Anyone else in the same position? Support for me and my long term lesbian partner of 35 years who was diagnosed with cancer over the new year

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Hi

I wonder if there is anyone else on the forum in a similar position. My partner of 35 years was diagnosed following routine screening for bowel cancer at the new year. The diagnosis has come completely out of the blue as she has had no symptoms at all. Unfortunately The cancer has already spread and she has a secondary as well. She is just about to start chemotherapy hopefully to be followed by chemo radiotherapy with a hope that surgery will be possible after this. Although I appreciate everyone who is a partner or family and friend will be doing there best to cope with their loved ones diagnosis I think you can sometimes feel further isolated as a LGBT couple so have posted here for some additional support if anyone feels able to give it. 
Thanks a lot.   

  • FormerMember
    FormerMember

    Hi Apple,,

    My lesbian partner of 29 years has just been diagnosed with breast cancer, and like your partner no symptoms but its clearly been there a while. Her type often doesn't  show on mammograms unfortunately. 

    I agree, I feel somewhat isolated, plenty of medical advice and support but I would like to find a group that offers support for lesbians for the emotional and psychological side.  The medics are being lovely but it is tiring having to keep coming out and feeling like you have to cite the length of your relationship for some sort of validation.  Maybe thats just me.

    Be interested to know if you found anywhere, and happy to chat here too.

    Linz.

  • Hi Linz

    sorry I have only just seen your message as I haven’t logged on here for quite a while And so sorry that you’ve had to log on here to Macmillan too.. I hope your partner is doing as well as possible. Unfortunately the cancer journey is an incredibly bumpy one and I’m not sure there’s much that prepares you for it. I haven’t found anywhere specific for support and it’s amazing to get your response on here too! I know what you mean about coming out all the time. We just automatically start every conversation with my partner Jan introducing me and saying I’m there, listening to t/ c calls, etc. But I have to admit as time has gone on we’ve not met with any especially negative responses it just gets irritating when someone new to us will often assume you’re  just friends Or even worse mother and daughter! There is an age gap between us but it’s only 7 years and I definitely don’t look young enough for Jan to have given birth to me ! Anyway 7 months ago when I posted this I was feeling desperate for some extra support but down the line although we’re obviously still dealing with it all I have got better at doing so. Covid has made things so much more difficult in terms of people who can support so I’m happy to offer mine if it helps in anyway. We re feeling very grateful for where we have got to at the moment. The chemo worked enough for Jan to have surgery and we had fantastic news that the secondaries which had been diagnosed turned out to be non cancerous tumours. She’s now having more mop up chemo lymph nodes were affected. As she’s had a Picc line for the chemo to be administered and now a stoma we’ve Also had a At least once weekly string of district nurses through the home which has felt difficult at times. Again being clear from the start has helped and we’ve had good responses from all. I’ve just realised that on occasions we have intorduced our ‘ upgraded’ status of civil partnership if we’ve felt that I’ve still been ignored! Unfortunately we’ve had some difficulties with Oncology and ended up putting in a formal complaint but that was absolutely unconnected to our relationship. Anyway I know it’s not a position we would wish anyone to be in but it is nice to know we’re not the only ones out there. Thanks for replying. 
    virtual hug to you both

    Sandra

  • FormerMember
    FormerMember in reply to Apple2020

    You can contact the LGBT Foundation in Manchester, they provide free counselling individual and couples: https://lgbt.foundation/talkingtherapies Hope this helps Sonn