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Support from spouse ... or lack thereof ...
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Support from spouse ... or lack thereof ...

Okay ... I need your HONEST opinion.  If you think I am off my rocker, please tell me so.  My 3rd AC chemo is 12/05.  My husband is going on a business trip to Texas 12/04 - 12/07.  This is not a mandatory business triip and the people in his field hang out at these events and get plastered.  

The next week he is going on another 'trip' - this time a hunting trip from 12/11 - 12/13.  #1 - this is a trip planned BY my husband - his company had some money to spend on customers (or any way the employees wanted to) before the end of the year.  #2 - my husband has never hunted in his life and has always told me he doesn't like hunting.

My feelings are incredibly hurt.  I feel like he is abandoning me and doesn't care at all about me.  

If you are married, would YOUR husband leave you during chemo for 2 trips?  If you are a man, would you leave your wife during treatments?  Please tell me what you think.

Thanks,

Jan
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15 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
I just joined this forum, so I'm going a little crazy on messaging! Every guy has his way of coping and some just can't deal with thinking about their wife's cancer all day every day. I'm not saying it's right or that it makes you feel any better, but don't you have those days when you wish someone would talk to you about normal things and not just cancer? He may be going through the same thing, where the only place life feels "normal" is at work or at work-related stuff. My husband (who is now my ex, but still great) did not go out of town during the actual weeks I was on chemo (5 treatments over 6 months), but he did do his normal work stuff, including travel and dinners, and golf outings, etc. when I didn't need help crawling to the bathroom! Tell him if you need him to stay, If you can cope on your own, let him go and tell him later that you feel like you handle treatments better when he's around. Maybe he feels out of place? LIke he can't help? I don't know your situation -- just trying to help you figure out why he's so willing to go on with regular life while yours kind of stands still for awhile.
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I got my husband a book called "Breast Cancer Husband".  It's a good book for your husband to help him understand that he, too, is going through a lot.  The trips may be his way of escaping from a situation that he doesn't want to face...not that he doesn't love or support you, just that he can't fix it.  Men want to fix and this is just something they can't fix.

You do need to talk with him and help him understand his own feelings and insecurities (yes, you need to help him, isn't that strange that we're the strong ones in this?).  You need him and he needs you.

Good luck to you!
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi, if I can remember back to one of your first posted questions, you said then you were having marital problems.  If your husband was this way before you were diagnoised, well then maybe that is just the type of person he is.  However, if he has changed since you were diagnoised then I agree with wrytrgrl and lhughes.  Women are born copers, men are not.  Men either kill you with kindness and are over the top (which drives me mad) or act and behave normally like nothing has happened, which also drives me mad. I am a person who likes support, but more in the background, you may be a different person and need a different type of support.  I suppose the only way your husband will know what you want is to sit him down and tell him in black and white.  If he chooses not to listen to you and support you the way you want, well then focus on getting through your treatment, use this forum for support and then when it is all over have a frank discussion with your husband.

I hope her surprises you and gives you that support you need now.

Best of luck
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Avatar_n_tn
O.K., I've read the other answers and can see what lhughes69 is saying about men wanting to escape from situations that they can't face.  Her advice is great about talking to him about HIS
feelings and insecurities, but be sure and express YOUR feelings and how you really need him right now (maybe he can sacrifice one of the two trips, if not both.)  

I am facing possible cancer of the left breast and my hubby has been with me all of the way, 100%.
I have even told him that it isn't always necessary for him to be at every appt. etc.  His reply,
"When I married you, I made a promise before God that I would stand with you in sickness or in
health."  He is a strong man with strong convictions and love  for me and our family.  It is just
understood that we are always there for each other when there is illness.  I hate to sound harsh,
but it seems that this is the time for him to "Man Up" and give you the support that you need and
deserve.  God bless you.  You are in my prayers.
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Avatar_n_tn
It's amazing how many people aren't there for you at a time like this.  I didn't have anyone there for me during my scare. (Lumpectomy/Partial Mastectomy, feeling unwell, more surgery for a large hematoma)  I paid someone to drive me to the hospital and pick me up for the first surgery, and took a taxi there and back for the second surgery. I didn't even have a visitor while I was in the hospital for the 2 3/4 days I was in.  My house got messy after the second surgery and I paid a friend to help me clean it. I also paid my best friend $20. to take me to my dr. appt. and she took it!!  That hurt.  Especially when everything is only about 3 miles from my house. It really hurt me because I am the type of person that helps everyone and would never take payment for it. My hubby is much older than me/frail/and gets confused.  I don't think he even realized I was in for surgery the first time.  When I got home he said "Well how was I supposed to know where you were".
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Avatar_n_tn
My heart goes out to you, too.  How sad and selfish it was for "friends" to charge you for their "help" and not visit you in your time of  need.  I can trully understand your hubby's lack of concern because of his fraility.  He has some issues that are out of anyone's control.  He needs
you and your love and support, which I believe you are quick to give, at this time in his life.

"scaredofAC's" husband is a different story,  he sounds to be a sband who just is not "stepping up
to the plate" and supporting her when he should and absolutely can.  He is traveling around and
not lending his support of her.

I am going to offer this and you and take it or leave it........Do you believe in God?  If you have
the faith of a mustard seed, seek out a good church.  You will be surprised how supportive a
"church family" will be in times of trouble.  In addition to my family, my church has been
always been right there for us.  My husband had open heart surgery and almost died at age 46 years
old, 2 yrs ago. I don't believe I could have made it without them.  And now, I am supported by them
with the breast disease issue that I have been going through.  Do you think they would take one cent
from me for helping me, not on your life!  Those are true friends in Christ.  

Sometimes you have to do some soul searching and re-examine who your friends are.  Maybe
this past hard time is telling you that you need to look elsewhere for "true" friends.


church family.  
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you all for your comments and suggestions.  Yes, we were having marital problems before this.  His lack of support will probably end up finishing off our already fragile marriage.  

I have told him how I feel.  Very loudly.  Very clearly.  I have to admit that I have not minced my words and have told him that I think he is a jackxxx for leaving me during my treatments.  Obviously that has only made things worse.  

I am so heartbroken that he would even consider leaving me when I need him so much.  I don't know how I will get over it.  I'm so hurt.  This hurts more than the cancer itself.
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Avatar_n_tn
When things are out of control and there is nothing you can do...just think of us....we will never meet each other...but in our hearts we care what happens to you.  ((((((Hugs))))))
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Avatar_f_tn
NorthernNelly, short but sweet, dump those friends, I'm deadly serious.  That is not what a friend is.  For a start you should'nt even have to ask a friend to do anything for you, they should be offering, and as for paying them, don't get me started!  I am bulling that "friends" could treatment anyone like that, let alone in their time of need.  What are they like to their enemies!  Well they have shown their true colours, so start a new, put a brave smile on your face because you are brave, walk tall and join some clubs to make new friends, whatever your hobbies are.  I think a friend letting you down is even more hurtful and sad than not having a friend at all.  Maybe your local breast cancer support group may be a place you can make new friends who totally understand you, just a suggestion.  We too are here to support you also.  I dumped a friend this year after 28 years of friendship, we met when we were 12.  I finially realised what others had seen a long before me, she is very selfish, it is always about ME, ME, ME and she is never there for anyone, but yet expects you to drop everything for her at the drop of a hat.  I have to say once I decided I did not want her as my friend I felt so much better.  She hurt me more when she was my friend that moving on has done.

Your husband is a different story and I understand.

scaredofAC, well what can I say, the man does not deserve you.  I cannot imagine how you feel as my husband was very supportive as were family, friends, neighbours and work colleagues.  You have said your peace now, there is nothing more you can do at the moment I'm afraid.  So my best advise is to block your husband out for the moment, forget about your marriage for the moment and focus on getting through each treatment, step by step, and get yourself on the road to recovery.  Then, when you are more back to yourself, then tackle the husband and marriage issue.  You will have a clear head, focus on what you want in life and the strength to do what you decided to do, one way or the other.  Best of luck to you too.  
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Avatar_n_tn
You'll like this ... I called my husband late this afternoon (we live in Illinois ... he flew to Corpus Christi, TX this morning).  He was on a boat with his friends fishing and I quote, "I think this is the most fun I have ever had!"  After I hung up, my 10 yr old daughter (who has type 1 diabetes and who I drove today to and from her Endocrinologist who is 1 1/2 hrs away), asked me, "Mama, why don't you ever get to go somewhere by yourself?"  My last true vacation was 4 years ago (family trip to Disney).  Meanwhile, my husband is staying at the Omni Hotel having "... the most fun I have ever had!"  

Oh, and he forgot to ask anything about my chemo tomorrow ... is anyone going with me? ... will I be okay? ... he's so sorry he can't be with me?  
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Avatar_f_tn
Oh what a louse, that was really what you wanted to hear.  Did your husband know about your daughters Endocrinologist appointment and the drive involved?  

Well, start making plans for a "super" holiday for yourself and a friend or your daughter, spare no expense and go somewhere you have always wanted to go.  You will most definitely deserve it by the end of your treatment.
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Avatar_n_tn
Yes, he knew about the Endocrinologist's appt ... and also the Pediatric Ophthamologist appt that was scheduled for later the same day, but that I had to cancel because my 6 year old was horrified that she would have to go to a friend's after school because I wouldn't be home in time to pick her up (she's been really clingy).  I got a call from a friend while I was in Peoria - her dad was in intensive care and she had her 6 yr old with her.  I was still at the doctor's office (IN Peoria) and said I would call her back.  I didn't remember until I had already driven 45 minutes to my girls' school) to pick up my 6 yr old (who is best friends with my friend's daughter).  I drove back 45 minutes to pick up Alexis, then drove 1 1/2 hours back home and kept her for the night.  I dropped her off at the sitter before I drove my girls to school the next day, had my chemo, went to my sister's to do an insulin site change on my daughter and then drove home to an empty house.  

I had my 4th and last chemo yesterday.  My husband's interest in my cancer hasn't changed.  I don't like him much anymore.
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Avatar_f_tn
Well you have done it now, you're finished chemo and the worse of the treatment is over.  You should be very proud of yourself getting through the treatment like you did despite the lack of support.  I cannot imagine how disappointed your are in your husband, he has let you down badly.  Give yourself a little time to get back on your feet and then tackle him.  I would suggest that you ask someone to take your girls for a sleep over so you can have your chat or shouting match in peace, whatever it is to be.  Are you going for radiation now?

I hope 2008 is a much better year for you and that you come to the best decision for you regarding your marriage, I still think he is a stupid guy not treasuring you.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for the well wishes.  Today is our 11th anniversary (actually, yesterday - I just realized it is 2:13am!).  He took the girls and I out to eat and gave me a lovely ring.  I had asked him not to buy me anything because I wanted to receive gifts from him only when I felt really loved by him.  

I missed my appointment with my radiation oncologist today.  I will have to reschedule on Monday.  I will have 6 1/2 weeks of daily radiation followed by monthly Herceptin.  

God Bless you and I too hope you have a wonderful 2008!
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Avatar_f_tn
11 years, a good long time, I hope you have many more.  I can understand your sentiment regarding the ring.  You would have preferred him to be there for you during the chemo instead of giving you gifts.  I don't know the man, but maybe this is just his way of coping.  I don't know, but I do hope you work it out.

Radiation is a doddle compared to Chemo and it goes so fast although the constant travelling to and from your appointment will most likely be the tiring bit.
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