Robert was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008. His treatment included mastectomy, radiotherapy and tamoxifen. His treatment went smoothly although his radiotherapy caused some skin redness and has hot flushes and lethargy taking tamoxifen.
When Robert found a small growth on his breast he was unsure what to do about it. For several months he monitored it before eventually showing it to his wife. She encouraged him to seek help and he showed it to his practice nurse when he was there for a routine visit. He was referred on to his GP who did a thorough examination and he was referred quickly to the hospital.
He knew that men could develop breast cancer, but was shocked when he was told he had breast cancer. He was unprepared for his diagnosis and his wife was not with him. He told her immediately but waited until his daughters were visiting a few days later so that they were not alarmed and could see he was looking well despite his diagnosis.
He was overwhelmed with information, and felt he was given too much. He did not enjoy being given treatment choices and wanted the specialists to tell him what he should do. His wife read the information and searched the website for information and told him what he needed to know.
At the time of his diagnosis and treatment, he told family and friends his diagnosis. However he felt quite embarrassed about it particularly when he has to explain that he is the patient when he is collecting his tamoxifen prescription. Since his radiotherapy finished he considers his illness to be behind him and treats it as an interruption in his life. He does not keep it a secret, but neither does he openly tell people that do not know already.
He has a strong Christian faith that has given him comfort and strength throughout his breast cancer experience. He does not fear death but he lives his life day by day. He feels fortunate to have reached the age of 70 in good health and wants to enjoy his retirement to the full.