Ask Dr. Giles: She seems to be getting better, but also distant

Kate asks:

Hi.  My partner has unexpectedly gotten through a whipples, and has now completed a round of chemo.

Great, but she has now signed a non-intervention document, and is emptying the house of her belongings.  Our relationship is great, and I accept her right and choice, and while I am finding the emptying on her belongings understandable, it is also very disturbing.

I grieved so much when she suddenly became ill, shortly after my Dad died.  I have cared for her, and love her enough to let her go.  But she seems to be getting better, and is now sort of taking away our future.

I am glad your partner’s treatment is resulting in some success.  It sounds as though, however, your partner is still preparing to die.  It may be that this is necessary for her in order to come to terms with the entire range of possible outcomes related to this wretched cancer.  If you are concerned that she seems to be giving up on the future and ruling out the prospect of a longer life with you, maybe you should talk with her about it.  It might be very enlightening to ask her what comes to her mind when she thinks about the future.  Maybe you should ask her how she thinks you should think about your future.  The uncertainty of what lies ahead does not have to drive a wedge between you.  Talk about your respective views of the present and future.  Have multiple conversations about this and it will help you bridge the gap that you currently feel exists between you and your loved one.