Breast cancer is something I’ve always struggled to talk about, Both my mom and dad had breast cancer and sadly my mom lost her life after it returned. I’ve spoken so much about my journey with grief, but there’s still a major event in my life I haven’t spoken about and it’s possibly the most important.
My dad was diagnosed with breast cancer and I actually found out before anyone told me, I never told my parents that. I remember feeling my heart sink into my chest when I read the messages on my mom’s phone. Cancer wouldn’t leave us alone, First my mom and now my dad. My dad sat us down and told us and although I already knew, It hurt even more because I was still hoping it wasn’t true.
I wasn’t surprised to hear my dad had male breast cancer, mainly because I was so used to cancer at this point that nothing surprised me anymore. But when I would tell people my dad had breast cancer, they were always surprised. It was such a confusing time for a lot of my family, especially my dad.
When my dad had cancer, everything felt out of place. No one spoke about it, we all just acted like nothing was wrong, I just pretended he was fine. I didn’t want to give cancer that power again and I also didn’t want to believe it was true. I know my dad felt like no one cared, but the truth is I cared so much that just thinking about it broke my heart.
Seeing my dad feel the way he did made it so much harder to act like everything was okay. Our lives were so confusing at the time that we never had the chance to just focus on one thing. Cancer has been something that has always scared me, but seeing how brave both my mom and dad were brought me hope that in the end everything will turn out okay. I thank both my parents for showing me their strength because seeing them be so strong made me want to be just as strong.
My dad was lucky he checked and that’s something I’ll always feel grateful for. But, the truth is not a lot of men would think to check, mainly because they don’t think of themselves as having breasts, but men actually have a small amount of breast tissue.
Male breast cancer is rare, around 370 men are diagnosed each year in the UK. No one ever expects to have cancer, but it happens and even though it’s scary, it’s so important you check.
If you’re a man and you’ve never checked, please check, it doesn’t take long and it could save your life.
Knowing it exists is not enough, get informed and pass it on.