RG - Interview 17
Age at Interview:
Age at Diagnosis:
RG is a retired teacher. He is married and has 3 adult children. Ethnic background: White British (English).
Brief outline:RG was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007. Treatment included mastectomy, chemotherapy and Arimidex. Soon after surgery he developed a seroma in his wound that required draining in hospital.
More about me...
Can you remember how you reacted to the news?
I found the, chemotherapy very hard, I must admit. It was in a communal room, I’d have preferred it to have been in a separate cubicle. And, I- just found it very hard. Very claustrophobic really, you get these things shoved into you, and yeah and- I was okay to start with, I think I was okay on the first one, I didn’t really have, from, from my memory I didn’t really have very many after-effects, of that one. And possibly not much from the second one but it builds up, the effect builds up doesn’t it? And, then the later ones, for a week afterwards, I was you know, out of it, really, not very well and…certainly later on, in fact I was sick during the actual procedure, a couple of times. Yeah, whether it was just a mixture of anxiety and claustrophobia and the heat and all the rest of it, and the process you know. So, you know as I say, and I lost my hair as well of course. Which- I didn’t think that would bother me but it did. Cause I’ve always had a- you know, I’ve always had a good head of hair really. And I thought it would- well I coped with it but, I didn’t really like to go around too much you know. Felt a bit sort of, self-conscious, you know. I must admit I was heartily relieved when the chemotherapy was completed. And it took me, well I think it took me several months, gradually, to build up until- you know to feel more like my old self, you know. My hair gradually came back.
So what happened once they’d given you the diagnosis, did they talk through treatment options then with you?
I mean we’ve been several times to, you know to the hospital and on several occasions, my wife’s been addressed as being the patient. You know, by doctors as well. And of course it’s very female orientated, when you go into the, when you go into the, you know the waiting areas and such like, it’s all in pink. And you feel, you know when you, when your name’s called out, crikey, you know it’s something different, you know. So it’s a little bit, feel a bit self-conscious about that I must admit. I don’t know whether other men do but-. But I think I suppose it’s the nature of the beast, you know that more women unfortunately get breast cancer. But then men do as well, so [laughs].
So after you had that initial appointment with the consultant, did the breast care nurse see you at all?
Have you ever met another man who’s had breast cancer?
I’m very aware of this side. And I don’t feel, you know I used to go the gym, but I- well I’d stopped going to the gym before all this happened, but you know, I wouldn’t want to go back to the gym cause I’d feel- you know say you’re going for a swim, I wouldn’t feel that I could strip off, and you know sort of just be natural about it. So, you know, you know that’s- you see I think that, from what I understand, women are possibly supported better than men, in this whole, in this whole thing.
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