Hi 👋 everyone.....: I’m Rhonda from... - SHARE Metastatic ...

SHARE Metastatic Breast Cancer
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Hi 👋 everyone.....

I’m Rhonda from Florida. I’m 52 years old until May 10.. DX MBC July 2017 after 3 years of fighting stage 3 breast cancer (ER+ PR+ HER-) to my right breast in May 2014. Went through the motions...chemo, gallbladder surgery, mastectomy on right with 6 of 24 lymphnodes positive with cancer, 32 rounds of radiation, TRAM Flap procedure with removal of left breast, and shots of zoledex to put me In menopause. Then on arimidex every day until my left hip started hurting and scans showed metastatic Bc to my hip and spine. The one on my hip is the size of a tomato and right in the iliac crest where rubbing on femer bone when I walk. So I couldn’t walk for awhile until I got radiation done to spine and hip. It helped but still pain everyday. I take Ibrance and Faslodex. I had to lower dosage of Ibrance because WBC dangerously low all the time. Now they want to lower to 75mg because still low and getting a lot of fevers. This is awful.

I found out I had bc 6 months after I got engaged. Everyone would say, “and he still wanted to marry you??” Ummmm if not it wasn’t love in the first place right? But of course I question that love all the time. He wasn’t really there for me through much of it. Found out he’s bipolar and that explained his raged behavior at me. Lots of secrets, lies, and now we are like zombies. He really liked the attention he got being the guy who married then dying woman... but not so much help at home. Which would be fine he he brought home a living wage but he’s commissioned and gets paid every two weeks... he’s made $700 in 6 weeks! My disability is more than that and now we have to file bankruptcy and he doesn’t care. Won’t get a different job because he doesn’t want to be tied down to a 9 to 5. He takes his lithium daily but not sure how much more stress from him I can take. He’s run off my family and so rude to them. I have 3 sons and 3 granddaughters who I rarely see. My mom won’t come around much because the way he treats me and her! Not what I envisioned for the end of my life... so alone. He doesn’t help one bit around the house but if his family comes, he cleans and spends our last dollars on feeding them knowing at times like this, I’m supposed to be isolated until the get fevers under control.

Anyway, sorry for babbling. Hoping to find answers, advice , support and understanding.

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This sounds so toxic. It is easy for me to give advice, but you have to live with the consequences of whatever you decide to do. Have you reread your post a few times? It sounds like you are going to have to make serious choices to save yourself. Most of us make compromises in a marriage, but as presented this is not a dynamic you can negotiate. The stress of this will drag you down. This disease requires lots of support and help from loved ones. You are a strong, beautiful young woman (yes young. And you can have a long life ahead of you with the proper medical and self care). whose family has been driven off by this troubled man. No one would get between me and my kids. The worst kind of loneliness is feeling trapped in a bad relationship. Honestly, I don’t see how this will contribute to your health and long term survival, but that’s my opinion about what you’ve described. The next move is yours. I pray you have the strength to do what is best for you 🙏 💕 ps you are not babbling. Please speak nicely to yourself and hold others to that standard.

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I’m scared. My kids have all moved away now... I feel like the little bit of support is better than zero. My mom isn’t healthy either so I honestly feel like I have no choice. I can’t live on $800 a month. The financial stress is awful too. I really don’t know what to do. So I just go through the motions. If I need something he will get it most of the time. Just takes some pushing and I see the resentment in his eyes... so I try not to ask. I’m going to Tennessee with my mom for two weeks to help her sell her house. So that will be a nice getaway. I know you’re right in what you say... I just can’t do anything about it... at least no right now😔

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You need to take your time and think this thru very carefully. As Marirootsi suggested maybe he can get help and maybe different meds would work better for him. It is a predicament. Whatever you do, do not isolate yourself from friends and family. Do you have some good friends where you live? Do you have access to therapy for yourself? A therapist would be able to give you ways to best communicate with him. Glad you are getting a break to visit your mom. You will be able to think more clearly. I know you are feeling scared and very vulnerable. Please don’t surrender all your power here. It’s a tightrope. I wish I lived closer, but feel free to write or send me a message.

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Rhonda,

I am heartbroken that you find yourself in this horrible situation!!! Omg! That's too much. You are young and beautiful and deserve better! You need your kids and grandkids with you for their support! Please don't let your husband keep your mom and sons and grandkids away! My boyfriend is bipolar also. He is on seroquel and lexapro and rexulti. He suffers from depression too! Can't work. But he is kind and caring and supportive. He also has copd so we are both a mess! But, we have been together a long time. Many years and wonderful times before my cancer and his issues. We are here for each other. Being bipolar is not an excuse for bad abusive behavior. Maybe his meds need to be changed.? Maybe he needs therapy? All of this has helped my boyfriend. He has mellowed and welcomes my daughter and son - in - law always. They love him and he loves them. We are all a unit in this journey called life. You really need to make tough decisions to survive this situation together with your family or alone with him! Love and understanding, Marianne. I'm praying for you! Where are you in Florida?

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Great story and response. Great example of pulling together no matter what. You guys are exceptional!

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Thank you for your kind words!

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I’m in Spring Hill Florida. My kids moved away. So now the closest is in Orlando. My mom wants to be with me but can’t be around my husband. She stays for a few days a month then goes back to my sisters house. I really wish he’d get better help or ask for new meds... he’s on lithium. When his good he’s great. When he’s bad he’s not so great. Very selfish. When we met 6 years ago he was the kindest loving man I’d ever met. Then that all changed after marriage. I do have many choices to make... it’s hard. Scary. I don’t want to go from bad to worse. 😔

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You are strong and you will be ok. Draw your family close! If not in distance but in your heart and communication. Meet somewhere with them where they are! Go see them without your husband. Do it for you!

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They always invite me to go stay but my fatigue is so bad it’s really difficult to travel most days. I hate this because I need to be with them😔

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I understand!

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You also said that you might have the option of moving in with you sister. Talk to her. She may welcome you with open arms and you could be a support to each other. It's worth a discussion. My heart aches that you are going through this! Ugh!

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Run, don't walk, to a bible-believing, faith talking church, and see your lives change for the better. We need God in our lives and prayer DOES change things and people. i'm praying things get better for you and that you are healed and made whole in the name of Jesus, amen!

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Thank you so much for that!! God Bless you!

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Hi Rhonda. I'm sorry that you are dealing with all this but I think you can see that all this stress and lack of support is not good for your general health at any time and certainly not when fighting this disease. As I read your post it doesn't sound like this is much of a marriage and I know that your hubby is bipolar but I don't think that is an excuse for being mentally abusive to you. Alienating you from your family in this time of need is wrong. This disease feels so isolating to begin with. You are a young beautiful woman and deserve so much more. If you truly want to continue in this relationship then look at some form of couples counselling and a review of his drug regime is probably in order. You say he takes his medications which is good. Ultimately whatever decision you make is going to be difficult but take a good look at your life now and plan what will be the best for you in the future. This disease is not curable as we all know but it is treatable so you hopefully will be around a good long time and need to be happy. Good luck.

Sandra

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It’s very difficult to find a way out of this. Financially it’s impossible to leave. I’m sure I could try to get a place with my sister but she’s got so many of her own issues. She lost her son in 1991 and has never been ok since. None of us have but she’s his mother. He was murdered and it haunts us all.. especially her. She’s a hoarder and I don’t think it’s healthy to live in such an unclean environment. Thankfully she’s excepted help so maybe some day that could be an option for me. My life has been so crazy I could write a book and people would think it’s fiction. When I got cancer, then MBC, it was almost like yea, this is my life so just go with it. I’m in therapy... have been since Josh was murdered... it’s just frustrating I can’t go to work and support myself like I always did before cancer. Being financially dependant is the worst! 😢

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I am so sorry that you have found yourself in this situation. Just one of these problems would be hard, two is almost undoable. BUT! You need to take care of yourself. I see your first step is deciding what you truly want. Not what’s possible, but what do you want? With your husband or without him? Then decide what steps you can do to make that possible. Maybe not tomorrow or even in a couple of months. It might take a year or two but anything can be made to work. If you are staying or staying for now but planning to get out, there are helps out there. Talk to your oncology office about what is available in your area. Is there a volunteer group that will help with housework? If you are eventually planning to leave, can you and your mother plan to move in together? Do you have a good friend nearby that you can brainstorm with? You may have friends that have been wanting to help. Talk to your kids, tell them you are sorry for your husbands behavior but you need them. All of this may be just too much for you to deal with right now and I may be being much too directive...it’s the nurse fixer in me...but please think about what you can do, not what you can’t do. We all hate to see one of our fellow sufferers in this kind of non supportive situation. Hugs and keep in touch. Elaine

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Thanks Elaine. You’re words of encouragement me so much! I need to get strong again and take care of this! 😘❤️❤️❤️❤️

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Oh, Pookie,

I am single, living alone. It has never bothered me. This disease can make anyone feel lonely but there is a difference between that and alone. I had my share of bad relationships and I can tell you the pain of being in one is worse than being alone. You are a beautiful woman and now a warrior. We can help here absolutely but you sound

As you are in emotional pain. To deal with this beast of a disease is brutal enough at times-we don’t have a choice but to live in pain from a relationship is a choice. I am sorry if I sound hard. I have been there without having mbc.

I have lived financial hardship and still do but I am blessed to be able to still work. Plan your strategies- you should be able to find resources to help you. Reach out here. This is a wonderful strong group. Put yourself first. I have three grown children who are not as close as I need or want them to be. They will come around but as a woman and mom I have to say my kids know I will not put up with crap anymore. They remember how we let others treat us. I feel for you- am here for you. 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻And hugs💕

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I’ve struggled as a single mother most of my adult life. My kids never went hungry, always had clothes, shelter, etc. I was never easy working 2 sometimes 3 jobs but I got the job done. But now what sucks is I WANT TO WORK, my body and Drs day no no no.. it’s frustrating because my mind says yes yes yes just do it. This is the hardest part for me. I was always financially independent and now relying on someone is the worst feeling ever...especially when the could care less about making ends meet. Borrowing from his family to pay our monthly bills that he could easily pay with a minimum wage job 40 hrs a week. But nope, he wants to be on sales full commission and make $411 a month! It’s an hour to and from work and gas and tolls ruined us. His English is awful he won’t practice with audiobooks I’ve suggested, so to me it seems he doesn’t care.😔

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Rhonda

How do you feel? I mean physically? I know right now you have another challenge on your plate. What I am asking is do you think you can work? Even part time? My doctors never told me not to work; it just wasn’t discussed. I have worked throughout these years since I was diagnosed mbc in sept/oct 2016. Yes I have back pains and rib spasms where Mets are and easily tired after full day but I want to work and will continue to until God let’s me know no more. It is difficult either way I think. Sad to say but if I go downhill I hope it’s fast. My kids are not around and I am alone so it gets lonely at times. Please let me know what’s going on. I replied to your other post. Hugs and prayers

Love Frances

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Hi Rhonda. Your story is not unlike my own. I'm Jana from Arizona...who just moved from Washington (with my fairly new husband) so I could be close to the Cancer Treatment Center in Goodyear, Arizona, where I am fighting MBC as well. I kid you not, from the minute we pulled into the driveway of our new Arizona home, he was miserable, and made me miserable in return. He was emotionally and physically abusive, and as I read your story I had to laugh, because of the similarities...his inability to make a living wage and driving family members away just by being themselves, was spot on to the misery I have now divorced who went by the name of Todd. In all fairness, we had been together on and off for four years when we got married, one year, almost to the day after I was diagnosed with MBC. I know now that he only stuck around and actually married me for my money...not that I have a lot, but I have a lot more than he does. As sad as it is, I really think he thought that when I cashed in my chips that he was going to cash in on me! Well I fixed that...I sold my life insurance policy to a dear friend, leaving him with next to nothing as we now have no equity in the new house either so when he realized he may have to go back to work, he was out of here, and happy trails to him. I won't kid you...I'm not happy about being alone, but when you are living with someone who, not only can't support you and all you're going through, as we are, but someone you have to continue to battle while taking care of them, enough is enough. He didn't cook clean, do the laundry...hell, he couldn't even clean the grill after throwing a couple of steaks on. It really is insanity (and often times, fear) that keeps us in those relationships. I married him in 2017 largely because I knew it was him or no one for the rest of my life...(dating with MBC just seems impossible to me). But I finally decided, when he got physical with me around the holidays, that in this case...nothing really is better than something...or someone! I paid for him to go back to the Northwest for the holidays so I could have my family down for support, and they were great. The completely understood why I married him, and of course they already understood why I had to make the move to Arizona for CTCA, and I found the courage to file for divorce on January 2nd. We signed the initial papers on January 14th, and it will be final this Friday. Like I said, being alone sucks, but it sure as heck beats feeling the loneliness that comes with having someone in the house who makes you feel lonelier than you do when you're alone. You can do this Rhonda...GET RID OF HIM! Men that are not worthy of our strength and determination do not deserve to share our air space. All the best to you and to your family. Jana

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Thank you Jana! Wow we do have very similar stories! I need to get my ducks in a row, sooner than later because I do love him, but he has big choices to make. If he doesn’t or can’t fulfill them then my choice is pretty clear... scary but clear.

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The women on this site have given you great advice. You have to put you first, especially at this time while battling this disease. Find a Social Worker, or Patient Advocate that can help you navigate , and put you in touch with support groups for you, and your husband if he will go. I also agree with church counseling for you, and your husband, again if he will go, if you have a belief in a God.

I have loved ones who , refuse to take medications, to stabilize their mental diagnosis' and others who have to have their medications adjusted throughout the years. I too dealt with a husband who refused to go to follow up therapy, and was adamant about not taking medication . I was tired of sleeping with one eye open. Some of my family, and friends believe the stress of my husband, and his relatives who I was trying to help, caused my cancer diagnosis. I found out from my husbands relatives after we got married that 4 out of 8 of the siblings who lived in another country were Bipolar, and or Schizophrenic. My husbands cousin who lived close to me, and my husband was also Bipolar, and Schizophrenic, and had attempted suicide, on several occasions, and also threatened to kill family, and tenants while chasing them with a machete in her hand. Suffice to say I was going to the Psychiatric Ward on several occasions, after the Police, EMS, and the Fire Department had responded to her residence. I thank God I no longer have the man I married, or his family in my life who I tried my best to help.

God, and I am in charge of my happiness, and you must do the same, and put yourself first. I know some women stay for financial security. Please nurture, and take care of yourself. Don't let the people who are suppose to love, and support you drain the very life breath from you. You deserve so much more. I pray God will make a way. Be strong this community of sister/warriors are here to support you. XoXoXo

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Thank you! Wow your story sounds so familiar! My situation isn’t as bad as yours was but stressful non the less. His excuse is he doesn’t have time or can’t take off a day from work to do therapy and also that we can’t afford it. Well yes we can afford when you make less than minimum wage an we have to borrow money from family to pay our bills. It’s wearing on me. I’m working on changes but it’s hard given the fact that I have to support myself on $800 a month. So as little as his income is, it’s keeping a rough over our heads so far. I just don’t understand why he won’t get a different job😔 but he’s scared he can’t do anything since his English is horrible! Just horrible!😔

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