Jan 26, 2013 - 4:40 pm
I have never been on a forum like this and do not know what to say. I came here to get advice and to see how other people are dealing with this disease that has turned our lives upside down. I am appalled at the defensiveness and selfishness that I saw and was brought to tears by the first few things that I read. I heard other people who have this disease say that if the people in their lives can’t be upbeat all the time and have a positive energy then they should go away. I have never been more outraged. My boyfriend and I met when we were 40 years old. It took me that long to find “my person” and I have never been more in love or happier. At age 44 he was diagnosed with colon cancer. I was there when “we” found out. Actually, I was there, he was coming out of anesthesia and did not understand what was going on. I was the one who had to tell him that he had cancer. It was heart breaking and scary for both of us. We held on to each other and went through the test to determine what stage he had and his prognosis. After a month of tests and Dr. appointments we were told that he had stage 4 colon cancer and it had metastasized to his liver. It was not what we wanted to hear, but we were determined to stay optimistic and positive about his recovery. It has been a rollercoaster ride in the past 6 months but every day we are thankful for being each other’s person and for having each other to hold. We have gone to every appointment, every test, every surgery, and every chemo treatment together. I say “we “because he is not the only one who is dealing with this disease. I am the only one who has been there because his family lives out of state. I have had to take so much time off that my work has suffered. I have had to deal with the loss of intimacy and sex in order to take care of the man that I love. I have spent weeks in the hospital sometimes 20 hours a day in order to be there with him. I have never once waivered in my commitment to him and to our journey no matter what that may be. I have suffered from exhaustion and had to go to E.R. because of it. I have been put on medication because of the lack of sleep and depression at the thought of losing my love. I have psoriases and have outbreaks that take over my entire body. Since cancer came into “our” lives I have had no voice. I cannot have a bad day and ask for my person to hear about it. I cannot get sick and ask to be taken care of. I cannot break down in front of him when he has an allergic reaction to the chemo medicine and goes into anaphylactic shock in front of me because that would not be uplifting and happy for him. So now I go into the hospital corridors or my own shower to cry. I am told constantly that I need to be a source of strength for him and never ask him for anything. I know that I cannot even begin to put myself in his shoes. I know that he wants to separate from me in order to keep me safe and he feels like he is alone in this. I want people to know that as caretakers we are just as affected by this disease. We have put our lives on hold because we want to be there for you. I did not sign up for cancer…It was not a choice, an obligation or a burden we do it because for us it is simple… We love you.