended when we leave the party after an hour or 45 minutes. We don't drink, we spend our time at home, in the garden or watching movies, regular family stuff, but it seems like a different planet from the rest of our peer group. Cancer feels like a different planet. Is there any way to relate to friends and family now, I know I'm a different person, but they seem the same.

palmyrafan's picture
palmyrafan
Posts: 398
Joined: Mar 2011

I am so sorry you are going through this right now.

I am a brain cancer patient and my husband is my caregiver and my best friend. I have some of the same issues with my own family, who just happen to be the biggest ostriches in the world. Always sticking their heads in the sand at the slightest confrontation or bad news. So we just don't tell them anything. If they want to know, they ask.

I was diagnosed a year after we were married (diagnosed in 1993) and my husband's mom thought my husband should leave me. Said no one would think bad of him if he left, etc, etc, etc. His response to her was "what part of my marriage vows don't you think I understand?"

Loving and/or marriage to a cancer patient is very difficult at best. You don't know what our moods will be, how we will be feeling on any given day or how we will react to new meds or new treatment. Many times you will feel like you are being taken for granted by the patient, but I assure you, you never are. We get angry, because we want the madness to stop. We get angry or frustrated because we feel we have no control over anything in our lives and we want our "normal" back.

Surround yourself with friends and family who DO understand the connection and the love you have for each other, Your daughter loves him and accepts him and that is a major accomplishment. It's time to do the boot, scoot and boogie. Boot all the bozos and idiots to the curb (or at least on a need-to-know basis, scoot your way to wellness and boogie across the dance floor during remission or after being cured.

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