Prostate cancer survivor Simon – ‘With a new-born to deal with, my mind was spinning’

Dealing with a cancer diagnosis is difficult at the best of times, but for Simon Henry the arrival of a new-born baby boy added a whole other factor into the situation.

Simon and his wife Fiona had been eagerly anticipating the birth of their son in 2016 when tests he had done detected possible abnormalities. He later underwent a biopsy before being scheduled for an MRI, but fate held other things in store.

“I had an MRI scheduled for 7th July which resulted in one of the most surreal calls to the hospital. I had to cancel the MRI as our son had decided that was the day he was arriving, as if he was making sure that no matter what was wrong with Daddy he was going bring joy and happiness,” says Simon.

That joyous occasion offered only a brief reprieve from Simon’s concerns, however.

“The MRI was duly rearranged and confirmed with the biopsy that there were cancerous cells in the prostate that needed to be dealt with. With both a new-born and this to deal with leaves your mind spinning and when I look back it really hadn’t sunk in,” he recalls.

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When I got a call to arrange an appointment with the consultant I knew it was serious.

“To be told I had cancer and about my options when we had our three-month-old son there with us, it was a day I will not forget.”

Simon had surgery on the affected area in October that year, and although the recovery was difficult he had put the experience behind him before tests turned up more worrying results last year.

He ended up being referred for radiotherapy complemented by hormone treatment which finished just before Christmas, before eventually getting the news in January that he was cancer-free.

Simon is thankful for the support and devotion of his wife Fiona throughout as well as others, and is keen to use his experience to highlight the need for men of all ages to keep an eye on their bodies and take action if something is amiss.

“Given the nature of it and some of the known side effects of treatment there can be a reticence to talk about it, but that is exactly why this needs to be spoken about. There is no shame in getting diagnosed and treated so that you get more time to share with loved ones and friends.”

Contact the Irish Cancer Society Support Line

If you have a concern or query about cancer, you can speak confidentially to an Irish Cancer Society Cancer Nurse through the Freephone Support Line on 1800 200 700.

Monday to Friday, 9.00am - 5.00pm