When Vivien Pipe lost her husband to prostate cancer, she knew this was a disease she couldn’t ignore. Then when her current partner was also diagnosed, it reinforced her passion to raise awareness. Now she works as a Patients as Educators speaker, telling her powerful story to help others.
My husband Derek’s diagnosis came out of the blue. It was huge shock and we knew nothing about the disease.
He went to the doctor with flu-like symptoms and the GP ran a blood test, which revealed his PSA was 300. This rose to 400 in a matter of days and he was admitted to hospital as an emergency. We had no options treatment-wise and he was given an orchidectomy (surgery to remove the testicles, or the part of the testicles that makes testosterone). It was frightening. There was no one to explain what was going on and I was afraid.
I couldn’t believe I was so ignorant of something that killed so many men. Unfortunately, by the time Derek was diagnosed, his cancer had already spread and he passed away just nine months later.
I was shocked to learn that – once again – I was in a relationship with a man with prostate cancer
When nine years later my current partner, Stephen, was diagnosed, I was shocked to learn that – once again – I was in a relationship with a man with prostate cancer. Thankfully, this time it’s very different. I know a lot more about the disease and there are more options as Stephen’s cancer was discovered early.
Our urologist is fantastic. “Ostrich is not an option!” he likes to say and always takes the time to make sure we understand everything. Stephen’s prostate cancer is now being monitored and he may not ever need treatment.
Having been in a relationship with two men with prostate cancer, I’ve got to make more men aware of this disease so what happened to me doesn’t happen to their wives and partners.
It’s becoming clear that prostate cancer is a very common disease – far more common than we originally thought – and the numbers diagnosed are increasing spectacularly. We can’t afford to ignore that.
Join the fight against prostate cancer, book an awareness talk today.