I am new to the forum, and basically joined because I have nobody to talk to and I'm not in a very good place mentally right now.
I am 31 years old. My boyfriend is 33 and recently was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma for the second time. We've been together 6 years, and I was not in the picture his first go round with the disease, as he was in remission for over 10 years.
Symptoms started last summer and resembled mono. At least, that is what he convinced himself he had while he ignored it for 3 months. I begged him to go to the doctor as he could barely get out of bed, fatigued easily, and woke up drenched in sweat every morning. I thought tried to get his parents to help me make him go to the ER, and they basically brushed me off. So, finally, in early fall, he had no choice but to go because our family doctor took one look at him and sent him straight to the ER. It did not take them long (after a lymph node biopsy and several scans) to conclude that the lymphoma had returned.
In 2014, we had just opened up a grooming salon together along with a third partner. The business was going well, expanding rapidly. My boyfriend and I were working there full time, and we were excited and amazed at how fast the business grew. It seemed like a whole new pathway was opening up for our lives and future. And it all has just come screeching to a halt.
I have just felt so out of touch with his treatment. We do not have any children together, but I do have a 10 year old daughter. Between my daughter and running the business, and with one of our incomes dropped, I wasn't able to take time off of work to go to appointments with him. I was able to go to one chemo session. Instead, his parents (who are very attached, retired, and well off) have pretty much engulfed any role I could have had due to a plethora of free time and no financial worries.
The doctors recommended my boyfriend have a bone marrow transplant. The original admission date was supposed to be right after Christmas 2015, but his counts and progression kept hindering the admission, so it was only last month that he was admitted for the transplant.
He is in a hospital that is a two hour drive for me. I have anxiety issues, and can't take the highway into big cities, so I drive the back way. I am only able to go up once a week (he was admitted April 21st.)
I feel more and more distanced and kept in the dark. I ask for updates...they are not offered. I am completely overwhelmed by the business, finances, my whole life is just too much for me. It takes a toll when you can't be there for your partner, but meanwhile you have to look at photos of others visiting him in the hospital everyday. I feel like an unwanted bystander in what used to be my life.
I feel constantly anxious and trapped inside my own thoughts. I have imagined the business burning to the ground and the idea fills me with such a sense of relief. I want to just take time off, but as one of two dog groomers in the salon, our growing business would take a major financial hit...and so would I. The business doesn't turn enough of a profit to support me if I don't work. And I can't let my other business partner down.
I feel like I am doing everything I'm not supposed to. By staying behind and "holding down the fort" I am not there to support my boyfriend. I don't sleep well. I am snappy and angry. Everything is too much. I have tried to explain it to my boyfriend, when the thoughts get really really bad...because otherwise I wouldn't burden him, and I just don't think he has it in him to care. I have expressed that I feel excluded and miserable and depressed and scared. I don't know who to talk to now that he isn't here.
The transplant went well, and he is still in the hospital in this recovery stages. When he comes home, I won't even be able to support him, as he will need 24 hour monitoring for at least two weeks. So, his parents have taken that over, as well.
I don't know what to do. I know maybe I sound selfish...but I have held onto this for too long at this point. My thoughts are beginning to scare me
Struggling as a Caregiver.
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