Dating someone whose parent has cancer
Phil and I were directed to a booth by the hostess. It was hard to look at him, so I just focused on the napkin folding. He told me later he wasn’t so nervous about the cancer part, but that maybe I’d leave him like the other women he’d dated in the past. ”At the time I was asked, I was caught off guard and didn’t really say anything.
He told me what I already knew he was there to say. I had badgered him for months to get a follow up check-up after his surgery—the removal of one of his lungs that was riddled with cancerous tumors a year or so prior to our meeting each other. Although I already knew it from the way he sounded on the phone as he asked me to meet him at the diner, but finally hearing it from him, my heart sank deep into my chest. I have actually heard so many strange and oftentimes insensitive things, nothing really shocks me anymore.
I don’t have any symptoms at all, so I don’t want to do chemo again. But I gathered my thoughts and I looked straight into his eyes and said, “Well then, I guess we better get married.” Honestly I didn’t even think about what I was saying. ) From the beginning of our relationship, there was always some kind of an unspoken urgency, and so when he asked me to meet him at the mall a couple of weeks later, he proposed again. Maybe our love story resonates more with those of the star-crossed lovers in literature. In the end, all those attempts to stay together fail because their paths have already been predetermined, already set.
Some of these needs may be concrete or practical: going together to doctor’s appointments, becoming educated about his or her cancer and the treatment options, handling all the phone calls from friends and relatives, and taking over more household chores.
But do I consider marrying Phil as a huge giant risk with too many red flags I shouldn’t have ignored, a risk that would far outweigh the benefits? With a background in journalism and a sudden need to “figure out what to do,” she turned to writing about her experience with a husband with cancer, caregiving and widowed parenting and overcoming the aloneness of all of the above.
She believes the art of storytelling brings people out of the dark into the light together to share in joy, humor, suffering and pain in life.
It can be tremendously reassuring and comforting to your loved one to know that the two of you are facing the illness together and that your support and involvement will be steadfast and unwavering regardless of what happens.
Here are some of the specific issues that you should try to face together: Do not assume that you know what your spouse is thinking or feeling about the cancer, or that you know what he or she needs from you.