How do I tell my partner ?

Hi , this is really hard for me, I have had a year of hell topped off with finding out I have BC,my partner is currently in prison and I have held off telling him anything until I knew for sure, He has no idea what I have been going through because I did n’t want to worry him , but tomorrow I am visiting him with my daughters and I have to give him this news… How do I tell him ? our relationship has been solid and I know it will always be , we have been together 30 years, this is going to be hell for him because he cant ‘be here’ for me. he is due to be home in 3 months time . Any advice would be welcome.

Oh tillybob, my thoughts are with you. I don’t know if I’m ‘qualified’ to give advice but will try to do so anyway.

I found telling my mum to be really difficult but in the end just came straight out with it, no messing. I’d been avoiding her phone calls until I knew for sure as I didn’t see the point of worrying her unneccesarily. Then she rang and caught me off guard and I just told her; my OH thought I was too blunt and that I should have sweetened the blow a bit but the relationship between me and my mum is such that it was fine to tell her as I did. Later when I asked her if I’d been too blunt she said not at all as she knows that’s how I am.

I’m glad you have a strong relationship as it will really help you in the months to come; it’ll be hard on all of you but it is amazing what we come to terms with. Sorry not been much use but I wish you the best

I think you must tell him and tell him soon. It will be hard for him to be unable to support you now, but it might help him to prepare better for his release. Do you have a treatment plan and any idea of when it will begin yet? If you are at an early stage you might be able to discuss dates on the basis of your family situation. On the other hand, if your treatment is fairly short-term, you could take the point of view that you will both be ‘free’ at the same time. If it’s longer and more complext treatment, you might need him even more by the time he comes out.

I think you just have to begin by saying you’ve had some bad news about your health and then tell him what you know and what the proposed treatment is. This is where many of us start being more positive with others than we might feel ourselves. Actually beginning to plan or making tentative plans about what will be happening for both of you in three months’ time will probably be good for both of you and might give him some positive things to think about for that time. I don’t pretend that this will be easy for either of you, but do you think that might help?


Just take a deep breath and and tell him tilly bob. It’s your turn to feel supported now and I wish you the best of luck x

with release due so very soon perhaps he could get tagged on grounds of compassion, just a thought.

Hi tilybob this cant be easy for you just say it as it is it will probably just as hard for him as it is for you he will be home to take care of you and your family soon stay focused on that do a diary of how your feeling and what your thinking and post it daily or weekly then he mite not feel so frustrated and left out it will also help him to understand your emotions to as i will tell you they are like a rollercoaster ups and downs hope this helps you can always use this site aswell for all your woos and tooes to there are a lot of women here to help take care

Hi tillybob, is there a nice family support worker at the prison who you could talk to first? They can often help you if you need them, and might be able to organise some privacy for you. I personally would tell him, hard though it is. I hope it goes well for you x

Thanks to everyone who kindly posted on here, I do have amazing daughters and family who will get me through the tough times , dont have a treatment plan yet, going for a bone scan and ct scan next week and formal results of biopys on thursday , although it is certain that I have BC. My daughter contacted the prison and we are allowed a private room and we hope he will receive some back up when he returns to his wing , I worry more about him than myself which is probably what comes naturally,but I need him to be ok so I can get on with getting to grips with our situation. I have decided to write him a letter today which he should get on Monday telling him how I really feel and my concerns and also maybe some information for him to read to help him understand what is going to happen over the next few months. your answers are most welcome thanks.

Jean, good luck girl. I’m glad you have a supportive family behind you, and yes, having your OH away at mo will make it tougher on all of you - but you will get through. Honesty and love… the best answers to any situation, and it sounds like you have those. I think the letter is an excellent idea - it’s something for him to hang onto and think over even when you can’t talk - and the news of bc is a big thing to take in.

Keep coming on here, you’ll get so much support from all of us, whether you have questions, need to vent, whatever.

Sophie xx

You sound like a very sensible person. Sending him some information sounds like a good way of involving him as well as giving him information. Having to wait for a diagnosis is difficult enough in itself without your additional stress, so I’m glad you’re getting support for the rest of the family.

Remember that this is a place where you can share fears and feelings as bluntly and in as much detail as you like.


Hi all, just thought I would update everyone on my OH, many tears later we have broken the bad news and he was upset as we expected , still in shock but now we move on, The staff at the prison were compassionate and I cant fault them.We were allowed privacy and they will keep an eye on him for the next few days so we cant do more than we have. Many thanks to you all.

my bc diagnosis 1 week ago, like most, led me to feel very afraid. Now a week on I’m feeling more rational and accepting of the condition. It is only when I think of my husband and 2 small children do I get very tearful… I was told I had Bc that is treatable but I think I heard 'you’ve got 24 hours to live!!!

I think how it impacts on others is a natural human trait and I’m so glad your free (tillybob) from having to ‘pretend.’ Something I’m still doing with my mum and close family and friends…I know I will tell them but not until I know more about my treatment and possible outcome.

I just want to say that after 1 week of reading I already feel very privileged to be part of this site.

Well done Jean, I’m sure it must be a relief to no longer have the worry of breaking the news… and as you say, now you can move on and meet this bloody cancer head on. I’m glad the staff were supportive, and here’s to counting down the days til your OH can be out and by your side xxxx