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Saying Hello

Posts: 4
Joined: Apr 2012

My fiancee was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma a few weeks ago, and had his first Chemo treatment yesterday.

Since his diagnosis, he has been very withdrawn and quiet. He has also chosen not to tell anyone except his employer about his situation. I respect his decision, however I do need the support, and to learn how to be supportive in return.

I am hoping that one day life will get back to normal. That the once happy, crazy guy that I know will come back. Until then...please help me to help him.

Wishing you all the best too...


Posts: 73
Joined: Feb 2012

Im so sorry that you both have to go through this. My husband was diagnosed in January. He didn't want me to talk to anyone about it either. He said its HIS disease and nobody needs to know. I, however, need to talk about it. I come here and everybody is so helpful and kind. I also talk to my friends. Try not to let cancer take over your life. Try to keep things as normal as possible. Stay positive. Everything is going to be OK again. Take care, Nikki.

Posts: 4
Joined: Apr 2012

I'm sorry that you and your husband have had to deal with cancer as well. It's amazing how things can change when faced with hearing the word cancer. I'm certainly hoping that eventually he will be more accepting and open to sharing with others. I just can't see how he is going to avoid everyone for possibly 6 months of treatment or longer.

Thank you so much for the words of encouragement. I appreciate it so much!

I hope things are going well for you and your husband now that you are 5 months out.


jimwins's picture
Posts: 2111
Joined: Aug 2011

Welcome Sandals. Sorry you and your fiance have had to
start the cancer journey. This is still so new to him as you
stated he was diagnosed 4/16/12 and started chemo 5/3 (ABVD chemo).
So he probably needs some time to deal with the trauma.

Shortly you will hear from the wonderfully supportive folks here.
I'd encourage your fiance to check this site out when he feels up to it.
It really helps to discuss with others in the same/similar situation.

Lymphoma is very treatable and there are many success stories here
You are both very welcome here and you are not alone in all of this.

Hugs and positive thoughts,

DX: DLBL 4/2011, Chemo completed 10/2011, currently in remission. :)

Posts: 4
Joined: Apr 2012

First off, I'm so happy to see that you are in remission!! That is wonderful!! It also gives a glimmer of hope to those of us just starting the journey.

I'm happy that there is an outlet where people understand, and who are willing to share their experiences.

Thank you so much for your response. Continued good health to you.


allmost60's picture
Posts: 3184
Joined: Jul 2010

Hi Sandals, and "Welcome to the group"...
It's going to take time for your dear fiancee to adjust to the idea of having a cancer diagnosis, so don't expect him to come around as soon as you would like him to. In June, I will be 2 years out from my diagnosis, and I still have a hard time accepting everything. But...with that being said, it "DOES" and "WILL" get easier for him once his treatments are finished and a few clean scans are under his belt. We learn to live with what's commonly refered to as our "new normal". This isn't a bad thing...it's just not quite the same as the "old normal". It's so scary right now for him, and the best advice I can give to you, is to be patient, loving, and not take things personally when his behavior or thoughts arn't like they were before cancer. Keep things as normal as possible and try not to feed into the negative thinking that often happens when one first starts their cancer battle. Our emotions are all over the map in the beginning, but in time we level out and slowly find a middle ground. Just hang in there with him and give him space when needed...nothing he say's or may do is ment to hurt or shut you out. What he's really doing is trying to shut CANCER out...which will not be possible until he learns to accept the cancer and figure out his own way to live with it in a way that he can still embrace and love his life and those in it with him. The chemo can make us a bit testy with those we love, but just remember it's the cancer and the poison we fight it with that makes us feel isolated, alone, and sometimes short tempered. You can come here and talk any time and we will support you. It would be great if your fiancee did also...we've all been there, done it, or still doing it,(cancer)...so who better to understand what your going through? Take care, and know we are here. Much love...Sue
(Follicular NHL-stage3-grade2-typeA-diagnosed June 2010)age 61.

Posts: 4
Joined: Apr 2012

Very good advice, Sue! I just hope in time he will feel up to including other people back into his life. As it stands right now, only his boss and I know about the cancer. He has cut everyone else out including his family. I just don't see how he's going to pull it off long term...eventually someone is going to just come over. He's not taking any calls either.

I'm trying hard to be understanding, and patient. Some minutes, I'm not sure I'm doing a very good job at it. This once crazy, outgoing guy has turned into someone I don't even know. It's so hard to see him suffer like this.

I'm a fixer...and I feel so helpless to be able to fix this one for him. I guess I am a work in progress, huh?

Thank you so much....I really do appreciate the understanding and guidence.


allmost60's picture
Posts: 3184
Joined: Jul 2010

Sandi...in time he will let more people in. None of us want to feel different or have people feeling sorry for us. We just want to be "OK" to get better and not die, so that we can get back to our once normal happy life. As he gets more comfortable with his diagnosis and as the treatments start working, his attitude will change...trust me. It's just too soon right now. I kept my cancer from "certain" people also...I just didn't want to hear comments like "Oh...I'm so sorry"..."but you were so healthy and strong"..."how could this happen to you?" Those are questions that make us feel weak and vulnerable, and I personally just couldn't handle answering too many questions, because I didn't understand "why me?" either! Now I'm fine with ANY questions being asked...but it took time to get where I am today in my thinking. Most helpful for me was the support from my wonderful group of caring friends here at CSN. They truely pulled me through my scariest, darkest days!!!
Hang in there Sandi....Love...Sue

po18guy's picture
Posts: 1216
Joined: Nov 2011

Give him some time to figure out that life goes on. The higher and more animated he is normally might just mean that the fall is farther, and will take a little longer to recover from. As well, he is be4ginning to feel some of the effects of the chemo, and might be anxious about that, as well. Due to family history, I was expecting cancer, so it was not as big a shock as it would otherwise have been.

Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3690
Joined: May 2012


Sorry to hear of your loved one's HL. I had stage III, and did r-abvd for six months (12 "cycles").

What strain of HL does he have ? (There are 5 common strains of HL.)

The drugs (r-abvd) can have side-effects which begin only after the second or third treatment, so things may change for him as treatment progresses. I had quite a number of abvd-related side-effects, so chime in if that becomes an issue for him. I began feeling as if chemo were not difficult, but that changed ! I was older (53), which heightened my negative response. Most people on abvd do not have permanent drug-induced damage, or severe side-effects.

Posts: 40
Joined: Jun 2012

I can understand ur fiancé not wanting people to know I am somewhat in the same situation but slowly coming around. I only told who I absolutely had to at first and didn't think it was anyone else's business. I didn want to talk about it and here 'I am sorry' I was very angry. Be patient he will come around, I finally realized that my husband was hurting just as much as me and that he also needed to talk to someone besides me. That was my breaking point. I couldn't hide this anymore, the 'I am sorry's" are still pretty hard to hear but I just brush it off and keep a smile on my face and tell them " I would rather have this than anyone else because I know I can beat it" kinda makes them think for a minute then the conversation goes on to other business :) prayers to you and ur fiancé

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