Join Date: Apr 2010
| | Looking for input from outsiders....
Hi, I'm new here, just looking for opinions.
My boyfriend of 7 years was diagnosed with stage 4 throat cancer just before the thanksgiving holiday. Ours has always been a rocky relationship, but I truly love him and was committed to seeing him through this. So I became the automatic caregiver to him.
I am a single mother of 4, and he came to stay with me for his first surgery, a tonsillectomy from which he was diagnosed, so that I could take care of him. He has been living with me ever since.
I went to every doctor's appointment, including 7 weeks of daily radiation and 3 chemo treatments, every scan, x-ray, hospitalization, etc. I did my best to care for him (along with my children). I handled tube feedings, medications, hygiene, cleaned up vomit, etc, etc, etc. Throat cancer is a nasty beast. I basically haven't left his side for the past 5 months, completely putting my life on hold to care for him - with the exception of going to my childrens' activities.
I also lost my job during the course of this. We had never discussed money. He has been receiving short term disability, and will be receiving social security disability soon. He basically had all the utilities at his own house shut off, and he has no mortgage on his house. He hasn't given me any money towards my bills in this time period, but he has greatly contributed to an increase in them. He has to have the television on 24 hours a day, constantly turns the heat up because of the chills, takes long showers and I do all of his laundry now. A few times, he gave me a few dollars when I didn't have cash and my kids needed money, but that's it. He goes grocery shopping with me and puts things in the cart, then disappears when I get to the register to pay.
I let all of this go because of the cancer. He wasn't feeling well and was going through intense treatments, but now treatments are done, and he is starting to recovery slowly.
He is now feeling better, and it seems that all he does is complain about me, my kids and my house. It has been very uncomfortable for me trying to keep everyone happy. He feels my kids make too much noise, my kids resent him monopolizing our television all the time. It's been a nightmare all around for me.
He never wants me to leave his side for any reason, and now - when I do, he has been getting dressed and running out himself. He never leaves a note, or tells me where he is going. But when I am around, he is too tired to make himself food or use his feeding tube.
I'm starting to feel controlled and manipulated.
I stopped off to talk to some friends last night, as I am very stressed because my brother is hospitalized, detoxing. He hasn't spoken to me since I got home last night, and today, packed a bag with some of his things, and left.
I think he is just putting some winter clothing back at his house, but I can't be sure. I'm assuming once he feels better, he will leave my house and go back to his. This has me feeling used!
I'm just wondering if anyone has been through anything similar. I don't want to ask him to leave with the cancer diagnoses hanging over his head, so I am trying to get through until he is cleared of the cancer. The scary part is, he may not be cleared - this may have only been round 1. I just am emotionally drained and mentally exhausted and I feel like the way he is treating me is wrong.
I don't expect things to be the same in the relationship, I am simply the nurse now. But I hate being treated like the hired help, and I am sinking financially.
His family checks in here and there, but they lost another brother to cancer at a young age and don't really seem to be able to handle this.
I also have some health issues of my own, a spot on my uterus that isn't going away so I need to schedule a D&C with biopsy. Who has time?? My boyfriend brushed it off and told me it wasn't even a real surgery.
Help! Any advice would be appreciated....looking for an unbiased opinion from someone who doesn't know us personally. (I actually feel guilty because it feels so good to vent)