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Posted by Cindy on June 27, 2000 at 18:19:11:

In Reply to: Re: Help! Cancer in the family! posted by rosilita on April 24, 2000 at 15:18:13:

: : Hi...we have just found out that my boyfriends father has been diagnosed with Cancer. He is devastated understandably. I am trying to be emotionally supportive but each time we speak we end up fighting. I am afraid I come off insensitive. I need to know what to expect in the future. I want to be supportive to him and his family but he pushes me away. How can I be there for him and be strong when we live 1000 miles apart? I would do anything for this man, yet things he has said to me have hurt since he has found out, I'm afraid he will keep pushing me away....is this normal and if it is how can I cope with it because I relaize it is hard on him? Any advice on how to be supportive or what are the right things to say in a situation like this? I have had close relatives pass on from this devastating disease also but to him it isn't the same as losing a father. Please help, I am desperate to be there for him. Thanks in advance.
: when a diagnosis of cancer comes to a family especially a bad one the family goes through all the same emotions as if that person is already dead. although they shouldn't they begin to mourn for the person. anger,denial,acceptance. some people just get angry some turn to god and some just try to help the sick person. you should just talk to your boyfriend as normal and just ask questions on how is father is doing. if he dosen't want to talk, don't force him. eventually he will come to a way to deal with the diagnos and go on with his life.don't pretend like its not there, it wouldn't be valadating his feelings.like some people just say everything is going to be ok, and they don't really know, if you ask about his dad, and let him do and say what he wants, and realize the anger is the diagnosis eventually he'll accept and come back to opening up to you. give him time

Dear Meg,
Sorry to reply so late, but I am new to this site. My boyfriend's mother has advanced cervical cancer and my father has Stage IV laryngeal cancer.
Like your boy friend, I am experiencing many emotions, mostly panic, despair and pity. It's a form of grieving, and everyone goes through it
differently. Despair and self-pity can cause a person to feel isolated and to pull away from even those who love them. If you love this man, be
patient, and be ready when he finally does reach out to you, even if that moment comes far in the future. Many men feel it isn't okay for them to
show emotions they feel make them look weak. My boyfriend is this way himself, but he doesn't tend to push me away. Good luck to you both.
Depression and grief are a long, dark road, but there is light at the end if we hold on to hope.

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