A man’s perspective - Vince's story

She started to cry. She said to me she felt ugly and would understand if I wanted to leave her. I told her that I loved her, and she has me for the rest of her life.

The day I was told that Melina had breast cancer I went into shock. I didn't know what to think. Things started to go around in my head. It happened so fast that I didn't know what to do. It felt like when you are laying slabs. You pick one up and you go to put it down but your fingers get jammed in it. It hurts for a few seconds and the pain is so great that every dirty word under the sun comes out of your mouth.

All I knew is that I had to keep a straight head and keep strong for Melina. I said to myself, “why us?” Melina is so strong and healthy. We have a beautiful baby boy. I remember when she asked me to feel a lump in her breast. I felt it. So off to the doctors she went.

She came back from the doctors and said the tests came back positive. Melina's mum went with her as I was at work. The next thing, Mel’s in hospital for a lumpectomy and to have some lymph nodes removed. I didn't know what lymph nodes were. That was 1997. In 2000 Melina was back in hospital for more surgery. This time told she has to have her left breast removed.

All I remember is Melina crying. She asked me how I felt about having her breast removed? I said you have to do it to get better. Then she said she was going to remove both breasts as a precaution. She started to cry.

I said, “Stop it! As long as you are fine I don't give two hoots about your boobs. As long as you are fine!”

When she came out of hospital we were at home and I could hear her crying and I asked her why? She said to me she felt ugly and she would understand if I wanted to leave her. As a joke I said, ‘you are here. Boobs are there only for fun’ and I told her that I loved her and she has me for the rest of her life. This is why Melina is so special to me because what she had to go through. I don't think I could handle it as well as she did.

Melina is wonderful. She gave me two healthy children on top of dealing with breast cancer. Now Melina does her volunteer work. She helps other women to deal and talk about breast cancer.

As a man and husband who has experienced this issue I urge men to talk to someone. It helped me to, “always look on the bright side of life."