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rollercoaster ride of the caregiver

Posts: 3
Joined: Sep 2012

My 42 year old boyfriend was diagnosed with cancer in April of this year. He lives with me and my 2 children. He has had 6 chemo treatments and with each one he seemed to suffer more. I have a few questions for the caregivers out there, because I'm new to this. Does chemo alter someone's personality or their judgement? He recently just left and is staying with his friend. He said he's tired of everyone telling him what to do. That's it, just cut me off completely. I'm at a loss here of how to handle. I'm trying to give him some breathing room to sort out what's going on in his head, but it's so hard. I can't stop crying, I can't sleep. It's draining and exhausting. He's so angry about his cancer, he just doesn't care. If anyone has been through something similar or has any input. I'm driving myself crazy and would appreciate any advice. Thanks so much.

Posts: 39
Joined: Dec 2009

but I don't think chemo alter someone's personality. It is the big C alter the personality. Let him take it slowly. You take it slowly too. A diagnosis of cancer is a family thing, no adult gets spared.

Try not to tell him what to do, offer options, let him decide. Just tell him you love him!

Good luck

Posts: 1849
Joined: Aug 2010

ca, it likely is not a thing you did or did not do. Cancer is very life-changing and, yes, it impacts everyone it touches.

I agree that it probably isn't the chemo but is probably instead a combination of the way the chemo makes him feel physically and some aspects of his personality may be heightened by the diagnosis and dealing with the cancer.

Right now, stay strong for yourself and your children. There isn't anything you can do that is more important.

Giving him space - well, he really hasn't given you much choice. I know this is painful but take this time to do something positive - focus on something other than the cancer and your boyfriend. Focus on yourself and your children and how you are dealing with what this is doing to your family.

I hope your boyfriend gets some help - there are counselors out there who are just for the purpose of helping someone with these kinds of issues.

Hugs. Come back and let us know how you are doing.

Posts: 3
Joined: Sep 2012

Thank you for your words of encouragement!! Getting good advice, even from strangers, is so helpful!

Posts: 51
Joined: Jul 2009

I'm not sure what kind of cancer your boyfriend has, but some of his behaviour may be the result of medications he's taking. Often times, steroids (decadron) can make the patient grouchy, angry and so on. And of course, there's the cloud hanging over everyone's head who both has cancer and is close to the person with cancer.

This probably won't mean a whole lot with how upsetting your situation is, but try your best not to take it personally. Most any normalcy has been thrown out the window, unfortunately. Patience and best wishes for you and your boyfriend.

Posts: 4
Joined: Aug 2012

I am going through a very similar situation with my live in boyfriend of 6.5 years. I have no advice because I too am seeking some and trying to stay positive/hopeful/optimistic/you name it.

I will say that I too often cry myself to sleep and am completely confused about what is happening. I am trying to take some time for myself and continue to pray and have faith that things will improve.

I am sorry you are going through this.

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