Cross' previous longterm partner Richard Jordan died of a brain tumour in 1993, and the Desperate Housewives star was determined to do all she could to make sure Tom Mahoney beat cancer.
She tells Easy Living magazine, "I didn't let myself think I might lose him. I went through this terrible loss of my first partner, and the second time, I just went straight into action. I was the uber-partner - maid, lover, I did the whole thing.
"I remember thinking, 'Who would have thought that experience the first time would pay off?' If you're going to have cancer, you want me around. I'm good."
But her devotion took its toll, and culminated in an emotional outburst after 12 tough months for the couple.
She adds, "The (emotional) block was so strong, I only started crying a year later... it all came out."
Mahoney has since been given the all-clear.