How mood/depression can affect cancer patients and their partners

A hot-off-the-press study (see this super-easy-to-read summary given by Cancer Compass suggests that the mental health of cancer patients is strongly affected by that of their spouses/partners/caregivers….as follows: if your partner is depressed, you are more likely to get depressed, too; if your partner is in good mental shape, so are you. Actually, I wasn’t surprised at all by this finding…It makes sense.

But here’s something that did surprise me: “the mood of the cancer survivors did not have a significant influence on their spouses’ risk for depression.” Ah, so it’s not reciprocal…

Food for thought.

This article made me think about how cancer has affected my relationship with Stefano. It’s impossible to know how different things would/might have been, since myeloma (first MGUS, then SMM) has been in our lives almost from the beginning…          _1050543

Of course I can’t ignore the fact that I’ve been incredibly lucky…thus far, anyway (knock on wood!!!)–no CRAB symptoms, no conventional treatments…a very high QOL ( the acronym stands for “quality of life”)…and now I’m in my 10th year of living with smoldering myeloma…Yes, very lucky indeed!

But…what if I hadn’t been so lucky? What if my myeloma had been more aggressive? What if I hadn’t come across the curcumin-myeloma study at MD Anderson so many years ago? What if…hmmm, well, we can’t live by “what ifs,” so I’ll leave it at that…

Oh, one last thing: any thoughts or reactions to the Cancer Compass article would be very welcome, so please leave me a comment here on the blog or send me an email. Thanks! Hey, what can I say…I’m a curious gal! 😉


  1. I am new to the SMM stage having been smouldering since Jan 2016. I am coming up to my second 3-monthly blood test and it is very difficult to keep your mind racing too far ahead. It affects your mood and sleep. I have started meditation to assist. I get my bloods early to review first which helps me because I have scientific bent and need to know. However I always worry when I hit the ‘open file’ button. I have to come to terms of this cycle for the rest of my days (I plan to be around until 90 and I am only 54).

    Looking for any hints, tools, techniques that any of your smoulderers might have to get through the 3month angst. Does it get easier?

    Many thanks.

    1. I turned 60 Feb this year.
      Was diagnosed 2010 with SMM.
      Best advice i got was from my GP who simply suggested to go away and practice healthy living.
      I went away and made changes such as job, exercising and diet.
      Whilst the worry is still there I know I have done my part.
      Best wishes.

    2. I’m two years into SMM and up until recently the GP was happy to give me the results before I saw the consultant so I could get my head round it which made waiting at hospital appointment so much easier as I also suffer from agrophobia ‘ now they have decided I have to get results at hospital appointment which this last few months is driving me nuts, even though I had lots of coping strategies in place, little treats each day while waiting for results, doing crafty things to sell to raise money for myeloma uk, but it’s such an unknown that as much as I want to believe in my inner strength I have to admit at the minute I have no idea how to achieve this and I hate that I upset my family as well.

  2. Thanks Joe. Good advice – I too have addressed job and diet. Need to boost exercise a bit. There is a form of ‘peace’ in knowing you can only address what is in your control. Best wishes to you for many more years of smouldering.


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