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Topic: Need relationship advice

Forum: Caring for Someone with Breast cancer —

A place to share your struggles and concerns about supporting and caring for a person you love diagnosed with breast cancer with others who understand.

Posted on: Mar 13, 2017 12:26AM

Fallen_for_her wrote:

Hello all,

To say the least, I am very, very confused, these days. My story is a bit complicated, but I will try to articulate it as best as I can.

Due to a tight budget, I took a second job, at a local retail outlet, where I met and immiediately fell for a beautiful woman, who happened to be working there, as a second job, for the same reasons. A few weeks after meeting, she revealed to me her diagnosis. I was saddened but determined to help her through this. We began talking about her illness and she started to turn to me for support. She started radiation therapy and sometime after was told she had a mass near her spine(?). She was going to have to start a different kind of radiation treatment and also chemo. At this time, insurance deductibles became a problem. They were too much for her to continue treatment and she wasn't having any luck getting money from the groups.

At this time, I made up my mind to continue supporting her through this by paying for her treatment. I have had self-esteem issues, throughout my life, and knew that if I financed her treatment, over 10k, there was a chance that I would never believe she liked me for me and not the money but for her sake, I did it. I made it clear that the money was being given to her, no string attached, and should we ever part company, no matter the reason, that would never change. She has always been appreciative of my action, I have no problem there.

My problem and state of confusion is with our infant relationship, which, out of necessity, stopped growing, in many ways, when she was diagnosed. She has shared a lot about her health, and other things with me but at times, I feel out of the loop. I can be overly attentive and, recently, upset her for always checking up on her. She asked me to relax and hindsight being 20/20, I realized that I was being a pest. I've read what I can find about being a supportive person to her and try to utilize the information, as best I can, in our situation.

I guess I can sum up my problem by saying that I revealed how deep my feelings for her have been, pre and post diagnosis, and she was a little surprised. I was worried that I said too much, given her health conditions and said that I would step away. In fact, the subject that maybe I should step away came up three times during this conversation, each time she said no that isn't what she is saying/wants. Now, chemo has started and we don't get to see/speak as often but she still makes time to communicate with me, even if it is only a late night text, when she awakens from a bout with fatigue, which is getting worse. I want to stay positive and hope that one day we may have a future, when she starts feeling better. I am doing everything that I can to support her, in the ways she needs and asks for, until then. I fear for my heart, though. I have been hurt, a few times, and until I met her, had tried to avoid relationships. She is different and something about her made me strip away the armor from my heart. I'm scared that I will lose her, to the illness or because of the illness. I want to be a bigger part of her life but, at the same time, I can see that she doesn't have much to give, due to her struggle.

Survivors, out there, should I take it as a positive sign, that she still takes time to communicate and even has gone as far as molding me into a better form of support for her needs, rather than just shutting off from me? Would you have had the energy to continue, even in a small way, a new relationship, when you were in the middle of radiation and chemo? How can I keep supporting her throughout this fight? I try to be more responsive to her needs, rather than, proactive, which is quite a change for me and I try to be a good listener, is there anything you can suggest?

She had my heart from the very beginning and going through all of this is an emotional roller coaster for me, that I've kept hidden, for the most part, from her. Thanks for letting me vent. Log in to post a reply

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Mar 13, 2017 04:53PM - edited Mar 13, 2017 04:54PM by Moderators

Fallen_for_her, it sounds as though you have really tried to be a great support to her. She is very fortunate. Naturally, when a person isn't feeling well, or is tired, it is difficult to gauge a relationship - the treatment takes so much out of you, and it can be difficult to balance everything.

Do you have a counselor with whom you talk about your situation? This may be helpful to you as you learn to navigate the relationship, finding the right balance between reaching out to her, and allowing her space. This is often complicated, even when we aren't in treatment .

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Apr 16, 2017 12:58AM keithw wrote:

You either love her or you do not. It took me almost twenty years to be with the woman I loved, and just a bit over a decade later to learn she would die from stage four breast cancer. I am lost, loving her as things deteriorate. I would die for her, or kill. Anything, if I could just take this malady from her. When I was a young man, I felt no different than I do now at 55. My future ends with her.

Love of my life DX'd Stage IV MBC Sept 13, 2012 - ER+, PR = "Focally positive for PR (30%,2+)" , HER2-, Met in L3 lumbar (removed), lymph node under left arm involved, left breast source. Radiation of spine, Xgeva, Anastrozole.

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