DEAR ABBY: I have been with my boyfriend for three months. We've had our ups and downs. He's more into me than I am into him. I was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, and he has offered to drive me to my surgery and help me at home in recovery. He's also willing to take me to my follow-ups and help with anything else I may need.
He's retired, has time and resources, and he cares a great deal about me. We live about two miles apart. I like him, too. I think that after knowing someone for only a few months, it takes a special character and a huge amount of caring to take on being their caregiver after a major surgery. There will be a lot of driving to another city and back.
I don't really have anyone else -- no family. I'm thankful to him for doing this, but I wonder what kind of support he is going to need and how I can show my appreciation. So far, he has been very loyal and committed. -- GRATEFUL IN OREGON
DEAR GRATEFUL: This man may be more into you at this point in your relationship, but let's see how you feel after your surgery and recuperation. From where I sit, that man is a keeper. I have heard from women whose husbands ran for the door upon learning their wives received a cancer diagnosis, or after they started treatment.
It's nice that you are worried he may not have the support he needs while he is taking care of you. If that's the case, the American Cancer Society (cancer.org) offers support groups for caregivers as well as patients, and your doctor may be able to refer him to one. Take one day at a time. I wish you a speedy and complication-free recovery.