Struggling with a new relationship and cancer

strom06 Member Posts: 1

I am 46, in a same sex relationship with a woman who is almost 46. We have been dating about 11 months. 4 months ago she was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer and had a lumpectomy/sentinel node biopsy. Everything looks good on pathology and oncotyping and she has an excellent prognosis. She has been on tamoxifen for about 7 weeks and is almost done with radiation (she naively decided to start both at about the same time). Needless to say, that combination (along with the stress of the entire thing) has really wrecked her. She is tired, moody, self absorbed, and is withdrawing from almost everything except for close friends and family. I have been a huge support person for her (emotionally along with helping her out with doctor appointments, keeping her house in order, etc.) but I still feel her pulling away. Part of is that I have kids. She loves them, but they are too much for her right now. (Four of them - all teenagers). She essentially moved in with me the day she got her biopsy results, but just as abruptly she mover back to her house 2 months later right before starting radiation. The stress of the busy household plus the tamoxifen were too much for her. I was diagnosed with ADH 5 years ago and took tamoxifen for 9 weeks before stopping it because I hated myself and everyone around me. So I get it - the drug can really mess with a person. But she cannot stop taking it, so she'll (or we'll) have to figure out a way to manage the side effects. And of course since I'm closest to her, I get the brunt of her mood swings.

Anyway, I am starting to feel hopeless. We've not even been dating for a year and 1/3 of our relationship has been consumed by cancer. I need someone to tell me that she will start to become at least a semblance of who she used to be after radiation is over, and after she's had time to adjust to the medication. I feel like I'm counting the days, but I don't know the endpoint. And of course I feel guity for feeling this way because I'm not the one going through it. But it is taking its toll on everyone, including my kids, who have not seen her in over 3 weeks.



  • Noellesmom
    Noellesmom Member Posts: 1,859 Member
    edited July 2016 #2
    I wish I could

    You will hear the phrase 'new normal' and it is reality.  This is a life changing event and there will be some things that will never be the same.

    Give her space. Give her time. Your primary goal is the well being of your cancer patient.

  • SpTeach
    SpTeach Member Posts: 32
    "New Normal"

    I agree with noellesmom, my wife went through 2 years of chemo and her2 treatment plus a double mastectomy.  There were several days that she hated me.  I was at every single treatment, appointment, follow up and procedure ever done, yet I was told I was not a help at all.  She too was on tamoxifen, and has now been changed to a different medication.  My wife kept telling me about a "new normal".  Didn't quite get it at first.  Things will get better.  Although our relationship has "changed", eventually it is better and stronger now.  We weathered the storm together and have survived.  Things will get better, give her time to adjust and give yourself time to adjust.  Your feelings are real and normal.  God Bless.