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Boyfriend steps up to act as caregiver

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.

DEAR ABBY: I am a man who let a woman move into my house 10 years ago. She’s intelligent and said she was going to get a professional job in her former field, but she never tried. She moved all her possessions in, and her stuff is piled high everywhere. She’s a COVID-19 fanatic and insists we live separately – she’s downstairs, and I’m upstairs. We are both fully vaccinated.

She puts food out for me, and I have not even been “allowed” to go downstairs in my own house. She has a bit of a temper. She pays no rent or utilities. She has little money yet refuses to take her Social Security, although she’s eligible, which I find bizarre. I’ve been reluctant to have her evicted. What can I do? – Biggest Idiot on Earth

DEAR ‘IDIOT’: Call your lawyer and explain what has been going on, because you may need assistance in following my advice, which is this: Tell the freeloading woman you have had it with the living arrangement and need her out of your home. Give her a date by which she has to be out of there and, if there are any problems, formally evict her. You may have to give her a down payment on a rental, but only if you feel generous. It looks to me like you have allowed yourself to be taken advantage of.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.