Caregiver to boyfriend with Lymphoma

SweetBeans Member Posts: 1

Hi all,

 My boyfriend is 26 and was diagnosed in October with a rare T Cell Lymphoma. I am a single mom of two boys and have a full time job. My boyfriend and I have been together for almost two years. Before his diagnosis I was thinking I was ready to move in with him and saw a future with him. In what seems like an instant, he is living with me and I am now his caregiver. I wouldn't change it for the world. I love him and hope to be his fiance and then wife. I am upset this all had to happen because of cancer. Life does not stop because of cancer and I know I am blessed. My boyfriend is in the angry phase and is not appreciative very much. He has had two rounds of chemo. I take him to treatment, make his appointments, grocery shop, handle disablility, take the kids to school, appts etc. It is a lot but that is the role I have taken on. I am happy and blessed. I guess I just don't know how to handle my boyfriends moods. I know it is not me. But that is the thing. It is always about him now and always about cancer. He can't think positive even the docs are positive he can get cured. I know I am not him. I don't have cancer. I can't fix what is wrong and I can't make him be happy if he isn't. I am new to this site and just looking for a place to express how I feel and maybe hear from other caregivers. We went from living separate to now sharing space. I am worried he is going to resent me or regret his decision to move in. I also feel like I am not doing enough. Even though I am doing a lot. I will get used to the journey. Cancer is a part of our life now and I am hoping he will come to accept some of it. 


  • Catholic
    Catholic Member Posts: 86
    This sentence:

    This sentence:

    > My boyfriend is in the angry phase and is not appreciative very much.

    Then this:

    > He can't think positive..

    My wife came home from the hospital after the birth of our 3rd child and literally went to
    live in the basement fulltime.  We had 3 kids ages 6 years old, 4 years old, and a 1-day old
    and she was in the basement 23 1/2 hours a day, every day.  I couldnt get her out of the
    basement.  Then came the rage monster and she would come up from the basement and call
    the police on me and accuse me of something really, really bad. She called the police maybe
    12-15 times on me.  2 years later her sister came and got my wife to go to a clinic where she
    was eventually diagnosed with cancer.  Then chemotherapy and hormone therapy for 11 months.

    After chemotherapy, her spirits were up for about 2 months.  I think she was most happy
    that her hair was growing back.  Then the anger resumed and its been that way since.  My
    youngest child is now 4 years old and praise God, she is in pre-school 4 days a week and I
    have time to get things done.

    You cant make your boyfriend happy.  You must though take care of yourself.  You have to
    eat healthy, sleep well, and find ways to take breaks or small vacations or anything or you
    will go nuts.  You say:

    > We went from living separate to now sharing space.

    You might want to reconsider sharing space or at least, dont get discouraged or feel
    bad if you eventually do live in separate spaces.  My wife had an apartment for a year
    when she was going through chemotherapy.  An apartment gave her an opportunity to
    sleep 12-16 hour days. She now 
    lives in the basement.


    We are kindred spirits in the difficult journey of being the caregiver.  Its not a fun journey
    (at least not for me) and quite honest, if I wasnt married with kids, I think I would take a more
    abstract, hands off approach toward trying to help. My absolute best advice is take care of
    yourself.  I got a membership at a gym which I visit frequently.  I talk to family and friends
    about politics or sports (any topic other than cancer will do).  I take the kids and go to parks,
    we go bowling occasionally, we hike and I take the kids on small vacations as often as I
    can.  You have to take care of yourself and find time to take care of yourself or else taking
    care of your boyfriend is going to be overwhelming and your going to feel depressed and
    burned out.