Did breast cancer affect your marriage or relationship? Share experiences, support, and advice.

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Patients Breast cancer

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Member Carenity • Community manager
Posted on

Hi everyone,

Breast cancer impacts the individual diagnosed with breast cancer mentally, emotionally, and physically; however, it also often has such impacts on the spouse or partner as well. The initial feelings experienced upon diagnosis, such as sadness, anger, and anxiety; the financial stress; the physical and mental exhaustion; and the changes in roles, responsibilities, and physical and emotional/mental needs, results in breast cancer almost always having some impact on marriages and relationships.

In this discussion, members - both individuals diagnosed with breast cancer and their spouses or partners - are encouraged to share their experiences and stories on how breast cancer affected their marriage or relationship, share advice, and give support.

 

Beginning of the discussion - 8/14/19

Did breast cancer affect your marriage or relationship? Share experiences, support, and advice.
Member Carenity
Posted on

Hi Lee, I was not in a relationship when I was diagnosed, but I was talking to some. It ended up not working out, but I do not attribute it to the diagnosis... he was there during the diagnosis and was very supportive... we just went our separate ways. However, it did cause me stress because I felt like I could not be what he wanted me to be in a partner, and partly, in the beginning because of the diagnosis. So I am sure, if it would have worked out, there would have been strain on the relationship going further, but if it was meant to be, I think we would have pulled through. It just wasn't.

Did breast cancer affect your marriage or relationship? Share experiences, support, and advice.
1

Member Carenity
Posted on

I was married during the whole diagnosis, surgery, and chemotherapy. It did put a lot of strain on our marriage and having children made things difficult because there was a period of time where I was not very engaged or helpful in the "family life." However, my husband never made me feel bad for that and was very understanding. 

I had small tumors, so perhaps the difficulty and challenge was not as severe as others, However, to everyone, I would recommend to talk with your doctor and ask what is to be expected during treatment, not only physically but emotionally... ask what has his experience been with the patients who had undergone similar treatments, ask the nurses, and talk to others who have been diagnosed. Then form that, I would recommend speaking to your spouse about the challenges that may occur, that way you are somewhat prepared mentally before they arrive. This would be for the challenges that not only you will face with the diagnosis, symptoms, and treatment, but also the challenges to the family life ... paying bills (if work is affected), grocery shopping getting kids to school, etc.

Hope this helps someone.

Did breast cancer affect your marriage or relationship? Share experiences, support, and advice.
Member Carenity
Posted on

@Hidden username thank you for sharing. very helpful to know and gives me hope as well. 

Did breast cancer affect your marriage or relationship? Share experiences, support, and advice.
1

Member Carenity
Posted on

for me it has changed my relationship .. my partner and i agreed to get married so that i could be on his insurance and help me finance treatment. 10 years later and we're still married although it's more of a partnership than marriage don't get me wrong we both love each other and are respectful but it's been rocky and God willing I'm able to be around for the long term but we've come to terms with the fact that that may not be in the plans for us, so we enjoy each other's company and support one another but it definitely isn't like a marriage displayed in movies lol. we also decided on no kids which changed a lot for us. c'est la vie. 

Did breast cancer affect your marriage or relationship? Share experiences, support, and advice.
Member Carenity
Posted on

@Hidden username wow thanks for your vulnerability in sharing. it's good that you have a partner that is one the same page you are because so many may not wish to "stick around" during treatment, financial difficulties etc and  that can be really hard. 

Did breast cancer affect your marriage or relationship? Share experiences, support, and advice.
Member Carenity
Posted on

I think that it made my marriage stronger. i was already married for 10 years when i was diagnosed and it was really rough for my husband, children and i for some years while i was in treatment. my husband could not have been more supportive and helpful throughout the whole thing. idk how i would have made it without him. i've been in remission for a few years now and he continues to be my rock in the midst of my uncertainty. i wouldn't wish cancer on anyone but for us, it somehow brought us closer together. 

Did breast cancer affect your marriage or relationship? Share experiences, support, and advice.
Member Carenity
Posted on

I was recently diagnosed (July 1) and had a single mastectomy August 5th.  We are retired with grown children.  Our marriage is solid, but I see my husband struggling a bit to cope with the changes we are going through.  He is trying very hard to do the things I can't do, but doesn't always understand why some things are hard.  Silly things like opening jars or making the bed are very difficult.  He knows I am not supposed to vacuum, but doesn't know why doing dishes (by hand) is tough (repetitive motion).  I know he is having trouble processing that I am not myself right now.  I won't know for another two weeks if I will have to have chemo and that has both of us worried.

Did breast cancer affect your marriage or relationship? Share experiences, support, and advice.
Member Carenity
Posted on

I had a double mascectomy a year ago i was diagnosed with stage 2 i also carry the Brac 2 gene i just had a hysterectomy .My husband has been my Angel he was there since day one when i cried he comforted me the first time i looked in the mirror he held me so tight when i could not stop crying. If it was not for him i don't think i could of survived . And for councelling i sometimes want to give up next week i am being tested for pancreatic cancer and i know he will be there every step of my journey I am a SURVIVOR

Did breast cancer affect your marriage or relationship? Share experiences, support, and advice.
Member Carenity
Posted on

I was diagnosed 2/28/18 with stage 4 breast cancer that had spread to other areas. We had just moved to a new state. I was married for 20years when diagnosed. It wasn't good for years but I thought that's the way it is. After I told him. He wouldn't go with me. Doesn't like hospitals and such. 3 weeks into chemo months way to the clinic. He told me that if I was going to live he was leaving in 6 weeks, but if I was going to die he'd stay. I said nothing and he dropped me off for chemo. He picked me up after. Said nothing all the way home. I sat at my computer desk and emailed him," I'm not happy  you're not happy.  I wish you nothing but the best." I became brave with cancer. I want bells and whistles with a partner. I want and deserve love and being loved. Lessons.❤😘