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boyfriend pushing me out of his life

Posts: 1
Joined: Nov 2007

Hi. I've been with my boyfriend for 15 months. In that time he's had his 2nd battle with colon cancer. This Monday he received news that it's back and his doc has given him 12 months to live. He's asked me to leave him alone as he doesn't want me to have to see him go through it. I want to be there in the darkest time of the man I love. But he's not budging. What do I do? I love him so much and want to comfort him. But he says it would kill him to have to watch me suffer with him. I don't know what to do. Thanks, Heidi

vinny3's picture
Posts: 933
Joined: Jun 2006

Hi Heidi,

Your boyfriend is feeling self-pity and that is very understandable. However, there are several things I would say to him. The first is "what if your doctor is wrong?" I can tell you, as a physician in practice for almost 40 years that there is no formula for figuring out how long someone will live. One can make a pretty good guess in the last few days but other than that it is still quite a guess. One may estimate that the odds are greater that a patient's life will be shorter but not give an exact time. Your boyfriend only knows that when he does die that it may likely be from the cancer. But it is possible, I hate to say it, that even you , or I, could die before him. There are other causes of death than cancer.

Than there is the question of treatment. As has been said here as long as one breathes there is hope. There are new treatments being tried and clinical trials one can enter. I would recommend getting an opinion from another doctor, preferably at a major cancer center, about treatment options.

If he is going to send you away at this time he is really planning on spending the rest of his time dying instead of living. I, for one, am very bothered by the fact that we die. But I realize that if I spend my time thinking about that than I am not living. What if he really has 24 months, or 36, or 48, or 480? Is he going to spend all that time dying? After all, he is the same person today that he was a month ago except that he got some upsetting news. But now is not the time for him to give up. If he does not relent, you may try to present to him an incremental staying with him, since he is the same now why break it off now. As you stay with him I expect he will pull out of it some and come to be able to appreciate your love and support of him.

We will pray for both of you in this difficult time. Dick

KathiM's picture
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005


When I was told of my second cancer, 6 months after my first, all I wanted to do was run away. Sort of like a hurt animal. I had a BIG pity party....complete with 'why me' favors....and then, about a week later, knuckled down, got PISSED that this thing was trying AGAIN to defeat me, and fought like HECK....

I agree with Dick....doctors are not very good at long-term projections...my first dx carried with it a 6-month death sentence. At 6 months, not only was this cancer gone, but I was 'well' enough to be treated for the other, separate cancer (they knew about it, but didn't see the point in treating it if I didn't survive the first...sigh....).

And now, almost exactly 3 years since diagnosis, I am cancer free on BOTH....

I would say "I love you. I want to be here. If I didn't, I wouldn't be. I know you feel bad right now, but I also know you well enough that I know you will want to fight like heck with this one. And I want to be by your side."

That said....skip the melodrama...."Darkest time of the man I love". YOU MUST be upbeat, treat this as a moment in your lives...do NOT show any of you lack of faith of his recovery to him. Hard, I know...I have also been a caregiver many times. Cry to your friends, if you must....but keep on the game face with him.

Hugs, Kathi

Posts: 1048
Joined: Jan 2007

Hi and welcome, but sorry it's under these circumstances. I agree with Dick and Kathi and it's important that your boyfriend doesn't resign himself to the "prognosis" and that you also don't. My Hubby stage IV, told inoperable for 8 mos for liver mets , and just had a liver resection 6 weeks ago, after 9 chemo treatments and colon resection in Jan. We never gave up hope and although we've still got some bridges to cross, we will cross them together. Doc's aren't always right and nobody but God can decide when a mortal life will end, and pursuing second and third opinions may give your boyfriend some additional options. It's important that YOU remain positive, encourage him as much as possible and dont give up hope. As Kathi said, stay "upbeat". Comforting him may help you but it may not necessarily be what he needs. Good luck and God Bless,


Posts: 9
Joined: May 2007

I'm with the others..NO ONE KNOWS for sure how long ANY of us have before we die! we just need to live every moment in the NOW...and there is treatment and there is always hope for a miracle! keep smiling and keep calling him...just a few thoughts from a survivor

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