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"love and affection"

Posts: 4
Joined: Feb 2010

My husband (mid 30's) was recently diagnosed with GBM-4 about 1mth ago. He has already undergone a crainiotomy and is on rad treatment w/ temodar. Life has changed for us in a blink of an eye. Our marriage has always been good, we were very into eachother sexually and emotionally. He went from being extremely active and healthy to being quiet and withdrawn half the time. There are days when he seems fine and joking around to days where he barely says 5 words to me. He is tired most of the time now due to the treatments and I truly understand that. All this worries me, but also something that to most people including myself is very private. But, I have no one to talk to so here I am......... Has anyone living with a spouse experienced their loss "love and affection" (in every sense of those 2 words)? I have debated posting this for weeks because I don't want to seem selfish or insensitive, but I really need to know if it is normal. I asked the dr and she seemed to look surprised that I would be asking such a question. If anyone out there understand me.....please please help me.

Posts: 34
Joined: Jan 2010

My husband was much older than your when diagnosed with GMB4 in Sept. 2009. We have been married 31 years and have raised 2 children. Receiving the diagnosis for terminal brain cancer is shocking at any age. It left us numb for months, even through the surgery and 6 weeks of chemo and radiation. In the beginning the diagnosis invades every part of your life. In the past 4 months my husband and myself have been on an emotional rollercoaster but not always on the same ride. As close and loving as you are, remember he is the one who is likely facing the end of his life in about a year. That is so hard to come to terms with. It has been 4 months since that nightmare of a day for us. My husband is starting just now to participate in life, including our relationship. Do not ever even begin to think his reaction has anything to do with the love he has for you. It is there, and probably he is feeling it stronger than ever before, but this diagnosis is overwheming. Have patience and remember that you can do only so much and accept that. He has so much to think about and come to terms with. It will get better. I promise.


Posts: 4
Joined: Feb 2010

Thank you Cathy for replying. It is only the beginning for my husband. And of course our family. I am trying to stay strong for everyone. My husband has trouble with his short term memory and thought process among other issues so he looks to me for answers and to help him express himself when he can't find the words to. I don't have a way to de-stress or vent. I don't have people to open up to. Everyone whom I try to talk to doesn't seem to understand, they compare it to people their friends cousins mother had and she is doing just fine. Or they can barely have a 2 minute conversation with us without crying and asking about how we are handling the situation. I am trying to keep our lives as normal as possible but of course it is nearly impossible. I try to keep in mind not to take things personal and my mind understands, but the heart still hurts.

Posts: 18
Joined: Jan 2010

I'm the husband. And I'm the one with the GBM-4. And I'm easily old enough to be your father. So much for awkwardness and embarrassment.

Intimacy is about exposing yourself,... and trusting others not to make us wish we hadn't with their laughing and pointing and snickering, but rather to be glad we ran the risk and to rejoice in the discoveries,... to find out that our trust was sufficient for the moment.

"Love and affection" is one way to do that. Telling a joke is another way. After all, what if nobody laughs or we screw up the punch line. Walking into a room full of strangers,... or walking into a room full of people we know but who haven't seen us since our hair fell out and grew back all splotchy,... or posting a question or comment about "love and affection" on an internet discussion board,....

Talk. To one another. Talk about your hopes and fears. Talk about your anxieties and apprehensions, your frustrations and anger, what you find funny and what you find confusing. Open some doors. Walk around Cancervivorville, hand-in-hand, as if you're making it up as you go along (which, of course, you are)(and which, of course, we all are)(since, of course, most of us are here for first time).

Take notes. And let us know what you discover. But not everything, of course.

Every day's an adventure.


Posts: 71
Joined: Jan 2010

My best friend's dad has GBM4 and she has told me some of the stories that are going on between her mom and dad. They pretty much parallel yours, I wish I could give you more advice but it's not me who's going through it. I just hope it helps to know that you are not alone

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