When Pete’s wife, Amanda, was diagnosed with primary breast cancer in 2021, he didn’t know there was support for him too. Here, Pete encourages people like him to get the help they need.
Pete reflects on his wife's diagnosis and how it affected him. He talks about his part in the men's VMU and Someone Like Me, to help people who are supporting a loved one.
How did your wife’s breast cancer diagnosis affect you?
Until you’re there, you don’t really realise the magnitude of it. You’re kind of caught up in this world of technical, medical jargon, or fear of the unknown. You’re worried about how the bills are going to get paid, you’re worried about how somebody is going to get to the hospital, you’re worried about work. Fundamentally, more importantly, you’re worried about your partner.
Did you get support during that time?
I was struggling. I was struggling mentally. I was struggling physically because I was knackered from trying to figure things out. It just gets to a point where it’s genuinely overwhelming. Really, at the time, I couldn’t find where to get support. What I didn’t know was that there were people I could talk to as well.
Why did you decide to volunteer for our Someone Like Me service?
As part of Amanda’s recovery, she was very fortunate and was involved with Someone Like Me. Someone Like Me is a way of finding somebody that’s got similar life experiences within the breast cancer journey.
It kind of dawned of me and I thought, ‘I wish I’d had that for my experience.' I ended up completing the training and volunteering with Someone Like Me now. And the reason I did that was to hopefully find a way of supporting other people who find themselves in a position of supporting somebody with the disease.
What would you say to other men supporting someone through breast cancer?
Breast cancer isn’t the usual pub conversation. It’s not something which as men that we tend to talk about.
There’s absolutely no stigma to saying, ‘Actually, wait a minute, I need a little bit of help here.’
It doesn’t matter if it’s a friend. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Someone Like Me. It doesn’t matter who it is that you talk to, but be open with them. If you need that help, do ask for it.