Helping my partner through this



My gf was diagnosed recently and it’s obviously been a bit of a shock for both of us. I have actually had cancer myself and am about 10 years cancer free so I do understand somewhat about what she is going through. Still feel pretty helpless though. I’d be interested to hear from fellow ‘unempathetic’ men who struggle with being emotional - how did you help your partner? Any advice?


I think it would also help if someone could shed any light on some of the pathology results. I’m a little confused between grades/stages and would like at least an idea of prognosis.


All I know so far is that it’s “Invasive Core Grade 3 Ductal Carcinoma” and the lump in her breast is less than 2cm in size. It also mentions “No in situ component or lymphovascular permeation”. There’s some more tests being done soon whcih I think are to do with hormones. Also, surgery is booked in soon so hopefully that will go well and give us a bit more info.



Hi there vvcccxxx3


It’s Emily here from Someone Like Me


While you’re waiting for responses on here, I wanted to let you know that we have an email volunteer called Stuartwhose partner had a breast cancer diagnosis. Stuart would be happy to share his experiences with you on how he helped his partner. Do feel free to email him at


Hoping in the meantime you have some responses on here too.


Best wishes

Emily at Breast Cancer Care

Hi Vvcc, I would say just listen. My dear old boy has been my rock throughout my journey, and that is the thing I have appreciated .  Also attending all my appointments has been a real help, as two heads are better than one to take in info. Get a notebook and write questions, and answers in it. 

He also learned to cook, as when on chemo I was unable to eat. Bless him, he got stuck in making light soups which I could swallow. We bought two ‘cancer’ cook books which we use all the time. As he read all my paperwork and attended all appointments he was aware of the physical and mental support I needed. 

In return I encouraged him to take walks when I was chemo sleeping, join a bridge club to meet new people who didn’t know our situation ( can’t be doing with the pity thing) and join a gym later. 

Eating healthier and exercising regularly has helped us both.

Sending good thoughts and wishes as you set out on this journey. Love and hugs to you both. X

I wouldn’t say that I am an unempathetic male, but I am struggling in that I feel confused, angry, shocked and somewhat numb at the moment. 


Last year my gf was diagnosed with stage 3, triple negative ductal carcinoma of the left breast. Staging CT chest, abdomen and pelvis showed no evidence of metastatic disease.


She underwent chemo in September but she was found to be unresponsive to the treatment (although the chemo did stabilise the tumour), so her medical team decided to go for a mastectomy plus removal of 12 lymph nodes. She started radiotherapy in Feb this year, which lasted for three weeks.


During this time I have been wholeheartedly supportive, even when she tried to shut me out, which is normal behaviour as I understand it.


Well, after her radiotherapy, she had many problems with skin irritation and leasions appearing along the scar area. She flagged this up at the hospital many times. The radiotherapy clinic, being unsure as to what the problem was, referred her back to the oncoplastic surgeon who carried out the mastectomy. He carried out a biopsy (this was in early May) on her chest wall, which was negative.


However, she has extensive maculo-papular lesions aong her mastectomy scar and we have been told that the latest CT shows locally recurrent disease, with low volume metastatic disease in both lungs.


Normally determined, positive and combative when the going gets tough, I am providing her with lots of support and motivation. But when I am on my own, I feel restless and terrified and my stomach feels like it is completely in knots.   










Hello CLJ ,welcome to the forum .So sorry you and your partner are having to deal with this - it’s very hard to support someone when you are really struggling yourself .This part of the forum is very quiet but like Ann said you are welcome to chat or get advice anywhere on the forum.There are really active forums for carers /partners on the Macmillan site also if you want to take a look .Best wishes .Jill x

Hello CLJ ,here’s hoping your girlfriend gets the immunotherapy drug in the trial and you manage to get some peace and quality of life back as a result of the treatment .??

Hello and welcome ,it is so so difficult for both of you going through this and very hard to support each other as you are both struggling and vulnerable .Do you have a local cancer charity /Maggies / Macmillan centre - there is usually one nearby - they offer a range of therapies and support to both you and your partner - you need to look after yourself in order to be able to look after your partner and your kids .Macmilan have good advice re benefits and money so maybe worth ringing and taking through the options re work etc as it sounds like your job is a bit too much alongside all that is going on for your family. .The Macmillan site also has a very active carers forum which will offer you a lot of support -worth having a look .Sending you a big hug - it’s very hard .We are always happy to talk here .Jill x

I hope she gets onto the trial and the Taxol is not too challenging for her .I’m sorry she is having to jump through these hoops to get treatment that may help .x

Hi there are ladies on ongoing Taxol treatment on the secondary forum

You could also start a new thread in the secondary section and ask for advice / info .

May be worth copying your post into the chemotherapy section of the forum too - a lot of ladies will have recently had / be having Taxol as part of their chemotherapy regime .