My partner cannot cope with me being ill

Four weeks since a total hysterectomy etc because of womb cancer and three weeks to go before starting adjutant therapies.

We are both in our early 60s when i was first diagnosed mid march I'd hear him tell people how stoic i was. Truth is l was in shock but he thought i was coping wonderfully.

Also l didn't read dr google etc and was blissfully ignorant of what lay ahead. Met the oncolgy team yesterday, now i know. I'm trying very hard to be level headed about this.

I say, regardless of the coronavirus i need to be as fit and well as possible to start chemo. I have been stuck in this house  with very fortunately a garden and surrounding countryside since the 16th of march. I am not going out and I'm inviting nobody in. As per goverment instructions. Lots of support from friends for shopping etc.

Once the lockdown started to ease up a bit, he is eager to get about a bit more. And if I'm honest  if i wasn't in this position, l would be wanting to get out too.

We are arguing now constantly about what he calls my paranoia, pessimism and what i call his lack of support both practically and emotionally. Its like he resents my inability to do the chores around the place and is happy to pay for a cleaner. The house is a tip by normal standards and it was never that good before but i kept on top of it. I was shocked when i came out of hospital and it looked like he hadn't lifted a finger. I don't want a cleaner coming round just as i don't want any of our friends or family in the house either. But I'm more than happy to socially distance in the garden. 

Its like the lockdown has got to him and he has lost all motivation and gumption. I am constantly having to ask him to do thing for me, which either he does eventually or forgets. Im getting more impatient, we row, we make up, he asks me whats wrong, i tell him then we row because he says I'm paranoid and pessimistic. I am not paranoid about the coronavirus, im just aware that our health needs looking after. And yes i know this isnt easy for him either. But i am finding i dont want to be around him  like this but i have no choice. And so far this is the worse about having cancer.

  • I am full of sympathy for your situation. I am also in my 60s with secondary BC in my bones and half way through a course of chemo  that I’m finding very hard.  It’s the second time around for me, I’m older and less fit, and I’m suffering much much more than the first time, when I was in my earlier 60s.  I am finding it almost impossible to be optimistic.  Meanwhile I see life going on apparently normally, outside my window. 

    I live in a very large city with a  very small garden ( 5 steps either way) and have no access to any countryside. I can only walk round the block with my daughter slowly  early in the morning so we see almost nobody.  Just a few hundred yards. My partner effectively abandoned me, and now lives elsewhere in the north , but that’s turned out to be a good thing, because he is not. a well man either, but I have a lot of anger about what happened. .  I have to accept that neither of us is well and cannot be each other’s carers. That bit is a long sad story.  

    The positive thing I hear is that your husband is willing to pay for a cleaner.  I hear you loud and clear that it is not what you want, on the other hand you might have to face that you both will need help in that department, and if he is isn’t willing, then you might need to  accept someone else’s help.  Yes, ideally he should do it but as we get older it’s very hard for some to change ingrained habits.  If you don’t want to do that then is it likely he will change? .  Depression might be stopping him actually seeing the state of the things.  Some people don’t have a strong visual sense .  Or even actually see “mess”  that is obvious to others.   

    I didn’t want to have a cleaner for years  and resisted and resisted, but in the end I gave in and it was lovely coming to a clean house.  Now she can’t visit anymore because of shielding.  I try to copy what she did but it’s hard. 

    My daughter has moved in with me and is having to cope with me, cook for me, and work as a teacher from home, lots of video meetings and marking work online  and trying to have a young person’s life in this situation. She has to isolate too but can see friends at a distance  .  From time to time we clash because I moan and she thinks I’m criticising her , I’m not , I just need to let off my feelings and she’s hearing this and thinks I’m complaining about her.  I have to apologise and reassure her. 

    Its very very hard for us.    I totally feel for you.  The lack of choice is one of the worst things.  Could a friend or family member  help while you are in the garden? 

    This isn’t my first reply on this forum.  I have I haven’t overstepped the mark.  If so please forgive me. Your post just reached out to me.  

  • Sorry I meant to say this IS my first post,   

  • Here goes, i hope i dont write loads and press the wrong button .....

    Dear cpoz thankyou for responding and thankyou for your suggestions. In the past both me and him have been on antidepressants, neither of us are now. I'm not sure  thats what he needs.  And he refuses to go to the doctors about it. One of the things he often says is "there's plenty of people a lot worse off than you" it really doesnt make me feel any better. In fact it makes me feel worse (for them) because i know plenty of people are really cooped up, desperately ill, or starving or in war zones. The horrible things you saw on the news before it was all coronavirus, so depressing. But would antidepressants make the news less grim. I dont think so. 

    Iam so sorry to read about your situation, it cant be easy for either you or your daughter. My mother is terminally ill with the same cancer as me, and lives alone. But although we chat on the phone (now she is stoical) we live hundreds of miles apart. I always feel dreadful when i go off about him for burdening her with my problems.

    Shes suggested a freezer full of ready meals like she has and im going to look into it. Becsuse i can wait all night for something to eat unless i make it myself. A wonderful lady in the village was cooking for us until saturday just gone when she had a dreadful accident. I said to her on the phone thst it was a pretty drastic way of getting out of cooking sundsy dinner, throwing yourself down stairs and breaking your neck, literally, and is now on a long road to recovery.

    I rang the CNS this morning who is going to refer me for counselling after he said thst from now on it would be best not to speak anymore about either cancer or corona. So we go back to me appearing to be stoical and him  pretending it isnt happening. To be fair he "had mucked the kitchen out" after i had gone to bed.

    Your reply made me happy to have connected with somebody, i hate to unburden on my friends as they get upset for me. As i said ive never been part of an online community so your reply has really helped

     Im looking into having a cleaner whilst shielding or perhsps a robot hoover Grinning

    LouEbelle Heart

  • Hi  and a second welcome to the online community

    I see that you and cpoz have already been chatting and I'm glad that you've found it useful.

    As the community is divided up into groups, I'm going to recommend that you join the womb cancer group where you can as questions, share experiences and get support from others who are living with this type of cancer.

    To join just click on the link I've created and then choose 'join this group' on the page that opens. You can then introduce yourself and post questions after selecting 'start a discussion' and join in with existing conversations by clicking on 'reply'.

    I'm going to play devil's advocate here as it sounds like your partner doesn't realise how much a cancer diagnosis affects someone (you) and you don't realise how much becoming a carer has affected your partner - I'll now look for somewhere to hide while you throw things at me!

    It might help you both to have a look at these booklets from Macmillan. For your partner I'm recommending that he has a look at Talking With Someone Who Has Cancer as it might help him understand what you're dealing with. It has a useful section on things not to say.

    Then for you, you could have a look at this booklet called Looking After Someone With Cancer which includes a section on how caring for someone can affect your relationship. 

    I hope I haven't overstepped the mark here and that you and your partner can find a way forward that you're both happy with. 

    When you feel up to it, it would be really useful if you could pop something about your journey so far into your profile as it really helps others when answering or looking for someone with a similar diagnosis. It also means that you don't have to keep repeating yourself. To do this click on your username and then select 'Edit 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.

    Sending a virtual ((hug)) 

  • Thank you, the booklets are very useful, no i dont think you've overstepped the mark by suggesting them at all. I had to smile in the section of what not to say. I went through them going yep, yep, yep thats exactly what people say. I've  done it myself.

    Its going to take me ages to  find my way round this site, l not familiar with this internet stuff. But so far I'm really glad I've invested most of today thanks to cpoz and yourself Grin

  • The site can be a little tricky to navigate initially , so if you need a hand just hit reply and I'll try and help.


  • Hi LouEbelle, I’m so glad you replied. 

    I am also unfamiliar with using this site and as I said it was my first post, so now that we have connected I am going to take the plunge and try to write my profile .  It actually feels very scary.  So then according to the rules of the site then maybe we can be “friends”, and do private messages.  

  • Hi cpoz

    You must think me very rude for not responding earlier. l'm useless at this computer malarky and have only just happened across your message.

    If you can work out how we become "friends" I'd be happy to do so. How's the profile going?  I've reread my profile and it does seem l'm having a good old moan about my other half. Things are a lot better now l can do more for myself and l am getting the house back to more how l like it.

    As for having a cleaner, yes l can see the attraction as l have worked as one myself and could see the delight on the faces of my clients once l had finished the job. But at the moment l am not happy having any one in the house apart from me and him due to the risk of the virus.

    Apart from walks around where we live and we rarely see anyone, the only place l go is the hospital. l go there a week on wednesday for chemotherapy which l am dreading.

    I hope that you are ok and that you recieve this message 

  • Hi no you are not rude, I’ve not got around to doing my profile, but I have now I think,  .  I’ve kind of had a few other things on my mind and didn’t know what to write.  It’s a bit scary.  

    Its my chemo day today and I woke up at 3. 30 am.  Sleep is a real problem. There’s been a lot of anxiety.  I’ll tell you more privately. If I can work out how to add you as friend  

    I think living in the heart of the capital my virus risk is higher than yours but who knows? Perhaps you live somewhere where your potential visitors might have been on the beaches or at large gatherings.? Certainly here people, many of them with no access to outside space or any space really , have been flocking to parks and open spaces in large groups for a while.  So I can’t go out for walks at all.  I’ve had two visits from very sensible and trusted friends via my back garden door ( lockable ) , socially distanced.  

    My onc said yesterday that it’s all about assessing risk.  I have to let my daughter go out to meet friends , distanced and for bike rides as she is starting to go crazy shut in with me. It has made me very nervous but I have no choice as without her I am totally screwed.  And it’s really affecting her mental health.  She’s having to work quite hard online for her school at the same time.  

    Im not a very good patient and she reacts quite badly to my grumpiness when I’m feeling crap.  And my bedroom is in the loft , it’s west facing , which gets very hot. I don’t react well in heat   I’ve resorted to cold flannels on my nearly bald head. Eugh, curtains and blinds closed all day

    No one is doing my cleaning. Either.  .  My lodger was ( another story) but now he’s fallen over and broken a bone in his foot , terrible state of affairs. 

    I’ve tried to reply loads of times but it wouldn’t send  Maybe now I’ve done my profile it will let me.  I don’t know what I was doing wrong.