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Relationships after Cancer

Relationships after Cancer

Posted by Lacey_adminCCS on Jun 25, 2018 4:18 pm

Did cancer change your relationships with the people closest to you?
Please share

Some relationships become stronger from the shared experience of cancer. But others may become strained because of the challenges of cancer. People may have to rebuild the connection that they once had with each other.

These ideas may help with relationships issues after cancer:

  • Know that cancer can change relationships. How your relationship will cope with the changes depends much on what kind of relationship you had before cancer.
  • Give yourself and the people close to you time to sort through thoughts and feelings.
  • Learn how to share your feelings with one another. Communication is important. Be honest and open about how you’re feeling.
  • Let others know when you feel able to get back to a chore or task that you did before you had cancer, or if you feel you aren’t ready for it just yet.
  • Tell people if you still need help or support, and what type of help you need.
  • Understand that at first some chores or tasks may not be done as well as they had been done before.
  • Connect with other cancer survivors, to give you a place to express your feelings outside of the relationship. Try an online forum or a support group. Support is available for both cancer survivors and their loved ones.


If a relationship is strained, individual, couples or family counselling may help. Sadly, some relationships that weren’t working very well before cancer may not last under the stress of the difficult times during treatment and recovery.

Read more: http://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/cancer-journey/life-after-cancer/relationships-after-cancer/?region=on#ixzz5JTDSFmBo

Re: Relationships after Cancer

Posted by Elsie13 on Jun 27, 2018 5:29 pm

My husband isn't a 'share your feelings' type of person.  Never has been. So essentially, cancer hasn't really changed our relationship, except, maybe, he likes to remind me of what a good person he is. And I have nothing to complain about.  He was my driver and  companion  for 6 chemo sessions and the 25 radiations. He does hospital visits with war veterans, many of them in their nineties. He's 63. Over a year ago,  we were in the hospital waiting for me to have a CT scan, so I was rather nervous, sitting there in my hospital gown. Then my husband realizes that someone in the little booth 2 curtains over, is an 80 year old he volunteers with, so he immediately abandons me and goes and talks with this other guy for like 15 minutes, until my name is called and I'm calling out to him to hold my purse for me. 
  One time I asked him who is his first family, his 90 year old veterans, or his biological/marriage family and I thought he would say 'ha-ha funny question' but he said "don't ask me that." So yes, those guys went through an awful time during the war, and I'm in fairly good health, but they made it past 90!

Re: Relationships after Cancer

Posted by Brighty on Jun 27, 2018 11:25 pm

yes, cancer changed our relationship a lot this year.    We went through a very hellish year and we were both never the same.      My fiancé was also the never share your feelings type of guy.  I believe maybe if he did reach out and share, he might still be here.    He could have gotten support from others going through the same thing, not drink up his emotions in a bottle of vodka.     But he just wasn't that type of guy, to share emotions.      I truly believe sharing and reaching out to people helps.     It's helping me get through the last week, reaching out to others and letting them be there and supporting me, and seeing how many people actually do care has made the world of difference.  I wish he would have also let people in but he just wouldn't or couldn't  and I could not force him to be someone he was not.       

Re: Relationships after Cancer

Posted by jorola on Jun 28, 2018 3:06 am

I consider myself fortunate in that my hubby Mick and I have been best of friends since we met and as time passes we continue to grow closer rather than complacent or apart i our relationship. We fought his cancer as a team.  Mick is not always a big talker with others but with me it is different. His friends always comment on how much the two of us talk. LOL I still think Mick is quiet at times, guess that says something about me. When Mick got sick we knew we had to have big conversations about hard topics. His prognosis was not good. Those conversations brought us closer together. I agree with Lacey that strong, open and honest communication is key to a solid relationship. It is what helped us through the most trying times of our lives aka the storm and we made it through to the other side aka the rainbow. Yes it was hard. Everyone knows this journey is wearing and exhausting for the person with cancer, the caregiver and other family members. We worked and talked through each day and it made a difference, a good difference to the both of us. That kind of love and support means so much in this fight, we have all felt that.

Re: Relationships after Cancer

Posted by Jackwb on Dec 3, 2018 7:52 am

A good read


Re: Relationships after Cancer

Posted by Lacey_adminCCS on Dec 3, 2018 10:52 am

Thanks for sharing Jackwb‍ 

I found the following excerpt powerful...

"I don’t want to wait around to die, but living a full life can feel like climbing a mountain, knowing a tragic fall awaits me at the summit. My instincts often tell me to stay close to the ground, so I can just lie down and curl up when the time comes. But there’s no joy to be found at the base of the mountain, no view in which to delight.

To gather the resolve to climb higher, I’ve adopted strategies that feed my spirit. I write. I meditate and read books about Buddhist philosophy, because it speaks the language of my soul. It’s taught me to practice living in the moment, to recognize and settle into joy when it’s there, and to be gentle with myself."

Re: Relationships after Cancer

Posted by Kims1961 on Dec 3, 2018 12:31 pm


Thank you Jackwb‍  - this is a really powerful read.  I so appreciated it!

Lacey_adminCCS‍ ...I wonder if we could have a "Tab" or location to post some of these excellent articles/resources.  I've emailed this to myself for future reference but really found this powerful as well.  

Thank you both, Kim