Jump to content

Need advice


Tbar

Recommended Posts

New (sadly) to these boards and I'm glad I found them. My boyfriend's mother has been diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer - not sure what stage, but doesn't sound good. I'm just having a hard time of trying to find the right words...what do I say to him? I tell him that he needs to open up to me and talk to me about his feelings, but he's not saying alot. It doesn't help that we are long distance, so I can't be there physically to just give him a hug or make him dinner, etc. He just keeps telling me how much it "sucks", but not really opening up to me. Any words of advice? Thank you!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You're in a tough position -- as hard as it sounds, my advice to you would be to not push for him to open up to you with his feelings; let him do it when he's ready (and he might never be ready).....just let him know that you are there for him anytime he needs you to listen and support him.

It's really hard to know exactly what you're feeling as a child and caregiver to a loved one going through this dx -- it's a boiling pot of mixed emotions and many times you have to shove those aside over and over again, to spend the "head time" advocating for best care, keeping personal affairs in order, rearranging your life to be there for appointments and all the ups and downs that come with unexpected turns in events, etc. for your parent.

You'll probably find over time that there will be things you can offer to do for him as you listen to what he says. For example, helping him get knowledgeable about the disease and problems he may be facing (like helping his mom with insurance issues, etc.) through research if he wants that kind of support is do-able long-distance.

Just be a good listener right now.

Keep us posted and we'll be here to help as much as we can. Wishing all the best to you, your boyfriend and his dear mom with this.

Linda

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I acted a lot like your boyfriend is now for about a month after my fathers diagnosis. By nature I am a researcher, so I needed to process as much as I could internally before discussing. Once treatment got underway and I was able to see progress in my dad, I was able to open up. A lot of my pulling back had to do with control--I had none. That was hard.

All I can say is hang in there, he'll come around when he is ready. I know for me, life was so out of control for a while, that work was my "normal" place. Cancer did not exist at work. Maybe he's looking for a sense of normalcy with you. Eventually, I accepted that this is just a new part of "normal", and opened up. If you can make it to visit him maybe that'll help too.

When you love someone who's fighting this, it's hard to balance life. I didn't want it to take over my life, but it was. I didn't want to bore people or drive them crazy everytime dad lost a pound or lost more hair. I also alienated some of my best friends (temporarily) because I did not want to depress or bore them. I felt so weak at the time, when in fact it has made me stronger than I ever thought I could be, and didn't want my weakness to show thru. I felt vulnerable--all of a sudden my mood for the day could be ruined by low hemoglobins. I was tyring so hard to be considerate towards them, but it didn't matter. I came around in due time, hopefully he will too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tbar,

I am so sorry that you have to be here in the first place...but welcome, welcome, welcome. We are all just trying to make it these days!

I don't know what to really advise you other than to just be there for him when he needs you. It may be a long while before he actually does some opening up, and as long as you have been supportive along the way, he will know he can do that with you. Do NOT take his silence personally, as he is just getting through each day.

God bless you and best of luck!

Jen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your boyfriend is male -- we don't share feelings well as a rule. The fact that he can say "it sucks" is good. Just say, "Yes, it sure does." He just needs to know you are there to listen to him and support him however he needs it. You can offer him whatever info you learn here. Don

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello tbar and welcome.

Sorry you have reason to have found this site, but I am glad you did.

You have gotten some very good words of advice already here and I will echo those sentiments. Just be patient and let your boyfriend know you are there for him. This is a huge adjustment for him and his mom and in the bigger picture, you as well. As Jen said, do not take his silence personally. This is a very tough situation to process.

Let us know how we can be of help to you and know that there is always someone who can offer words of advice and support as well as hope..

Chris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome to the site. My advice is to give it some time. When I was diagnosed, I only told one person for about 3 or 4 weeks. It ws so difficult first for me to internalize and then the thought of telling family...I needed to be prescibed an antidepressant just so I could talk without crying.

After a while, there's acceptance and it becomes easier. Maybe this board could help him - he can see that the diagnosis isn't the end.

Mary

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you could make him aware of this group and that there is a lot of information and support on line that may help him , I think that would be a good start. Not everyone is fortunate enough to find this warm, supportive and well educated group to help them through this disease. Tell him you have read a lot of hopeful information you would like to share with him.

I'm sorry you have to be here, but am so glad you found us. Let us know what you need.

God Bless,

Sue

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tbar,

I'm glad you're here! I know you understand that this is such an overwhelming thing to be dealing with, especially in the beginning, it's just way too much. I know your bf is probably numb. He needs to process it, by himself and with his mom in his own way and time. I think the best thing you can do is just let him know you're there for him in whatever way you can. It may be in the smallest of things, but those small things can be so significant.

Grace

Link to comment
Share on other sites

PRint out a few good news Stories and Survivor posts and Give a bout a week or so. When this sinks in They will be ready to fight this disease. We are always here if you need us.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Tbar,

I just wanted to welcome you to the group, but so sorry that cancer has touched your life and has given you cause to find us.

You have received a lot of good advice, so not much to add. Your BF is going through a time that is so tough you can't imagine it. There is no way to understand unless you go through it personally.

I would just tell your BF that you love him, that you are ALWAYS there for him when he needs you, tell him you can't understand but you can listen if and when he is ready.

You also need to understand that at this time he may not even know exactly how he is feeling to be able to talk about it. There are so many emotions that swirl around all together it gets so confusing. One moment there is overwhelming grief, then anger, despair, hopelessness, helplessness, more grief, determination and fight, more anger, hope, worry, sadness, self pity, and love. Sometimes you feel them all simultaneously. It's hard to put into words.

Will be praying for you all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.