Advice on newly diagnosed bf

Jtchristy Member Posts: 12
edited September 2017 in Caregivers #1

Hello everyone!! I wanted some advice for the situation with my bf. Doctors accidentally found tumors and they were removed. (I told him it was God’s will that they were found by mistake) He told me everything was fine. About a month after the surgery he started acting strange after just meeting my kids and I thought he decided that he didn’t want a ready-made family. After about three weeks of him exhibiting strange behaviour (Distant, not wanting to hang out) he sat me down and said he “just found out” he had stage 4 cancer. He told me he wanted to continue on with the relationship but this was going to be a long road and he would understand if I wanted to end it. I told him that I was not going anywhere and that I was there for him. We continued dating and things have been better. Last night he told me he is going to pick out his plot soon? He sees doctors a few times a week and his family goes with him as he has not asked for me to accompany him and I give him his freedom and do not push myself on going. He also told me last night that he can’t believe that I want to go thru this with him; he appreciates it and that any other woman would run. He made a comment about how gross he looked after surgery and said “Good thing you didn’t see me like that you would definitely dumped me.” He then said that it is amazing that I am willing to go down this road with him and if “The shoe was on the other foot he doesn’t know if he would do the same.” I joked it off and said of course you would. But last night I lay awake thinking about what he said. My heart is saying to stay with him, he is not in the right frame of mind and my head is saying, are you nuts? he just TOLD you he wouldn't do the same for you!! wake up!!! He has told me several times that he is distracted by his diagnosis and may say the wrong thing or do the wrong thing and asked that I not get upset. I had a terrible marriage with my ex as he was extremely selfish and I do not wish to go down the same road…does he really care about me or am I lying to myself? I am trying not to get upset with the everyday things that most couples fight about as I know they are considered not important compared to his diagnosis. I don’t know if this is normal for someone to say/act/do…. Basically what I am saying is I am in if he is in. His bday is coming up and I got him two books, “The Anti-Cancer, a new way of life” and “The New Health Rules: Simple Changes to Achieve Whole-Body Wellness.” Any advice would be great on how to help him or talk to him. Should I ignore his comment? I really want to make this work and would appreciate any advice. He is starting chemo pills at the end of the month. Thanx and God Bless 


  • Catholic
    Catholic Member Posts: 86
    edited September 2017 #2
    Your kinda of going all over

    Your kinda of going all over the place with your emotions.  Your looking for advice in kinda of the wrong forum.

    I can tell you your future and the road you could go on.  When he starts chemotherapy, he will lose his hair about 3 weeks later.  My wife
    didnt handle that well but a guy with short hair might handle it better.  The drugs he takes are very powerful and he will want to sleep a lot.
    And I mean a lot of sleep.  My wife slept 12-16 hours a day.  The whole time with chemotherapy is not difficult, in my opinion, as a caregiver.
    Your boyfried will sleep and he will need rides to the clinic and while he will need food, he most likely wont be up for it.  I brought my wife
    homemade soup and bread everyday and she ate some.  She said she couldnt taste food while taking the chemotherapy so simple foods
    is all that she was interested in.

    The real job of the caregiver begins when the chemotherapy ends.  Does you boyfriend get up and get out of bed and start doing things during
    the day and does he get involved with friends and family and a job and so on once chemotherapy ends?  Or does he continue laying in bed
    or on the couch and watch tv?  You have to wait a see what happens.  Try to find out what chemotherapy drugs he is prescribed.  Then look up
    those drugs.  The drug taxomifen is a very powerful drug that has many side effects.  The side effects are no fun and linger.

    > Should I ignore his comment?

    Yes (just my opinion).

    My wife was 35-36 when she was diagnosed with cancer.  We literally came home from the hospital with our 3rd child and she went to live in
    the basement for 2 years.  I had a 6 year old, 4 year old and 1 day old to take care of and a wife in the basement.  2 years later her sister
    came to visit and took her to the clinic and she was diagnosed with cancer and then started chemotherapy.  All of the things she said to me,
    and she said a lot of bad things to me and about me, I have ignored.  Yes a few comments still linger because she was such a difficult person
    to live with and she said she really bad things about me.  But I would let the comment your boyfriend made go.

  • JerzyGrrl
    JerzyGrrl Member Posts: 760 Member
    My spouse...

    My spouse who had a lot of medical stuff going on, said, "If this was reversed, I know I couldn't do what you've been willing to do, and after you died I would just drive off somewhere and..."

    Fortunately, my stand-up gene kicked in and I thought / replied, "Dang. Could you at least have the decency to drop the dog off at the sitter's? You don't want the poor little guy to die from dehydration or baseboard splinters from trying to find something to eat."

    How I'd interpret what your BF said (No stand-up, but a metaphor): He's overwhelmed. He's amazed you're willing to stick with him through this. He thinks you have super powers, because this is one building, were the situation reversed, he doesn't think he could leap. Hang in there. Keep us posted as you're able. 


  • GingerMay
    GingerMay Member Posts: 134
    Interpreting behaviors

    I had difficulty interpreting my husband's behaviors when he was newly diagnosed.  Mostly I thought he was distant, shutting me out, didn't want my help, wasn't engaging.  I came to realize he was likely in shock, overwhelmed at what lay ahead, grief stricken, and perhaps even a bit in denial since the diagnosis came out of nowhere.  Getting his arms around it was a process.  Over the past year, we are just "sort of" starting to find our footing in all of this.  It is still so scary, emotional, and unpredictable.  

    You are probably the best judge of whether to continue the relationship.  In my experience, I can say distancing is not unusual.  If you want to remain involved, I suggest bringing over a prepared meal on occasion, and maybe look around to make sure his home is clean and laundry is getting done.  If it isn't you can always offer to hire a service to take these things off his plate (not saying to actually do the cleaning, just oversee those who do).  During this time, please know he may not be able to be the boyfriend that you want because he is overwhelmed.  If he doesn't want you involved in all the details, dr. appts, etc., then hang back.  When he does call, just be there for him.  It might seem a bit irratic, but does not always mean he doesn't care about you.  Prayers to him and to you.         


  • Jtchristy
    Jtchristy Member Posts: 12
    edited September 2017 #5
    Thank you

    Thank you Catholic!! I love making homemade soups in the crockpot so that is the perfect idea. Sorry I am all over the place but I wasn’t sure which forum to go on; however no matter what forum I am in I always go all over the place!! He is going to be taking Pazopanib for his chemo pills. Also thank you Jerzygrrl for your imput and advice. He is really overwhelmed and I now think that was what he was trying to get across. And lastly thank you Gingermay. I now know that he is more upset than he is letting on. He just retired from the military and is acting tough. Another marine contacted their Chaplain and told him that bf is not doing good emotionally and he told me that he didn’t understand why as he is doing “Great.” I told him to see the Chaplain regardless and they wound up talking for over two hours. After he met with the Chaplain he told me that his biggest fear is that I am going to leave when he needs me the most. I assured him that I am not going anywhere. I had lunch with a friend yesterday and was angry; as he and I were both in terrible marriages with selfish people and I made a comment about how I finally met a nice guy and we find out he has cancer. She said that I was brought to him by God as he needs a good woman to help him through this. I don’t know if she really felt this way or she was just saying that to make me feel better but anyway I felt a lot better. Thank you all for your advice. I am ready to stand by him. God bless all of you!!!!

  • Nana54muller
    Nana54muller Member Posts: 1
    edited October 2017 #6
    My 36 year old daughter has breast cancer.

    We just learned Tuesday that my daughter has breast cancer.  Today we learned it was fast growing and needed aggressive treatment.  I am terrified.  She seems to be handling it better than me.  This is my first time here and I may be in the wrong place.  I just want to know if what I'm feeling is how you all felt at the beginning.

  • Catholic
    Catholic Member Posts: 86

    My 36 year old daughter has breast cancer.

    We just learned Tuesday that my daughter has breast cancer.  Today we learned it was fast growing and needed aggressive treatment.  I am terrified.  She seems to be handling it better than me.  This is my first time here and I may be in the wrong place.  I just want to know if what I'm feeling is how you all felt at the beginning.

    Its different for a spouse

    Its different for a spouse than a parent.  As a parent of 3 young kids (2 daughters), I would be terrified.  I love my kids tremendously
    and if anything like cancer were to come, I would be shocked.

    We share a common goal.  And the goal of the caregiver (whether your a parent or a spouse) is to keep the person with cancer active.
    My wife during chemotherapy was just knocked down by those drugs. She was also very bored.  I bought her a cross stitch kit to work
    on and she worked on that kit for 11 months.  My wife slept way too much, ate some, then went back to sleep, worked on her cross
    stitch for 30 minutes or so, just sat there for a few hours, then went to sleep.  When the chemotherapy ended, she was in good spirits
    for about 2 months and then her bad habits and really bad mood returned with a vengeance.  It was difficult and very stressful and
    still is stressful 2 years later.

  • ClaCla
    ClaCla Member Posts: 136

    Nana, I can only speak from experience with my mom being diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma (which eventually killed her) and from my personal experience with lung cancer.  I'm sure concern for a daughter is worse.  Yes, it is normal to feel terrified, especially in the first weeks of diagnosis.  As she goes through further tests etc. and her doctors propose a treatment plan, she may find herself so busy with appointments that some of the fear gets pushed to the back of her thoughts.  But I can't imagine how it will be for you until you hear something from the docs that gives you hope.

    For future posts, you should start a new discussion of your own, as you may get more response than through an older discussion. Caregivers participate in the cancer-specific forums, so it would be a good idea to start a post under breast cancer as well.

    Wishing you and your daughter the best success.  God bless.


  • To the original poster

    As I write this my wife lays in bed, we have lost our battle, she will hopefully cease to suffer soon.

    It’s been a hellish fourt months, just awful.

    We have been married seven years, I feel completely robbed and heartbroken.

    That said, if seven years ago, you told me I was going to spend the last year of our marriage in such horrific pain and stress I would have said: Bring it on!

    I would not trade my marriage, cancer and all, for anything in this world.