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There’s this boy. Don’t all good stories start that way?

There’s this boy that I’ve known for about a year now. The first time I saw him, my heart dropped to the floor and everything moved in slow motion. Needless to say, I’ve been falling for him more and more ever since. We we pleasant acquaintances for a while, and then friends, and then close friends. We would go on dates occasionally, but we were never officially together.
Four months ago he found out that his cancer (which he first had before I knew him) had come back. I was crushed. Obviously.
My life since then has been a confusing blur. The first week he was in the hospital, he would ask me to stay with him every night. He said that I helped him feel better, and that he felt like I was supposed to be there with him. He would hold my hand, and tell me that I was an amazing person at least three times a day.

After that first week of chemo, I didn’t see or hear from him for two weeks. He was sleeping a lot and starting to feel very ill and depressed, and I was desperate to be there with him but he wouldn’t return my calls. It’s been like that for the past few months. Seeing him everyday and then not hearing from him for a month. I want to tell him how I feel, but I don’t want to any pressure on him right now.

A week ago his tests came back clear, so he’s in remission again. I’m relieved beyond words, but aside from the four minute “I’m healthy now!” phone call we haven’t spoken.

I call or text or e-mail him almost everyday. But in the past month he’s only responded 3 or 4 times. I know that it is not at all about me right now, that he has to focus on himself and his recovery, but I’m going completely crazy. Should I keep calling him? Do I back off until he contacts me? There might not be a right answer to this. I’m sure that he’s going through some sort of life-changing epiphany right now, and I want to give him time and space to do that. But I love him. I’m starting to fear that I was just a shoulder to cry on, the girl who happened to be there when he needed support. I’m not blaming him and I’m certainly not mad or upset with him, I’m just worried about him. And in love, which is always a little bit agonizing.

I don’t know if I explained that well...

aysemari's picture
Posts: 1596
Joined: Dec 2009

I am single and often agonize over who could fall for someone who has cancer....

This is very inspiring. I think you should tell him.


Posts: 4
Joined: Jan 2010

I was in a relationship when I was diagnosed with cancer. My boyfriend visited me once, and then pretty much dropped off the face of the planet until he called me two months later to break up with me, because "I didn't understand what he was going through." You're amazing for wanting to stick by him and help him through everything. He might just need time to get back into the regular swing of things; it's a weird feeling to go from normal, every day worries to thinking about your own mortality and fighting for your life, literally, every day. It might be best to shoot him an email or something and tell him that when he's ready (make it very clear you're not pressuring him), you're there for him - as a friend. If he wants to take it further than that, then he'll let you know. Give him a chance to get back to normal though, it seems like you're an understanding enough person to do this for him.

Posts: 3
Joined: Jan 2010

Thank you so much for your input. That was actually amazingly helpful :) I guess it's just good to know that someone has some idea of what to do, or how hard it can be. Thanks!

Posts: 31
Joined: Feb 2010

being on the cusp of a serious relationship when something like this happens is really hard. My wife tells me often how difficult it was for her when I was diagnosed and had to be put into a medically-induced coma.

Take a few steps back. Give him some space. Things like cancer have a way of changing you. You'll have to get to know him again. Some things will be what you know, but he will probably be different in some ways.

Don't be surprised if you don't like those new ways so much, or if he has reevaluated his desire for relationships for awhile.

Being a friend who doesn't ask for anything is the best thing you can do. One of my 'friends' made the mistake of seeming to want something more than a 'thank you' for being supportive. Not cool.

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