How a partner can support you with cancer

This is a piece I wrote about how people can give support for cancer patients. I’ve just listed out some of the big things I needed while I was undergoing cancer treatment. It was written for a magazine in January 2021, but I’m not sure how much of it was published!

​Cancer messes with your head.  From the second you’re diagnosed, till… well, I’m not sure actually.  Even after a year in remission, I’m still gripped by the  fear of a positive CT scan.

You’re just not the same once your mortality has been tested.  There’s going to be changes.  Some are short term, others might last longer.  Maybe forever.

If I was to do this all again, I’d change a few things.
  1. I’m not sure how I feel.  I don’t even know what to believe at the moment, and I’m even questioning who I am.  So please just bear with me.  Nothing has changed, I love you and appreciate you.  But, I’m not going to be myself for a while.
  2. I’m scared.  Mostly because I don’t know what to expect.  I don’t know what’s going to happen, nobody does.  I’ll lash out sometimes, and I’m sorry.
  3. Sometimes I get overwhelmed.  There’s a lot going on in my mind.  I need to be on my own, without the noise and the fuss.  I’ll run and hide sometimes.
  4. I’ve never been so tired.  Dealing with cancer really takes it out of me.  I’ll fall asleep on the sofa, I’m the car and might not be able to get out of bed some days.  Just let me be for a while, it won’t last forever
  5. I’m tired, but I also can’t sleep.  Whether it’s the anxiety, the pain or the drugs, I can’t sleep at night.  Some nights I’ll just lay there drenched in my own sweat, fighting my own mind.
  6. Can we not make a big deal of this?  I’m not a victim, a hero, or a fighter, and definitely not a warrior.  I’m just ill, and trying to get better one day at a time.
  7. It’s my story, and I don’t want other people telling their own version.  You know how people get, and I don’t want their drama.
  8. Nobody knows how long this thing is going to last.  I don’t know anything past tomorrow, but I’m determined to see it through.  
  9. I need you around, just being you.  Normal is everything I’ve ever needed