Dying inside

12 months ago my partner went to his GP with indigestion. It had gradually worsened since before Christmas 2020 and tablets didn’t give him much relief. He was sent for an endoscopy and we were told there and then he had a huge esophogeal tumour. Not the ulcer or hiatus hernia we were expecting.
We were ok, it’s curable right? Except it wasn’t after mri and cat scans we were told it had spread to his liver so no chance of surgery. We were told it was terminal and with chemo they gave him a year. Without, just 6 months. He looked so well and apart from a little weight loss he carried on as usual.
6 rounds of chemo took its toll. Swallowing became difficult and increasing pain became difficult to manage. His consultant told him the cancer had been stopped in its tracks in October. The relief was unimaginable. The tumour had a slow bleed but we were persuaded that radiotherapy would sort that out alongside some steroids to help him regain an appetite. But he didn’t make progress, in fact day by day he was a little worse. The radiotherapy crippled him and he admitted he realised why people choose quality of life over length of time. His days became a blur of sleep and morphine around the clock. We hadnt even had the palliative care and DNR talk yet with his Macmillan nurse! On the 14th January he had another endoscopy to see if he had any blockage causing his pain and there wasnt any but the huge tumour disrupted digestion and slowed what tiny amounts he was able to eat or drink.
We went to bed as normal on Sunday 18th January. He was sitting up as it was the only way he could get any sleep, and I was snuggled into him holding and stroking his hand. I fell asleep.
I was woken by him screaming for me at 2am. He was in the bathroom clutching his stomach, cold, pale and sweaty. I immediately grabbed the phone and dialled 999. I hurriedly told them the situation and got the usual time wasting questions. Was he breathingwas he awak blah blah blah. YES at this stage he was but he said he couldnt breathe. They were arranging help! He fell forward and onto the bathroom floor panting for breathe, I tried to calm him as I dialled 999 again to ask them to hurry. Again the same questions breathing consciousness etc. I felt stupid asking him to talk as he was gasping for breath!!! Again being told help was on the way. He tried to lift himself to turn over and as he did he looked me in the eyes and raised his hand into a half wave. I was breaking down screaming at him not to leave me. Dialling 999 again I was told the paramedics should be pulling up now so I lept up to the front door to see what can only be described as Laurel and Hardy strolling up the path. Quick I said, he cant breathe!!! They strolled into the bathroom will a hello …so you have pain in your tummy? I went into the bedroom to phone his sister. and my kids. SUDDENLY THINGS GOT VERY SERIOUS. As I walked out of the bedroom the huge paramedic was straddling him giving chest compressions. The other had ran back to the ambulance! I was hysterical. Within minutes another crew arrived and then some senior bloke in a car. I was asked to wait in the lounge as all these people crowded into my little bungalow. My kids arrived. The senior bloke came in and explained that they couldnt bring my partner back and he had died and expressed his condolences. His sister arrived. Then the police-normal for sudden deaths apparently. The medical teams left and we were able to go and sit with him for an hour until the undertaker came. He shouted me at 2am and by 2.53 he was pronounced dead.
He was my life, I know people always say that but he was. I dont have a close family and apart from my grown up kids I only had him. His last 10 months on this earth consisted of lockdown and medical treatment. Nothing ticked off his bucket list, no marriage which we wanted before he died but time just ran out for us. He was 56 and we had been together for 13 years.
We knew the cancer was going to take him but not this way. The post mortem showed that he had lost 3.5 litres of blood into his abdomen from a bleed at the tumour site.
I wont lie. I want to go with him. I cant function for much longer without him. Ive filled my days sorting memorials or paperwork or photos just about anything that has him at the centre. But what the hell do I do once there is nothing left to do. I’ve suffered with clinical depression for years…he was my rock and could always pull me around with a joke or something. I cant bear to do anything or go anywhere without him. He was my reason for living all these years…
If you have read this far, thankyou. It feels strangely cathartic to have it all written down now. X

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Hi @Elle68

I’m so sorry to hear about your husband. It sounds as though things are very tough and you are feeling really overwhelmed.

It sounds like you’re looking for support and I’m glad that you’ve been able to talk about how you’re feeling here. There is lots of other support out there, and I would really encourage you to reach out and speak to someone about how you are feeling.

  • The Samaritans are always there 24/7 if you need to talk about anything that’s on your mind. You can call them on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org.
  • Shout are contactable by text, 24/7. You can text SHOUT to 85258 and talk to them about anything. Stay Alive App - is an app that offers useful information to help you stay safe. It’s available on Android, Apple and Desktop.
  • You can also find your local NHS urgent mental health helpline.
  • Sue Ryder offers an online bereavement counselling service. This is a free service and sessions are held via video chat so you can attend from home. There’s more information about this service here: www.sueryder.org/counselling

You can also make an appointment with your GP and ask to be referred to counselling or other support services in your area. Please be aware that GPs and support services are not currently offering face-to-face appointments but will usually be offering telephone or online alternatives.

You deserve care and support so please, Elle, get in touch with one of these services.

If you are at risk of harming yourself, please call 999 or contact your GP for an emergency appointment immediately.

Take care,

Online Community Team

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So sorry for your loss,

The title of your post ‘‘Dying inside.’’ is how i feel at times since losing my Mum 4 years ago the 1st of September 2021,also 2 years for the loss of my Dad 31st of August this year. I am so lonely without my family. I have found support on here,with reading others posts,it takes the edge off the pain. My best advice would be to just get through each day,take care of yourself,and gather as much support as you can. Everyone on here is just battling through each day,including myself. Thinking of you,Lucy,xxx

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I’m so very sorry to read all this . I still have my partner with me but we are 13 years together , planned to get married ,my soul mate he’s 56 and pancreatic cancer is taking his life away . I’ve no words to give you any comfort but I go completely understand your feelings , that sense of helpless ness and pain . I hope that you work your way through this and find some peace with lovely memories ( i don’t know if I will find my way ) but I wish it for you, it’s early days hun , he’s still close to you , remember that You can’t love someone that much and they not still be with you . Take care x



So sorry for your loss. Your very descriptive words were read with care in my heart for you and I was glad to read you found it cathartic.

I am also feeling like I’m dying inside tonight. I lost my paetner 3 weeks ago, after 21 years together, he was 57. As the day for the funeral approaches I am feeling a shift, i thought it had been bad; telling small children, panic attacks, viewing with the children, organising the funeral, but somehow I think the most difficult will attending it, next Tuesday.

It’s trying to untangle from what was, I think, without a clue either how to or where to go. I still look for guidance from Paul. I need to be stronger for the kids but not tonight, tonight I think I’ll curl up in a ball.



So sorry for your loss what a nightmare for you. My husband passed 21st March 2020 coming up a year. Mick started feeling unwell in December went to GP given pain relief etc etc finally in January sent for colonoscopys endoscopy to apparently finding nothing February went downhill losing weight rapidly I was constantly on the phone to GP and the hospital knew something was serious sent for x-Ray this reported a red alert for CT scan to be done now we were in March 3 days before he died his bowel ruptured then we were given results of CT scan cancer in his bowel liver and pancreas
Nightmare all your feelings are normal in this grief nightmare of a journey I hope you have support talk shout whatever on here
We are here for you xx


Dear Elle, I think your story is one of the most heartbreaking I have read on here, and I am so, so, sorry (not that that helps you, but what else can I say?). The whole nightmare you went through is unbelievable.
I have no comfort to give you, nothing I say will help, just empathy. My wonderful husband died last year, and I am devastated. I adored him, so I do know how you feel.
I am especially sad that you had such a short time together. I think it is hard sometimes to understand why these devastating things happen, and it can be something that haunts you for a very long time.
I just wanted to say I am thinking about you, and willing you to cope, to find calm and the strength to deal with all the things you will need to address.
Stay strong sweetheart. Your friends on here are rooting for you.
Hugs, Ann xx

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My husband passed away coming up to 2 years ago at the age of 60 from the same cancer, it’s a particularly aggressive & nasty cancer.

Looking back I think I was in shock for a long time & completely traumatised by not only his death but everything that led up to it.

I was told something in the early days that helped me, I hope it helps you.

“Thank goodness he had you going through this journey with him, supporting him practically and emotionally, dealing with medications, consultants, appointments, logistics etc… it takes true selfless love to have been beside him, you portrayed the ultimate acts of love for him, you have a strength that will enable you in time to allow the happy memories to sustain you for the rest of your life”

2 years on the happy memories are with me & the shock is less & I realise how lucky I was to have found the love that we had.


Thank you so very much for your kind words. A lot of my feelings are because it was so sudden. We were never told that this could happen. I absorbed all the terminal cancer stuff but while they were still treating him, losing him was kind of on a back burner. The horrific way in which he passed will haunt me forever. Ive been talking with his Macmillan nurse for the past couple of days and she has suggested that I contact our local Maggies centre for counselling, which I think is probably a good idea.

Hi Ann
Thanks for your lovely reply and I’m so sorry for your loss. Since joining this site I have read so many similar experiences and its incredible just how much we all have in common. I don’t feel so alone now xxx

Oh Merrin Im so sorry and feel the pain you are in. I was grateful that the funeral was live streamed because of covid so was able to have it recorded. I couldn’t tell you how many times ive watched it. I guess its a blessing that there are no small children for me to deal with, you are amazing to manage so much. Stay strong xxx

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