break-up after breast cancer, breast cancer, Cancer Kitten, Cathleen Kenney, Cathy Kenney, DCIS, DFCI, Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, relationship loss and breast cancer, young woman with breast cancer
I think attitude makes all the difference in how people survive cancer treatment. Albeit, my treatment was short in the grand scheme of life, but it was still disruptive, scary, sad, painful, and a mind f*ck, to put it bluntly. I write now because I feel I was extra positive with my blog in order to make up for and hide the fear and frustration I felt on a personal level with the man I wanted to marry. He was not the good, supportive man I apparently have painted him to be. I couldn’t face cancer and the failing of my relationship so I wrote about the life and relationship I wanted, and not necessarily my reality. I was convinced our relationship was going to get better because I couldn’t have cancer AND have my relationship fall apart at the same time, could I? Nobody stops loving someone just because they are sick, right?
So basically, I’ve been a big fat liar throughout much of my blog. I mean, I DO actually have breast cancer (well, I used to have breast cancer!), but by omission, I left out one of the most difficult parts of my treatment – my relationship with my former “fiance,” Bing. I put fiance in quotes because hindsight is 20/20, and I realized the day I read his email telling me that we were over, as I sat alone in my mom’s spare bedroom on a twin-sized daybed littered with my T passes and medical papers, slathering my burned boob with natural ointments and whatever gave me some temporary pain relief, that he was never going to marry me, nor will he ever marry anyone (at least that is what he always told me, and in my opinion, if he does get married, there will be an eventual divorce). Incredibly sad, both for me and for him.
I immediately called him and tried to convince him with every bone in my body, tear in my eye, and compromise I had left in my heart, that we could make it. That this was our new beginning we had been waiting for since June. But he said “No Kitten, I’m done. You’ve shown your true colors. You don’t want to work, you will make someone a good trophy wife. We are two different people.” Or something to that extent. My body felt split like firewood. I wailed from the pit of my stomach, that primal cry that is nearly throwing up, and that which a box of Kleenex can’t sop up. I wailed like this on the phone to him. He told me he had to go, that he couldn’t understand what I was saying and that I was making him feel guilty.
I had about a week left of radiation and I had no idea how to console myself in Boston. I couldn’t jet home to see him and hug him, although I doubt he would’ve made himself available (I mean, what’s two years of your life with someone afterall). I couldn’t cuddle with my dogs, or touch my horse’s silken coat. I couldn’t distract myself with cleaning the chicken coop, or even, God forbid, with packing up my life.
So instead I rabidly called and texted Bing a million times. He had to change his mind by text #132, right? Especially when I told him he was the love of my life, right? That I would live in a shack with him if it meant I could sleep next to him every night? Just months ago it seemed, we were “seeing what happened” in terms of getting pregnant until the time I was diagnosed with cancer. We had just settled down in a new, beautiful, wild place that I was excited to call home. I was meeting some wonderful friends who I know now will be friends long into the future. We had a whole fun life ahead of us – together – how could cancer destroy these plans? I have read lots of writing on cancer, and the writing that stuck with me the most was that “Cancer cannot destroy love.” If cancer hadn’t just destroyed love, then what hell had happened?
So what follows in my next post is my version of the story. I know it may infuriate him that I am putting this story out there, both from a privacy perspective and because my perspective will be vastly different than his. Well Bing, you can start your own blog about being a scared cancer kitten pseudo-fiance if you’d like. I’ll even subscribe to it and share it with my friends. I’d actually love to hear your side of the story.
John Stanz said:
What a Great Christmas Present to Yourself! 🙂 Now You are free.
Thanks for encouraging me to tell the real story.
Praise Jesus you have seen the light! I am so proud of you for openly coming to terms about that creep face! I actually feel a weight has been lifted for you! XOXOXO
Thanks lady bug. It’s been a long road and I will always be a little sad about it, but I know in destined for a greater life! With honest people like YOU in it.
jean karren said:
Merry Christmas Kathy! I wouldn’t call you a big fat liar, you were just coping with a terrible emotional situation in your life, and you did a good job of it. Now that you are safe and strong again you can let it out , and that it some GREAT WRITING. Keep it up .. I heart you…Jeannie
You are constant inspiration! Your strength and courage is beyond amazing and it provides me with the power to love through each day with my head held high. I look forward to reading more of your story. I’m a firm believer that openness is the path to healing and this is your path to that. Be honest with your sadness and confusion and anger because then you will see it replaced by more positive feelings as the healing begins. I love you girl more than you know!
Merry Christmas sweet lady! Thank you a thousand times over for your kind and thoughtful words.
You are so brave. The world and all that know you are very lucky to have you. You articulate your feelings so well and with such grace, I am so proud of you and your story gives me strength. My husband left me and I remember the feeling like it was yesterday…split like firewood…what a great way to describe what happens to you on the inside. Keep telling your story, keep growing like the beautiful, strong, courageous woman that you are and one day an incredibly lucky man will have the privilege to love you. You GO GIRL!
Thank you so much Catherine! I hope you had a fabulous NYE. I hope to get you more over the years. I really enjoyed talking with you at Chloe’s wedding. =)
Gosh. Man. I don’t have words. I only found your blog again (PS, thank you for adding me to your blog roll! I added you to mine) and saw this post and your most recent one. I haven’t seen the one in the middle. I’m flabbergasted.
You know, many times I have lamented “Oh, why couldn’t I have had someone to walk with me on my journey?” since diagnosis….but, now. I know. I’m shaking my head. I know I don’t know you or your story – but I sure am glad to have found your blog.
All the best.
Thanks, HopeforHeather. Having someone who was physically (kind of) present for me but not emotionally was tough. Lying about how supportive he was was also difficult…oh well. I did what I thought I needed to do at the time. We live and learn and that is how I coped. Keep up the writing and thank you for your comment. ~Cathy