Loss of a life partner followed by breast cancer diagnoses


I am a gay woman and I lost my beautiful wife ( to ovarian cancer) under a year ago. I am now diagnosed with breast cancer myself and just had my operation.

I wondered if any of you are also battling with grief alongside your own cancer treatment. I have wonderful friends but it feels a bit lonely as I don’t know anybody who has a similar experience to mine. Hopefully there is nobody but if there is I would very much like to hear from you.

Thank you

Seb (short for Sebnem)

Hi Seb sorry you haven’t had a response to your post .There are certainly ladies on this site who have had to deal with bereavement alongside a diagnosis as I’ve spoken to them .There is never a "good time " to have cancer ,but it is doubly hard when you are dealing with other really difficult stuff too .Hope your treatment goes well .Best wishes .Jill.

That is so so sad to hear from you…I can feel your grief and it’s really depressing. I will include you in my prayers. Are starting your treatment now or soon?

Hi Seb


I’ve only just joined so forgive me if things have moved on a lot for you.


My partner has stage four bowel cancer. She was diagnosed almost five years ago now and although things remain stable at the moment we know that won’t last for long. It’s a waiting game. I’m her carer.


meanwhile I was diagnosed with breast cancer in October and had a wide local excision with sentinel node biopsy on 22 November. Unfortunately they found cancer in one of the nodes so I am having an axilliary clearance on Wednesday. I expect this may well involve chemotherapy as well. I don’t look forward to this as we expect this to be the last year in which my partner will be well enough for us to do things together like going away and now I’m going to be sick too. She has chemo every fortnight and the next will be number 55.


Weve been together 32 years. It’s hard to know how to cope with the situation. For example she can’t come to the results appointment because she is having chemo all day. There isn’t much space to think about the impact on me of my diagnosis because of the situation she is in.


We are very involved with improving services and I’m involved in research. It seems the best way to make sense of it all.


Hi Portraitist ,welcome to the forum.There never is a "good " time to have cancer but when you are dealing with other family issues /health worries it is doubly hard .Its a time when really you need to be the centre of attention and all energy focussed on looking after /supporting you but unfortunately life sometimes makes this impossible .Do you have someone else who can come with you to your results appointment ?Could your partner change her chemo day do she could be with you ? I hope you get positive news and that your cancer can be dealt wit quickly and allow you to concentrate on enjoying time with your partner .If you do have to go through chemo - why don’t you join one of the chemotherapy monthly threads and you will get lots of advice and support from others going through chemo at same time .When is your appointment - let us know how you get on .Best wishes Jill .

Fingers crossed that you can avoid chemo if not hopefully they will take your circumstances into consideration and work round it.Good luck with your op.

Glad to hear you have that part over with ,I haven’t had node clearance but I know from other ladies that it is very uncomfortable and restricts you more than the SN biopsy.Try and look after yourself as well as your other half .Why don’t you join us in the going through treatment section ? Best wishes .Jill.

Just seem that you have been posting there too .

My brother in law passed away last Autumn aged 46yrs he had bowel and stomach cancer 

my sister is a young widow.

im so sorry Seb for your loss I can’t imagine if I lost my wife it is so sad for you.

we as a family got through the first Christmas together and then just in early January I was diagnosed with breast cancer too.

It is not so devastating loss as your loss but he was an amazing lovely man who is sadly missed, it is also really hard for my sister and I dreaded telling her.

jyst seen you message would have replied sooner 

thinking of you 

this forum is a good way for us to support each other 

liz x