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minniemau5's avatar

Should I tell my boyfriend that my cancer might be back?

Asked by minniemau5 (432 points ) March 3rd, 2011

I’ve been a cancer survivor for almost 14 years but I’ve been having some trouble lately and I found out today that I may have a recurrence of cancer in my blood/bone marrow (Leukemia). I won’t find out the results of the tests for a while, but it’s really worrying me. I am going to my boyfriend’s house tonight and I know he’s going to ask me what’s wrong. Should I tell him, or will it freak him out? He is aware of my history, but we’ve only been dating a few months… I’m afraid he’ll leave, you know? I’m 18, if that helps any.

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24 Answers

unique's avatar

if you want to talk about it, then talk about it – sure it might freak him out, but really a good boyfriend is gonna be supportive in situations like this…
good luck and good health!

skfinkel's avatar

Kind of a tough thing to hide from someone. Maybe you could assume, since he is your boyfriend and knows of your history, that he is a really good person, and this will give him a chance to support you in a different way. If you don’t tell him, you don’t give him a chance to be terrific.

Bellatrix's avatar

What do you want to do? If you feel telling him will help you, then you should. If he leaves, that will hurt, no doubt about it, but if your test results show you do have a recurrence of your cancer, he will leave then anyway. Better to find out what he is about now I would think. I am sorry you are going through this. I hope your fears are ungrounded. If not, I hope we can all be a support network to help you in the future. You are thinking the worst about your bf, but he may give you a hug and be a real rock as you go through this. If you do have a future, this is the sort of thing people who love each other work together through.

12Oaks's avatar

Sounds like none of his business, considering your age and the length of your relationship. Besides, it’s not catching, so no harm there. Your choice, totally. But if it were me I’d keep it to myself. Nothing he could do about it, anyway.

cak's avatar

I know where you are and it is tough; however, if you need support, I think you should be able to turn to him for support.

My husband has stuck by my side through several rounds of this, and then some. Yes, I know there is a difference between boyfriend and husband; but medical issues can cause a lot of friction and even divorce in a marriage.

It takes a strong person to be there, this may be a good indicator as to his character.

Remember, if he is your age, he is still learning how to deal with major life issues.

marinelife's avatar

You might as well tell him as he will find out anyway eventually.

I hope for your sake that he is supportive.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Does he know you had cancer as a child? If he does, then tell him that you had some tests because you haven’t been feeling well, and that you won’t get the results back for awhile and it’s worrying you. It’s things like this that let the character of those around you shine through, and I bet that he will be there for you. It will be much easier for both of you if you don’t try to cover up the reason why you’re worried. And it will be easier for you to not worry if you can talk to him about it.

You’re at a place where you need to focus on yourself, and you need him to focus on you, too. A wise person once told me that relationships aren’t 50/50. Usually, they’re 70/30. What’s 50/50 is taking turns being the 30%.

Rooting for you!

Carly's avatar

I think he has the right to know, because communication is key in a relationship. If my s/o was going through something like that, I’d want to know.

wundayatta's avatar

There is no doubt in my mind that you tell him. If your relationship is going to go any further, he has to stick around. There is no point in my mind in trying to hide it. If you can’t trust him, you don’t belong together.

I would approach it absolutely honestly, including your fears about telling him, and also what you want from him. Cancer does really weird things to relationships. It can drive couples apart because the partner might be afraid, somehow to love you because you might do the wrong thing. They might abandon you emotionally, and leave you turning anywhere you can for some comfort.

It really makes us all crazy—the one with the cancer and everyone around you who doesn’t know how to treat you. It scares us all, you know. You might not be losing just a boyfriend, but everything else. The best way to cope with these things is not be afraid to talk about them. That’s just my opinion. It may not work for others.

If I were your boyfriend, I want you to tell me as soon as possible. I want to help you however I can. I don’t want to smother you, but I want to help my beloved however I can. In order to do that, we have to talk.

I’m really sorry this is happening. It is probably very scary for you. You need support. Ask for it. And you can ask for it here, too. We can’t touch you, but we express our concern and care for you. We can get to know you, and we can become real to each other and then the concern will be more helpful.

I hope you take advantage of what we can offer, and I hope, no matter what the tests show, that you live a good life, for every moment you have. And if you face cancer, I hope you will survive again, as you did before.

Cruiser's avatar

I would tell him now as he will find out either way. He may even be wondering why you are acting “different” and deserves to know what is up with his GF. If he leaves you because of the news, better now than when you are really fighting the fight as that would IMO much harder to deal with on top of what you are already fighting.

I hope things go your way!

john65pennington's avatar

Right now, honesty is the best policy for you. When you love someone, you love them all the way, not just in the good times.

Tell him, then hold back and watch his reactions to your words. You will then know.

gailcalled's avatar

I don’t see how you can not tell him. Do you have family as an ancillary support system?

Would not telling him place even more stress and distress on your emotions? Your number one rule now is to put yourself first.

My thoughts are with you.

Mariah's avatar

First off, I’m really sorry about your worries. You’ll be in my thoughts, hoping your test results come back clean.

My opinion – if he’s worth a damn, he will not leave you over something like this. But, he probably won’t know how to handle it. People our age are not the best at knowing how to approach something so serious. He may always avoid the topic. Worse, you may find yourself having to be strong for him – reassuring him that you’ll be fine – when it really should be the other way around right now.

You need support – make sure to tell him what he can do to help you out. If he’s worth your time, he’ll do what he can to help you right now.

CaptainHarley's avatar

I know how you feel. I have incurable cancer and my ex divorced me right after I was first operated on for it. I was firmly convinced no woman would ever want me. My Vicky proved me wrong. My advice is to tell him. If he loves you, he will walk through this crisis with you. If he doesn’t, he will leave, and you’ll know that it would never have worked.

Courage, hon, God loves you and so do I. : ))

john65pennington's avatar

Captain Harley. I have to ask you this question. What reason did your ex give you for abandoning you in your crisis?

flo's avatar

If he leaves you because of that, then at least you know ahead of time. The truth might hurt temporarily, but it is really useful.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@john65pennington

We had been separated for several years, and she found someone new at the church I use to attend with her.

I find myself being unable to say anything bad about her. She and I were two different sorts of people who never got to know one another until our children were grown. I hold no resentment against her and I’m glad she has found what she thinks she wanted.

perspicacious's avatar

You’ve just been dating a few months, so I think it’s OK if you tell him and OK if you do not. If you tell him be prepared for things to cool. If you can’t be you though, you will have to explain that to him. I hope that the cancer has not returned, and even if it has, that you will be OK. Peace.

Judi's avatar

Whatever @cak says, listen carefully. She knows what she’s talking about. I’ll bet she could be a great source of support for you too. She is one of the strongest, bravest women I have ever had the honor of calling friend.

augustlan's avatar

You’re going to have to tell him something (because he’ll see that you’re not yourself), so you may as well tell him the truth. We’ll keep you in our thoughts, and hope for a positive outcome with the tests and with your boyfriend. Best of luck to you!

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
cak's avatar

@Judi thank you. I feel the same about you.

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