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To The Woman I Love

To the woman I love,

I’m sorry I got sick. I’m sorry that so much has changed from the way it use to be. I know you are happy I am still alive to share the life we have created but there is more. I see it just below the surface. I hear it in the night when you cry in your sleep. I see the sadness in your eyes when you don’t know I’m looking. I sense the frustration, loneliness, and emptiness you hide so well. I know you feel unattractive. I know you just want to be wanted. I wish it was different. I wish I could take back what this disease has robbed from us. You deserve so much more than this.

Our life together

I remember the way we use to be. Before cancer. Before hormones. Before everything changed! I remember the passion. I remembered all those days and nights spent tangled in each other arms. It seems long ago. Another life! Another man. You are still the most beautiful woman I have ever known. You are still the very best part of me. My body has betrayed me. That part of who I am may have died already.

Losing myself to cancer

I don’t want to give up. I don’t want to lose that special part of who we are. I feel nothing. No passion! No desire! I try. I really do try but I don’t feel like a man anymore. I know I am more than that part of me. I know we are more than that part of us but without it often feels like we are losing the rest of who we are. Each time we try to go there I get scared. I am afraid that even with medication my body won’t function. I fear that even if we are able to make love that it won’t be the same. I can’t get it out of my head. When you touch me I withdraw. My first reaction is to push you away. I hate this disease. I hate what it has done to us.

Nothing about this disease is fair. It’s not fair you have been forced into the role of caregiver. It is not fair that the best years of your life will be spent taking care of me. Other couples are planning for retirement. It’s hard for us to look that far ahead. Most of my financial planning does not include me being part of it.

Promises I promise to keep

I promise to keep looking and planning for our future as best I can knowing there is no guarantee. I will continue to fight this disease every day. I will not give up on physical intimacy. I will carry as much of the burden of cancer as I can. On your sad days, I will try to understand.

On our wedding day, despite a terrible prognosis, I promised you 30 years together. I intend to be here for you at least that long. We have no promise of tomorrow. I guess that is true for every couple but most rarely think about it. We are forced to live with a constant reminder that growing old together may not be in our future. You have given me a reason to try. You have given me a reason to fight. You are my reason to live. I love you.

Your husband

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Chuckcole
    6 months ago

    Todd, I got diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer Gleason scale 10 which means it’s totally the shock that came to me was unbearable. I was thinking about my wife of 39 years. How is this going to affect our passion for life? in the beginning it wasn’t so bad then it got worse to a point where I could barely walk. My depression got so bad because I keep thinking about my wife like you. I love my wife the way you love yours. Her and I did everything together just like you and your wife. I feel your pain I know I’ve been there. My wife and I try to do as much as we can together. Don’t know how much longer I’ve got but I’m going to be sure that I’m going to make sure that it is the best it could ever be. We even renewed our vows because I wanted to make sure that my wife knew that I really loved her no matter what. Todd keep smiling. Don’t let this get you down. You can’t let cancer win. As I always say never give up never give in. Chuck moderator

  • Dr_WHO
    1 year ago

    When we got that 10PM call saying that I had Stage four cancer the thing that worried me the most was how it will effect my wife. About 2 1/2 years later and after a lot of different treatments (some still going on) I am not the man I was. However I try as hard as I can to try to maintain. Not so much for me, but for my wife. I truly believe that it is harder on caregivers than those with cancer.

  • Chuckcole
    6 months ago

    Dr Who, I got my news about my stage 4 Gleason scale 10 at the hospital where they cat scanned me and took blood. All I thought about was my wife. What is she going to think of me? I’ve been at it for three and a half years and still getting treatments. Your wife being a caregiver for you is she is going to be stronger than you ever could imagine. She loves you so much. Even after 39 years with my wife, she loves me more then ever and the best caregiver you could ever ask for. Dr. Who, you still are the man that your wife married. She loves you more than you ever could imagine. I have problems with my feet and walking but I’m not going to let it deter me. Never give up never give in. Chuck moderator

  • ninaw moderator
    1 year ago

    Thanks for commenting, @dr_who. I admire how much you’re still caring for her, even as she has become the caregiver. It is so hard on everyone involved, and sometimes caregivers forget to reach out for support themselves. Sharing an article on caregivers and support here, in case you or anyone reading is interested: – Nina, Team

  • kennymaudlin
    1 year ago

    Man believe me I feel your pain brother

  • ninaw moderator
    1 year ago

    Thanks for sharing your support, Kenny. It’s good to hear that this article rang true for you, but I wish you didn’t have to go through any of it. – Nina, Team

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