Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Updates: “Cancer-Free and Ready to Move On” Responds

updatesIt’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing now. Today we hear from “Cancer-Free and Ready to Move On” whose boyfriend did nothing to care for her while she underwent cancer treatments and then expected her to wait on him hand and foot when he suffered a spinal cord injury a couple months after her cancer went into remission and he became paralyzed. She wrote: “I believe that Tom is not worth my sacrificing my whole life considering the fact that I was ready to leave him before the injury and that he has always been selfish, was never there for me when I needed him, and my immune system is still very week and the stress and lack of sleep weakens it more. I need help on how to approach his mom and ask her to take responsibility and how to approach him as well after I talk to his mom.” Read her update below:

I sincerely want to THANK YOU and THANK ALL who replied to my letter. It’s not like I didn’t know what to do. I just did not have the courage and strength to say enough is enough and walk away. I really needed to hear an outsider’s point of view. I am glad that you all understand and feel my pain. Your concern and genuine comments and advice gave me the strength and courage to put my needs before others for once in my life.

With that said, it’s been a roller coaster of events, but everything has been sorted out. When Tom’s mom arrived, sometime in Mid-July, I had a talk with her and told her what the status of our relationship was a week before Tom’s injury. I told her that I was not sharing our bed with Tom that week when I found out about his infidelity. I also mentioned that Tom wasn’t there for me during cancer and chemo and that I was leaving him before his injury because I felt I deserved better than the way he treated me. I then asked her to take responsibility of her son.

It took a while for her to come to terms with that, but then after a while Tom also snapped out of his denial and meanness and he apologized to me for being uncaring and unsupportive when I was sick, for the infidelity, and his selfishness and for his being unappreciative. He also went ahead and told him mom about how he had treated me and that I deserved better. His mom can’t stop thanking me for all that I have done for her son even after all that. She had no clue that he had put me through so much, but she didn’t seem surprised. From what I have heard from his friends, Tom treated his past girlfriends with disrespect, so I’m sure his mom has had to deal with his behavior before.

So far he has developed respect for me and appreciates the fact that I could have walked away any time I wanted to but I still provided care for him till he got situated. I don’t sacrifice a lot anymore, I have the caregivers come in as often as they can, and for the two days that they are not there, I have taught Tom to try and be as independent as possible, to accept the fact that life has changed and he is now a quadriplegic, and to find a way to adapt to the new normal because it’s not the end of life.

I told them I was done and gave them a set date for moving out. Travel arrangements have been made, I have packed all his stuff, and he is moving back home to his mom’s in a few weeks. I, on the other hand, will move in with my sister for a while until I can get back on my feet. I was nothing but amazing to this man, and it is sad that it took all this for him to realize that I am worth being treated with respect in all aspects.

I am proud of myself to have stood my ground and not looked back, and I am grateful to you all for your time and advice. Thank God for all of you.

Wonderful to hear from you and know you are close to the freedom you deserve and a better life waiting ahead. I hope that, moving forward, you are given all the love and support you give out. Wishing you all the best for continued good health. Please feel free to update again some time.


If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at [email protected] with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.

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5 comments… add one
  • Sara September 1, 2017, 10:39 am

    LW, when you started to write about how aoplogetic he was, at first I was afraid he had suckered you into staying. That seems to be an all too common theme, the “bad” partner changes just enough and just long enough so the person on the way out the door changes their mind. Then the person reverts! I am so glad for you that you have taken the steps that you have and that you have NOT been suckered back in. Best of luck to you.

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    • Stillrunning September 1, 2017, 12:29 pm

      LW, thank you for staying strong and taking care of yourself. Like Sara, I had a bad feeling as I read how your BF had snapped out of his mean behavior and was treating you with respect. From so many letters I’ve read on this site, I was sure you were going to say you realized he was your soulmate and the love of your life (man, I hate those terms), and intended to sacrifice yourself and stay with him.
      I truly admire your maturity in handling the situation with him and his mom and in going forward with your own life.

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  • Leslie Joan September 1, 2017, 10:47 am

    Kudos to you for sticking to your plan. You are an amazing person, pure class all the way in everything you’ve done, and I wish you the best going forward.

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    Bittergaymark September 1, 2017, 12:52 pm

    Glad you are happy.
    Though yikes! You are either sure glib or absurdly pollyanna about him suddenly becoming a quadriplegic.
    “It’s just the new normal! Its not end of life…”
    Eeeeeeeep. Be happy he DIDN’T say this to you during your cancer battle..

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  • Ron September 1, 2017, 4:25 pm

    I suspect that he was very strongly motivated to pleasantly bring things to a conclusion, because his mother was present, both because he wants to look as good as possible to his mother and because as his new care-giver he doesn’t want her to start off fully realizing how tough it has been for you and what an ungrateful ass he has been.

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