Stage 4 and My Relationship

Last updated: July 2023

Sometimes I wish people had told me how different my relationship with my spouse would look after I got diagnosed. Balancing life post-diagnosis is difficult, but its a lot more difficult than I had originally anticipated or realized!

At first it’s a whirlwind of appointments and information, and it's a lot of driving to these appointments and finding child care. Then, it's surgeries, medication consults, and radiation plans. Everything happens so fast and with such intensity, that it is such a relief when it kind of slows down.

But then what? You’re checking everything off of the lists, and scheduling, and managing pain, and then the dust settles ... and it’s quiet for once. You 2 are looking at each other like you barely know one another.

Finding the relationship spark

It’s really hard to find the *spark* after all that medical nonsense. I can only speak for myself, but I know I’m not alone in feeling kind of unattached to my body after being in and out of doctors offices for months. My body did not feel like MY body after this round of kicking cancer’s ass.

I have had to do a lot of inner healing these days, as well as the outer healing. Something that has taken a lot of beautiful work, however, is falling for my partner over and over again post-diagnosis.

How I feel closer to my partner

Planning date nights

There are a lot of ways that I love to feel closer to my partner, and one of them is going on dates. We love dating each other! It’s so fun to plan a little night out, and pick the restaurant we get to eat at, and the dessert. It’s nice too, because sometimes we take our kiddo out to eat for a family date. Those are equally as fun, and our daughter gets to feel extra special.

Finding ways to be intimate

Something my partner and I have been doing is finding ways to be intimate that has no strings attached to it. I think there is so much pressure on partners to *go all the way* ALL THE TIME, and relationships are so much more than that! To me, intimacy is so much more than that. It’s also very easy to get lost on the medical side of things, especially when they happen so often. Being in that headspace can be tough, so finding ways to connect to your partner in those darker times without the pressure of being sexual can be very beautiful.

Caring for her

One thing that I love to do for my partner, that fills my cup, is to just plainly care for her. I like to write her sweet lunch notes, and fill up her water bottle for her. I’ll make her a snack, and make sure her phone is charged. Simple things like that can go a very long way. I think that sometimes I can get wrapped up in this whole idea of being outrageously romantic all the time, and really, for me and my partner, it doesn’t have to be that complicated.

Find what works for you

Every relationship is different. Not everything works for everyone around us. I know for myself, I can really get caught up in what everyone else is doing. It’s important to slow down, and remember your journey is not someone else’s. It’s all about finding the similarities, and doing what works for you, and doing what feels right to you. Life is certainly not a one size fits all kind of experience.

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