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Will I ever feel light and joyful again?

Posts: 3
Joined: Feb 2013

Hello,  I am new to this network and have been very inspired by all of the prior posts and advice everyone so kindly offers.

My boyfriend is 29 years old... we've been together about a year and a half.   When I first met him he told me that he had been diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2010 and it was surgically removed, leaving him "cancer free".  He was supposed to follow up with diagnostic checkups every 6 months however lost his job - and health insurance. When I met him in 2011, he was still unemployed.  Once he was able to find work - I begged him every month to schedule his CT scan and he kept saying he felt fine, and that I shouldn't worry.   Finally around the holidays I told him the only thing I wanted as a gift was for him to go to the doctor. He did .... and they discovered the cancer spread up to a lymph node in his abdomen.  We were both devastated.

I've never had someone this close to me diagnosed with cancer and I am on this emotional rollercoaster of trying to be supportive and positive when I really just want to cry. I love him more than anything.  I try to think of all the positives ...like the fact that he is Stage 2...and the oncologist says it is 'curable'....but this process of chemotherapy has been so challenging.  I work full time and pay all our living expenses and his medication.  I worry all the time about how he is feeling when I am not able to go to treatment with him.  I feel like I have an elephant on my chest all the time.

Earlier in the week his hair started falling out in clumps.  He broke down crying....just because the reality of this hit him even more.  I am finding it hard to figure out the right things to say... especially because his spirit is so down ...he views chemotherapy as 'poisoning his body' and I keep begging him to think different and that it is killing the cancer.  Pre-diagnosis he was always at the gym and eating healthy... to him the chemo is just poison. 

How do I help him change his attitude and become a warrior to fight this disease?  I love him SOOO MUCH-  I need him to get better so we can have a happy future and do all the things we've always planned planned like marriage and starting a family.    I know that our situation w/ his diagnosis compared to others is very fortunate .  I just need to find a way to help be a cheerleader for both him and myself...

Thank you for letting me vent...


Posts: 16
Joined: Feb 2013

Reach DEEP inside of yourself for strength. Take strength from those strong individuals around you, and strength from what you can garner from your surroundings.

Find a cancer support group, and GO. Survivorship goes up by 25% when you and/or he go. Harvard Study...can't remember what year. It is imperative to your sanity and his results that you go.

It will take a while until you can get your emotions under control, and you are entitled to feel, recognize, and deal with them. Once you pull yourself together you must find emotional support to help you deal with this situation, once you have covered this you may:

* give your boyfriend a much more solid base of emotional support

* seek out financial cost estimates and look for creative ways to cover them

* protect yourself financially.

* get a copy of " The Cancer Fighting Kitchen"

* get a binder to chronologically record all Dr visits; be sure to include binder paper (lots) so you can take notes on everything

* take time off to decompress, or you'll lose your mind

* read every website and gain as much knowledge as you can; great battlefields were always won by knowing the enemy intrinsically

* never forget you're a woman

* don't take any crap, gently is preferred, but be tough when you need to

* Bear in mind that you are not alone. Many have walked this path before you and came out on top. There's 2 sides to the battle; whoever fights harder wins at this point - your boyfriend has got to fight hard to come out on top, right now you are the imperial leader...and there will be many who follow in your footsteps. Basically, though, as time goes on,  you will be taking turns in the fight to win the war. You will take turns being strong, and take turns going to pieces. There must always be someone at the helm, and you'll fight it together. Keep the paperwork together, tho, things always are easier when you do that.

Wish you the best, Petie


Posts: 3
Joined: Feb 2013

Thank you Petie.... I really appreciate your words of wisdom and suggestions...

I wish I could convince him to join a cancer support group - but he says he has enough support through me and his family.  =(  I think it would help him to be able to talk to others who can relate to exactly what he is going through.  I will continue to pursue caregive support groups and I know we will get through this, one day at a time!  =)

grandmafay's picture
Posts: 1639
Joined: Aug 2009

The roller coaster ride, the elephant on the chest, the feeling a need to cry sound very normal to me in your current abnormal world. In other words, many here have felt these same things. I know that doesn't really make it any easier, but you are not alone. The chemo is poison to the cancer. I think sometimes we over emphasize the positive. In this fight there isn't just the positive and negative. The is the reality, too. It isn't all sunshine and light, and I don't think we should expect the cancer survivor to stay positive all the time. This stuff is scary for both of you. Also, depending on the chemo, depression can be a side effect. It you think your boyfriend is too depressed you might suggest that he talk to his dr. about meds that can help. It isn't unusual for these to be prescribed. Both of you are dealing with some grief. You are grieving the life you expected. This wasn't in your plans. The good news is that your boyfriend beat this back once and it sound like he will do that again. Sadly, you will both be left feeling like it could all happen again. Keep in mind, though, that none of us knows our future. We are all just doing the best we can. If there was anything I learned from my husband's cancer it was to cherish each day, right now. Hang in there, Fay

Posts: 3
Joined: Feb 2013

Thank you grandmafay - it really helps to know that I am not alone in my emotions.  I definitely feel the grief on a daily basis.  I am normally such a positive and optimistic person so it has been upsetting me that I can't seem to easily keep that up right now.  Some days I swear I just want to stay in bed.  And I find that I have been dreading going to my usual fun social outings with friends because I am just exhausted and trying to keep up the pretense of 'happy go lucky' is so hard.  But then again, I don't want to be the "Debbie downer" talking about his cancer every time I see my friends.  

I'm sorry for your struggles you personally went through with your husband  =(  Thank you for your encouragement.

Posts: 16
Joined: Feb 2013

Grandmafay, you really nailed it when you said there must be a time to feel the emotions; yes, we are going through the grieving for dreams that will not see fulfillment, the sadness that comes with that, anger, so far less depressive symptoms on my husband's behalf; sometimes I think quite frankly that I may be getting there. I seek balance. I feel that that is why I strive for the positive, rather than the negative when relating to those around me; because this is not the first time I know what this hell is. I know well what it looks like, smells like, tastes like,...I know what frivolous tendancies it is capable of - leads ya on, then spits back yucky stuff. I often have felt that the only way to diffuse much of this is frank and honest interaction with the patient, a good dose of humor whenever I can, and find strength wherever I can from those around me who are willing to give positively of themselves. However, men often do not feel comfortable in groups. Period. If you can get them in a river with a steelhead or in the coldest winter on an elk - we can talk, even if they never before saw each other in their lives! You can put a man in the most frigid environment  under the worst conditions with a fishing pole or a rifle or shotgun with another male - complete stranger mind you- give 'em ten minutes, and they'll be into dinner, wives, careers, etc... Groups?! I'm ready to hire a team of clydsdales to get mine down there to meet another hunter-21 year survivor....We're alone here. Due to our work we have traveled far and wide, know many folks in a vast area, not so many here where we live. Trust me, men talk as much as women do; they just need a boat and radio to do it. In our case, because the base is scattered up & down the West Coast, it gets slim here at home in times like this. I guess, I'd just like my guy to be chattering on his radio, and if that's not possible (and it isn't) then be able to chatter to another guy in person. My goodness, you wouldn't believe what men talk about- the same things  as women do, just about.  There isn't an easy way or a hard way here; it's all doggone hard. Humor is an asset, people are an asset. The mind will continue to process wether the seas are rough, or wether the seas are slick; make it easy when we can, and bring in positive whenever we can. We'll travel the road ahead in any case.

May the sun shine on your face, and may the wind be at your back,


Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2013

I have been a nurse for 35 plus years now...

I am so sorry for the everything you are enduring cmwhite117~

You are in my thoughts and prayers everyday!

If you want to know more about the connection between the food we eat and disease...

write me @ eriggby@gmail.com! 

God Bless,

E  Smile

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