I didn't know whether this should go into relationships or cancer but I figure here I am more likely to find people that KNOW what I mean.
My S.O. was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2007, hard surgery and chemo in 2008. In the time we were into a "break" because she chose to "disappear" without telling me of her diagnosis.
I got to know it a year later when she was done with chemo and back to work. We got back together. However there are unsettling things that I don't know if she understands as well as things I can't possibly understand (because as much as I can empathize I am not the one that underwent treatment).
On a couple of occasions she agreed to answer some of my questions because I was getting depressed and going crazy with the whole situation and the lack of information. All I read on internet was very unsettling. And this sort of cancer has already taken one of her siblings.
Those 2 occasions I got a few answers but was left with many unknowns because she started crying and I did not want to make things worse for her (but it is killing me as well).
She says she wants to live her life as if nothing has happened but every now and then she said things like "You don't know how long I am going to last" or "She doesn't know what is going to happen to me" and other stuff about death. She doesn't talk about it with her family either and in fact she NEVER told her teenage daughter that she had cancer and what was really being treated. That also disturbs me.
Because she had several chemo treatments for her tumor which was "apparently worst than originally thought" I deduce that it was a stage III cancer. But then again I DON'T KNOW and she always refuses to answer questions about it.
We kind of made a pact of transparency where I would not hide anything from her, including my health problems or state of mind. However, she constantly avoids to answer my questions when I am concerned about her follow up examinations, etc.
I feel as if there is an ominous secret being kept from me and I don't know if I want to hear the truth. Of course would be nice to hear it is not as bad as I so far think (because I don't have all FACTS). But at the same time it hurts to know she is not keeping her end of the bargain. I don't want a relationship based on big dark secrets.
She recently started visiting the psychologist again for "undealt things" and I feel bad because perhaps it is because of the things I ask sometimes. After all I want her to have the proper exams done and not just ignore the fact that she HAD it. I know that for a Stage III colon cancer the 5 year survival rate is 40-60% but then again she has never opened up as to what her real diagnosis what.
Shouldn't I, as significant other, fiance, have the right to know what to expect? what I am getting into? I went nearly crazy of grief and wanted to die when I considered the possibility of losing her to cancer. It hurts like hell and I too wonder if I can take such thing again. In certain way I am trying to be positive and have faith it will be all right but we are all humans.
So my question is really, do I as S.O. have the right to know the real diagnosis? especially if I keep my end of the "transparency" bargain? or should I simply "take it or leave it" with all the mysteries? How should I approach this?
And what if God forbids she does die of it and I am left with her daughter (I am not the father) angry at me because we kept that secret from her? So far I have been very supportive but I can't deny that at times it is very hard on me NOT KNOWING and thinking the worst based on what I have read.