upset

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upset

My boy friend has upset me so much today I am typing this with tears running down my face. He is at the hospital today and I got all ready to go with him so I can hear what the doctors have to say but he told me he didn't want me to go with him. I was stunned, all I could do was go into my room and close the door. He left without me. I feel he has shut me out completely. I get that he doesn't what to know results of his ct scans ect. but he has to know I want to know. He said he doesn't want to know results because it doesn't change anything. I disagree with that, it changes everything. If they show new tumors its make a difference, if it shows they have shrunk away to nothing it changes everything. Is it just me that thinks this way? I just don't understand why he wouldn't want to know. He worries about what is going on with his cancer I know he does, anyone who looks at him knows. Knowledge eases the mind I would think. I feel like he has changed so much I hardly know him any more. He doesn't tell me anything about how he feels about having cancer. He just won't talk about it. How can you talk to someone who won't talk back to you. sorry to have a rant but I just don't know where to go from here. Please feel free to voice your comments, I could use some help with ideas on how to deal with this. [
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Re: upset

Hey GeeGee It sounds like things were really tough for you on Friday. How has the weekend been so far? I can understand your shock in being told that your boyfriend didn't want you to go with him to talk with the doctors at the hospital. Does it feel like he has shut you out from other parts of his life too? You mentioned that you get that your boyfriend doesn't what to know the results of his ct scans because it doesn't change anything. I wonder if he does know that you disagree with that, as in have the two of you been able to talk about it together? What I am hearing is that for you it is really important to be there for and support him. You want to know what is going on, whether the results show new tumors or that they have shrunk away to nothing. It is not just you that thinks this way, but is it perhaps to hoe your boyfriend thinks about it and/or processes all that is happening to him? Maybe he is unable or does not want to know. Is this how he handles other difficult issues and worries in his life? I have no doubt that he worries about what is going on with his cancer. For someone people, like me, knowledge eases the mind, however not everyone wants to know as it can be quite scary and overwhelming. I cannot imagine what the two of you are going through. I wonder how you can talk to him, or how the both of you can communicate to each other what is going on for both of you. When you say that he doesn't tell you anything about how he feels about having cancer it could mean that he doesn't know how, or that there may be a barrier in how this is all being talked/not talked about.
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Re: upset

How stressful and distressing! I totally get it – I also want to know everything, and I’m also supporting someone who frustrates me because he hates talking about cancer. 

 

I hate to pander to stereotypes, but I'm sure gender differences come into play here. It often (not always) seems to be the women who want to talk it all through, and men who are more reticent. But, of course, that's a generalisation. 

 

What I've learnt is that there really is no “right” way to deal with cancer. His way may well seem defeatist to you – it does to me too – but, ultimately, he’s the one with who is sick, and it’s entirely his right to approach this however he wants to. He is in charge of his body and his treatment and how he responds to it and who he talks to about it. Just as you would be if it happened to you. You may not like it and you may not understand it, but you do have to accept it. In the beginning, I found this incredibly difficult and confronting. But now I find it comforting. 

 

It's worth noting that your boyfriend will have lots of people telling him what he should do and how he should think. My loved one, for example, has had people telling him to work through his bucket list. But he doesn't have a bucket list – he says that if there were things he'd wanted to do in life, he would be doing them. If this turns out to be his last year or two on this planet, then he wants to spend it doing the same things he did before he knew it might be his last year or two. 

 

I guess what I'm saying is we need to respect the choices of the person who has cancer, even if – perhaps especially if – they don't make sense to us. 

 

Besides, he may not be as disengaged as you think. Hearing about your latest results is incredibly stressful. Perhaps he just wants to absorb it alone, and take time to process it before he talks to you and the other people in his life.

 

At the end of the day, you and your boyfriend are going through this together, and you both need to deal with it in the way that works best for you. Unfortunately, there are differences between what he needs and how he deals with it, and what you need and how you deal with it. That's what you need to work through. 

 

It sounds like you’re a young couple, and he may feel guilty that you’re being dragged into his illness. He may feel better going to the doctor with someone who’s a bit more removed, like a friend or another family member, who can then inform everybody else. That's not a rejection of you. He needs to identify what would make him most comfortable in those appointments. 

 

It could be that he does have feelings that he wants to express, but is worried about telling you. The hospital will have a social work department he can access. Encourage him to use the counsellors on offer. Encourage him to use the Cancer Council service Cancer Connect so he can talk to someone in the same boat.

 

Whether he chooses to or not, you should take the opportunity to talk to someone. Use the hospital, get a therapist, or try the Cancer Council. The best advice I got, right at the beginning of this experience, was to seek out the help on offer and say “yes” to all of it.

 

One thing that helped me was gathering a support team together and starting a private Facebook message group to discuss what was going on. The person with cancer isn’t in it – it’s just for us to talk about what’s going on, how best to help him, and to vent. At first I felt guilty for talking about my loved one behind his back. But, as the main carer, I got over it. Frankly, I need the help. As carers, we spend so much effort being strong and supportive. Sometimes I just want to vent and cry. While you should never feel guilty for needing to do that, it’s good to have a group of supportive people around you who are prepared to hear it, because your boyfriend may not be the right person at the moment. 

 

Being diagnosed with cancer is life-changing. So yes, he probably has changed. That's not necessarily a bad thing. I totally understand your frustration about the fact that he won't talk. But that could just be a stage. You don't say what your boyfriend's prognosis is, but even a diagnosis of curable cancer can come with grief and all its complications. Shutting down emotionally is a classic way humans deal with fear. It probably won't be forever, and my advice is not to push it. If he doesn't want to talk about having cancer right now, then don't. Enjoy your days, seek out the fun stuff, make awesome memories. Live in the moment. The person I support is much more likely to bring up his feelings when we're having a beer in the sun and talking about something completely different. In other words, he talks when there's no pressure for him to talk. 

 

I honestly don't mean to downplay your frustration, because I totally get it. I'm just telling you what's helped me. 

 

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Re: upset

I just noticed how old this post is. GeeGee, if you ever still visit this site, I read through your old posts and see things moved on quickly after you wrote this. I'm going to leave my post in case anyone else finds it relevant, but I made some incorrect assumptions and I hope reading it didn't upset you. 

 

You don't say what happened in the end but your partner was moving into palliative care so I guess I can imagine. If you're still out there, sending you lots of love and strength. x

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Re: upset

Wow, Lorem_Ipsum what wonderful advice. You sound like a very wise and caring person. Your reply has helped me enormously too.
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Re: upset

So glad you left this post for me to find.
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