Edinburgh couple urge early detection of cancer after shock diagnosis

Jonathan Seddon, whose wife was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017 aged 35, has spoken about what her surviving the disease has meant to him.
Jonathan Seddon, whose wife was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017 aged 35, has spoken about what her surviving the disease has meant to him.
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WHEN Jonathan Seddon’s wife was diagnosed with cancer, he admits that neither of them was prepared for the news.

Emma was only 35 when she found a small hard lump on her breast last year.

The couple, who have been married since 2010, went together to the breast clinic after her initial GP appointment.

Jonathan said: “I remember it was first thing in the morning and we were both wearing our work clothes because we expected we wouldn’t be there for long.

“However, the longer the appointment went on the more evident it became there was something the doctors weren’t happy with.”

They went back a week later to get the results of Emma’s tests.

Jonathan, 47, said: “The whole time I was convinced it would be clear so when we were told it was cancer it was such a shock.

“My first reaction was that they had made a mistake –Emma’s a young, healthy woman. I was in total denial. I felt like my whole life just stood still.”

Because Emma had pre-cancerous cells throughout her breast tissue, the surgeon recommended a full mastectomy with reconstruction.

She said: “In the beginning I was thinking ‘just take it off’ but when it actually came to being told I would lose my entire breast it was quite hard to take in.”

After her operation in 
September 2017, Emma had 18 weeks of chemotherapy followed by four weeks of radiotherapy.

She and Jonathan decided to be as honest as possible with their two daughters, Jessica and Sophie, who were three and five at the time.

Jonathan said: “They’ll see us giving money to charities and we tell them it goes towards medicine for mummy’s lumps.

“Now that they can see their mum is better and her hair has grown back I think they’re OK with it.”

Jonathan and Emma hope to encourage people to detect cancer early as part of the Scottish Government’s campaign, Survivors, which aims to drive home that more people survive cancer than die from the disease.

Emma said: “I know people have busy lives and will put it off but I would advise them to just make time and do it. ”

Jonathan said: “In some ways the enormity of it all doesn’t really hit you until afterwards. At the time it’s all happening you just go into a sort of fight or flight mode because you have to get through it.

“I’ve always been appreciative of Emma and the girls but I appreciate absolutely everything now.”