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Some thoughts from a man

41 REPLIES 41
Fairydust 14
Member

Re: Some thoughts from a man

Thank you Mai.

I will take your advice re the chemotherapy monthly thread. Your experience, support and advice is so much appreciated. Wishing you all the best too.

Fairydust x

Mai7
Community Champion

Re: Some thoughts from a man

Fairydust, my neutrophils were fine for my first 3 chemos and started to bounce around after my 4th and 5th. This is apparently quite common, the further you go down the chemo. Some people don't get any problems so you might be lucky. There are injections to support the increase in neutrophils. Best wishes to you and try not to worry. Once you're ready to start chemo, join the 'going through treatment' chemo monthly thread and you can chat with others going through it at the same same. This is a tremendous support. Xx

Fairydust 14
Member

Re: Some thoughts from a man

Ok. Looked up neutrophils now. Will research this aspect. Hope they stay under control when I commence chemo.
Much love to all.
Fairydust x
Fairydust 14
Member

Re: Some thoughts from a man

Hello Mai

Oh my goodness - I feel for you, hospitalized for 5 days! No need to apologise at all.

I must admit I haven't heard  of neutrophils until now, hope it is under control for you now. Thanks ever so much for responding to my message under your circumstances. Much appreciated and very kind of you.

I think with you being hospitalized, it speaks for itself that going through bc and chemo completely alone is not entirely possible. I expect you needed your partner at no other time than when hospitalized. I imagine he was a super support to you then with positive comments to keep you going etc..and to care for you still.

 

Thanks to your response and the response from others, I conclude that I have no further need to question whether I can go through this bc phase of my life completely alone as the answer is clearly no. Although I am like you indeed, in that where at all possible I will tend to avoid fuss and drama and so I will tell people after the event rather than upfront!  We all have our ways don't we?! 

 

Continue taking care of you..

Fairydust x

Mai7
Community Champion

Re: Some thoughts from a man

All the best Chris for your partner. It must be a huge relief to have made it through the chemo and be moving forward to the next stage. I hope she gives the end of treatment bell a good ring at the hospital!

Mai7
Community Champion

Re: Some thoughts from a man

Fairydust, sorry I didn't reply sooner, I've been in my own little world lately! Chemoworld! I was hospitalised for 5 days with high temperature and neutrophils bouncing around all over the place. I've had my chemo no.6 of 8 delayed for the last two weeks as my neutrophils haven't recovered enough for chemo yet. I now have 3 days of filgrastim to get the little blighters to wake up! Back to your question, yes I would find it difficult without my partner as I can lean on him to cheer me up if I get negative thoughts and he has been able to take me to the hospital and get shopping when I need to avoid human contact etc. Perhaps without him, I would lean more on family who would be happy to help or I would have pushed myself to be a bit more independent. The truth is, I've always been independent and having cancer has made me start letting people in to help more, as hard as I find that, I think letting go of control can be good for you during treatment. People enjoy helping as they feel so helpless watching from the sidelines so at least they can contribute something. Try not to shoulder too much to yourself, but if you're anything like me, I usually tell people after it's over and all is well again so as not to attract too much drama. My family and close friends and work colleagues know but that's it and I'm happy to keep it that way! I've continued to work full time on chemo and have been able to work from home which has been great to have something which isn't cancer to think about! Hope all continues to go well for you. X

Chris1975
Member

Re: Some thoughts from a man

Hi everyone, great to read your experiences...
My partner has her last (6th) chemo this Monday, and so far so good, it's been one hell of a journey but we are almost there, to continue where we left off. She also has her final surgery next month (full node clearance) then it's just herceptin every 3 weeks until June next year, so we've decided to rent our house and live in Spain for a year after her surgery in September and fly back every 3 weeks for her herceptin injection, we will be living in our motorhome so can keep moving along the coast. Stay strong ladies, you're all an inspiration! x
Jill1998
Community Champion

Re: Some thoughts from a man

We will be don't worry - all been there,good days and bad days.


Fairydust 14
Member

Re: Some thoughts from a man

Ha ha, I didn't realise what I wrote, (get it off your chest) lol.....!!

Thanks for the laugh!

Please be here when I need to cry.

Jill1998
Community Champion

Re: Some thoughts from a man

Yes strangely it is often easier to talk to people who are a bit removed from the situation .Keep offloading here- no problem -get it off your chest (as it were !!!)
Fairydust 14
Member

Re: Some thoughts from a man

Thanks Ann and Jill.

This forum is great for allowing me to get things off my chest and out in the open, funny how I can talk to strangers but not my closest friends and family. It's easier somehow.

I'm sure I'll have lots more to say as I start my bc treatments. All best of regards to you both!

Fairydust x

ann-m
Community Champion

Re: Some thoughts from a man

That's great, Fairydust, loads of luck & best wishes with it all.

ann x

Jill1998
Community Champion

Re: Some thoughts from a man

Glad you are feeling more positive - he obviously wants to help and has a good heart !!! Fingers crossed !!!
Fairydust 14
Member

Re: Some thoughts from a man

Hi again. Just to add I will let my man help me in the way he chooses to..I appreciate that this will help him feel as if he's not being pushed away, and is needed which he is in a number of ways.  The last thing I want is to stop him supporting me where he sees a need. By allowing him to support me, I may be supporting him too!

It's different him and friends supporting me than family somehow, as friends are more removed and objective and less serious and upsetting.

He is so lovely and possibly more sensitive than he wants me to know, which is understandable, so as long as we still have FUN and have lots of laughs, he and I can stand a chance of  pulling through this...if he walks away for whatever reason, even not related to my bc, well then at least we can say we tried...feeling more positive already! 

Thanks again. X

Fairydust 14
Member

Re: Some thoughts from a man

Thanks Ann. 

This cancer issue really does change your life doesn't it? 

I have a couple of friends I can call on perhaps, if and when absolutely essential to do so. I will only tell family members if there is no other option. It's kinder for family not to know, as illnesses really stress them out and they go into overload re offering support, and get upset if refused. I don't want their stress to be honest! My brother who knows is sworn to secrecy! He is chilled and really good at stepping back till needed, like me.

Thanks for your advice Ann.

ann-m
Community Champion

Re: Some thoughts from a man

Hi Fairydust,

As Jill says, do reach out if you need to & do ask for what you need from others. It's ok to be honest about what you need & feel. Like you, I tend to want to handle things myself, but now realise, others are not mind readers & sometimes it is possible to overthink it all.

If you feel you can, do give him the chance to support you, rather than thinking you're making demands of him. 

It is tough going through this, but you'll certainly know a lot more about where you're going with it all, when you've come out the other side. 

ann xx

 

Jill1998
Community Champion

Re: Some thoughts from a man

Fairydust ,sorry you are having to go through the " full monty " when it comes to treatment .I haven't been through chemo but I'm sure other ladies will advise .All I can say is that I hated feeling vulnerable and asking for support and help during my treatment but had to accept that it was one time in my life when I really had to accept and ask for practical and emotional support .You will need support from others- maybe you need to think about who you feel comfortable talking to about this and who you would feel comfortable accepting practical help from .
Fairydust 14
Member

Re: Some thoughts from a man

Hi Mai

 

Just one question, or series of related questions.

 

I am prepared to go through my drama alone. With your chemo already taking place, (and poor you having to have chemo pre surgery) and mine to come...could you have handled it alone? Is it that bad? Can you drive yourself home after a chemo session for instance, are you working through chemo? Does it leave you drained and tired? 

I am really very independent, ( probably why I've stayed single and never married, or had kids),  and have told very very few people (even family, e crept one brother), about my diagnosis. I don't want to be a burden or a chore to anyone, especially my man. 

So the more I cope alone the better I will feel, is it doable on your own?

Fairydust 14
Member

Re: Some thoughts from a man

Thanks Jill and Mai

Very kind of you to reply. I think my man is proving to be one of the strong silent type. He isn't saying much about how he feels about this situation, but insists I did my exercises and rested etc. Today I got my results - stage 1 triple negative.

 He has told me that he is really pleased with my surgery results (or at least what I have told him of my results), but once he researches it he may worry and wonder what he's got himself into with me. I am  hopeful he will make plans to visit with me, and pick up where we left off so to speak with no talk of bc at least till chemo etc starts.  I know the chemo and radiotherapy will start soon, but I thought until then we could just go back to normal and chill out together etc..but I wonder if he thinks I'm 'too fragile'. He hasn't seen the lumpectomy scar yet. Today it started leaking and I had to see the surgeon consultant to put more glue on it, but I haven't mentioned it to him. It's now incredibly rough, hard and unattractive looking. Glue overload!! I hate touching it now it let alone anyone else.. that could be tricky. And next week I have more surgery to do a LICAP Flap now that my margins are proved clear and no lymph nodes involvement.

 

 I need to give him more time I guess. Being in different cities puts a different slant on things maybe, and I don't want our relationship or time spent together focused on bc. I hope he understands that. I want to be there for him in anything he needs too. Is that realistic? This does not define me. 

I can only hope he explains how he feels one day. Till then I will just carry on as normal as much as I can.

 

Mai7
Community Champion

Re: Some thoughts from a man

Fairydust, I'm still going through treatment. I've had 5 out of 8 chemos and then have surgery and rads to face. I guess I'm strong as I've been on the journey a bit longer and have toughened to it now.  Its hard at times to be positive but you just have to find the strength to keep picking yourself back up again. I said to my partner recently, "wow, this isn't what you signed up for" and he said he accepts me in sickness and in health, just as I do him. If it turns out any other way it's probably not what you're looking for anyway in a relationship.....

Jill1998
Community Champion

Re: Some thoughts from a man

It's hard enough in an established relationship !!!! Here's hoping you find a way to navigate it all!!! Please come to us for support and to off load as we really understand .
Fairydust 14
Member

Re: Some thoughts from a man

Hi Jill

Thanks for this. I hear what you're saying. On reading my messages back I can see I'm coming across as capable of dealing with anything, when in truth I haven't a scooby doo what's actually coming my way. Each person's journey is different.

 

Thanks for your insight into how it's gone with you and your husband at times. Yes, I too have experienced that from men in the past.  This was  my worry with my fella. He can't be superman every day. I must prepare for days when he can't be there for me, but at the same time not expect him to disappoint. I will allow him as much space as he needs. We are both used to being alone anyway and not having too much time together.  He is only human but in my eyes he is perfect lol!! I am sure I've jinxed it by talking about him so I should stop now...Lol.

To be absolutely honest, I haven't told him everything. Superman or not, there is only so much a new boyfriend can take. Only time will tell.

 

Jill1998
Community Champion

Re: Some thoughts from a man

Hi Fairydust ,your fella sounds lovely and I really hope he comes through for you !! Try not to be superwoman though as you need to put yourself and your recovery first and foremost .Even long-term relationships are put under a lot of stress when you are diagnosed and some partners are brilliant others struggle with it all and it's hard to predict which way it will go sometimes .My husband veered between being really supportive and it really getting him down and being a bit of a ****'!!!
Fairydust 14
Member

Re: Some thoughts from a woman for men...........

Thanks Mai7

So kind of you to send that lovely message and  quote. It's very helpful. I must learn to just BE. I will appreciate what I have right now rather than spoil it by overthinking! 

You seem very positive, and you have clearly gone through the treatment process and come out the other side, so we can all learn a lot from your wisdom too.

I get my surgery results on 8 August. What will be will be. I can't change it, but you're right, I will still be me regardless. He wants to know the results but won't be with me when I get them (well, I haven't actually asked him or anyone to be with me, I prefer to be alone). I can then choose how to tell him, how much or how little depending on what I feel he needs to know at the time.

My parents don't even know I have bc let alone surgery. I will work on how to tell them first. They are in their 70s and so happy with life. I don't want to worry them till I absolutely have to / if I have to at all.

Thanks again for the advice Mai and Anne.

X

 

Mai7
Community Champion

Re: Some thoughts from a woman for men...........

Fairydust, try not to devalue yourself because of your illness because you are still the same person he met but just have some stuff to deal with. It's like putting the ball in his court when relationships are really about equal power.  The kind things he does for you, you deserve them. I'll leave you with this quote which I found useful whilst dealing with cancer, chemo and life! Take care. Xx

image.jpeg

Fairydust 14
Member

Re: Some thoughts from a woman for men...........

Thanks again!

I know I'm gushing about him, but me and love aren't best friends. I have been hurt in the past and avoided relationships for years. But now, with this man, I so want us to work. So I'm scared he won't be able to support me. If he can't, I won't judge him though. I will wish him well. 

Let's see..!!

ann-m
Community Champion

Re: Some thoughts from a woman for men...........

That's great, Fairydust,

He sounds like a gem, so don't overthink the bc stuff & let it get in the way of him seeing the amazing you.

You never know, this maybe the silver lining!

If it's meant to be, it will be. 

Do keep us posted if you want to

ann x

Fairydust 14
Member

Re: Some thoughts from a woman for men...........

Thanks Ann-m.

I think you replied with what I wanted to hear! I know if it was him that was diagnosed, I would stay with him and offer all the support in the world, without question. 

That's because I know I've already fallen in love with him, (clearly can't tell him yet).

I guess I don't want to rush him into feeling the same or feeling he has to say it to me because of my diagnosis. 

I will wait it out as you suggest. So far he has been lovely and kind. Since I told him, he took it upon himself to  mow the lawn in my garden , made dinner, made Pimms whilst we watched the tennis recently. He is amazing. I guess it's up to me to keep him interested in me, and to keep showing him how amazing I am even when overcoming this silly illness! 

I will keep you posted...!

Thanks again.

FAIRYDUST.X

 

 

ann-m
Community Champion

Re: Some thoughts from a woman for men...........

Hi Fairydust,

Well, why not see how it goes?

If it doesn't work out, then you would have tried & less likely to have regrets of what might have been.

If he cares about you, then he will support you.

If he cant come through for you or is easily put off, then he's not worthy of you. 

We all deserve a chance at happiness, if you think he's worth it, go for it girl!

ann x

Fairydust 14
Member

Re: Some thoughts from a woman for men...........

Hi. I am new to this, waiting for results. I am in the midst of a very new relationship with such a lovely handsome, sexy man. I can't believe my luck. He really does take my breath away. I have only been with him twice, once before bc diagnosis was even thought possible, and once after I told him I had been diagnosed but before my WLE had taken place, so he has not seen the scar.

I hope not to drive him away with talk of the diagnosis and future treatments and more scans and surgery that I will be undertaking. This is such terrible timing. I have been single for years, and now I've met someone, this happens! Just my luck.

Should I let him go? We live in different cities so cannot see each other except at weekends, and if I am recovering from surgery or sleepy due to medication, we can't exactly do much together or have wild times out. We are in our forties but not yet past the idea of weekends away or nights out in town.Neither of us has children and each live alone.

What to do? Any advice? I would hate for him to feel he has to stay with me out of sympathy...but I do know he likes me but I don't want to bore him with my health issues....how can I be sure what's for the best...?

 

 

Feather1944
Member

Re: Some thoughts from a man

 

CHRIS..........what a great husband, what a great man !! All the best to you and your lovely wife ! Xxxx

Lina1
Member

Re: Some thoughts from a woman for men...........

Thank you lady Bowler..............Smiley Wink

Lina1
Member

Re: Some thoughts from a man

Thanks a lot to all of you, you "are" right...............but I accept me as I am..............all the quotations are right......Thanks a lot to you both!Smiley Wink Patricia.

Mai7
Community Champion

Re: Some thoughts from a woman for men...........

Lina, I'm sorry your man didn't turn out to be what he initially appeared to be. As hard as it feels, you are better off without him. You need to accept you, you are strong and have been through enough to know that.  I'm in a long term relationship but I've was married once for many years and left an emotionally destructive relationship.  I found some quotes which sum up my attitude nowadays. I hope you meet someone who deserves you. Send your ex a pair of plastic boobs if that's all he's looking for and I hope they make him very happy! 

image.jpeg

ladybowler
Community Champion

Re: Some thoughts from a woman for men...........

Lina

 

Hello and welcome.

 

Well to me the biggest sentence in your post is that it does not make any diffence to you" and that is what is the important thing in all of this.  Yes you have your scars but it is because of them that you are here able to write the post, so bloody well done you.

 

He obviously was not worth wasting your energies on if he gave up so easily, I am sure that there are a lot of men out there who will see you for who you are and that you are not defined by having had breast cancer.

 

Helena xxx

 

Lina1
Member

Re: Some thoughts from a woman for men...........

Oh , how lucky you are with your partners!, because you've been together for a long time...........probably.

As for me, I had a relationship for six months, and suddenly, after he knew, he said he couldn't stay with me in a near or longer future, just said "i didn't suit him", maybe, maybe not, and assured me it had nothing to see with the illness......difficult to believe, just after St Valentine's day, when he gave me such a nice and engaging present, and said just a couple of weeks ago, "we were a couple".........

- So, I guessed, it was too difficult for him to accept me like this or imagine the possible consequences especially because i had a "masectomy"........i don't really know, but can understand, it must be difficult to see a woman operated with one breast left!

however, as I really accepted my illness and the consequences, I couldn't really understand other people who didn't accept the "new" me , just as I was...........it made no difference to me!!!!

I also noticed the Men's reaction when I said I had breast cancer.........just a reluctant reaction!!!!

i don't speak about it now, but, i'd like to have Men to say what they feel about it, how they can react and why, even if I know that everybody is different..........it seems that most men react as if we were not women any longer!!!? but why? please answer me; Thanks a lot if you do. Patricia.

RunningMum13
Member

Re: Some thoughts from a man

What a lovely post, thank you Chris for sharing your thoughts. x

Mai7
Community Champion

Re: Some thoughts from a man

Thanks for the lovely post Chris. This really is a time when you realise how strong your relationship is. It's all very surreal, like watching yourselves in a film. It can't really be happening to YOU! I had shoulder length hair, had it cut to jaw length a couple of weeks before chemo and after my 2nd chemo, my hairloss was enough for my partner to do the honours of giving me the grade 2 all over. When he'd finished he said "you're in the army now" to which I replied "in the fight for life". I still have 5 chemos left then surgery, probably rads and tamoxifen. It's a lot to go through but somehow you find the strength to stay on track and stay positive. My partner has been a tremendous support, making me laugh, eating all of the new superfoods I've introduced and giving up alcohol with me. We would find the battle much tougher without you guys for support.....so, Let's hear it for the boys! 

ann-m
Community Champion

Re: Some thoughts from a man

Fantastic post, Chris!
ann x
ladybowler
Community Champion

Re: Some thoughts from a man

Chris

 

Wow, thank you so much for that very inspirational post,

 

I have been very lucky with my diagnosis and fortunately I did not need chemo, however, I have made some wonderful "virtual" friends, well for now anyway, as we are going to meet up when they have all finished their treatment, who have.  They are totally inspirational in what they have gone through, put up with, come through and have had me in absolute stitches with their stories, we have also cried, been scared together and supported each other.

 

As maryminder has said there is light at the end of the tunnel for the both of you. 

 

My partner has MS and is housebound therefore was not able to accompany me to the apts, diagnosis, operation, rads, he has had to watch me go off with my lovely friends who just sorted everything for me, he has never actually said how he has felt about what has happened to me, but the fear in his face the morning I went off for my op, I just wanted to take it all away from him.  You men are amazing and thank goodness we have you next to us.

 

Helena xx

maryminder
Member

Re: Some thoughts from a man

Hi Chris,

 

I cried while reading your post, it was so honest and reminded me of the way my OH is, he to shaved my head while I filmed it, please reassure your lady that treatment will finish and her hair will grow again, my Oh and I have cried, shouted and raged at the unfairness of it all, we have also laughed, joked and had fun but the main thing is we did it together, we are all far stronger than we realise.

Hugs to you both

Mary x

Chris1975
Member

Some thoughts from a man

it's 3:30 in the morning and I'm led in bed listening to the birds waking up, this has become a regular event! thankfully my partner is led next to me fast asleep, for now anyway! I can't believe it's been just over 2 months since her double mastectomy and the scars have completely healed, it's certainly been a different start to the year...initial diagnosis was DCIS in one breast, but decided to have both removed, turned out its Her2+ so she's just had her third cycle of chemotherapy, halfway there! Herceptin to follow..she's now officially hairless, she had long straight brown hair, we decided it would be a good idea to start shortening it before the chemo started, first with a bob, secondly a short little sexy number, finally followed by my handy work, a number 2 all over with some fancy lines shaved in! we sure had some fun doing that. She's decided against breast reconstruction and is proud to go out in public bald. The other day she got upset when she looked at herself in the mirror naked, having no breasts or hair and feeling tired from the effects of the recent chemo, the funny thing is that I see no difference, the only thing I want is for her to be safe and happy, if she's happy I'm happy. For all you ladies out there, just remember that us men are not as strong as you think! yes at times we may seem distant or not listen etc etc, but we will always be there for you and love you for who you are every step of the way no matter what, and yes, women are much stronger than us! 🙂
So keep up the great work ladies, you are all an inspiration!