Divorced due to cancer?

I am curious to know, how many people get a divorce after the diagnosis of breast cancer. I know of several women, including myself, that found themselves single in the midst of all the turmoil! It is just insane!!

My personal story is this: I was diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast Cancer Sept 20, 2007. My husband, in the beginning, was so very supportive. Whatever I wanted, was in my hands, as soon as it was physically possible! My first chemo treatments, he went with me, never leaving my side. We have 4 children together, and never before had he EVER stepped up to the plate as he did in the beginning….

After about my second chemo treatment…he quit going with me, choosing to stay home and “help” his mom with the kids.

When I transferred my treatments to MD Anderson, he traveled there with me (on Valentines day no less!!!) but then left me sitting in the oncologists office, waiting to hear the results of my latest scans!! I was an absolute mess, but he told me his mom was having trouble with the kids and needed his help. He knew I would tell him to leave…my children are always my priority!

Come to find out later, he left me sitting there to go on a date for valentines day! He had internet dating profiles everywhere using my cancer for sympathy: “I have my kids because my ex wife has breast cancer”….I was incensed!!

I didn’t find this out though until about 2 weeks after my mastectomy. I came home to be with my kids after recovering at my parents house for a while. I had this sudden urge to figure out why I never saw his cell phone around the house! I found it..hidden in his truck…with several text messages from someone stating how much she loves him, and can’t wait until I leave from my “visit” with the kids so they can be together again. I was crushed beyond words.

I confronted him and of course he denied it. I had put up with so much from him for almost 14 years at the time, that I didn’t think I could take much more. I spent more time with my kids until it was time for me to head back to MD Anderson to begin 5 weeks of radiation therapy, twice daily. It was going to be a rough 5 weeks. Luckily I was able to live with a dear friend that was only a few miles from the hospital.

I took the next 5 weeks to think, to soul search, to talk to a therapist, and to make a plan. I was leaving. I did not beat cancer to live so miserably! To spend my life with someone who had it in them to cheat while I was fighting for my life for myself and for my family!! This was not the life I was fighting to live……

I finished treatment, went back to north Texas….took the kids to do a few things as a “family” one last time….packed our stuff and moved in with my parents for what ended up being about 9 months…until a rent house opened up that I could afford and was big enough for my family.

Looking back, I should have left a very long time ago. In my case, it just took cancer for me to open my eyes and realize it! I am curious to know how many other husbands/significant others couldn’t handle it and crumbled under the weight of such a devastating diagnosis and crisis in a family!!!

Until we blog again!

  • Cancerhurtsbutsodoeslove

    My marriage ended due to my Breast Cancer…at lease I thought that is what ended it…looking back I realize there was always just one of us trying one who was married and if not for this it would have ended any way…Cancer may have sped the death of the marriage up as it opened my eyes to” Is this all I get? Is this what I deserve?” He told me I was not there for him any more… I did not take care of him good enough any more I was always sick and always tired he said,,,.he could not make love to me because he said he could not stand to look at my scars and my bald head… I couldn’t get out of bed to take him to his friend’s or to our neighbor hood bar after he lost his license due to drunk driving, he later used this as an excuse to the judge stating… ” I got drunk because my wife got breast cancer and I cant go to jail I need to take care of her.” This was a lie I still had to take care of the kids do the house work stuff and keep him entertained no matter how sick I was. I later found out He was having an affair with a woman who was the wife of a man he worked with..they came to my house while I was at Chemo treatments to have sex in our bed!!!

  • Jade

    I was miss diagnosed in April 12,2008. I then found a lump as my husband and where getting ready for a benefit in Nov 17,2008. When I told him about my discovery he said that I was crazy and we left to go to the event. I went back to the same doctor three days later. She could tell something was not the same. After the test where done and waiting several days I went to see another doctor. She gave the kick in the stomach news and that the cancer in my body was growing fast. Plans to act ASAP where in place. The first doctor called back with the same test that she had ordered that each doctor had seen at different hospitals. She confirmed that I had three lumps but the good news was that there where no signs of cancer in the lymph nodes. So wrong… the second doctor called that morning to tell me there was cancer in my sental node too. During all of this my husband went to each visit with me but was invisible most of the time. The surgeries started in Jan. 2009. After the double mastectomy, adrimyison(Red Devil), taxol and who knows what else. I was in full blown chemo every other week.Trying to handle phone calls to save the house, writing hardship letters to the labs, hospitals, and other medical expenses, if my husband would come home he would joke around about giving me more medicine then what was prescribed. I had to focus and remember the shape/color of each pill so that I wouldn’t inflict my very sick body with more chemical then needed. One day he was a few miles away from the house I ask if he would come and give me some water or juice he said that he could not do that because he was already late getting materials to his sub-contractors. My elderly parents would come to stay with me when my husband decided not to come home. Once at the hospital a case worker came to talk with me and him, he walked out as he had done most other times during chemo. Before he left he said “make it quick I don’t want her here any more”. She said later during our talk,” prepare yourself he checked out a long time ago”. He told me a couple of weeks after chemo, June 3, 2010, he was done with all of this and he had not desired me for months. After battling through a difficult divorce, loosing my job, going through menopause, getting late notices in the mail I found myself in a deep depression. On the flip side I am making head covers for people that loose their hair with treatment.(Cappelleez.com) I do not have a job yet and trying to find my way again. I know that each day is a gift from God and he works for the good that love him. It feels like I am in quick sand but one day the waters will be still again. To those that read this we may not know one another personally but we share the same thoughts and fears. Together we need to try to make a difference in at least one life. We are warriors! Be well my cancer friends. In Faith, Jade

  • Jade

    As of last week the doctors thought my cancer had returned. After MIR’s and Pet scans the results came back negative!!!!! That was a close one. There is a 7mm something on my left hip but the doctors have no idea what it is. I go back in three months to see if there has been any change.

    Just a reminder for those that are going through treatment and have lost your hair visit Cappelleez.com. The head covers where so comfortable for me and the patterns made me feel better when I was able to be out in public.

  • ms_j

    there are obvious things at play here.. and honestly nothing is going to make you “feel better”.

    some people are selfish… some people get bored easily… some people aren’t there for the “long hall”… and sadly some people are just looking for ANY reason to leave.

    who cares what the reason is? or when you should have left. that is all futile now and will just break your head trying to figure out.

    i just wish i could wrap my arms around you and cry with you. be a good friend and be there for you. but truth be told, it would probably never happen. i hope you have caring friends and family around you to fill your empty time and enjoy your joyous moment.

    your sickness can consume you if you let it. that is a battle in itself. get into a good support group and/or church to give you strength. become a woman of purpose, and don’t let friends, family, or the ex around you where only where conversation and visits can be uplifting to you.

    take out the garbage (him) and everything affilitated with him. gifts, pictures, memorabilia… you’re not a failure. you didn’t do anything wrong… and even if you did, you did not warrant this treatment.

    learn from your mistakes and do not harbor anymore resentment. God sees all.

    i hope you don’t take this awkwardly…. but you are loved. even by me… thank you for sharing.
    *sniff, sniff*

  • Nfhillcpa

    After 23 years of marriage and businesses together and a child late in life, he said, “you know you just don’t do it for me any more. You are not the same physically, mentally, or intellectually and I do not want you.” Talk about feeling betrayed. I understand how you feel, but for me, there will never be another man. I cannot open back up to be hurt over. But at least, I am beginning to deal with the hurt. things will get better, you will feel better about yourself. I lost those 25 pounds and know I know I look good, but it still doesn’t erase the rejection. But things are better. Time does help.

  • Erika Westphal

    My parents divorced the same time as my mom’s diagnosis of breast cancer. She should have been diagnosed two years earlier when she found a lump. I found out after my mom died at the funeral my parents were planning to divorce long before that my dad was just waiting for my sister to turn 18. My mom had many strong friends and we were very close, I was with her beside her bed in Hospice when she passed away. I am now divorced too and understand the “you just don’t do it for me anymore” or “I never loved you” sentiments after seven years of marriage.

  • Frank Taylor

    my wife was having an affair and left me right as I got cancer. It was unbearably difficult. I made it through it by realizing it was my thing and expecting her to be there when she clearly did not care, was not going to make me heal any faster. I feel for you greatly.

  • Jennifer Schwenneker

    Is it that they can’t handle the pressure or that they were disloyal all along and it took something like cancer to bring it to the surface?
    If someone truly loves you they will suffer with you, even if its not exactly the way you wish. And by that I mean, my husband did everything he was able to do, but not everything i needed…. I didn’t want to say anything to him because he was handling the pressures of our business and making sure he was always “physically” there for me and that i was taken care of. But I needed him to be more emotionally present and he wasn’t able to open up that way. He had a lot of emotional issues going on himself such as pressure, anger, fear, uncertainty, lack of sexual intimacy etc. and felt that if he was honest and talked with me about it, he would have poured nothing but negative feelings, some selfish, on me …so he kept it all in. I would have loved to talk through it, but I know my man and he doesn’t want to ever appear weak in front of me by being vulnerable or be a negative force during such a trying time. So how could i complain? Many have it so much worse and have to go through this alone. My heart goes out to all of you who do.

  • Sweetie Love

    I’m new here. I was just served papers to appear in Family Court to give visitation rights to my son’s father who has abused me and my older son (but hasn’t touched his son because someone is always around). After being diagnosed with cancer, cheated and now moved his mistress in our house. He told me that his mistress will be his new mom since she’s 20 years younger than me. I have since got divorced and have my own place. On the original divorce, he gave me sole full custody of our son and no radius to move anywhere we wanted. He also agreed to let our son decide if he wants to see him or not which means he has no written visitation on paper. Now I am able to retire and I can’t move out of my town. I know i feel better when I am not stressed and in a warm climate. I also found articles stating that too. Anyone knows anyway I can win to move out and start our new lives and also stop him from getting visitations? Thanks