Graeme and Katrina

I’m so glad Katrina went to the GP, and her cancer was caught at the stage when it was treatable.

Graeme's story

Graeme Dolan has spoken of his gratitude that wife Katrina’s breast cancer was found at an early stage, following her successful treatment. 

Katrina, a nurse, 51, went straight to her GP after noticing discharge from her left nipple and was diagnosed in May 2018 following a mammogram and biopsy. 

She underwent a lumpectomy in July 2018 followed by chemotherapy in August and radiotherapy in December, finishing treatment in February 2019. 

Speaking about that time, Graeme, also 51, said: 

“When the doctors confirmed it was cancer, it was hard. I remember it being such a shock, I wasn’t expecting it at all. But once we sat down and talked everything through, there was a clear path in terms of next steps, and were told that the cancer had been caught early and was treatable.  We told the kids straight away to make sure nothing came as a surprise, and they coped really well.”

Although Katrina was scheduled to have six rounds of chemotherapy, treatment had to be halted at five as she was repeatedly hospitalised due to the side effects.

Graeme said: 

“Katrina sailed through the surgery, and I took time off work to be there for her.  But her reaction to the chemotherapy was really hard to watch.  She was violently ill and I just felt a bit helpless as it was totally out of my control.  There was only so much I could do. 

“Eventually things did get better, but then she was back into radiotherapy which took its toll.  Me and the kids just wanted her well again.  

“My wife is definitely stronger than me.  It was such a huge relief when we knew the treatment was coming to an end.  Because she’s a nurse, she knew what was going on and actually helped reassure me at times. 

“She’s come through that awful year and it’s strange to say but she just seems happier in herself, and so much more determined than before.  She’s back working in a different, more demanding nursing job which she loves and we’re starting to put last year behind us.  

“I’m so glad Katrina went to the GP, and her cancer was caught at the stage when it was treatable.  Hearing that at that first appointment helped get our heads round everything.  If you have a concern, just go and get it checked.  I can’t fault the treatment Katrina was given, it was a journey but we’ve come through it, something I’m very grateful for.”


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