Woman diagnosed with terminal cancer decides to divorce her husband of 28 years



While most terminal cancer sufferers want to spend their final moments with their spouses ,Annabel Nnochiri decided it was time to leave her old life behind .

Diagnosed with terminal cancer, Anabel,56 decided to walk out on her husband of 28 years.

But before making her “escape” in secret, she first asked permission from her two children to split from their dad.

Annabel said:
“I made a bucket list and the first thing was to leave my husband. I had a good life but just felt completely trapped and wanted to break free.

“Knowing I had a short time to go I knew I couldn’t live the rest of my life just being a housewife.
“I asked my children and they both agreed I would be happier if I went and did my own thing.”Annabel, from North London, spent six months planning her new life – while her husband had no idea she was using inheritance money to buy a flat.

She had beaten breast cancer in 2010 but two years later, in January 2012, was left devastated when her parents died in a crash.

Annabel said:

“The breast cancer had metastasised into my bones . I’d talked with others for a long while about ending my marriage.

“But when I was diagnosed as terminal I thought I’ve got two-and-a-half years left and I don’t want to be in this house. I don’t want to be cooking dinner every night... I want to be free!”

Annabel sat down with her then 19-year-old son and 16-year-old daughter and asked their opinion.

“Right at the beginning I told my children what I wanted to do,” says Annabel,

“If they had not agreed I wouldn’t have done it, but they both said I would be happier if I left.
“I planned it for six months, buying the flat without telling my husband. When I told him he thought it was just a phase and that I would go back to him.”

But Annabel didn’t go back. And she says she and her ex, who met at university, now have a good relationship.

She adds: “I didn’t leave to be with someone else but I have had a very happy love
life since then – and he has found someone else and is happy too.”

Annabel, an art teacher , also threw herself into painting, took up salsa dancing and went travelling.Five years after her initial ­diagnosis Annabel says it has made her a more confident person.

She laughs:

“If I hadn’t had the cancer I would have been a dull person. But because of it I’ve become a much braver, naughty older woman.

I could live a few more years, I do still want to live – for my children, to see my grand-
children. I dislike being referred to as a cancer survivor.

“I’m just getting on with it. Living with it. It’s a long journey.

“When I got my terminal diagnosis I was so angry with God that I stopped going to church.

“You just have to get through the anger and grief and accept it. What came eventually was calmness, wisdom and ­spirituality. If you show kindness it will always come back to you.”

Annabel is one of 12 ­courageous Brits who have been filmed for a groundbreaking documentary called A Time to Live by award-making film-maker Sue Bourne.

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