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Boyfriend has lung cancer. I have some questions about how to cope

I recently posted here about my struggles with my boyfriend's cancer diagnosis before. I just found out he has adenocarcinoma lung cancer. It's probably stage 1 or 2 but because I'm just getting info over text I'm not sure. He has 2 tumours on his left lung right beside each other. Idk how big. I did some research on potential treatments and I'm really concerned about how they'll affect him. They're most likely to do surgery and chemo according to what I've read and I find this concerning. I'm scared about how it'll impact our intimacy in our relationship. Specifically that he'll be too tired or in pain to even cuddle or do anything with me. I'm wondering about how I can cope with this. And what else to expect. Any advice would be appreciated
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416 Posts
ShadowDragon‍ Hi.

Getting such a diagnosis is scary and as you are finding it can raise a lot of questions. It is good though because you now know what you are dealing with and will have a clearer picture of what is before you. Be careful though about where you do your research because some sites are more dependable than others. I suggest looking at the black section at the bottom of each page here as it contains lots of resources for specific cancers and organisations and also talking to The CCS help line at 1 888 939 3333 which is what I did. The person there was so kind and knowledgable and understood how scared I was. Have you looked at the various forums here where you will find topics about the various kinds of cancer, caregiving , etc? You may also find some of the Groups here supportive as they address such issues as cancer and sex/intimacy and being a younger person who is dealing with cancer.

I would also like to tag WestCoastSailor‍ who has very personal experience with lung cancer. (Thank you WestCoastSailor).

Your boyfriend's parents obviously will also be very worried about what is happening to their son and will be able to answer more specific questions about the medical situation and would probably also welcome any support which you can give them as you too care so much for their son and they may have suggestions about how you can help each other.

Take care of yourself and we are always here for you.

Warm hugs.

Hi ShadowDragon

I'm so glad you reached out and shared what is on your mind. It sounds like the cancer was caught at an early stage, I'm glad to hear that.

MCoaster‍ made a great suggestion to call our helpline for more information.

It's normal to wonder what the long term effects of cancer and treatment will be on your boyfriend. We have a great booklet Sex, Intimacy, and Cancer . I hope the info in this booklet can help you have a conversation with your boyfriend when the time is right.

This is a hard stage waiting for information. Do they know when the treatment plan will be decided?

Take Care,

Dragons are one of my favourite mythical creatures.

I'm pleased to hear that the cancer was caught early - that is what stage 1 or 2 means. And adenocarcinomas are more treatable than some of the other forms. Chances of survival go up dramatically then. Yes lung resection is a pretty major surgery and the recovery takes time. There are others here that have more experience with that. Rayline‍ can help with that. Often patients are given an immunotherapy afterwards to ensure that there is no metastasis.

If my own experience is any indicator then cuddling is the order of the day. Sex might be out for awhile to be blunt, but not for long if I know the young.

It is challenging to manage a relationship with this severe a diagnosis through text. Has any one suggested the publication from Canadian Cancer Society - Understanding your lung cancer diagnosis - https://www.cancer.ca/~/media/cancer.ca/CW/publications/Lung%20cancer%20UYD/32088-1-NO.pdf It will give you a pretty clear picture of what is happening and what to expect.

Stay in touch and if you have any specific questions, let us know and we'll see what we can do to help.


I really need help now.... apparently we were all misinformed. Boyfriend has stage 4 lung cancer. Idk what to do....
6271 Posts
Oh ShadowDragon‍ my gosh I'm so heartbroken for you. We are going to be here for you. Please reach out to family and friends at this time. Does your boyfriend have a treatment plan yet? You may want to connect with the oncology social worker too for some coping strategies. I cared for my fiance with stage 4 cancer too so if you want to connect or talk let me know. You csn private message me any time. Take things day by day now...hour by hour minutes by minute. How is your boyfriend coping? There are many stage 4 lung cancer patients on the site that will probably chime in. @westcoastsailor any words of wisdom? WestCoastSailor‍ thsnk you.
12 Posts

I really need help now.... apparently we were all misinformed. Boyfriend has stage 4 lung cancer. Idk what to do....

Oh man, really sorry to hear that. That really $ucks. Just remember, take a step back, and just breath for a minute when you start to feel overwhelmed.
If you haven’t already, speak to a councillor or dean’s office at school, briefly tell them what’s going on, and let them know you need a bit of time here and there.
Because you can’t be there, you likely feel pretty helpless. That’s ok. We caregivers feel that quite a lot. All anyone can do try their best to be there, even if it is just over a phone. Write down the information you get, and write down the questions you have. You can come see us here any time and someone will be able to keep you steered in the right direction.
Look after yourself, be attentive to him, and we’ll all get through it.

33 Posts
ShadowDragon, that is certainly not the news you wanted, however be positive! I was diagnosed stage 4 in May of 2019 and I'm still here. Yes there have been ups and downs both mentally and physically but I'm still here. Get all the information you can from your oncologist and definitely talk to a social worker to find out what is available to you. I did not find out some things that would have been helpful at the outright until 9 months in. I'm glad you are there for him, he will need it. Please reach out to myself if you or your boyfriend need to, as well as Westcoast sailor (Angus) great guy and informative. Again stay positive and inform yourself and ask questions no matter how trivial.
3 Posts
I know you're going through a VERY emotional time right now as my husband had the same diagnosis in August. The good news is, after radiation and 5 rounds of chemo the tumors have shrunk to half the size and one on his back has disappeared. The waiting was the worst.....it took 6 weeks to finally know what was going to happen. You have to try and stay positive and know the drs will do everything they can to help your boyfriend stop that cancer! They really do care. Your boyfriend might get very sick from treatments but will need you by his side for support.....and you will need support for yourself. This site is one of the best to get support. The cancer society helpline is also very helpful and you can call them at 1888-939-3333. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Be strong.
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