Angry with husbands attitude

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So my husbsnd is 2 years in remission ftom bowel cancer.  He commented in conversation today  about stopping his private pension. He said the consultant says 50% of stage 3 cancer survivors, dont live beyond 10 years. So he's wondering if its worth it to keep paying in. He's 54. He had bowel cancer. 

I did not like him stating this stat and it really upset me and i fjnd it hurtful and pessimistic, and I tried to sort of dismiss this and  to see it in a different way. He was very annoyed with me that I seemed to not want to hear the stats. That I was trying to dismiss it. Whilst I could be guilty of sticking my head in the sand, my way of dealing with life now in remission is to not look to far ahead and to try and have a a positive outlook.  Its the way I deal with it. He is ever the pratical. I dont think one of us is right or wrong. But when he says thjngs like that I am suddenly transported back to thoughts  and a place I don't really want to have to revisit.

  • Hi Kat

    This is a tricky one isn't it. Everyone manages their diagnosis in a different way and your husband has taken on board what the consultant has rather pesimistically said although in fact no one can predict what the future may bring and your husband may well be in the 50% of survivors. If you read survival rates on google most of us who had cancer would be on our death beds by now. I prefer to think more optimistically about my future.  We all worry about a recurrence but you can become paralysed by fear and then not live your life after we have been given another chance at it. I have had 3 occurrences of jaw cancer over the years starting in 2013 and have had 3 ops and 2 lots of radiotherapy and I am still going strong and am currently cancer free/in remission, although I am still on a 5 year watch. I continue to enjoy my life and plan for the future. I have been on some great holidays, welcomed 4 more grandchildren into my life since my first diagnosis, enjoy volunteering at my local library. I was 59 when I got my first cancer and am now 70.

    I don't waste my time on the stats otherwise I would not do anything. I have found immersing myself in the things I enjoy doing and finding activities where I am contributing something useful makes my life purposeful and happy.

    I did go back to work after my first cancer and continued to work until I retired when I was 65. I am now enjoying a very full retirement.

    I would recommend not wasting time on the 'what ifs' but take it one day at a time and appreciate each day for what it brings.



  • Hi Kat,

    such a difficult position for you to be in.  I too had bowel cancer stage 3 with lymph node and venal invasion. I was 58 when diagnosed and am now 8 years down the line. The first few years down the line I too was anxious about reoccurrence, statistics etc and this held me and my partner back. He was very positive, but I still didn’t feel safe enough to fully enjoy life again. There is a lot written about after treatment finishes and the impact on the cancer survivor and partners/family. I feel that the after journey is even harder to navigate.

    For me it was time passing that helped to reassure me. I realised that I was thinking about it less and less and slowly embracing life more. It was hard after treatment finished as I felt at the time that everyone expected me to be back to “normal” . But it takes some time to adapt physically and emotionally to your new “normal”. So very hard for partners to share and support on this journey.  I hope that your husband will also feel more safe/secure as time passes but I also urge you to take care of yourself too. 

    Pauline X

  • Hi again Kat

    As Pauline says there are lots of articles written about after the treatment finishes. This one by Peter Harvey is particularly good and worth a read. He is a doctor who has worked extensively with cancer patients and has a real empathy with how we feel after our treatment finishes. Hope it helps as it really resonated with me.

    Best wishes



  • Hi   I was also stage 3 bowel cancer and I admit I used to look at the stats but then figured that the 10 year survival rates are presumably based on people who were diagnosed 10 years ago and treatment has improved a lot since then.

    I was diagnosed in 2016 and told that they were treating me with a ‘view to cure’ which my doctor commented on saying that they wouldn’t have said that 10 years ago. When my oncologist signed me off she said that the first 2 years were the most likely for a recurrence and once you got to 3 years clear then things were looking pretty good.

    I’ll be hopefully 8 years clear this November as will the 2 ladies who I became friends with during my treatment. Admittedly I seemed to live from scan/CEA test to scan/CEA test in the early days but decided that if I did get a recurrence then worrying or not getting on with my life wouldn’t prevent that and each clear test results pushed it further back in my mind

    The Peter Harvey paper is good and you can dip in and out of it when you need a lift

    Take care

    Karen x

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