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Has anyone else experienced partner let down?

Posts: 19
Joined: Jun 2003

I was diagnosed with breast cancer nearly a year ago. I had to have more than one surgery and I am now undergoing chemo. I really do not consider my significant other a partner anymore due to what I am about to describe. I spent a lot of time in and out of the hospital. And one stay was lengthy. During the lengthy stay, my significant other chose to go out of town and since has not accompanied me one to a chemo treatment. I see heterosexual couples together at chemo supporting one another. We have gone on an out of town trip for some R&R but I am really not feeling like the relationship is much of one. Has anyone else experienced this?

Posts: 149
Joined: Apr 2003

I had my sig offer to go but I declined her offer since I was going to be sitting for 2 or more hours. I am so sorry your sig didn't even seem to offer. I guess it would be hard but perhaps a direct conversation about how that hurt you. Perhaps she was scared or uncomfortable. Before you write the relationship off at least give her the chance to state her reasons. I will be praying this opens a new level to your relationship. Good Luck and I feel your pain I was alone in that chemo room 11 out of 12 weeks.

Posts: 19
Joined: Jun 2003

Thanks for the good thoughts

Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2003

My partner has been there with me 2 of 4 times.I find I kind of like being there by myself sometimes...it gives me some time to think out of the house. I have noticed that 3 months into this breast cancer journey, my dropping things and being tired a lot sometimes pushes her patience. I think she needs as much of a vacation as I do, and maybe from me.Have you had any of that?

dpomroy's picture
Posts: 136
Joined: Dec 2000

Wow! Don't put heterosexual partners on some pedestal as able to be more supportive of one another. Cancer is really, really hard on a relationship...any kind of relationship. People handle their stress and grief in different ways that sometimes don't go well together. I heard a scary statistic (and I don't know if this applies to all couples or only heterosexual ones) but it claims that only about 30-35% of relationships endure cancer. I am really sorry that you did not get the kind of support that you wanted and needed from your partner. So, get the support that you can from others. Rally the troops! You need and deserve to have help, a listening ear, some pampering, whatever it is. See where you can find what you need so you can fight this fight. Good luck to you.

Posts: 1
Joined: Nov 2003

Boy do I agree with dramerth. I am a heterosexual individual who has found that my hetero friends have almost deserted me since my diagnosis of lung cancer 5 months ago. Yet my lesbian friends have become my dearest support. My surgeon asked me if I was gay because everytime he saw me at the hospital I was surrounded by lesbians.These days I question my own sexuality because I have become so comfortable where I get and deserve the love and caring I need.I will not make any decisions in the near future but right now I love all my lesbian friends deeply within my heart and will always hold them special because of their caring for me.I hope you find the support you need and deserve.

Posts: 13
Joined: Mar 2004

I am a lesbian who was recently diagnosed with Thyroid cancer. I am also a cancer nurse who has taken care of many patients, both lesbian, gay, and straight. So maybe I can offer my perspective of being on both sides.

As a cancer nurse, I have witnesssed first hand how patients and their significant others/family cope with their loved one's cancer diagnosis. Not everyone copes in a healthy way. Have you shared your feelings with your partner? Maybe she is so wrapped up in her own uncomfortable feelings that she is unable to be emotionally there for you. After all, hospitals aren't always friendly towards our significant others.

Maybe she feels that her presence would create a scene or undue tension. Perhaps she needs a gentle reminder that you'd really like to have her there with you.

As a cancer patient, sometimes I need to be alone with my thoughts and feelings. It provides me a time to sort through things. Before deciding that your relationship is over, give your partner another chance. Try to find out what is her fears and concerns are.

As both a nurse and a cancer patient, I have found that people can't read my mind. If I don't tell them what I need, how can I expect them to fulfill that need?


Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2004

I'm also a lesbian diagnosed with cervical cancer. I was with my partner and 2 children of 6 years and broke up during my treatment. I had to move out of the house during my most tired/exhausted I have ever been. I think that it may of been a long time coming but the timing was terrible. I'm still not all the way moved out but I'm getting stronger every day.

Posts: 5
Joined: Jan 2005

I am new to this group but i had to say I can sure relate to that. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in Aug of 99. Just as my partner was beginning treatment for HepC. We made it through her treatment and mine together. In Nov. 03 my partner of 10 yrs decided she was straight. As you said, it may have been a long time coming but the timing was terrible. I was in hock up to my eyeballs and was sure I was getting sick again. I had lost 35 lbs for no apparent reason and was dog tired and hurting all the time. I couldn't afford a place without giving up my 2 horses and that is out of the question. Fortunately, one of my old instructors from tech school took me in. The horses have pretty good digs but things for me leave a lot to be desired. I have a room with a cot. No heat and no ac. Not really complaining. I do okay here and I'm nearly out of debt. I just get really lonely sometimes and so am glad to have found this group. I just finished radiation on my spine and I too am getting stronger every day. Keep hanging in there.

Posts: 69
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi Teresa,

Just thought I'd jump in and share that my partner has mets thyca. She was diagnosed in 2003 and continues to fight. What kind of thyca do you have?

Thanks for sharing your insights and experiences.

One of our friends recently saw some of my writing (poems, etc.) and told my partner Kelly that instead of being angry (me) I should make the most of my time with Kelly. Well, she's right. I agree. Kelly agrees. We're trying. Things get in the way, including our own fears, depression, etc. but we'll keep working.


BARBARATT's picture
Posts: 16
Joined: Mar 2004


Posts: 33
Joined: Sep 2008

This troubles me...I had a partner for 7 years, then it ended...and we were apart for 7 years no contact at all.Then I got Breast Cancer...my sister wanted me to move back to Wilmington..and stay with her while preparing,and starting my journey...so I did.I found out where my ex worked, I just wanted to apologize for many things...it had to be an act of God that I found her after all this time .... I had my sister to call her to let her know I was sick....I just coundn't....she knew for a week...then I landed back in hospital w/infection...late one of those nights...she just walked through the door...I could hardly catch my breathe I was so shocked.....it was a good visit.Over these past couple of weeks...we've talked alot on the phone and such.Alot of feelings are still between us...and because our past was not very pretty....it has left some still lingering...worries off and on...we're happy that God allowed us to meet again....but there is so much tension...she wants to be there for me...very much so thru this....and that gave me so much hope that I could pull through all this Cancer stuff....but now shes backed off some, she saids she doesn't want to cause me any more stress...she'll send cards and call to see how I'm doing but thats about it for now, because she saids she s not really sure what to do....I allowed myself to open up a bit inside...now I'm hurt....and I feel like I won't have enough hope and strength to make it thru chemo when it starts.Any feed-back from ya'll would be nice-My name is Shannon by the way.--Thanks

Posts: 1416
Joined: Mar 2001

Wow I am very sad to hear there is so much stress and tension during this time of our lives,
It use to blow my mind that my straight and gay friends thought that cancer was the glue to hold people together when it can be the ax chopping you both up. It was funny while my friends would say out loud how we would stick it out my partner and I would look at each other and laugh knowing things weren't wonderful in la la land.
Like every other relationship I have seen it is hard work to stay together and actually make something of our live's together often fighting all the way. Believe me when I say it doesn't seem to get any easier the work just harder staying together. I can remember about 5 years ago my partner giving me hell cause I always had to talk about my cancer and the old days of termoil she hated it and wanted to move on. But just like being gay was apart of who I was cancer has also become that and I am not going to stop talking about it since people are always asking me about it.
Wouldn't it be nice if the world turned in some harmonious way but it doesn't and I will always talk about what I went through only hoping to help along the way. I talk because people don't have enough insurance and the the system varies no matter where you live. I have friends who live in a bubble and don't want them to have to find out about this while in crisis mode.
I love my parther. She was the only true partners and the only one capable enough of making it thus far. She is the other parent to my 26 year old son and it makes me proud that he truly gets that. He is as proud of her as he is of his own mother and he is very honest about the life he comes from. I can only be grateful she was there for him through all of it. I was ill for 5 years after my fight so things never were real easy for us. THEN as we were putting our lives together we became her mother's caregiver through with her own short battled of her own. My partner was depressed for over two year after her mother's death loosing her very best friend, and mine...
I know now there will always be something to get in our way if we allow it and it is time to work again on the most important things, ourselves. The Honeymoon ended so long ago that I wonder if we will ever have those feelings again. I often wonder how we will ever put the pieces back together again. Too many unspoken fears and too much pain, often fighting about things that would never have hit the raidar before.
Don't worry folks we are normal because my straight friends feel the same and often they say exactly what I feel and it astounds me just how much we are the same something I would never have thought before. Oh right I was straight once, lololol
Best to you all and nice to see that this board is finally being used.

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