Arnott and Jean

Arnott Wilson has spoken about what his wife Jean’s cancer survival has meant to him.

Arnott's story

Arnott Wilson, 64, who has been married to Jean for 42 years, has spoken about what his wife’s survival meant to him. 

He said: “When Jean was diagnosed it was a complete shock.  It had never even entered my head that the bruise could be a sign of something more serious.  She had no other symptoms at all so I had just been putting it down to getting older.  It felt like we were in a parallel universe.  We’d always gone through life feeling we were immortal. 

“Jean’s a very determined woman.  Once she decides to do something and puts her mind to it she’ll make sure it’s done, and that’s how she approached her treatment.  She wasn’t too bad during the chemotherapy.  She was tired quite a lot but that’s to be expected. 

“The thing that worried me most was her getting any infections.  Your immune system is compromised during and after chemo, so the slightest thing could affect her really seriously.  I’m the worrier of the two of us, whereas Jean just got on with it.  She carried on living life to the full as much as she possibly could. 

“Jean and I are both really family-orientated people.  We’re both the youngest of three, so we’ve got a large extended family, and Jean’s an essential part of that.  She’s always at the centre of everything. 

“In our family if there’s something to celebrate we’ll go for it big time, whether it’s a birthday or Christmas or an anniversary.  In 2016 it was our ruby wedding anniversary so we hosted a celebratory lunch in one of our favourite hotels.  Jean was still going through treatment at the time but she was through the worst of everything.

“My daughter works in television, so she had used her production skills to pull together a fantastic video montage for us.  She’d gathered clips of loads of our family and friends wishing us well and produced a video which was played on a big screen.  It was just brilliant and great to see everyone and tell them how much they’ve meant to us over the years and during Jean’s illness.  It was a really emotional day. 

“Going through cancer makes you appreciate everything a lot more.  We’ve always been the type to celebrate events, but now we want to celebrate every single day together.  Even the small things like going for walks together as a family.

“We’d be absolutely lost without her.  It doesn’t bear thinking about what could have happened if she’d had a different outcome.  It’s not even something I thought about at the time because it was incomprehensible to me.  The family sees her as a guiding light, so I just couldn’t even contemplate her not being here.  Cancer didn’t stand a chance against Jean!

“Now Jean has been through this experience I’m aware of how important it is to get any symptoms you’re worried about checked out early.  The NHS were absolutely brilliant with Jean throughout and it’s thanks to her doctor it was picked up when it was.”

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