The Anonymous Widower

Angelina Jolie’s Example

I’ve never had breast cancer, but my late wife, C did, in her late fifties. She caught the cancer early and luckily only had a lump and lymph nodes removed, followed by a course of radiotherapy. She made a complete recovery and the cancer never returned.  Sadly she died of a totally unrelated cancer a few years later.

I think Angelina Jolie’s upfront approach to her double mastectomy is to be praised. It’s reported here on the BBC. I know that Angelina has a lot more money than all of us and probably had the best surgeon, that money could buy, and C had a surgeon, who works extensively in the NHS, although she went privately.  But her outcome was good and provided she was careful about what she wore, no-one knew that she’d had an operation. She was still able to wear a bikini, as I reported here. She also had to be reasonably careful about the bra she wore.

One thing that worried her, was that from professional experience, breast cancer operations, were quite a large cause of divorce, and I think she worried about my attitude to her body, after the operation. So I would also praise Brad Pitt for his support of his wife.  Too often, in C’s experience, men often went looking for a perfect model.

I think my advice to anybody going through cancer or any other serious medical treatment, is to make sure you get a doctor, who you can trust and get yourself as fit as you can both before and after the treatment. And don’t rush things! Even with my stroke, the best advice I had was from a man, I bumped into on a train.  He turned out to be a retired professor of medicine, who’d worked a lot with stroke patients.  He said  that time will be the biggest healer. I think now, three years later that has been very true.

I also wonder if those going through serious operations, in a stable relationship have a better chance of recovery.

June 4, 2013 - Posted by | Health | , ,

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