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Battling Cancer and Breaking-Up/Divorce in Long Term Relationships

Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2019

Hello, I am 34 and currently battling melanoma. I had surgery in December and my last PET scan in January was clear, good news, but I have a year of targeted gene therapy ahead and the treatment makes me fatigued and somewhat ill. I have been fortunate to be in a supportive, loving, long-term relationship for the past 12 years. However, after my initial recovery from my surgery, my partner has started to drift away from our relationship. I was wondering if anyone else has experienced this?

My partner started a new job last year and the workload is immense with long hours, but I am under the impression that the preoccupation with work may be a partial avoidance of the realities of home. Recently, my partner has been picking fights with me and has been increasingly unkind within these fights. I've seen the divorce stats for cancer, is this where I am headed? I am almost wondering if I should move back in with my parents because I need some support through this and I am feeling increasingly isolated and heart-broken. I am a Ph.D. student currently working on my dissertation (on fellowship), and I spend long hours at home alone. I'd like my nights to not be so tense and I'd like to feel supported through this experience, but I just feel kind of monstrous and sad most of the time. 

Posts: 25
Joined: Mar 2019

My husband has been diagnosed with lung cancer and is now dealing with the second reoccurance, after being in remission for a year.  We have been dealing with issues in our marriage for some time before his diagnosis.  Everything was put on hold until he went into remission then again after he was diagnosed again.

Something I did not do the first time around, and I really wish I had, was seek counseling.  I have also reached out to the social worker at his cancer clinic about counseling for him.  I thought I had to be strong and just deal wtih everything but I have found I can't always do that alone. 

I know that you are and I are on the opposite sides of the treatment....table?  But I think the emotional strain on our respective relationships is the same.  My husband will not go to counseling because he feels he is handling it fine "all things consdered".  Here is the problem - there are more things to be considered.  I would strongly suggest speaking to a counselor or social worker with your cancer center.  Having someone that will listen and not judge is a huge help.  If your husband will go, that's even better.  He could just be struggling with not knowing the best way to support you and himself.  If he won't go, it can still be helpful for you.  Having someone who is not involved and can help you get your thoughts straight and can help you figure out what is best for you.

I wish you the best.

Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 2019

I was diagnosed in October of 2018 with lung cancer. (stage 2b) but has since been changed to 4 because of matastisis and changing oncologist. 

My ex immediately after being diagnosed, began his regimine of being my off duty physician. No, he was not qualified. What I needed was someone to help me when I couldnt do for myself and absorb news and feed it to me as I could tolerate. He began telling doctors what I felt and didnt feel. But he also began pulling away. He would go out and eat and if I didnt feel.like going, which usually meant I wasnt feeling good, I was on my own for food. 

It didnt take long before he started isolating his feelings about me, the cancer, and feelings about us. Finally he left. 

Once he decided to leave, he completely switched his actions into, " your normal, and can do for yourself mode" 

Leaving me at my worst moments was devastating. Just out of initial chemo, still having extreme nausea, so very weak, I was extremely depressed and stressed. Not working, not able to do very much, I had to beg people to help me or go without. 

I dont understand people as I thought I did. 

Everyone is critical. 

I used to be very independent. People treat me as though if they cannot see the cancer, it doesnt exist. But others just do not come around at all. 

This has been going on over 6 months. I dont know how to even build a support system. The long term friends and short term have all ignored me or made me feel all decisions I make or feel are best for me, are not good decisions. They also find this is the time to bring out every fault I have had years ago and beyond. 

It makes me feel they wished I would die sooner then later. 

I have tried to figure out whom to appoint as a person to handle my affairs  after I pass. However, everyone, not just one person, has focused on my belongings and who they would like them to go.to and not what my wishes are. 

Why are people like this? 

how can a husband turn on you so quickly? 

How do I find a support system? 

financial is getting tough and no where to go or turn!! 

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