John E. Wells
November 2020

What started off like a bruise on my chest ended up being Stage II breast cancer. I had never thought about a man having breast cancer, but here it was. After a mammogram and biopsy came the words, “you have malignant cancer“. I’m not sure if I heard anything else, I just sat there, staring into space. This was like a death sentence.

Now what? Surgery? The only thing I could think of was I wanted it out and to get as far away from it as possible.

The surgeon came in the day after and says, “you are cancer free “.  He had gotten it all, however, I will have to have chemotherapy and radiation, just to be sure. Chemo? Isn’t that what makes you sick from one treatment to the next?

I went through it all. Never a sick day. The doctors were so good and caring to make sure I stayed well and comfortable. They kept Nancy, my wife, and I well informed on everything I was taking and my well-being.

Let me say a few things about Nancy. She is my wife, best friend and caregiver. Most everyone else stayed away as if in fear of ‘catching’ cancer from me. We met and shared stories with our new found cancer family. Everyone had a story and even though their cancer was different from the others, somehow we were all together.

I am now four years cancer free. Nancy is my rock. She has been there pushing and pulling me forward every step of the way. I am here because she asked all the right questions of the right people at the right time. I never had a treatment or got any medicine which she didn’t know what it was, and what it was for. Nancy changed bandages, flushed pick lines, and made sure I had something to eat and drink.

We both get mammograms now. Nancy goes to every doctor’s appointment, and she found places to help with the cost of lymphedema sleeves for men. Cancer is mean, but it can be beaten.