Together we will beat cancer


My boyfriend is dying and I don't know how to help him

16 Nov 2022 03:19

I found out the man I was dating was dying of cancer. We haven't been dating long at all, just 2 months. And I know it would seem stupid to care so much after that amount of time but I do. I met him when we were in secondary school together and then we went our spectate ways and 4 years later out of the blue something just sparked. He knew he was dying when he met me but he thought he had a year. He hadn't told anyone, including his family and he still has no plans to. He didn't tell me the details of anytving to do with it, as evidently he wants to do this completly by himself. It really upset me when I found out about the diagnosis, and made me very unstable. 

He had a doctors appointment last month and then he just completely ghosted, not a word. I know I crossed a line by doing this but I showed up at his work place, multiple times. I know it was wrong but I cared about him so much and I knew the doctors must have told him somthing awful. He reached out 2 weeks ago and apologised and said his feelings for me never changed and he just wanted to save me the pain. He said there was a procedure they could do to help him but there was always a chance it wouldn't work. Now he's ghosted again and all I have is questions. Like what the procedure it, when it's happening, if he'll tell his family, if he's going to be okay. On a more selfish note, I want to know if any of our relationship was real if he could just drop me like that, like I didn't even matter. I know it's selfish but I am so angry with him, I wanted to stay and support him, I was prepared for it. And he didn't even give me a chance to try. 

Before him I had only ever been with horrible men who didn't treat me right. And then I started speaking to him again, we were already friends from school and when we started speaking it's like everything just fell I place. And I knew that this is how it was meant to feel to be with someone. And I don't know how I'm supposed to let that go. He's either going to die and I'll know I lost the one. Or he'll live and decide the relatio ship has gone too bad or his feelings for me faded and well spend the rest of our lives apart. And then there's the tiniest chance that it was all real and the procedure will work and he'll come back to me and everything will be okay. And I just don't know whats going to happen but if he dies it will destroy me.

I want to help him, its all I want and I want to have hope that were meant to be. But he's pushed me away for so long that I'm not even sure he cares anymore about me. A part of me wants to move on but it feels impossible to do that too. And I feel selfish for thinking any of this considering he's going through the hardest thing imaginable. 

My boyfriend is dying and I don't know how to help him

16 Nov 2022 23:10 in response to Lizzie2048

Hi Lizzie,

Frankly his behaviour seems highly unusual, verging on disturbing. There's a condition called factitious disorder - which people have posted about on here in the past. This article covers it better than I could

Would someone really not share a devastating terminal diagnosis with his family but then go out dating and share this devastating news with his new girlfriend? 

I'm sorry to ask but I'm guessing you're already asking yourself the same questions. 

If he really does have terminal cancer he deserves your sympathy but if he's faking it to control you he is beneath contempt.

I hope things work out well for you.

Best wishes


My boyfriend is dying and I don't know how to help him

17 Nov 2022 00:07 in response to davek

Hi Dave, 

Thank u so much for responding. 

Yes this has crossed my mind. And quite a few of my friends agree with u. I just don't believe he could lie about this. But at the same time some things about the situation admittedly do not make sense. 


But he's never used it to get attention from me and he stopped speaking to me because of how upset I was getting. But it still doesn't make sense that he's only told me. But I don't know how to figure out if he's lying apart from just waiting until the 2 months he said he had to live and then going to see if he's still alive. 


I can't lash out and accuse him of lying because if he is telling the truth, which I stupidly think he is, then that would be the worst thing ever. I guess I will just have to wait and see. 

Thank u, 


My boyfriend is dying and I don't know how to help him

18 Nov 2022 09:28 in response to Lizzie2048

Hi Lizzie,

I hope I'm wrong but this sounds like behaviour from a person with a personailty disorder. It's quite common for a narcissist, sociopath or psychopath to love bomb victims (you said you two just clicked and now you believe he's the one after such a short amount of time - red flags), followed by the use of manipulation tactics to control the victim, one of which is the silent treatment - periods of no contact (you called it ghosting) where the victim is completely turned upside with worry and self blame and wondering what they could have done differently. Meanwhile, the disordered individual is dating multiple other victims.

It's definitely not uncommon for these individuals to make up outlandish stories such as terminal illness, again to control the victim and receive fuel from them and keep them where they want them - usually in the sidelines so they can pick them up and put them down when they want to. The fact that he reappeared and said there is a 'procedure' that could be done to save his life and then he gives you the silent treatment again is highly suspect to me. He wants to keep you hanging on so he can swing back around to you in the future, using his miraculous cure from 'the procedure' as the reason for contact (manipulation tactic called hoovering). It's incredibly cruel to leave someone hanging with that information... someone he supposedly cares about, think about that for a moment... Would you ever do that to someone you cared about, him for example? I think not. Google cognitive dissonance and personality disorders. You seem like a very empathetic person, posting your comment in this forum shows that. That is a beautiful trait but it's also a trait that people with disordered personalities seek out in their victims. Because empathetic people want to believe what people tell us, we want to believe the good in people, we give people the benefit of the doubt.

You said this is how it's meant to feel to be with someone... healthy relationships make you feel secure, supported, cared for, seen and heard, part of a team, happy. Toxic relationships make you feel insecure, confused, doubtful, anxious, lonely, not good enough.

I have personal and professional experience with these types of disordered individuals so I'm happy to discuss more with you for possible red flags in your situation, as I understand how utterly stressful and consuming it can be. The love bombing phase is powerful and causes chemical reactions in the brain similar to class A drugs. So when that person begins the silent treatment, your brain has to deal with a massive drop in dopamine and serotonin and a big increase in cortisol. And then when he gets back in touch with you (even briefly) to give you some breadcrumbs, your brain experiences those highs again. This quite literally causes you to become addicted to that person. It's called intermittent reinforcement and it's an extremely powerful schedule of reinforcement. It's the reason why gamblers keep gambling. It's not just as simple as getting over the person, it's difficult and painful but very possible. I can attest to that.

There's also the possibility that he is telling the truth, albeit slim but there will be green flags for that, however you haven't mentioned any in your comments so far. Like I said, I hope I'm wrong.

Let me know if you want to chat,


My boyfriend is dying and I don't know how to help him

19 Nov 2022 00:04 in response to Kebbo3000

Hi Kebbo, 

Thank u so much for writing this detailed response, it means alot to me. 

I would find it really helpful to talk this through with u if possible. There's just so many different elements to it. And I can't seem to figure our if he's lying or not because there's so many different things he said and done and they're all saying different things. 

I know I might seem stupid for believing him but on a level I just feel like he's telling the truth. And if this is true then it would cause him to act in all types of strange ways so I can't be sure. 

The love bombing is definantly true for my last relationships but this didn't feel like that. However after the ghosting and having time to think about everything, it does seem suspicious and it doesn't feel right anymore. 

Ultimately I will just have to wait and see what happens. He said the operation would leave a big scar so I guess if he reappears and has a scar then it's all true. But he almost might never reapear and I guess I'll just never know. But the thought that he lied about all this is making me sick to my stomach. 

Thank u, 


My boyfriend is dying and I don't know how to help him

19 Nov 2022 15:59 in response to Lizzie2048


You are partly right but, even if it turns out he has cancer (which I find hard to believe), his behaviour seems to me to be toxic. I can't imagine anyone I've know with a terminal diagnosis (and I've known more than most) behaving like that. 
You may find this article interesting ...


Best wishes


My boyfriend is dying and I don't know how to help him

19 Nov 2022 16:36 in response to Lizzie2048

This has red flags all over the place. When you said you have had the worst of guys in the past, the first thought I had was, this is yet another one of those people.

His reasons, i have no idea, but waiting 2 months is wasting 2 months of your life. There are ways to find out once and for all, ask to either attend an appointment at the hospital or see some sort of letter/email from the hospital. But don't be surprised if you're ghosted again by requesting this. If anything, I'd be staggered if you weren't. It's easier to ghost than it is to think on your feet.

But yeah, seen this story play out so many times on here and elsewhere. All the same tactics. Nothing original.

My boyfriend is dying and I don't know how to help him

19 Nov 2022 17:11 in response to Lizzie2048

Hi Lizzie,

Sure, feel free to drop me a message Happy


My boyfriend is dying and I don't know how to help him

20 Nov 2022 02:21 in response to ProfBaw


Thank u for responding.

I know I must seem stupid for even thinking to believe him. And I definanlty have my doubts but for the moments I still kind of do. 

I had suspicions he was lying last time I went to see him so I asked him and said of course not and asked who would do that. In a voice like it was unthinkable. Probably another lie. But he's blanked every message I sent In the past. I don't want to give him any more satisfaction so I'm never texting him again or going to see him and if I see on his socials that he's out drinking and having fun in the next couple months then I guess I'll know he's lying.


It just doesn't seem like somthing he would lie about. It's a very extreme thing to lie about. And he didn't get anything from it as far as I can tell. And we have so many of the same friends from school and he bought me to his home and I don't see why he would do that just to lie about this. 


Looking at the facts I know he's lying but I just don't believe it. I guess I'll just try and forget about him. 

Thank u. 

My boyfriend is dying and I don't know how to help him

20 Nov 2022 09:32 in response to Lizzie2048

No one thinks you're stupid. After all, it takes a good person to always think the best of people. We all want to believe people are being genuine. It's the least we expect in return.

Sometimes in life though, it takes those looking in from the outside to see the obvious. We have all been guilty of overlooking the obvious when it comes to some people we care about.

You're simply doing what any decent human being would do. So if it turns out all to be a sham, don't be too hard on yourself. It would also surprise you the lengths some people go to for attention or to feed their ego. Some folk simply have no shame.

He is getting something from it, he's getting control over your emotions.

My boyfriend is dying and I don't know how to help him

4 Dec 2022 00:41 in response to Kebbo3000


I think all of u were right. I was a complete fool. 

It's been over 2 months and he's been going out and posting and visiting his ex girlfriend I think. And he lied the whole time. 

I'm sorry for posting on here when everything he said was a lie and he's not really sick. 

I might tell his sister about all of this and show her screenshots of his messages saying he's dying but I don't know if that will accomplish anything. I guess he'll just get away with it. 


Thanks everyone for trying to get me to see it. 

My boyfriend is dying and I don't know how to help him

8 Dec 2022 22:42 in response to Lizzie2048

Showing his family screenshots might help stop him doing it again. 
Please don't ever apologise for someone else taking advantage of your good nature Happy