Doug on the impact of kindness

Doug smiling at a table with other people.
Doug smiling at a table with other people.

Doug was diagnosed with male breast cancer in January 2012. Though the news was overwhelming,

he found that small acts of kindness from his wife, friends and healthcare professionals made his experience easier.

Doug's story

Being told I had male breast cancer was a scary and confusing time, not only for me, but also for my friends and family. But everyone was so supportive, some even made light-hearted comments about the news to lift the gloom, something they knew I would appreciate. 

I was blown away by the kindness of others, not least my partner (now wife) who really had her hands full. She had given birth to our son only 14 months before my diagnosis, so once I started my treatment she had no time to herself. She took me for a slap-up meal a few days before my first chemotherapy session was about to start. Most people lose their sense of taste during chemotherapy, so she wanted me to have a treat before my taste buds went for a few months. I’ll never forget that meal! 

A few days after I was diagnosed I went to see my friend Steve who’s the lead singer of the band I play in. He picked up his guitar and played me a song that he had just written the day before about male breast cancer. He wanted to help me in my quest to raise awareness. I had to fight back the tears as the emotion overcame me at such a thoughtful gesture. We still play the song in our set now with an explanation before the song as to what it’s about. 

I was determined that some good would come out of my journey, so I started my mission to spread breast cancer awareness in men. I really appreciated the compassion from everyone involved in taking care of me, from the nurses and receptionists to the doctors and porters, they don’t know how much easier they made my experience. 

Simple human kindness is so important when you’re going through cancer. It can make the world of difference.