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Man debates: tell girlfriend his diagnosis or die in secret. AITA? UPDATED 3X

Man debates: tell girlfriend his diagnosis or die in secret. AITA? UPDATED 3X


When this man is torn about his cancer diagnosis, he asks the internet:

"NEW UPDATE: Should I tell my gf I’m dying before I break up with her?"

I (25m) found out I have an illness that will kill me. It’ll take over my body and there’s no cure. All the doctors can really do is prescribe shit to make you “comfortable”

I’ve been with my girlfriend for 3 years now and she’s the absolute love of my life. Always loyal and there for me. I’ve been in and out of hospital many times over the course of our relationship.

Mostly due to me racing dirt bikes, the most serious incident was a stab wound and I remember how scared and screamy she got even though I just needed stitches and got to go home the next day.

This is not something where I can just go home the next day. I’m breaking up with her because she deserves to be happy with someone healthy who can give her the life she wants, and children. I’m scared she’ll want to stay if I tell her what’s going on.

Part of me wants to lie and say I cheated so she hates me and leaves. We have lots of mutual friends she’ll find out eventually it was a lie and connect the dots on why I did it. But thinking about her crying from that lie breaks my heart.

I don’t even know if this is the right sub to post it on. I just don’t know what to do. Break up with her and tell her it’s for her own good? Lie? Guess I also needed to vent because it just hit me this morning. I found out last week but it just hit. I won’t see 30.

For people asking me what my diagnosis and prognosis is. It’s pancreatic cancer, something like 95% of people diagnosed with it die in about 3 years. I wasn’t even paying attention for not putting that in the post at the beginning, that’s my bad but as you can tell I’m a little overwhelmed these days.

Reading this replies there’s no way I can reply to them all so I will do my best to do it here.

First off, thank you to those saying kind things. Second, I realize how dumb I was being for wanting to lie to her. I made reservations at her favourite restaurant and I’ll tell her afterwards. Part of me hopes she doesn’t stay but we’ll see what she chooses.

OOP's thoughts: "I’m more scared of her staying rather than leaving. I stayed by my friends side even having to make the decision to unplug him. It’s not a pretty sight watching someone you love deteriorate. I’d prefer her to leave but we’ll see what happens after dinner" Do you regret your decision to stay by his side?

"I don’t regret it. But I’m not like her. She’s similar to my friends mom. Cried everyday and couldn’t even visit him after the third month. It sucks but it’s true, some people can’t handle hospitals and there’s nothing wrong with that"

Do you have someone to make medical decisions for you? "I have a Health Care directive in place already. I don’t want anyone to be burdened with those decisions. I know how stressful it can be" Proposing: "I’ve thought about marrying her ever since I saw her. It’s cliche and cheesy but I immediately fell in love with her eyes.

However, after getting this diagnosis I don’t want to marry her. I can’t let her be a widow this young. I’m already on the hunt for a ring which she’ll receive with a note and a gift from me after I’m done. I don’t want to marry her anymore but she’ll know she’s my one and only forever.

Sorry for being cheesy or corny but at this point idc about any of that. I’m dying lol" Symptoms (for those of you who might want to get tested:)

"Went to the doctors for a checkup because I was losing a weight despite my history of gaining/maintaining my weight. I work out 6 days a week and while I’m no pro athlete I’m by no means out of shape.

Doctor blamed it on stress from work (which is true my job is stressful) and said I can follow up with a specialist if I want medication for the stress. Went on with my life best I could but kept losing weight and everyone got worried. Went back to the doctors and they ordered blood work.

Got the results which obviously were not good and got sent to a specialist. While everyone thought the stressful job was the true reason, I was getting tested and scanned at the hospital where they (and I) realized I have slight jaundice.

They then asked what my crap was like and I thought abt it and told them. Apparently your poop tells you a lot more than just general health. Tests and scans showed I have a growth. Blah blah blah you’re now caught up to where I was told I have cancer and now we’re here."

Before we give you OP's three updates, let's take a look at some of the top responses:

jaydenb44 writes:

I’m really sorry. That totally sucks. It sounds like you really love her, so I’d ask you to consider what a breakup will do to her. Whether you tell her now or she finds out later - she’ll carry the wound with her.

I hope you’ll reconsider and sit down and talk to her. Tell her the diagnosis and prognosis, express your initial thought to end things to spare her the painful journey, and hear her out.

She may love you just as long and hard as you love her. She may see walking on this journey with gratitude to be able to express her love and commitment to whatever the future holds. I know of someone who was “set free” from a partner without disclosure as you’re contemplating - and it haunts my friend.

They carry this guilt, and struggle to feel worthy of new relationships because the partner they loved didn’t trust them. It’s an unhealing wound that prevents them from moving on. I know you’re trying to spare your girlfriend, but the act may very well consign her to sadness without closure.

Give her to chance to be there for you. And if she chooses to leave, then you’ll have your answer. But if she chooses to stay, take comfort in making lasting memories that will be a balm for her when you’re gone, and bring a smile to her face when she remembers the best of times.

historicalkoala writes:

Honey tell her. She will be hurt either way so let her choose what she wants on her own terms. If she wants to be with you until the end let her and give her all the love you can nd accept all the love she gives.

No matter what she will find happiness again but you don't need to force her into moving on now especially when she'll likely want to love you until your last breath and continue to love every memory she has of you after.

Make as many as you can with her, for the both of you. With or without you leaving her your death will leave a heartache no one will ever heal, but the longer you love her the more memories she has nothing can steal.

funsquat writes:

Tell her, for sure. She is the love of your life. She loves you. If she wants to stay with you until you die, I think there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. That's what a lover would do. It's not about the practical implications of who she'll have the most fun with or the most future with or whatever. Love is a commitment of two souls.

Let her be with you through this. You can make the most of the rest of your time together, even if that just means having company at the hospital. If she loves you, she'd much rather spend your final days with you and there's no reason to discourage that. It's a wonderful thing.

You don't have to believe me, but I have reason to believe our souls survive beyond death. Don't fear death, or rather, don't treat it like it makes everything meaningless now. Stay with her, love her, and make her know that she is loved. Your time IS valuable. Let the love of your life be a part of it.

grapelollipop writes:

P.S.: If you choose to break up with her, definitely DO NOT lie about why. If, for example, you say that you cheated on her, it will destroy all her memories of your relationship and make her FEEL cheated. It would do way more damage than any good. It would be a stain in her memory for her whole life.

It's not for her own good if you act like there's a problem in the relationship, or you just don't like her anymore, or like you have any reason to reject her.

That will only hurt her. When someone makes an investment in you, you don't leave them like that. She deserves for this to go out in a positive, wholesome way. She deserves to know that you love her and that your love never went away.

If you leave, let her know why so that she knows how to feel. It's the only fair way.

tygress23 writes:

No one knows the future, least of all doctors. My husband’s mother was told 30 years ago that the lung disorder she was diagnosed with at that time would kill her in 5 or less years.

So she bought a Cadillac, traveled, spent more money than they had, started treating people like they didn’t matter because she didn’t see the point in being nice to anyone.

But a new treatment came out and she started it and they said it’d buy her a little bit more time, not sure how much. She’s still alive.

Her lungs are down to around 10% functionality and she may wind up getting a transplant (which again has about a 5 year mortality rate) but she’s in her 60’s now, not her 30’s when she was “supposed” to die.

She even got breast cancer a handful of years ago and had it removed, the only person with her disorder to ever have that surgery. Still alive, cancer free.

I don’t know what you have but I do know that if you cut the people out of your life who care about you, it will make it harder for you to live a fulfilling life for the time you have left - whether it is 5 or 50 years. Let her choose, let her support you or walk away. That’s not your decision to make.

UPDATE: OP tells GF that he's dying:

Took her to dinner at our favourite date spot, had some amazing food and some drinks like always. The date continued like normal we drove down to the beach and started walking till we got to our spot.

She spoke first and said that she could tell there’s something I want to say because I have “that look” on my face. She then made a joke about how it’s too soon for us to get engaged so if there’s a ring in my pocket it better say there.

This made it so much harder, she thought there was a ring in my pocket when I’m about to tell her there never will be. Absolutely broke my heart.

I told her she’s right there’s something I want to say, and I told her everything. From how I found out to what the diagnosis means to the prognosis. I made sure to not sugar coat it or leave anything out. She deserved to know everything.

For the next hour it was a mixture of asking me if I’m sure and how could this be possible and crying. She immediately said she’s going to stay by me and I don’t need to worry about anything. I told her she needs to take a few days to think about it.

I had already arranged for her best friend to be waiting in the other parking lot to take her to her house. I went home alone.

Before anyone calls me names for not driving her home, I didn’t want her to be alone after finding out but I also didn’t want her to see my cry. If she saw me tonight she’d get more scared. It would hit her that I’m terrified and she’d lose her shit.

I got an update that she fell asleep because she cried so much. I sent an Uber eats of her favourite dessert to her friends house so it’ll be there when she wakes up.

As soon as I’m done typing this I’m meeting up with my 3 closest friends to hangout. I’ve known two of them for 20 years and the other one for 18. Were very close and share too many TMI details. If anyone has suggestions on how to break the news of this to them I’d greatly appreciate it.

In the meantime I’ll be drinking for two; me and this bast**d cancer.

Update 2:

Thank you for the kind words. Couple things to add. I’m in Canada so I have free healthcare I’m not worried about the cost of fighting this. I still haven’t seen my girl as she’s still at her friends house. She’ll text me to ask how I’m feeling and gets mad when I say I’m fine or make a joke. TELLING OTHERS.

Couple things you need to know about my friends. Two of them are in medical school and the other in law school. They’re still idiots though.

I started off by asking one of them to make a cancer joke, ending it quickly with “too soon man too soon” and that’s how my best friends found out I have cancer.

Medical school friends started telling me about new drugs and treatments while my law school buddy demanded to see my medical directives form and that’s also how they found out I’ve been an organ donor for years.

Parents: Still don’t know; Sister: Can’t even pretend to have a clue on how to tell her, I still see her as my baby sister so it’s tough lol; Boss: Asked for a one on one this morning and told him my diagnosis.

He said he’ll help me abuse the companies benefits as much as I want. I told him all I really want is to show up to work like nothings wrong and no one find out until I pass out at work. He agreed.

My daily is a 2022 R1 (blue crotch rocket for you non-motorcycle folks). I love that bike and have been asked if I’ll stop riding due to this. Short answer is hell no. I’ve known I had something bad inside of me way before getting cancer, life goes on and so will I.

I’ll do my absolute best to keep y’all updated if you’d like. Thanks.

Update 3, 3 weeks later:

For those who don’t know me I’m 25M diagnosed with terminal illness. I gave my girl an out if she wanted it. You can read my posts for a better understanding. Sorry for being MIA, it’s been kind of crazy.

My girlfriend made the decision to not stay. She said she doesn’t think she can handle it and doesn’t want me to have to take care of her when it should be the other way around. I said I understand and will always love her. Paraphrasing here but that’s the gist of it.

Yesterday she called me and said she’s thought about it and wants to stay… she brought up all the other crap we’ve gotten over and how we always end up stronger. She wants to talk about getting married and kids, while I still can. When I asked what made her change her mind she said she’ll tell me after I answer, no matter what I answer.

This made me uncomfortable because she changed her mind. I told her I need time to think but once again I’m back to you lovely people to ask, what the heck do I do? Am I overthinking this?

While I’m here I’ll tell y’all what happened with others. Family: Told them while I was at my parents for dinner. I brought my scans and test results and just explained it using facts not feelings.

I did this because my parents both hold PhDs and are university professors, I thought they’d accept it easier with evidence rather than feelings. Seeing my sister cry shattered my heart into a million pieces.

I just hugged her and said it’ll be okay because now she knows she’ll get my car soon. She laughed a little and for some messed up reason that made everything okay to me.

Friends: the 3 dum dums i call my best friends helped me tell some other close friends. They’re being supportive and nice. I told them to cut it out and go back to roasting each other. They listened and were good now. I’ve also told my work besties because they deserve to know.

I sucked at answering everyone’s comments and questions last time. I promise to try and do better here. As usual, I’m off to get drunk with dum dum #1 to 3.

What do YOU make of OP's story? Did he do the right thing?

Sources: Reddit
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