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Just want to know that I'm not crazy!

Posts: 3
Joined: Aug 2012

I'm 25 years old and have been diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. I was diagnosed May 2011 and went through chemo and radiation all last year. I have been in remission until the beginning of August of this year. I just found out my cancer has come back and I will need to go througcomh more chemo pretty soon. My mother died in 2008 when I was 21 due to complications with colon cancer (developed blood clots) and my dad passed away soon after from a heart attack in 2010 when I was 23. Needless to say, these last 4 years have been very rough.

I have had a boyfriend for 6 years throughout all of this. We started dating in 2006 and it has been a long distance relationship. When my mom passed away, we broke up soon after because we had been fighting a lot and it was hard being long distance. We were young and grief is always especially hard when you are young and dont know how to deal with loss. We got back together 6 months later and we have been together ever since until June of this year. He was with me during my father's death, and helped me get through my first bout of cancer.

During our relationship last year, at first he was very helpful. He came home from grad school and dropped everything to be with me soon after knowing of my diagnosis, and came with me to my PET scan and was there for my biopsy and port insertion. Other than that, he couldnt make it to any appointments because of being away at school. I had chemo during the middle of the week so by the weekends I felt my worst and he was there on the weekends to help me at my worst. He shaved his head when I lost my hair, as did some of my other guy friends. By the time the school year started up for him again, he kind of lost any kind of urgency to be here. It looked like I was going to make it through and he had said driving home every weekend was putting too much stress on him. He came home less frequently and we started fighting a lot. There were times he wanted to leave me and told me it wouldnt be leaving me because I had cancer, but leaving me because we werent working out. I was wearing a wig and lost weight and my hair and I couldnt believe that my boyfriend of over 5 years wanted to leave me when I needed him the most. We ended up making it through but not without the bad times. I found out when my last chemo treatment was going to be and we had a celebration for me. He didn't come because "he already had plans". Everything was turned on me saying I was mean and I didn't let things go and I held grudges against him. I made it through radiation and he made sure that he was there to celebrate the end of that for me.

I found out I was in remission and ever since I have been, we have been great. He was struggling with school and made the decision that he didn't want to be away from me anymore and wanted to move back home where his parents were. He said it was especially hard to be away from me when I was sick and he couldnt do that again. We had been planning on moving in together and soon getting engaged. These things he would talk about and bring up himself. Two months after him making the decision that he was going to move home, he told me he wanted to break up and that I was a truly mean person at heart. I have made the last 6 years of his life miserable and it wasn't because of the bad stuff that happened to me. We had a fight previously and after a month or so changed his mind and admitted that all of the mean things he said were out of spite and he didnt mean them. He then suddenly changed his mind back to wanting to stay away and wants to stay at school. He has changed his mind two other times, most recent time he wanted to get back together was 2 weeks ago but then quickly flip flopped again.

I just recently found out about my new cancer diagnosis and I made the decision to not tell him. I knew that if he would even answer the phone if I tried to call him, it would hurt me more when he came up with a response that was very trite and heartless. Well, he ended up finding out through the grapevine and did in fact call me and sounded very worried on the phone, but then all he could say was "im sorry this is happening to you" and really couldnt offer me anything else. He made sure and told me that he could be my friend but couldn't be anything more with me because he still doesn't want to be with me and the only reason why he would come back is because he pities me. I told him this is why I didn't call to tell you because I knew talking to you would make me more upset and nothing would change between us. He still contacts me urging me to get a second opinion but doesnt want to see me, doesnt want to talk to me on the phone, doesnt want to offer any kind of support. He has told me he is purposely staying away because I will make a mess of things.

I know I need to concentrate on my health, but I am always one for thinking about being in the other person's shoes. If he was parentless, had to rely on other people other than family, we had been together for 6 years and been through so much, I would want to be there for him. He has told me that when I had cancer last time that he wanted to break up with me before but "it would have looked bad". How can anyone think of their own happiness when their significant other is going through this? After everything we have faced, he simply gave up and is now only fixed on moving on with his life. I feel like the last 6 years were a waste, and he makes me feel 10 times worse by avoiding me. How can he not be here for me? I have friends that offered to take me to appointments and to cheer me up. How can he be okay with how he is treating the situation? Someone chooses to act this way, and I dont get how anyone can feel good about this decision. I know I couldnt let someone go through chemo again or know about a cancer diagnosis and the only thing I keep telling them is all the reasons I don't want to be with them.

Its very hard to not stop thinking about this, and I just want to make sure that I am not crazy thinking this. I don't bad mouth him, and havent asked anyone to talk to him for me. He is away in a different city during this whole time and hasnt faced me or wasnt even able to break up with me in person after all 6 years. I can talk to my friends all I want but none of them have ever had cancer, now I have it twice. How can someone be so selfish and heartless? Knowing what heartache I have felt, the reasons he is treating me this way are so trivial. Nothing bad had ever happened between us, and we were talking about getting married a week before we broke up. I know I deserve better too, but these next few months I am going to be trying to get over this break up and I cant move on like normal people my age can do. I am going to be sitting at home, not being able to work, feeling sick, losing my hair, and I am going to hear about him moving on with his life in some other city. I dont think I have ever felt so down before, after everything I have been through finding out you have cancer again is the worst feeling and not having the person that means the most to you be there purposely hurts even worse.

Thank you to whoever was listening and read this whole thing. I needed to vent and sometimes typing it all out helps.

Posts: 1914
Joined: May 2012

Hey there !
We have different dx's. But I have a cousin that was in your shoes. She married her what I call jack rabbit. And it ended terrible, it was not only emotionally abusive but turned physical too. I know it hurts, on top of trying to deal with the cancer back. You need to concentrate on YOU ! I don't know if you've reached out to a counsler...maybe it's time. And not having your parents, wow not cool. This is a good place to vent, no one will judge you ! By the way my cousin had the same dx, and survived it 2x's. She decided to go to school and also had 3 kids to support. And is now a county administrator. So there is hope for you. Just reach out and grab on to it ! I hope you keep posting, and let us know how you are doing. You sound like a wonderful, sweet hearted person ! Katie

Posts: 3
Joined: Aug 2012

Thank you for replying! I have a lot of friends and family in my life who I do vent to and I found this website to start talking to people that might understand my point of view more going through cancer or having gone through it. I am getting tested at a different facility now for other things before they conclude it will for sure be diagnosed as cancer again. My primary oncologist sounded for sure it was but as a couple days ago a new team of doctors are unsure. I do have a glimmer of hope.

The biggest thing for me is I can't imagine how people don't imagine themselves in other peoples shoes. It amazes me how people can sometimes be so ignorant especially when faced with such tragedy. Things like this should make you humble and not take life for granted. For him being with me throughout all of this and now act this way is mind boggling. I know this isn't the type of man I want to spend my life with. The hardest part is getting over the fact I now feel I have wasted this time. Throughout my first treatment all he kept talking about was moving on with our lives and getting married and just taking the next step and how after I got better we were going to do all of those things. I don't think I can ever ignore someone that I cared about for so long that had this diagnosis. If the situation was reversed the last thing I would think about is my own happiness.

Posts: 1846
Joined: Aug 2010

I guess my age gives me a perspective you don't have, Lsknersk. That, and the fact I have two daughters, one of whom has been a bad relationship but fought her way out.

What I'm reading about your boyfriend is that he had a classic reaction to a lot of things going on in his life and yours. Your life has been turbulent for many years because of your parents' deaths and your cancer. Frankly, I found you amazingly articulate for someone who has been through so much.

The perspective I was talking about: you haven't wasted all these years. Many people date someone for several years and find out they just aren't a good match for whatever reason. Even if your boyfriend had experience with other people in his life who had cancer and survived or not, it is still a different experience for him than it is for you, the cancer patient. I am not saying he is right or that he is wrong: he just is who he is and we hope he has also grown from the experience.

Don't be too judgmental about your boyfriend and his reaction: you will never be a young male whose girlfriend has gone through so much emotional grief during some very important years in your lives.

Don't be too hard on yourself, either. If you are learning about what is important in your life, in this case, a mate who will not waver no matter how rough things get, then it is not wasted time.

Hugs from a mom, Lsknersk. Stay strong.

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