Hi Emma. This time last year I was at The Christie in Manchester at an inaugural event to support cancer patients, and to make them aware of the (fantastic) support that was available to them and their families. There were talks from myself, from a patient’s perspective, Gizem, representing Bloodwise, and my husband was also roped in, speaking from a carer’s perspective. MacMillan and other groups also gave a talk, and one of the topics was relationship/s** therapy which is available there. Unfortunately there were more organisation reps there than patients, but it was good to see that someone recognised that there could be problems.
When I was admitted to the haematology ward I remember on the first morning an older woman having an argument on her mobile, basically telling her husband that he was not supporting her and she didn’t want to see him again! That scared me.
As a married woman, twice your age, I certainly felt unattractive (2 scars, a Hickman Line for most of 18months, and swollen face from steroids). I also hated that my body had let me down and was full of poisons. Add to that my husband, was running me back and forth to hospital once a week, (when not visiting every day when I was admitted to hospital), and was looking after me very well, but now seemed to be more carer than husband or lover. S** was not on the menu. When we left hospital after my pre-chemo chat with my consultant I did insist on going and buying some protection, but turned out to be more hope over experience LOL.
The important thing was making the effort to be kind to each other during this time…exchanging hugs, holding hands, saying thanks for a thoughtful deed. Most important of all is keeping a sense of humour.
It took time (especially as his father died soon after and he was then dealing with his mother’s needs as well) but we eventually managed to become partners again. No swinging from chandeliers though.