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Caregiver - Abandonement

Obie
Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2006

I am a single man (51) who has been in a relationship with a lovely lady (53)who was diagnosed with Stage 4 Colon cancer on - yes - Valentines Day. After six hours of surgery, and the ensuing 7 series of chemo treatment - I spun out. I spent many nights by her side, crying as she slept....the future does not look promising (medically speaking) however I pray daily for her strenght and fortitude to keep strong and fight this SOB "C". I broke down menally several weeks ago - this has really sapped me emotionally, to the extent that I was feeling sick and totally freeked out. I really love this woman, but could no longer keep up the pace. I decided to leave the relationship (it was on shaky ground prior to the diagnosis). I am now feeling tremendously guilty for "abandoning" her emotionally, although I have since stated to her that if need arises, I am available. She is hurt, angry, terrified that she will have to "take it to the end" without me as her friend and lover. She does have her daughter to help out on a daily basis,fortunately, as I would not have taken the actions that I did, if she were not available. I am now feeling incredibly guilty, and yes, shamed but I was getting WAY messed up with all of this - but I do care tremendously for her...Anyone been in a similiar situation? Thanks in advance, Fallen Angel, AKA:Obie

TereB
Posts: 288
Joined: May 2003

Hi Obie,
Being a caregiver is not easy. Cancer affects not just the patient but also all those close to him/her. If you are feeling bad, see if you can get help, perhaps a therapist to help you deal with your feelings of guilt.
Sometimes I think it is harder for caregivers, taking care of someone they love and watching how bad things can get and not being able to do anything to change it.
God Bless,
Tere

Anonymous user (not verified)

Well Obie,
I was abandoned by my husband of 26 years after losing both breasts to cancer.
Here is my take on this type of situation:
There are all kinds and stages of relationships. I would have REALLY appreciated it if my husband would have told me, "hey, I am here if you need me". But I got no such assurance from him. I guess what I am saying is that if you can no longer maintain the physical and emotional components of the relationship you once had with this lady, at least make a point to check on her once in awhile and see if there is anything you can do for her. DON'T wait for her to ask. She may be too proud. And unless she actually tells you to get lost, let her know that you still love her in the only way you can right now. Even if she has all kinds of other support in her life this is no time for her to have to feel the extra void of losing you completely.
If you MUST exit from her life try to do it gradually.
Just my two cents worth.

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