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Hi everyone,


Thank you in advance to whoever reads this/replies.


My partner was diagnosed with Leukaemia a few months ago. He's finished chemotherapy and is now taking a targeted therapy drug which seems to be working. His diagnosis was a huge shock. He has always been really healthy and then one day suddenly collapsed...


He has an active job and pushes himself to play sport three days a week. He comes home from work and sleeps and then will go to a sport game. He says he just wants to 'feel normal again'.


He has always been very relaxed and laid back but lately he displays uncharacteristic behaviours. He gets really angry and snaps at me over small things. Some days it feels as though he is going out of his way trying to start arguments with me. When I complain he says that Im not being understanding enough and that he feels alone. He has a huge network of people who love him but I feel he puts on a brave face around them, always smiling and making jokes. When he's with me he can be really loving, then angry one day, depressed the next. I'm really trying my best to meet his needs. 


It's like he's a different person and I feel so scared that things won't improve. I'm not sure if the change in attitude could be a side effect to the targeted medication or just because he's anaemic and so exhausted or i truly am doing a shit job at caring for his needs! I would like him to see a counsellor and would love any recommendations for one in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs. I'm also worried about getting him to agree to see someone as I can't imagine him  doing so willingly. Any advice?





Valued Contributor

Re: counselling?

Evening @claire19 and welcome to the Community 😊


My name is Kate and I work with Cancer Council NSW, here in Sydney. I am also the Community Manager for the Online Community.


Give 13 11 20 a call today, or you can email me at and I can arrange for one of the team to give you a call back, they would be the best people to chat to about some counselling for your partner and some options for yourself as well.


In the meantime, please don't be a stranger and use the forums here, there are some amazing people here 😘

@sch, @Budgie, @iloveyoudearly7 are just a few of our amazing members who help others every day here 💕

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Super Contributor

Re: counselling?

Hi Claire19,

I think part of your husbands problem is that he wants everything to get back to normal. For those who have cancer, I don't think you can ever return to the normal of before, but have to re-adjust after each different medication. Even after all treatment is finished there is never really any going back to the pre-cancer normal.
Chemo drugs can have this effect on some people, so it would be worth telling the oncologist. They may be able to lower the dose or change drugs.
Counselling would be a great thing for both of you, & you can get a referal from the oncologist the GP, as well as the lovely people from Cancer Council.

I hope things improve for you soon. There is a thread on this site that you should read through, if you haven't already, which may give some helpful advice: HOW TO DEAL WITH A LOVE ONE'S ANGER?  

All the best

Super Contributor

Re: counselling?

Hi Claire19,


He has had a huge shock. One day he was fit and playing sport and the next he has cancer. Cancer means you are sick.

His world has changed. He just wants to feel normal again.

The problem is he needs to learn to adapt to a new normal. That's the tough part.

When I was diagnosed with cancer I actually had planned to run an ultra marathon within the next 12 months. After discussing treatment options with my surgeon we both felt a total colectomy was the best option.

Two days later and I'm starting to panic. If I have a total colectomy will I still be able to run that ultra? I started to think that perhaps the best option for me was to cancel the surgery?


That's not logical, but that is what was running through my mind.

One day you're on top of the world and the next you have this awful sickness called cancer.


An observation I had was that has humans, we tend to define "who we are" by what we enjoy doing.

I've found the key to helping me change was to concentrate on what I could do.


Perhaps your partner is angry but he is still trying to accept the changes. Maybe he is scared about what the cancer will mean for the future?


Perhaps you could ask one of his treatment team to discuss with him the benefits of seeing a therapist?

Or see if he would attend a support group where he could discuss with others who have had to deal with similar issues?





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