Heartbroken -Terminal illness

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Where to start. I don't usually post on online forums but I now find myself in a situation which is totally devastating to me.

I have had heart break in my life before as have most people. We get through it, what choice do we have? This one I am finding hard to deal with.

I met most wonderful man who is probably everything you would hope for. When we met he was open and honest about a terminal illness he has which was diagnosed a few years ago. Now with treatment the illness can be slowed down and managed although life expectancy is shortened. I accepted his illness as he is in a stable condition with no real immediate serious issues.

We have had the most amazing time together however over the last few months he has had several colds which can badly affect his chest. The last being last week. He now believes due to certain symptoms his health is starting to fail and he is starting to deteriorate. This is where he has now completely shut me out and ended our relationship as he doesn't want me to be a part of his deterioration. I have asked him before he makes any decision to get in touch and speak to his specialist doctor to arrange tests to actually see if there is anything going on. He is going to get in touch with his doctor but will not change his mind. Obviously I will ultimately respect his decision but I have told him I want to be by his side through good and bad all the way through as what we have found together is so special. Plus he might actually have a good few years left! The problem is he has been on his own from diagnosis and he has only ever contemplated fighting this on his own.

I am totally devastated. Is it selfish of me to try and change his mind? Although tbh i don't think he will. I get where he is coming from. Why would you want someone you love see your health fail to the point where you are here no longer? The thought of him going through any of this is heart breaking to me. Especially when he may not be as bad as he has convinced himself he is.

Im not too sure if I have made too much sense but any words of advice on how to deal with any of this would be welcome. I just miss him so much and want to be by his side.
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  • System
    System Posts: 178,103 Community Admin
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    Are you being selfish of you to try and change his mind? No far from it but I can see it from his point. He wants you to remember him as he was and not as he is now.

    If I had a terminal illness I'd want the same.

    However, I wouldn't give up on him completely. Be there if he changes his mind.
  • lulu650
    lulu650 Posts: 1,158 Forumite
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    He has made his feelings clear, as have you. I may be mistaken, but it doesn't sound as though you are living together, so perhaps he just wanted a relationship that had nothing to do with his illness.

    I hope he has family he can lean on.
    Saving money right, left and centre
  • justme111
    justme111 Posts: 3,508 Forumite
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    how long have you known him for ?
    The word "dilemma" comes from Greek where "di" means two and "lemma" means premise. Refers usually to difficult choice between two undesirable options.
    Often people seem to use this word mistakenly where "quandary" would fit better.
  • JIL
    JIL Posts: 8,708 Forumite
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    A really good friend of mine died recently, up until the very end she wanted to see all her friends and was accepting of what was inevitable.

    I had debilitating cancer treatment a few years ago all I wanted to do was hide under a cover, I didn't want to see anyone, I certainly didn't want to talk to anyone and I didn't want any sympathy. I didn't even want to see my family. It was like being on autopilot.

    I would respect his wishes, we all cope differently to what life throws at us. Perhaps send him a card, with a simple message to say that you are thinking of him and if you can do anything at all don't hesitate to ask. Or words to that effect.
  • gettingtheresometime
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    JIL wrote: »

    I would respect his wishes, we all cope differently to what life throws at us. Perhaps send him a card, with a simple message to say that you are thinking of him and if you can do anything at all don't hesitate to ask. Or words to that effect.

    Totally co-incidentally I was listening to a podcast yesterday and the song under discussion was James Taylor's 'You've got a friend' (not I hasten to add the toy story one lol)


    Seems to fit the bill perfectly.
  • Wirralm8
    Wirralm8 Posts: 9 Forumite
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    Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to reply.

    Yes although he no longer has his parents he does have siblngs and children of mixed ages so he will have plenty of support.

    His illness is progressive which will eventually lead him to relying on oxygen and then eventually lung and heart failure.

    In the grand scheme of things we haven't been together what you would you would call long term but in the time.we have been together we have completely shared our lives and families.

    We have been able to have another chat where he has explained that the guilt he has for leaving his children and family totally rips him in half and he can't put me and my children through the same heartache. It would be too much.

    I have totally accepted his decision although it completely breaks my heart. He has to deal with this awful illness in his own way.

    Of course i have told him i will always be here for him should he ever want me. Its just the most sad and heart breaking situation i think i have had to deal with.
  • PeacefulWaters
    PeacefulWaters Posts: 8,495 Forumite
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    He's trying to protect you.

    As somebody with terminal lung cancer I'm in a similar position. I feel guilty being in a relationship knowing the sadness that will inevitably follow.

    But ending the relationship on those grounds isn't my choice to make.

    Have a chat.
  • CRANKY40
    CRANKY40 Posts: 5,778 Forumite
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    Realistically - any of you could die first. Our friend survived two lots of cancer treatment while my apparently healthy husband died aged 50 - way before our friend. For everyone in a relationship one of you will die before the other. Last week I went to the funeral of a boy from my son's school. Seriously, he needs to get a grip. I have friends with epilepsy, diabetes and yes my aunty has COPD. They're all out there making the most of what they have (I have asthma and have had some very interesting allergic reactions so I've had my own scary moments). You can just sit around waiting to die but think of the fun that you'd miss out on the way.

    Maybe he needs some help. Have a read of this page from the NHS and see what you think....
    https://www.nhs.uk/Planners/end-of-life-care/Pages/Coping-with-a-terminal-illness.aspx#Find

    and to be fair, what he's putting you through now probably feels fairly bad from your point of view. Does he understand that bereavement and abandonment cause very similar emotions?
  • justme111
    justme111 Posts: 3,508 Forumite
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    op, basically he used to be your boyfriend then. while it is not a nice thing your situation is a far cry from someone who has terminal illness themself or whos closest nearest and dearest has it before their time. It is not even a fact that his present malaise is related to it. So you may want to rethink the title of your thread as those ones that had harder lot than you are may feel mislead/ upset by you using this wording while being in a far more benign position.
    The word "dilemma" comes from Greek where "di" means two and "lemma" means premise. Refers usually to difficult choice between two undesirable options.
    Often people seem to use this word mistakenly where "quandary" would fit better.
  • seashore22
    seashore22 Posts: 1,443 Forumite
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    justme111 wrote: »
    op, basically he used to be your boyfriend then. while it is not a nice thing your situation is a far cry from someone who has terminal illness themself or whos closest nearest and dearest has it before their time. It is not even a fact that his present malaise is related to it. So you may want to rethink the title of your thread as those ones that had harder lot than you are may feel mislead/ upset by you using this wording while being in a far more benign position.

    I have to agree with this. As my husband said when he was diagnosed with cancer, "life is terminal" and there's no avoiding it. While this man may well be ill he really doesn't sound like he is in the stages of terminal illness as most of us understand it.

    Edit - my husband was diagnosed 10 years ago and is currently free of cancer, but minus one kidney. Chances are he will outlive me.
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