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Topic: Can't help feeling guilty

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: Sep 7, 2019 05:39PM

Bakerstreet wrote:

Hello to all wonderful people of the BCO,

I have been reading many topics of this forum since my partner's diagnosis this May. You all are a wonderful community here,supporting each other, welcoming newcomers.

My spouse's dx came in the middle of a transition period where I already signed a contract for a new academic job, bought an apt in that city and was getting ready to move there with her. At that time she was away in our hometown, and through a routine checkup got diagnosed. She had lumpectomy and her pathology placed her stage 3A (new guidelines) with many lymphs positive. She is er+, pr+ her-. I was with her post-surgery and throughout her first rounds of AC chemo.

I had to leave her there with her sister for the remaining rounds of AC, which just ended. She'll get taxol and radiation later. I had to start my new job a few weeks ago, and we were advised not to change countries, or fly. Besides my insurance was not ready. I can only go back to her in time for her radiation treatments. I am in a new city, at a new job at a life, which we supposed to start together.

She assures me that she is doing alright but she misses me a lot and I do too. We are 11 hrs flight apart so not easy to hop on a plane and be with her for a few days. Everyone tells me, including her, that it is important for me to prepare our life here in this city but I can't help feeling depressed. Especially when she has a crappy chemo day or she is down. Fear of the future takes over at the same time in my loneliness. I know caretakers have to take care of themselves as well and I am helping us build a life, earning money but depression finally hit me this week.

Has anyone found themselves in the same situation? Torn between things/commitments?

I was with her 24/7 in summer but still can't shake the guilty feeling that she feels extra stressed because I am not there and it makes her treatment more difficult. Sorry to vent, it is just tough to be apart when the love of your life is going through this!

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Sep 7, 2019 05:53PM Moderators wrote:


We're so sorry to hear all of what you and your partner are going through -- certainly lots of transition! But we're really glad you've found us. You're sure to find a wonderful support system here -- we're here for both of you as you navigate this journey.

You're clearly a very good partner for worrying so much and loving her so dearly -- and we know she must realize this. It's so hard when someone you care for so deeply is managing a difficult diagnosis, and understandably much worse when you can't be there physically for her. She surely understands the practical reality of the situation, and she surely doesn't fault you for it. No need to feel guilty; it's just the reality of how things are right now. Try not to beat yourself up.

It may make you feel better to do something unexpected for her -- send her some flowers, send her a sweet goodnight video, or ship a care package to her of all the favorite things you enjoy together, to give her some sense of your presence, even if you're far away.

We know it's hard right now, but things WILL get better!

Others will be by shortly with some more suggestions, we're sure. But in the meantime, take it easy on yourself. She feels your love!

--The Mods

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Sep 7, 2019 05:59PM Bakerstreet wrote:

Dear Moderators,

This is why you are a wonderful community, just when I was feeling so down, you made my evening with your kind, caring comments. I felt heard and understood.

It also put happy tears in my eyes. Cancer and any other serious illness is so tough on people and their families. So much change happens in our lives. I hope everyone gets a community like here. I have never seen a community, as caring as this one.

Thank you for your words and I am ordering those flowers...


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Sep 7, 2019 06:04PM Moderators wrote:

Baker, you are so sweet to say so. This is what Community is all about!

We're happy we could help. Please don't hesitate if there's anything else we can do to support you and your partner!


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Sep 7, 2019 06:18PM Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:

Don't feel guilty. Things showed up like this, and you are doing your part taking care of the future of both. Everything will be all right, it is just a bad time. Good luck!

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Sep 7, 2019 06:43PM Bakerstreet wrote:

Thank you Sonia! Your words as someone who had been through this means a lot.

much love

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Sep 7, 2019 06:53PM hapa wrote:

There is no good time to get cancer, but some times are worse than others. This was really crappy timing on the cancer's part. Not your fault either, so there's nothing to feel guilty about. Just try to get things set up in the new city as best you can. She will still be healing when she moves in with you, even if the physical part is done, the emotional part may not be. On the up side, moving may help her feel like she's closing a really crappy chapter in her life and opening a new one.

Dx 3/20/2018, IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIIA, 3/18 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Targeted Therapy 3/28/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 3/28/2018 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Chemotherapy 3/28/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 8/22/2018 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Radiation Therapy 10/22/2018 Whole-breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 12/21/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole), Zoladex (goserelin) Targeted Therapy Nerlynx
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Sep 7, 2019 07:22PM Bakerstreet wrote:

Hapa, thank you very much.

There really is no good time for such a life change. She, like all of you here, is going through a tough time and so much respect I have for all of you.

With distance, I guess the most difficult thing is to sync with her feelings. I sometimes wake up with the impressions of two days ago and she is emotionally in a completely new place. That catching up really challenges me and I make wrong assumptions reading her. But I have to do what I have to do. Your comment on emotional state and post treatment is so true, thank you for reminding me that.

much love and good wishes,

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Sep 10, 2019 03:48PM Moderators wrote:

Hi Baker,

Just checking in -- thinking of you and your partner. Are you starting to feel better? How is she doing?

Sending love,

--The Mods

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Sep 10, 2019 06:18PM Bakerstreet wrote:

Hi wonderful mods,

I am definitely a bit better. The waves of emotions come and go and the fear as well. But after I wrote to the board, the loneliness feeling has definitely subsided. I sent her flowers and now a "fck cncr" tshirt today. She is also feeling much better so thank you for asking. We have another 3-4 months apart. I am doing my best to support my mental space with long walks.

much love back,


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Sep 10, 2019 07:11PM trinigirl50 wrote:

my husband was doing much the same as you are during my diagnosis and treatment. Knowing he was putting all the Life Plans into place while I got on with my treatment was comforting for me. Not having to deal with his emotions was also a relief (he was only ever supportive but he loves me so I know he was suffering too). I concentrated purely on myself and my treatment and let him deal with our life outside of that. I almost didnt have the energy to miss him and it was enough knowing he was there for me if needed. Perhaps your partner may also feel some of this as well. Remember to look after yourself too.

trinigirl50 Dx 3/7/2015, ILC, Left, 6cm+, Stage IIIC, Grade 2, 20/24 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 3/7/2015 Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 4/14/2015 AC + T (Taxotere) Hormonal Therapy 9/14/2015 Arimidex (anastrozole), Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy 10/1/2015 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Sep 10, 2019 07:43PM Bakerstreet wrote:

Hi trinigirl50,

Thank you for your kind response. It makes a difference to read it from the other side, having been there yourself. I am glad you felt it that way. You are right about taking care of our feelings because it has been tough this summer and whatever I did, she would sense my sadness. I like your angle very much and it hit me because she goes to bed early quickly says good night and doesn't have much room for these thoughts. I am glad she is healing herself like you said you did.

Thank you for giving me insight into her side of the story,


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