PATTI HANSEN's cancer battle took its toll on her husband Keith Richards - the rocker was convinced he would lose his wife after doctors found a tumour in her bladder.
The model has opened up about her secret cancer diagnosis in 2007 and how it affected the Rolling Stones guitarist and their two daughters, Theodora, 25, and Alexandra, 23.
At the time, Richards was still recovering from a near-fatal fall in Fiji and couldn't drive his wife to chemotherapy appointments, prompting him to feel despondent and fear the worst for Hansen.
She tells U.S. Vogue, "I think Keith thought I was a goner. He's a pretty positive guy, but when you say cancer to people it's just like a death sentence."
Daughter Alexandra adds, "He couldn't actually be there the way he wanted to. I'm not going to say he didn't handle it the right way, because we all go into shock, but he didn't handle it well at all. It wasn't a good time for any of us."
And Theodora is convinced it was the worst period of the star's life, explaining: "This was a completely vulnerable experience for him. I'll never be able to get into what his mind-set was, but I know that it was probably one of the hardest things he's had to go through."
The 54 year old, who beat cancer and now has a new bladder made from her intestines, is hoping to raise awareness about the disease in women.
She adds, "It's not something people talk about. When I found out that I had it, I thought, 'Oh, my God, this is an old man's disease. You're sitting there with all these men with prostate problems. And all the information I was getting was for men. They have really got to move this forward for women, because now they are seeing more and more women with bladder cancer."