'Get checked' – Speyside man tells of wife's cancer scare
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A MORAY man has urged people to attend check-ups as he spoke out about his wife's breast cancer scare in an effort to tackle fears surrounding the disease.
Steve Crosby, 55, from Archiestown, expressed gratitude that wife Karen’s cancer was caught early enough to be successfully treated. He is the latest person to back the Scottish Government’s #MySurvivor campaign, which highlights the fact that more people in Scotland are surviving cancer than ever before – and that getting checked early is a major factor.
Steve joins a host of people from across the country who have shared their experiences to help tackle the fear people often have of the disease, which can delay them visiting their GP or attending screening.
Steve lost his first wife to cancer. He told of the shock and worry he felt when Karen, 58, was diagnosed in September 2017.
Karen’s illness was picked up by doctors after routine breast screening, with further tests confirming that she had an early form of breast cancer. Between October and December, she underwent surgery to remove the affected cells, followed by radiotherapy treatment five days a week for three weeks.
Steve said: "We moved up to Moray from England in May 2017 and a few months later Karen was invited for her breast screening by NHS Grampian. I’m so grateful she went.
"I remember Karen phoning me at work to tell me she had to have a biopsy and it came as a shock. I lost my first wife to cancer so this brought back difficult memories from that time. It really knocked me back.
"The cancer was caught at a very early stage and Karen was trying to reassure me and put a positive spin on things, but she knew how worried I was.
"After Karen’s operation I supported her as much as I could, making sure she was able to rest and being there for her emotionally. Karen is usually such an upbeat and positive person but at times she felt low and needed someone to talk to.
"Radiotherapy was difficult as Karen stayed in Aberdeen for her treatment so I couldn’t be with her all the time. Initially she was fine but as the weeks progressed, she became very tired. Being away from home also affected her. On Friday afternoons she would drive home so I was able to look after her at the weekends."
Steve urged people to attend check-ups. He said: "It goes without saying, but I’m so grateful the doctors caught Karen’s cancer at such an early stage, and I can’t stress strongly enough how important it is to attend the screenings you are invited to.
"I know people are sometimes reluctant to get checked – but at the end of the day it’s better to have that piece of mind."
Karen is now given a mammogram every year and will continue to attend annual check-ups for the next five years.
She added: "I feel fine now. I’ve been teaching yoga for 12 years and I definitely think the yoga has helped my recovery and range of movement.
"I had my first check-up mammogram at the end of last year. When I phoned Steve to tell him it was clear, he was so relieved he burst into tears on the phone.
"Steve has been my rock through all this. If anyone deserves an award for laughter, kindness and support, it’s him."