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Partner is breaking down

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Partner is breaking down

Hi. I was told by the Gynacalogical Oncologist, on Friday, that I had cervical cancer. He said he didn't usually confirm at the colposcopy appointment but he was so sure he was willing to diagnose and arrange MRI. He took biopsies that day and I had my MRI yesterday.


So at this point, we know its cancer. We don't know what type and we don't know what stage. It might be operable, it might not. I may have to have chemo and radiotherapy. I may not. I might be riddled with it and beyond hope. Probably not. 


The hardest bit by far is watching my partner go to hell in a handbasket. He keeps crying. He's waiting on me hand and foot, bless him, which he doesn't have to - and he's trying so hard to be supportive. But he's terrified. And heartbroken. And I hate it, I hate it. I can cope with anything this disease throws at me, I'm going to fight it, but I can't see him sufferring like this because of me. I can't even comfort him because I know nothing - I could get a call in ten minutes telling me I have 6 months to live. Or, more likely, I could get a call saying oops, my mistake, no cancer here! Right now, all I know is the odds are in my favour.


Did anyone else's partners react like this? How can I help him? 

17/4/20 GP referral following examination 

24/4/20 Colposcopy, biopsies

28/4/20 MRI

1/5/20 Told Grade 3 Squamous Cell tumour, stage 2b. Will have chemo and radiotherapy.

7/5/20 PET scan

14/5/20 Consultant appointment. PET scan showed lymph node involvement. Restaged 3c. Tumour is 5.2cm.

21/5/20 Radiotherapy planning appointment

8/6/20 25 sessions of radiotherapy, alongside 5 sessions of chemo, followed by 3 session brachytherapy.

Oct 2020: Told cancer free!

Dec 2020: MRI showed possible reccurrance. PET scan booked for 17/12/20.



Hi AliAliOkay you have both had a shock and you are living with the uncertainy of not knowing exactly what stage you have and also you do not yet know what the treatment plan will be.

MacMillan is a good source of support to those with cancer and their families. Could your partner also talk to your doctor?  



Abnormal smear hpv & severe high grade dyskaryosis lletz Sept 2019 polyp & nabothian cyst. Results hpv & mild cell changes polyp innocent Repeat colposcopy Dec 2019 test of cure January 2020 no high risk HPV present , colposcopy June because of discrepancy between initial smear & lletz- June 2020 colposcopy  all clear; next smear in 3 yrs August 2020 post menopausal bleed; TV scan; bleed hrt related & found small ovarian cyst said will check in 4 months; Letter from hospital saying no longer needed 4 month check as cyst under 2cm & contact them if I develop pain (if cyst bursts?)


Hi there,

I am sorry that you are going through this because it is a hard place to find yourself. I think you are at the start of a journey together that starts with shock and moves through acceptance and understanding as you get more information and make choices and plans. 
My husband found the first part of my journey very hard and alternated between overprotective and denial.  There is no right way to react to such a shocking blow. 
I have found that the road has got easier each step of the way.  Once you have information, you can talk about the reality of your situation and make plans/preparations.  Everyone goes to dark places at the start of this diagnosis but it is a very treatable condition.  
Please do not read too much into being told straight away that it is cancer. My gynaecologist knew straight away and  at no point tried to tell me that it wasn't (even though he didn't say it was) if that makes sense. I have been staged at 1b at the moment and the team are hoping that the operation will be a cure.  

In terms of helping your partner specifically, have you thought about showing him this site and some women's stories on here. As patients we are advised to stick to specific helpful sites, which I have mostly, but I realised after the fact, my husband has been googling on the wider internet and reading all sorts of horror stories.   
I have also tried to let him do what he can to help me (even things I could have done quicker and better myself) because I know he finds not being able to 'fix it' for me stressful, and it is his way of taking control.  
It all gets easier. 
Big hugs. Xx

Lletz under GA on 19/3/20, mri on 21/3, Results cc: stage 1b no sign of lymph involvement. 18/4/20 Radical hysterectomy with lymph node removal 6/5/20 Histology shows microscopic Involvement 2 nodes. Moved to stage 3c. Chemo rads completed 10/7/20 Brachy 14/7 Done!

4/11/20 No evidence of reoccurrence 

Jazza's picture


I certainly found the first part of my cervical cancer journey the worst for emotions; it's when the 'fear of the unknown' looms large.  I was the one in meltdown and my husband was taking it all in his stride and kept reminding me there was no point engaging with imaginings but to deal with things as the facts emerged.  I found his attitude helpful in keeping me on track and you seem to also have a similar attitude which will hopefully help your partner.

I agree with rufus about trying to let your partner do what he can to help you. 


  • Feb 04:  (age 47y) Smear test normal
  • Stopped going for smears!
  • Summer 16: persistent watery yellow vaginal discharge
  • Dec 16: PMB
  • Jan 17: Hysteroscopy under GA for ?fibroids - abnormal cervix observed -multiple biopsies taken, 1B1 (1B2 on new FIGO) squamous cell cc diagnosed - confirmed by MRI/PET scans
  • Feb 17: pelvic lymphadenectomy - nodes negative, Da Vinci radical hysterectomy- close anterior margin/LVSI/PNI, restaged to 2A1 (2A1 on new FIGO)
  • Apr/May 17: 6 chemo, 25 external radio, 2 brachy
  • Apr 21:  NED.  Side effects notably hypotonic bladder since hysterectomy - ongoing ISC, unilateral lymphoedema lower abdo/groin/leg/ankle/foot

My husband was very much the same at first, in denial and a bit of a shit in the middle and now on treatment he's back to trying to do as much for me. 

When I read your post, it sounds like mine. I was told what the gynae thought and drip fed tiny bits of information for 3 weeks while awaiting mri's/pet/mdt meetings. But what I've learnt from this journey so far is: it will never be as bad as you think it is. With the biopsy results I'd signed myself off as incurable. During the mri I was a gonna. The Pet scan it was everywhere. It wasn't and the gyne could be wrong but what it isn't is all over you. If you have it, you are treatable and curable. I was terrified. The ladies on here are amazing. So supportive and positive. I was overwhelmed at first. I still am about part of the treatment but I know I will fight this. I know I will survive. Have faith. Whatever is happening down south will be sorted out. 

06 Jan 20 massive bleed. 7 feb 20 smear came back highly differentiated severe dyskolious. 14 Feb biopsies taken. 21st Feb cc cells found. 22 Feb 20 told poorly differentiated squamous cell. 28 Feb staged at 2a. Tumour is 2.4mm/9mm 6 March restaged at 3c due to 3 lymph node involvement - x1 2cm. 12 Mar 20 met oncologist - told me coronavirus will probably kill me before cc does. 18 March 20 pre scan booked.

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Cervical cancer