I thought I was coping…I’m not

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My partner received a stage 4 diagnosis for bowel cancer only when I insisted on driving him to A&E in October ‘22, despite his many protestations and massive denial, because he was so very ill. He had a bowel resection early the following day that removed the original tumour entirely, and he recovered very well. But even at that early stage we were told it had already spread to his lungs and any chemotherapy would be palliative, it was a shock for us both especially as the oncologist indicated the size of the tumour represented some 6 years or more of unseen growth. As long as he was asymptomatic, he was advised no need to start chemo, but when a ‘stiff back’ actually showed up as spread to 3 of his vertebra, he’s had chemo and a radiotherapy blast to improve the vertebra. The oncology team have been wonderful, and explained all the side effects to expect and what warning signs to look out for…but when the fever started my partner wouldn’t budge, just like last October…When I finally got him to hospital he was really relieved and grateful for the doctors and nurses, care and treatment, so assuming it’s not a death wish, why does he fight me so very hard when I can clearly see he needs urgent medical treatment? I thought I was coping, but I’m not.

  • Hi  and a very warm welcome to the online community which I hope you'll find is both an informative and supportive place to be.

    I'm sorry to read about your partner's diagnosis and it sounds like you're both having a really tough time.

    The online community is divided up into different support groups so I'm going to recommend that you join and post in the carers only group as you'll then connect directly with others who are caring for someone who is living with cancer.

    To join, just click on the link I've created and, once you've joined, you can start a new post in the same way as you did here and join in with existing conversations by clicking on 'reply'.

    It would be great if you could put something about your partner's diagnosis and treatment into your profile as it really helps others when replying to you and also when looking for someone on a similar pathway. It also means that you don't have to keep repeating yourself. To do this click on your username and then select 'Profile'. You can amend it at any time and if you're not sure what to write you can take a look at mine by clicking on my username.

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  • Thank you, profile updated, forum joined.

    You are doing wonderful work.

  • Hi Wave 

    I am new to the forum and husband just diagnosed stage 4 kidney and moved to lungs. I too am in bits and I get you what is it with men? We woman would ask 100 questions and would want to know the ins and outs of nags a**e! 
    someone on the forum replied to me and were really nice it’s a man thing. I have only joined the forum the past 24hrs and since joining I feel more at ease and today is the first time in 2 weeks I havnt cried 

    if I can help in any way let me know and we can get through this together sending love Heart️ xxx 

  • Hi  

    A man here! I hang out on the Prostate Cancer forum. As you are aware it's a man's problem and on there I would say 65/70% are Community members wives or partners of the man.

    It's a strange one - the men don't want to admit to being ill, any pain or even to be told we are wrong. At the end of the day it's the partner who gets them to the G P - takes them to their appointments, listens to the diagnosis and ensures they accept and attend for their treatment.

    I am lucky - I am married to a nurse and she dragged me to the G P's before my diagnosis - looking back now 22 months down the line -I have the answer. We men are Proud and it's the fact that we end up losing our dignity - but it's far better than losing your life.

    I wish both you and   all the best with your other half and his cancer journey.

    Yes we are hard work - but from all the men - A BIG THANK YOU!

    Best wishes - Brian.

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  • HI as a man "well almost 18 months on HT changes you", with terminal cancer who took a little time to come to terms  with being told i  did not have long. I thought was it worthwhile bothering with treatment, Ii do have other just as serious health issues,  and, am i going to be a burden to those closest to me. and I have years of experience  in cancer related healthcare. But with support  from  medical professionals, COUNCILLING and friends who had been through the cancer journey i have come to terms with my situation and we are doing all we can to hopefully extend or make my time as comfortable as we can. I do not know your partners but i do know finding out you may not have long is not easy to come to terms with. maybe, "and this is from my experience" they need a little hope. PS men have never been the stronger sex. from someone who managed to find his way. i hope you find yours. take care.

  • It's a problem, but we are where we are now. It is a perplexing state of mind, the contradiction of not wanting to show weakness that makes it so hard for those that love and want only the best for you always.

    The incident yesterday that was tipping me over the edge...he was fielding questions from the doctor in hospital, about where he is with stage 4. He struggled with some answers and got just a very little tiny bit tearful. I reached out for his hand in love and support, but he used my hand as a rubbish bin for used tissues. He has since denied he felt upset, and calls me an idiot.

    He's lovely with the doctors and nurses...

  • Thanks Brian, the bit that gets to me is he suffered first hand from his Dad's special brand of denial in the face of Cancer. His father gave his only son and his wife all manner of additional concerns whilst berating them for imagined crimes. We talked this through so often because he found it so undermining when he was trying to navigate the best pathway for both his parents. And here we are... he's apparently channelling the more difficult aspects of his Father

  • Hi, I think my man might really benefit from 121 counselling, but how do I get him to realise that? He's very unhappy, but he doesn't want to hear anything from me since diagnosis. Frankly it's almost as though he is blaming me for the discovery of the cancer in the first place,and my insisting on taking him back to hospital this week has brought all that resentment back. He's doing well on the antibiotics, but not home yet..

  • Hello  

    If you think some 1-1 counselling would help a couple of things I could suggest are:

    * Do you have a local "Maggies" - they can help both of you. 0300 123 1801 or enquiries@maggiescentres.org or www.maggiescentres.org. They are brilliant with their support services.

    * Give our support line a call on 0808 808 00 00 (8am to 8pm 7 days a week). You will find some fantastic people on the end of the line who can offer support to you at this time.

    I do hope this helps - a problem shared etc - We are a Community and we are all here to help. If i can do anything else for you please get back to me - you aren't alone in this fight!

    Best wishes - Brian.

    Community Champion badge

    Macmillan Support Line - 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week between 8am-8pm

    Strength, Courage, Faith, Hope, Defiance, VICTORY.

    I am a Macmillan volunteer.