Young & Widowed

My wife very sadly passed away a week ago today.
Her last 5 weeks were spent in Sue Ryder Hospice in Cheltenham, where they controlled her symptoms and tried to make her as comfortable as possible.
She was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer
Metastatic Cholangiocarcinoma.
At the beginning of March 23 Liz was fine , very fit and healthy mother of 2 children and at 46 years old was very much ready for the next chapter in our lives.
However our lives were about to change forever.
Without going into all of the detail it soon became clear that Liz was battling something that was ripping through her body at an alarming rate. We then received the devastating news that this was inoperable and untreatable cancer that had moved to other parts of her body.
Liz was very brave and battled on as best she could but this devastating disease had taken over her body and we were then told that she only had days left.
She fought on for another week or so but she passed peacefully with us by her side.

Because she was so very poorly we never got the chance to talk about life after she had gone.
I feel totally lost as to how I will ever survive without her by my side , to be honest I’m astounded that I have lasted a week.

We had made many plans for the future and this has now been cruelly taken away from us.
If anyone else could share any similar experiences or things that they did to find some sort of comfort , I would be very interested to hear them.

Many Thanks
Heartbroken Tim x


I had the same , went to a&e told my wife she had cancer. It was very aggressive, did not tell us how bad it was so was making appointments for scans,biopsy and gynaecology. Got my wife to sign a DNR without me presant. That arrived in post the day after she died. 4 weeks form going to a&e and my wife 62yrs old died. My wife could not move any of her left side , my wife thought she had 9 month’s ive no idea who said that to her . So we carried on as normal thinking wont have the chat about whats happening just yet, my wife then got very ill very quickly . So never got to have the talk. So its very hard knowing you lost that time when you could of talked.


@Tim46 so sorry for your loss.
My story has some similarities. My husband had a very aggressive form of prostate cancer. After receiving multiple treatments we were told in January it was non curative and he only had months to live. He passed away on 2nd April. He spent a lot of the last months in hospital receiving palliative care and got home for his final week. He was so sedated and full of opiates that we couldn’t communicate in his final days. It wasn’t peaceful at the end, he was agitated and I struggle with the trauma of it. He had not long retired and we had so many plans for the future and I feel robbed.
I really hope you find this forum a help. I certainly do. Just to talk to others who have lost their partner/soulmate is comforting. Take care


Hi Jan , my wife also had the agitation and confusion in her last few days , she started hallucinating and chattering away to herself while she was drifting in and out of consciousness.
It’s was heartbreaking to see how distressed and confused she was as she couldn’t quite work out what was reality and what was not. With the chattering that she had , it was almost like her life was flashing before her eyes. She was recalling stuff that we did 20 years ago.
I’m the end they had to give her some sedation as it was too distressing for her, then within 24 hours she had passed.


My wife died 4 weeks ago slightly younger than yours. She to was at home and heavily drugged with opiates for pain as well as sedation. It was the most distressing thing I have ever witnessed. Of course my grief will be different to yours because your wife was unique as was your relationship, but I also understand and am experiencing many of the emotions you have. Nothing any of us can say will take the pain away, but I try and take comfort from knowing there are so many people on this forum who understand and are willing to share their experiences and advice to help, but most important, knowing others who have gone through this, have survived. They got through it which means we can to, with enough time. I think that’s all we can hope for for now… getting through 1 hour at a time which turn to days, then weeks and hopefully in months and years it get’s easier. If your wife could have communicated, I’m sure she would have said to you to be brave. I’m sure she would believe you could get through this.

In many respects I wish it was me not her that went, but then I imagine my wife enduring this pain and I would never ever want her to experience this. I will gladly shoulder the burden of this pain if it means she doesn’t have to. That may sound silly or even bad or incomprehensible to many, but it’s a coping mechanism for me. My wife suffered for months, but being left behind means we will suffer for years, and I’m glad it’s me facing it not her. Almost like I’m taking this for our little team so she didn’t have to?


Hi Tim

I’m new to this site but I read your post and wanted to say you’re not alone - I realise some weeks have past since your last post however my wife passed away exactly 3 weeks ago with exactly the same form or cancer at the age of 46. Her symptoms were identical to those you have experienced, particularly in her final days. We travelled to London for specialist treatment in the last 4 weeks (she was diagnosed in May) and whilst there were some initial positives, she deteriorated rapidly because the cancer was so aggressive. My wife was so incredibly brave, she knew travelling to London was her last chance to be with her family and although she could have stayed at home with palliative care, she still chose the hard option.

Hope you’re managing to stay strong through the difficult days.

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Hi there , it is now nearly 3 months since Liz passed, I thought I was doing ok but this week it hit me like a sledgehammmer , I still dont think that I have fully accepted that she has gone and not coming back​:cry::broken_heart:
A few of Liz’s friends have signed up with Sue Ryder to do the London Marathon and it was seeing their posts saying that they are doing it in memory of Liz that it hit me :see_no_evil::cry:
Just feel totally broken again and not sure how the pain will ever go away.
The nighttime’s are by far the worst , really struggling to sleep :sleeping:


Forgive me if I’m repeating myself from a different post but do check out the widowed and young group (WAY). I’m yet to be widowed (husband has terminal cancer) but it’s something I’m aware of and will join when the time comes. I know it’s been a lifeline for many.

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I’ve tried to process what happened and the things that we could have done differently but it just doesn’t help.
It really felt like the odds were stacked against Liz from the start and to see her so scared really does haunt me :cry:
She had so much fight and so much to live for , it just feels so unfair that she didn’t get a chance :broken_heart:

Don’t beat yourself up. You did everything you could for her. It wasn’t your fault. I know that going over and over and over ‘what ifs’ is so common; it’s just what we do (and drives us round the bend!). She is at peace and I am sure she wouldn’t want you to suffer. None of our loved ones would. I know that doesn’t heal your pain. Cherish the memories you had. Be kind to yourself. Hugs. xx

I was actually looking for that group when I came across Tim’s thread. I can’t see it though ?

As someone who has just been through the same cancer with my wife, my experience is there’s nothing more you could have done. If I read your original post correctly, it sounds like your wife had 3 months from initial diagnosis - Pamela, my wife, was the same. She went from being an incredibly fit woman who walked 5 miles a day, ate well, didn’t drink much to someone who needed a wheelchair. Everything I’ve read about Cholangiocarcinoma is that unless it’s picked up very early, it’s very aggressive - and most cases don’t present until the pains are being felt beneath the ribs etc. In my wife’s case, it was the jaundice that was truly awful.

We lost all faith in the NHS - we waited and waited for test results and MDT meetings, after 8 weeks Pamela hadn’t even seen an oncologist. After we found it exactly what it was (they were still wondering if it was liver cancer or lymphoma right up to 8 weeks later). We did find a wonderful consultant at UCLH and he told us to come to London for urgent treatment (we’re from NI) which we did, but sadly it was too late. Even though I keep asking myself the same question about whether I could have done more, in my heart I know that unless it had been found 4 months earlier, the outcome is unlikely to have been any different. I spoke a lot to the various doctors who treated her and each of them said we had done absolutely everything possible.

I do take some comfort from knowing that - but it’s the pain of watching someone so young and full of life going downhill before your eyes, the feeling of being robbed of the rest of your lives - which I guess is the same for everyone though. I’m sure you did everything you possibly could.

I share your pain about the nights, worst time for me as well, I spend hours and hours looking through photos and videos, reading old emails and text messages trying to comfort myself with the things we said to each other. It all helps but I think the full impacts have still to hit me given how early I am in the process.

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Hello @KH77, I’m so sorry for the loss of your wife.

I just wanted to share the link to WAY - Widowed and Young that @Nori has mentioned. They are here:

I hope they are helpful and that you find our community to be a support to you too.

Take good care,

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I joined Widowed And Young (WAY) and I wouldn’t recommend it.

They charge a fee to be a member, and once you join, their forum has no activity at all. There hasn’t been any activity at all in the 3 months I’ve been a member there. They merely direct you to different Facebook groups. Perhaps some people find it helpful, but it was of no help for me as I don’t use Facebook.

Of course this is just my personal experience and opinion so please make your own mind up, but certainly don’t expect it to be anywhere close to what you are used to on this forum.

Oh that’s such a shame, I was kind of relying on that when the time comes. Maybe the Facebook group is where the action happens. It’s a very lonely journey xx