Scott still often pops into the Big C’s Support and Information Centre at Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital. Following his wife’s short yet fiercely brave fight with melanoma cancer, he’s been a loyal supporter of the Big C in a plethora of ways. When she died, she also left behind their two young children Maddic (5) and Esha (1). Seven years on, Scott and his two children have remained close to the Big C and the support they needed the most, came a little while after his wife’s death. This is his story …
When Jayne was just 23 years old she discovered what she thought might be a cancerous mole on her back. She was pregnant with her son Maddic at the time and after seeking advice, it was diagnosed as being cancerous. Although the cancerous mole was successfully removed, she was asked to return every three months for five years to monitor her dormant melanoma cancer. On 29 August 2008, Jayne married her partner Scott. A year later she fell pregnant with their second child.
November 2009 marked the end of Jayne’s five-year spell of uncertainly and regular check-ups; having had no further symptoms or issues, she was fully discharged from hospital care.
However, it was less than three months after this (January 2010) that she began to feel unwell. Lumps suddenly appeared on her neck. In April 2010, a biopsy was taken where it was confirmed that the cancer had began to spread. The doctors explained that due to the stage of cancer most people only had a few months to live. Nonetheless, she went through with the chemotherapy and during this time often visited the Big C at the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital sometimes to attend group sessions, other times for a massage and more often than not, for a chat over tea with some of our support staff.
The onset of Jayne’s cancer was unexpected and it took her life very suddenly, only a matter of four months after the biopsy. After her short fight with cancer which was bravely borne, she died on 28 August 2010 – almost exactly two years to her wedding day and at only 28 years of age.
Shortly after her death, husband Scott’s world was turned upside down. Things had happened very abruptly for the family. Not only was Jayne’s tragic death a tremendous shock to Scott, whilst coping with his own grief, he was now left to sole parent and provide for his two children who were also adapting to the loss of their mother.
“Jayne’s cancer spread quickly and she was taken from us very suddenly. It must be a horrible shock for anyone who loses a loved-one regardless of how much time you have to prepare but everything seemed to happen so fast, there wasn’t any time to process what had happened. I’m not sure what I expected but it was as if, Jayne’s dead, that’s it you’re on your own. We felt very alone.”
Scott and his two children occasionally visited our Big C Centre at the University Hospital to spend time with our support staff after Jayne’s death. However, it was almost four years later that Scott felt he was ready and in need to explore talking therapy with our staff at the Big C Centre.
“Talking to one of Big C’s counsellors was a big help to me a few years after Jayne’s death. I guess we were just trying to manage day-to-day but it took that long to realise perhaps it was time to process everything,”
“After Jayne’s death I hadn’t had time to reflect because life had been going at a hundred miles an hour, even with the wonderful support we’ve had from close friends and family. The children are doing well and almost two years ago I started my own business and it’s going well. I don’t think I would have done this if Jayne was still alive but her passing made me even more determined to support my family. I often think to myself, the day when I give my daughter away on her wedding day, is the day when I’ll feel completely happy; I can turn to Jayne and say: I did it, Jayne, I made it, I did what we set out to do together”.
Scott started a Lavender Fund with the Big C in his wife’s name and has raised £11,000. He’s also taking part in the Big C’s Three Peaks Challenge this summer.