Not handling things well as a partner

Freckles327 Member Posts: 3


    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


  • cheatinlil
    cheatinlil Member Posts: 197
    You have a lot on your plate.

    You have a lot on your plate.  I can sympathize with you.  I'm sorry you are here.  I really don't have much to offer you but somethign I have started recently is meditating.  Even just for 5 minutes a day.  It helps calm the racing thoughts and helps you live in the moment or in the present.  Please remember to breath.  Maybe try and get on Antidepressants too. Try journaling.  Try and see his parents as a blessing even they are in the role you want to be in.  I also want to be home with my husband but I have to go to work so we can pay our bills. 

    My husband has stage 4 cancer.  He is stable but they don't expect him to get better.  He can stay the same for years or get worse.  He can't work.  He is fatigued but other than that he feels good most days but he sleeps a lot.  i'm trying to save money so if he takes a turn for the worse, I can take time off without pay but the small savings I'm able to obtain, it will take years before i can aquire enough to take off any significant amount of time. 

    You and I have to learn to live in the moment.  Live for today.  If we look to tomorrow or the future, that is when we get overwhelmed.  Just love yourself and know you are doing the best job you can with the tools you have today.  Be gentle with yourself.  I'm sending hugs and prayers your way. 


  • kboyer3
    kboyer3 Member Posts: 3
    Hugs to You... Cancer sucks

    Hi there.  My husband was just diagnosed with acute biphenotypic leukemia which happens in less than 5% of all leukemia cases.  I understand how overwhelmed you are and pushy parents.  We have six children together and five are still at home.  My husband was having chest pains FOR TWO MONTHS and finally went to the doctor who thought it was heart problems, but then when they did blood work it came back "weird" and be began our cancer journey.  He was officially diagnosed last Monday.  The original hospital we were at screwed up some of the tests so I had to take him for another bone marrow biopsy today. His mom plans on basically moving into the hospital while he is having his treatment.  It's supposed to start on Monday. I've done some research and it seems like his prognosis is not all that great and he also will need a bone marrow transplant. I guess to have "acute" leukemia you have to have 20% blasts in your blood.  I made the mistake of asking what percentage his was and they said it was 70% two weeks ago. I'm beside myself. I'm so worried we are going to lose him. I had to take a leave from work because I simply can NOT teach anyone anything right now. I need to be there for my kids and my husband.  I understand your fear and I'm only just beginning.  Hang in there.  You can vent to me any time.  

  • mesocaregiver
    mesocaregiver Member Posts: 15
    Try to be thankful for his

    Try to be thankful for his parents.  I know it is hard for someone to be doing the things you want to do for him.  My husband has been in the hospital 9 times since August.  Three major surgeries.  Four rounds of chemo so far.  Two more to go.  Last week we were told the cancer is spreading.  I have not had one person to come stay with him at the hospital or at home.  I do not work because of my health so a job was not a worry.  I have had to take over taking care of him, paying bills, grocery shopping, making sure he has his meds, doctors every week and so much more.  I feel so alone.  I have not been able to just go to the store without him in months.  No one has offered to help me.  Try to look at the other side.  What would you do if he did not have his parents to help?   Maybe it will make you feel a little better.  Hope you feel better.  Praying for you and your family. 

  • Noellesmom
    Noellesmom Member Posts: 1,859 Member
    edited May 2016 #5
    Sorry to hear

    It is spreading.  Maybe I missed that post.