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Not a vasectomy

I was having a routine check-up in 2003 with a surgeon who had recently operated on my appendix. I mentioned to him about the lump behind my right nipple and he sent me off for a mammogram which I found out was a bit difficult/ impossible for a male when I went to get it done. I got some funny looks from the staff at the radiology department. Ultimately, they settled on an ultrasound and core biopsy. Two days later I received the results. A huge weight was put on me as a father of two very young children. It could have been worse I suppose; it could have been their mum. I saw the breast surgeon and had a mastectomy. Goodbye right man boob!

I spent the next week in hospital, which surprised friends as they assumed that Linda, my partner, was mistaken in telling them I had had a mastectomy and that I had actually had a vasectomy!

I never felt sorry for myself; someone is always worse off somewhere, but I have tried to raise awareness that men get breast cancer too. Eighteen weeks of chemo and five weeks of radiotherapy is a life experience that allows you to understand what others are going through. I have been approached by those about to undergo treatment and I can share the positive experience I had and hopefully ease their fears or dispel certain myths.

One of the nice things that happens every year at our local Bakers Delight is they modify a pink lady into a pink man and they have a spot for it in the centre of the others.

Lionel, VIC