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Single or part of a couple? How different is the Stage IV journey?

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Pure curiosity. I’m single. It seems as though the majority on here are coupled up but perhaps I’ve misread. Not a pity party, I promise. I just wonder if anyone else is going through this with friends and (adult or younger) children rather than a partner, and how they feel about it?

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  • spookiesmom
    spookiesmom Member Posts: 8,168
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    the first time I was diagnosed my husband took pretty good care of me he make whatever I wanted to eat if I could pick up meds from the drugstore the second time around, he took me to the hospital and brought me back and took care of me this time well he died two years ago so this time I’m doing it pretty much by myself my daughter is local but she’s a teacher and she can’t always be around when I need her so one way or another even if I feel like crap warmed up I have to do it myself and some days that’s just impossible. Just getting out of bed is an effort so there’s no pity party here it is what it is and I do the best I can with what I’ve got.

  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 4,747
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    I am single and have been through out my 12 years with bc. I do have two fabulous adult daughters and their partners who have been invaluable. How do I feel about it? I’m good! This is my reality and the only way I have ever known to deal with bc.

  • chicagoan
    chicagoan Member Posts: 963
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    I'm single and have been going through MBC alone. I find that friends really don't understand. I'm a pretty independent person so it has been fine for me. At the end, I imagine I will have to go to a residential hospice since I wouldn't be able to stay at home but I don't worry about that much. With my personality, I think it would get on my nerves to have a husband or partner going with me to appointments. I feel well supported by my medical team-that is enough. When I broke my leg last year, I did need help and was pleased with how friends and family came through.

  • emiliamarty
    emiliamarty Member Posts: 31
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    Thanks everyone. It’s good to know I am not alone in being alone, and not alone in being basically content with that. First time around, initial dx and mastectomy, I was coming out of a relationship and chose to convalesce with a friend rather than at home before finally moving out. Stage IV is purely solo and I think I prefer it this way. I do reach out for support if I’m feeling particularly drab, and am lucky to live really near to longstanding friends from college days.

    A x

  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 4,747
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    And if you are wondering if adult children can help… let me start by saying that both of my dd’s and their helpful partners live fairly close to me. Older dd is good at organizing and household things but becomes hysterical over medical things. She also indulges in a bit of wishful thinking, i.e. You’re fine! Younger dd is my point person for medical issues and emotional understanding. She has come to mo appointments with me though as many years have passed, she does so less frequently but will accompany me if important visits come up.
    They both have families and busy lives so I am reluctant to burden them with my medical issues knowing full well that it’s likely that they will probably have to step up when my bc progresses. While very grateful for their love and support, I feel terrible about burdening my children with my situation. The only reason why I ever wonder if having a partner would have been better is to spare putting so much on the shoulders of my children.

  • divinemrsm
    divinemrsm Member Posts: 6,003
    edited August 2023
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    I’m married. I’ve been living w/mbc for 12+ years. The cancer center is an hour away at a Pittsburgh hospital. For the first six months, for any appts, tests, scans, iv chemo every three weeks and two surgeries, I was accompanied by either my husband or one of my sisters. Since then, I’ve gone to almost all of of my many appts. by myself (including to 33 rounds of radiation which I was able to do at a local affiliated hospital).

    I was diagnosed with mbc from the get-go. At the beginning of this saga, the day I went for the Pet scan and met with the doctor that afternoon knowing I was going to get the awful confirmation of metastases, I intentionally went alone. I could not bear to have my husband or sister hear such horrible news. I took that hit alone.

    So I go through this somewhat independently; yet as part of a couple, there’s support there if I need to call on it. I’ve been married over 30 years so I don’t know anything about the single lifestyle. I know it would have its challenges in a different way than being married, or being a mom to young children.



  • emiliamarty
    emiliamarty Member Posts: 31
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    Thank you both.

  • anotherone
    anotherone Member Posts: 545
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    I was in a couple when diagnosed, then split and was single, then became part of another couple.

    It is far nicer being with a significant other but it is a bit like a life with no cancer - preferable single then in not a happy couple.

  • emiliamarty
    emiliamarty Member Posts: 31
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    I know exactly what you mean. Congratulations on the new relationship.

  • sf-cakes
    sf-cakes Member Posts: 524
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    I'm fairly recently widowed (last December) at 54 - I took care of my husband through his lung cancer, and since he was quite sick already when I was diagnosed with MBC, it had felt like I was navigating this illness alone a lot of the time. Of course, now I am.

    I think in some ways I'm calmer - I know what to expect from hospice, I'm much clearer about what I want at the end of my life, and I believe my husband and my souls will be reunited, so I have some peace about dying. But it is harder when scans are approaching, to not be able to hug him and tell him I'm scared. I hear him telling me, "we'll deal with whatever happens", and though of course he is in my heart, I would like him here in body! We did not have kids. I have friends and my Mum, but most of my time is now alone.

    It's hard, no lie. I'm part of a local support group for MBC, and that combined with this site has helped me a great deal. I find it so helpful to talk with other folks with MBC, we have our own shorthand if you will, we know what scanxiety is, the fatigue from meds, the info about what our next treatments might be, etc. My friends care, but they don't fully understand, and I don't really want them to, you know? Wouldn't wish this "knowledge" on them!

  • emiliamarty
    emiliamarty Member Posts: 31
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    @sf-cakes I am so sorry. That must be really, really hard to bear.