Mark on his reaction to his partner's diagnosis

Mark sailing
Mark sailing

Mark's partner Kate suffered with symptoms before she was eventually diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma.

Although he had been urging her to go to the doctor for months, the diagnosis still came as a devastating shock.

Mark's story

At the time I didn’t know what lymphoma was. It wasn’t until the doctors and nurses explained that it’s a type of cancer around the lymph system, so it’s all around the body rather than in just one place, that we could understand it.

When the doctors first mentioned cancer I really didn’t know what to think. It was devastating to hear that about the person you love and the person that’s in your life all of the time, especially when you don’t know what the outcome will be.

The first thing that went through my mind was that I needed to tell our closest friends. I needed to tell the people who had been helping out through the period when Kate had been so ill.

When the doctors first started talking about it, they mentioned that there was a cure. They kept on saying that it's a curable cancer rather than a treatable cancer. That in itself was really helpful because it meant we were instantly thinking, 'Right we can actually get through this.'

Seeing Kate in hospital was really hard. But because she’d been so ill up until that point, we just thought that it was the best place that she could be. Not knowing whether she’d make it through the first night was really tough. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I didn’t want to leave to go anywhere, let alone leave her side.

I think the cancer has brought us closer together in terms of the way we do things. We talk about absolutely everything now. Nothing’s off the table anymore.

Watch: all about Mark's experiences

Watch: all about Mark's experiences