Single person with Breast Cancer

Dear All
Most people on the forum seem to have a partner/husband/boyfriend but I am on my own (but with many many lovely supportive friends).
How do single people cope at home alone as the treatment goes on? I had my first chemo just over a week ago, entered the 7-10 day low white blood cell period and had a low point over the weekend. I am still working which is great, but I don’t know how long I will be able to. I am lucky in that my job has set me up to work at home as and when I wish. I’m going to get lonely though.
Anyone else in this position?
Cecelia. x

Hi Cecelia,

I am pleased to see that you have supportive friends.

I am relying a lot on my friends just now. There are husbands and there are husbands. I actually have a husband at home but it would be easier for me if I were on my own. My husband has a degenerative illness, which has also affected his brain. So, however grotty I feel, I still have to give me his drinks, give him his food, and have to listened to his temper tantrums. If I were on my own, I would be able to use my energies for getting better. As it is, I am in the role of being a carer, without any other help.

Alhtough, technically, I am not on my own, I do not get any practical or emotional support from my husband. Thank God for good friends.

Count your blessings, Cecelia. Since you have daily contact with your office, working from home, it will not be too bad. You will manage, with the help from your friends.

Best wishes,


Dear Elena
Thank you so much for your encouragement. I am very sorry to hear about your situation which is definitely worse than mine and must be very difficult for you.
You are right, and I have been so positive up until the weekend, I’m sure my spirits will lift a little once I feel I can be out and about without the big risk of infection.
I am very lucky to have great friends and a supportive workplace.
Thanks very much for helping me appreciate that again
Cecelia. x


I am in exactly the same position as you. Living on my own, but wih some very supportive friends and family. In fact, I am having to fight them off as they try to help me, taking me to medical appointments, getting shopping etc. Sometimes I want to be independent!.

Again, like you, I am now working from home with a very supportive company. On the rare occasion I need to go to the office, they are sending a car each way as I normally commute by train.

I had my 3rd FEC last week and it is amazing how quickly I am finding the time going - what with work and friends. All the best to you in your bc journey. Us singlies can make it through just as well.

Sharon x

I am on my own as well apart from three dogs. I have no family or friends locally and am not working as I was looking after my father who had dementia till he died last year. Sometimes I think its best to be on your own as you dont have someone else to think about. I felt worse watching my father suffer than suffering myself and am glad this came after he died. Make the most of your friends.

Hello Cecelia

I live alone but have good friends and also very good neighbours. I was given lots of help throughout chemo and rads. I did find that many people want to help but don’t really know how. I was reluctant to ask for help sometimes but found that if I did ask for the odd lift to hospital or some shopping then people were really pleased to help.

During chemo especially I was often very glad to be alone - it’s nice not to have to think about anyone else when you feel really ghastly.

Yes I did get lonely sometimes but I found that this site was a tremendous help.

Good luck with your treatment.

Dear All

Thanks for your encouragement. I think I felt a bit low at the weekend and was dwelling on being alone a little too much. As I said I am very thankful for all my friends, and my work for being so supportive.

I’ll be a regular on this site for a long while, it’s so full of lovely people.

Cecelia. x

I was also on my own throughout treatment but had good friends who were very supportive. I did try and keep them as friends and not carers so when they came over other than maybe cooking it was for fun and entertainment. Had my shopping delivered and paid someone to do my ironing. On the day I felt better I made myself go out and walk and its amazing how many people will talk to you if you make the first move!!
Although sometimes it would have been nice to have someone around to make a cup of tea etc I was grateful that I could be truely selfish and put myself first!

Hi cecilia

I was in the same position as you at dx two years ago (still single, in fact). It does get lonely at times but like you I had wonderful friends, I was always able to get someone to come to chemo with me and stay overnight the first night - it just gave me a bit of extra reassurance. I worked some of the time and work were really good in reducing my hours etc. I’ve just had to rely on my friends again as I had my recon in April and wasn’t able to do very much at all for about 3 weeks. Almost back to normal now, whatever that is! Thanks heavens for good friends and BCC forums, eh?

Thanks everybody. On reflection it’s probably better to be single (as long as I have my friends and family), I’m sure there is pressure when you have a partner in all kinds of ways. My cat died last year, and really want a dog but have been told not to because of the poo! : (
I haven’t been without a pet for my whole life so that’s another reason to get lonely a times.
Anyway I’m sure I’ll find a way to deal with the lonliness when it happens, I’ll just reign in one of my friends to come and entertain me if I’m too tired to go out!
Cecelia. x

I’ve got three dogs and when I clean up after them I simply wear rubber gloves, i cant imagine life without them and no one has told me they could cause problems. The Onc, Breast Surgeon and the chemo nurses all ask how they are. One of the has been upset about me and often has diarreha at night I told the nurse and she said its a shame I have to get up frequently to look after them never mentioned any health problems. Who told you not to get a Dog it would be great company, all the best for the future whatever you decide.

Don’t let dog pooh stop you getting a dog! I not only work with dogs, but have a fab pet boxer… always happy to see me, gives loads of love unconditionally and doesn’t talk back at me!! Whenever this sodding bc gets you down, dogs are a great pick-me-up :slight_smile: I’ve never given the risk of clearing up after a dog a second thought… just common sense re hygiene. I’m sure there are plenty worse bugs we could get when the immune system is at it’s lowest…


If poo’s a problem, do I need to get rid of my 2yo son???

Hope not - he’s a real sweetie…


Dear All

Hahah! Mousy, funny! I don’t think you need to go that far!

Maybe I have been mis informed. I read in one of my books (I can’t remember which one now as I have so many) that dog poo is dangerous, causes infections etc. But I do know that lots of cancer patients have pets so I’m sure as long as your careful it’s OK. It would be a comfort to me if I could get a pet.

Thanks all
Cecelia. x

I have 2 cats[one is the real horace] and if you like them a cat might be an easier pet with chemo legs etc.Lots of poo probs and no worries about exercise.They can even be left over night with food and a litter tray[rubber gloves again].

Thanks, I might think about replacing my cat. Much easier to look after as you say.
Thanks for the replies everyone.
Cecelia. x

Hi Cecelia,

just wondering whereabouts in the country you live. (You’re prob gonna tell me you live in Aus or something now aren’t you! That’d teach me!!).

I only ask cause where I live in Shropshire we have an awesome support group which meets on a regular basis. I was thinking there would prob be something like that avail to you too, if you were intersted that is,


Hi Kelly

I live in London. Lonely place to be even if you have loads of friends.

Thanks for the offer though. I will look into support groupls in my area, I’m sure there must be some. Would be great to meet up with people with the same thing for a chat. I have spoken to some of the women at my chemo session so I will ask them next Friday during my next chemo if they have any groups they go to for chats.

Hi Cecelia

Just wanted to add my pennyworth re pets. I asked my oncologist whether it was OK to do the cat litter bit, etc. or whether to get rid of my cat. He was totally astonished that I’d asked and said of course not to get rid of it, just be sensible, wear gloves, wash hands, etc. As I’m often on my own when OH is working away I’d miss the ole cat dreadfully.

If it helps, I got a large box of disposable plastic gloves from Lakeland Limited. These are brilliant, and on the ‘paranoid days’ when I know my white cell count will be low I use them for loads of mucky stuff like dustbins and drains as well as for pet poo.

My golden rule is, “If it makes me feel better, it’ll help me get better”. Not very scientific, but it works for me!

Cheers. Stockbeck


I am alone too, hubby dumped me three days after DX, went through op and treatment alone. That was October 2066, but am still here, have up days and down days, but mostly am ok alone, you have no one to blame or thank for anything. Trust me it will make you a stronger person, its a tough old journey alone on the way to recovery, but this site is a great help…sending you loads of hugs as I like you am alone on a saturday night…lol

Take care