The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation
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Diana Valentine

Good evening everyone, I feel guilty about being on this site as I do not have cancer.  However my beloved husband Rab (Rabbie) died from lung cancer a short time ago.  I just feel so alone and lost, to the outside world I am coping well but on my own it is a different world.  I would love to hear from anyone else who has been or is in this place, I assume that things will get better with time but just now it is just so painful.  Family and friends say to me that I must have so many wonderful memories (I certainly have) but at the moment these do not seem to help me.  Rab was my best friend and I loved him so much.  Sorry for going on so much, Diana

15 Replies

Hello Diana

I know exactly how you are feeling I lost my beautiful brave mum 4wks ago. I am totally devastated too! The pain is unbearable & im finding it so hard to function. My mum was my everything we did everything together, she was my best friend & the most selfless person I ever knew. She always put everyone first & herself second. I know what you mean when you say you feel lost & everyone says to me about all the good memories I must have, which I do but at the moment my head is spinning with the awful thoughts of how ill she became & I was with her throughout the illness but I keep punishing myself that I was too late too get to the hospital in her final moments. I'm totally heartbroken & just can't believe I'm never gonna see her again which I know you must be feeling too. I'm so sorry for your loss of your beloved husband & I wish I could say something to take away your pain but I can't. Please take care of yourself 

Joanne X 


Thanks so much for getting back to me so quickly, I am so sorry to hear of your sad loss.  I am sure that in time things will ease but it is so hard to deal with just now.  The nite before Rab died I sat up all nite beside him, but I was so tired the next night that I went home and of course the inevitable happened.  It is a terrible time for us all, thanks for getting in touch, my heart goes out to you, love Diana


Good morning Diane - I lost my beloved Neil almost 35 weeks ago so I empathise with where you're at. I think I sent a pm with my email. But he rhapsody you didn't get it ....I will send again. you can also use the contact link husbands much loved page if you would like to be in touch. Head to  I will pm you again.

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Dear Diana,

I am so sorry. I have been follow Rab's posts and had posted some replies. I enjoyed his wits and humour even when he was goi through tremendously tough times. 

I do miss him and though we never met personally he will be in my thoughts often. 

His spirit did not die with his body, but lives on through the tangible links of you and his children. 

God bless



Thinking of you and your familyxx



My heart goes out to you and I can't begin to imagine how you must be feeling. I have only been on the site a short time so did not have the honour of meeting Rab on here but have read many of his posts encouraging people.

My husband has stage 4 lung cancer and is relatively young, 51. Even though we continue to fight every step of the way, we are fully aware of how unforgiving this disease is. I dread the day if I have to face what you have faced.

This site, I believe, is not only for the poor people suffering with this disease but also for the loved ones who take care of them. This forum is a place where people understand the fear and loss that you are going through, so I encourage you to continue to seek help from this community if it helps you. 

I hope more ladies on this forum, like Inula above, will be able to help you through this and give support and advice. 

With love



Hi Diana,

Its great to see you post, don't worry about ranting thats what we are here for, this is the place where you don't have to be together all the time, and yes while the person is alive you don't have time for everything to sink in but when they are gone there is this huge empty space with nothing to fill it (my mum died 4 years ago heart problems, Dads still fighting with his cancer) yes i think it does get easier but he is your husband and your best friend and that is extra hard. Diana lots of us on here are carers, and it does help talking with others.

My love to you and your family.

lots of love


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I'm so sorry to hear about your husband Rab.He offered advice, comfort and support to us on this site, it's right that you should have some support also. Take each day as comes,it might sound cliché but time is a healer,please try not to feel alone,take care of yourself Xx


Hi diana i,m so sorry for your loss i know what you're going through I lost my darling boy Phil Dec 19 th 2014 after a too short battle with cancer of the eosophagus which he seemed to be winning until it spread to his brain .I found it very hard being alone after 40 years together .Yes I have family and lots of good friends I still work but I come home to an empty house and an empty bed and mostly nod off on the sofa and just miss him being here . Some days are worse than others . we just need to get on with living . It's still early days for you  16 months on I still have Phil's clothes in the wardrobe  but I will move them when I,m ready.on the bad days I stick our old records on and dance around the kitchen or get the photos out and the chocolate !! Sending you a big hug (I miss those too) xxx Jan


Hi Diane and all

Although I'm sad to see other widows like myself posting on the forum I also feel heartened. I thought I was the only one who came here as a widow and often felt that maybe I had no right to. Occasionally I poke my oar in and offer some words of encouragement to those who are still fighting this awful disease but mostly I feel I can't because I have no hope to offer. Neil was taken 10 weeks after diagnosis aged 54. If any of you widows (or widowers) would like to contact me off list I would be happy to hear from you. I'm already in touch with one new friend who's husband was fighting at the same time as Neil. Now we are both alone the comfort we gain from sharing a similar experience is imeasurable. As previously said - there's a link to "contact Netty" on my husbands much loved page. If anyone would like to natter by email please feel free to contact me

Hope you all have a peaceful day


Aka Inula

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Dear Diana,

My partner of 22 years Colin died 7 years ago and yet I still keep an eye on this site as it gave me great comfort when I needed it - I like others occasionally chip in on posts if I think my experiences can help - Colin also passed away in the hospice when I nipped out for ten minutes to make a phone call and I so badly wanted to be holding his hand when he passed away - but these things happen. Please keep in touch - I don't post that much on here but I have been on the site for over 8 years - your Rab was an inspiration and completely opposite to Colin, as Colin wouldn't accept he was going to die and it was very hard watching his optimism and see him fading away....... please - if we can help you then let us - xx


Hello Diana,  I am not in the same position as you, however I know your wonderful husband inspired me  when I needed  support with my cancer. He will be so proud of you, that you  have come on to this lovely  site. You take care of you.  xx


Hi Diana

My husband died January 2015 aged 40 and 5 days. Yes it's still raw and I cry every day but it is slightly easier now than the first few months. I notice that I'm functioning better, sleeping better. I know exactly what you mean about the inside and outside worlds. I often look at myself from the outside and think, yes, I'm putting on a good show. The inside person is often quite lost and mute. No one else can know what you're going through.  This loss is such a lonely place. One minute, you're fighting all battles together, then all of a sudden, you're on your own and the person you love and shared it all with has gone.

Things I've found helpful: 

- Talking to people in a supportive environment who have been through cancer bereavement too. Their experiences are often different, but there are still a lot of points in common. Helps you realise how many of your reactions are normal in the circumstances. I live in London where there is an incredible organisation called The Loss Foundation. (worth a google) There are probably similar groups in Scotland. (I work full time and have a 2 year old, so rarely get a chance to let things out - my family want to help but I can't really relate to them on this)

- Trying not to make too many plans, or commitments, unless people are accepting that I can back out if I want to. 

- Crying a lot...often whilst listening to favourite songs.

- Talking to my husband in the photo on the stairs.

- Julian Barnes' book. "Levels of life", especially the last section.

- Trying not to worry about when or if I'll feel better...every so often, something unexpected cheers me up...or conversely I get bowled over by a memory and dissolve.

- Trying not to monitor myself too much.

Anyway, it's brilliant that you posted and you should't feel guilty. I sometimes chip in on posts too, but also wonder if I should retire. Somehow I can't stop reading. I feel like the experience of cancer was such a crazy alien experience and I had to learn so much so fast to help my husband, that if there's anything I can share to make other people's experience a bit less painful, then I should. But I do spend a lot of time crying on the train to work in the mornings - Hayfever! ;-)

Big hugs

Katherine x

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Diana, I really loved Rab's posts, he was so wise and so comforting to so many people.  I have found great comfort from this website, as although I don't have lung cancer, I  do have stage 3 emphysema, have had a heart attack, and have only recently completed treatment for breast cancer - this has all happened in the past 9 months.

I would never rate what I have been through as bigger than what Rab has been through.  but please get some help - you do not need to go through this alone.  Being on this site is never ending - you will always find love and care, as many have.

Wishing you peace Diana

Love Geri


Dear Diana,

The community and friends at Health Unlocked have been so supportive to you and given you some good advice. Rab was certainly inspirational and like many others in your situation,from personal experience,it's important to remember,to live on in the hearts of those you loved, is not to die. 

I will send you a private message, if you would like me to give you details of support services near you, should you wish to contact them.


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