Breast Cancer – A Husband’s Perspective


2011 started okay for me with two decent Chinese Meals organised at the Swan.  Just before the dates of the meals, Brenda said she had an appointment at St. Margaret’s to get the result of her mammogram from December.  She was 

a little concerned and this turned to panic at my end when the consultant told her she had breast cancer.  My wife, who doesn’t smoke, hardly drinks, exercises every day, is the right weight and never had a serious illness, suddenly had a life threatening illness, and whatever the consultants say I am thinking, will she still be with me at the end of the year.

The consultant referred her to the oncologist. Both these men are very caring, talk her through the implications and then say, “but don’t worry, you’ll be alright at the end of the treatment”.  Don’t worry – are they mad!  They have just told my lovely wife she could be dead soon.

Brenda, her usual stiff upper lip don’t panic chaps, takes all this far better than me, and a few days later we break the news to our family.  At Church Brenda gets up and says she has peace and she has given the worry to God.  She is in the palm of His hand as He knows best for her.  What a statement!  This gave me a lot of peace and confidence.  We were both able to deal with the next six months or so, effectively putting our lives on hold and dealing with the side effects of the chemo treatment – which fortunately were not too onerous.  The risk of infection made quarantine essential two weeks out of three, and even then very little mixing with others was the order of the day in the third week.

At the end of treatment – good news, the tumour had shrunk and could be removed.  The consultant was on holiday but came back from Greece and within two hours had removed it, so Brenda’s hospital stay was literally one day.  A brief respite of a month.  A real holiday where one could mix with others and then back.  20 days of radiography, every day a trip to Elstree (round the M25).  Finally, on the last day of treatment she was given the all clear.  Thank you Lord.

My perspective of all this led me to reflect and be thankful

·         That my lovely wife is healed

·         The skills of all those involved in the treatment and their attitudes and kindness.

·         The massive support from everyone in our Church, the amount of prayer, the gifts and love abounded.

·         The support in prayer from people I never realised were Christians (and also Jewish faith). People at work, and so many others.

·         The ease in which I could share my faith and beliefs with people I would never normally have had more than a few words with

·         What would either of us have done without our faith and God’s love

·         Brenda’s positive attitude throughout.  We both tried to continue our lives, as far as possible, normally.  Of course at times it was very hard.

·         On the 20 days we went round the M25 we didn’t get in one major traffic jam so we were on time each day.  Out of interest a few days after I was stuck on the same stretch for well over an hour.

Our faith has been strong throughout.  God has blessed us.  We have already been able to share our experiences with a friend who has just been diagnosed with lung cancer.

Real Faith for Real Life

Thank you Lord for your many blessings.  How can we ever repay you.