Marching to raise awareness of prostate cancer
Jackie's husband Billy had no symptoms when he was diagnosed in 2016, now she wants to make more men aware of this disease.
My husband was first diagnosed with prostate cancer just before Christmas 2016. He had no symptoms which is the scary thing. He had a PSA test at the GP surgery and this is where our journey began.
It was a dreadful shock to the whole family and a very stressful time in our lives. Once he was diagnosed the decision was made to have the operation to remove the prostate.
For the operation we had to go over in Cambridge as they do not do it over here in Northern Ireland. After seeing the consultant, we received more bad news that the tumour had spread and the operation would involve removing his lymph glands as well. Well we just broke down!
My husband went through the surgery and is recovering well but it doesn't stop there as he will need monitoring for the next 5 years as the disease could still come back.
Our journey to Cambridge was a real eye opener. We went together and I was shocked at the amount of men at the clinic suffering from this condition. But it was also horrendous being so far from the support or loved ones at such a difficult time – I felt very alone while Billy was in surgery and I didn’t know what was happening. Billy puts on a brave face to everything but I know he found it all very difficult going through such a difficult operation and everything being so unknown.
After meeting so many others in the hospital I decided it was time to bring awareness to Northern Ireland and raise funds for research to help beat the disease. Hence why I decided to organise this March For Men on Saturday 23rd September 2017 Stormont Estate.
I’d love to see as many people come down and take part as possible. The more people we tell about this disease, and the more funds that we raise, the more lives we can save in the future and the better we can make the experiences of men who suffer from this terrible disease.