What should I do?

My wife has just been diagnosed with cervical cancer.  I’ve tried several times to write something on here, but I don’t really know what to say.  That’s the first time I’ve even been able to say the word.  We don’t know how bad it is yet, but right from when she first went to the Doctor’s they were describing it as ‘sinister’ and warning her to expect an adverse result.  

We’ve appointments for various scans next week, and I’m so scared of what they might tell us.

She’s being so brave, and I’m so, so proud of her, but to be honest she’s coping with it better than I am.  She’s an incredibly strong person, but I worry that she’s maybe being strong for me. 

After so many years of marriage most of our friends are joint friends, and my wife doesn’t want anyone to know.  She has told her best friend, but when her friend asked me how I was coping I’m afraid that I might have seemed off hand as I didn’t want to break down in front of her.

I don’t feel that there’s anyone I can talk to – my wife has enough to cope with and I don’t want to burden her any more.  I don’t feel she should have to support me, when she’s the one who needs support.

I feel like a fraud for feeling like I do, as it's not me that has the cancer.  How can I stay strong and help my wife?  Please give me some advice, I feel so desperate.  Thank you.

Hi Simon

Firstly, you've come to the right place for help and support.  Jo's is an amazing place with amazing women (and some men!) that post.  We all support each other through the lousy times and share our stories to help others get through it.

This is the worst time, right at the beginning, when you are waiting for the full diagnosis.  The waiting is awful but believe me, anyone who has been through this agrees that once you know what you are dealing with and get your treatment plan then you feel that you can cope better.  Strange but true!

I remember my hubby's face when we were first told, he was devastated too.  He then put on a strong face but I know he was struggling inside.  You will find the strength to cope with this, please believe me.

Just take one day at a time for now and try to do some nice things together, little trips and treats, anything to try to take your mind off it even for a short while.

Yes, cancer is an awful word and one most of don't think we'll have to cope with in our life but there are masses of success stories on this site, please read through them to give you strength.

Your wife will need to lean on you for a while, perhaps it would help if you had a close friend you felt you could talk to?  If not then you've always got us, loads of lovely, strong and inspiring women!  You can lean on us and I promise you we'll get you through it.

Big hugs


Hi Simon, 

sorry to hear of your wife's diagnosis. I'm sure she is just as terrified as you. Everyone deals with the news in their own way, and whatever that way is, it is right. Have you told her how scared you are? 

Cheryl's reply was fantastic. This part between diagnosis and 'kick off' is the WORST. So many 'what if's' so much waiting. It may be useful to ask your wife what she wants and needs from you. Does she want life to go on as 'normal' does she want you to tell her about things you've fiund on the Internet! 

I personally think it's harder for the person supporting than the person with Cancer. You are processing your own stuff and trying not to say the wrong thing. That's hard. 

There is a partner forum on here where you can chat to other guys. Don't know how busy it is though. 

Your Gp may be a great person to have a chat with. Your wife may be lucky enough to be assigned a Macmillan nurse and they are there for you too. 

Hang on in there....the fear is normal (I told myself I had 6 months to live 20 months ago!) when you get more answers and a plan it will all be less scary. 

Hi Simon :-)

Oh bless you! It is so much harder for the partner of the patient than it is for the patient themself. That much I can promise you. Thankfully my sister knew that before we did and she swooped in to support my husband. I think it's most likely a good plan not to tell friends just yet until you have the full picture. This is because many of them will go to pieces imagining the worst case scenario, bursting into tears, increasing the overall anxiety levels, crowding round her and largely ignoring you. This is not what the two of you need just now when you are at quite definitely the scariest part of the whole trip. Once you know exactly the nature of the beast you are dealing with it not only becomes much easier for both of you to cope with, but it also makes it much easier to present a united non-hysterical front to friends who need to be in the loop.

But as soon as you do know precisely what the situation is, then yes, share it with close friends because you are likely to need a lot of support. From the patient's perspective generally they don't feel unwell and it's all a bit unreal, but the patient's partner has the fear of losing their loved one and that is terrifying. Please try to rest assured that most of us get through this and come out the other side smiling, happy and well, for many many years :-)

Be lucky :-)

Cheryl, 365days, Tivoli,

Thank you so much for your advice. I do so hope you're right about things getting easier once we know what we're dealing with. 

Time is just standing still at the moment. I so want Wednesday to be over so that we know what we're facing, but at the same time I'm so afraid of what they might tell us.

I think you're right about not telling friends and especially not telling family just yet. 

Until we know I'm keeping everything crossed and am praying that things will turn out okay in the end. 

Thanks again,


Sending you both best wishes and all-important hugs


Be lucky :-)

Hi Simon....

It's my mum who was diagnosed with CC. My dad and i were lost for words. It makes me feels physically sick when i think about the day we were told.

For some reason we focus on the bad things easier than the good too. We were told it was treatable... my mum has just started treatment and she's doing fine. Being a natural worrier, im actually worrying that she's doing too fine and that its not working!...

The only word I can use to describe the journey is "rollacoaster"...up and down like a fiddlers elbow!

I was angry, guilty, hateful, depressed.... and frustrated that its not me... i would take it from her tomorrow.... my dad is brilliant. he's her rock. Says very little but says what needs to be said.....

Anger is the worst emotion... because there's no one to be angry with. My dad and i took it out on each other. It got to the point where i told my mum she'd better get well because i couldnt cope with my dad on my own, i'd bloody murder him! we were at each others throats.....


all this simon will make you stronger..... that fear will dissapate and you will both be fine...... x crossing everything for you x

Thanks so much for the comments ladies.  

We still don't know exactly what is going to happen.  There seems to be some complication that means surgery wouldn't necesarily work, so radiotherapy is being mooted.  We've one more meeting (next Tuesday) and another scan after that, this time a PET scan.  Then I guess another meeting after that before her treatment can start.  

We've been told that my wife has Stage 2b.  I don't think that's good.  I tried to look online but just scared myself even more so I stopped reading.  At least the consultant was talking of curing rather than treating though, and I think they probably tell it like it is rather than painting a rosey picture.  I hope so anyway.

I love my wife so much, and I just want her to start getting better.  The waiting is agonising.  She needs me to be strong for her, but I'm finding it difficult and sometimes when I'm alone I break down.  I know need someone to speak to, but I don't want to starting crying in front of any friends.  

Enough of the self-pity, :(  But if anyone has any suggestions, or any happy experiences to share I'd really love to hear them.   

Thank you again,


Hi Simon,

i was diagoosed 5 years ago and got the all clear yesterday! I was also a 2b with lymph node involvement.

chemoradiation is doable.

There are many 2b survivors out there.

Stay strong,


Congratulations on your five-year all clear Naz :-) That must be a great feeling!

Simon, I am a four-years so far 2b survivor and frighteningly well. I've had the full gamut of treatments, they are all doable. Had I been given the choice I would have opted not to have the invasive surgery. Please stay away from Google and ask us anything you like. That's anything AT ALL!

Be lucky :-)

A very good friend (a Cancer buddy made here) is a 2b girl. She won't mind me telling her story. Her prognosis was poor at diagnosis, but after treatment Chemo/rads she is well, and her prognosis is excellent. It's been a tough ride, and it will be for you and your wife, but there are good news stories out there for 2b ladies. Hang on in there and take it one bit at a time. 

My mum has 2b Simon and the consultant said it is 70% curative..... she's doing fine with chemoradiation. She wasnt offered an hysterectomy, but she was offered a clinical trial but didnt take it as she  was so overwhelmed by having to go through this at 62.  She's coming up to week 3 of 5.

My dad is amazing. He breaks down. He's spent the whole night not sleeping and just holding my mum.

I cry in the shower. no one can tell then!


i've found people on here the best most reasurring help i could have possibly have found... especially Tivoli...

She's kept me sane everytime i've had a wobble. x

you'll both be ok x