KRIS

Just be nice to each other, it really doesn’t cost anything and you get so much in return.

I had felt something myself. The verdict soon turned out to be hormonal breast cancer. Fortunately, I am positive by nature and turned the switch around fairly quickly.

How did you find out you were sick?

I had felt something myself. The verdict soon turned out to be hormonal breast cancer. Fortunately, I am positive by nature and turned the switch around fairly quickly. They took everything away: the entire breast, including the nipple. Two surgeries, first the cancer side, then, pre-emptively, the non-cancer side.

What impact did this have on you? How did your environment react?

I was in a very difficult period at the time, going through a divorce. So not the most ideal situation. For my mother, the news came very hard; I also lost a brother before and she, a child. Then, such messages come in even harder.

Telling your children something like that is not easy either. It never is, but certainly not during the divorce we were in at the time. Fortunately that is all behind us now. My daughter was in college and stayed home for a while; she also used to go with me to the hospital.

My youngest son was returning from ski vacation with his girlfriend, when I went to pick him up he realized pretty quickly that something was going on. While I was trying so hard not to let it show, so I could tell it at a quieter time at home. Children sometimes feel more than you think.

Filip Claessens

I did keep a blog at the time. That gave me energy, both the writing itself and the many comments and support.

Have you ever wondered “why me?”

No, I went for acceptance pretty quickly. Otherwise you are worrying twice. You don’t want people asking “How are you?” every day, but sometimes I did wonder when they would ask that again.When a neighbor across the street asked me that once, it did me good. We are not so good at talking about difficult things

What book, movie or other has been able to give you support, or has stayed with you from that period?

Boss blues. Other than that, not many things.

I did keep a blog at the time. That gave me energy, both the writing itself and the many comments and support.

I am happy with my situation now. I am not worried, but very curious "what will life be like soon?"

How do you prepare for a checkup? Or do you celebrate them?

I still have a checkup every year, but I don’t really celebrate. I am also not nervous, I am hopefulthat it will not come back. I did have two false alarms, but those were values that ended up being due to something appeared to be different.

How do you live in the moment?

I am happy with my situation now. I am not worried, but very curious “what will life be like soon?” I feel like growing old together with my partner, so I am hopeful and positive. Who I am now does come in part because of what I went through. I met my partner, Dina, through sports, during corona. So we cycled a lot together.

What would you like to give to the world?

Just ‘be nice to each other’…for once, it really doesn’t cost anything and you get so much in return. I would love to see it spread like a virus, but don’t be too naive about it either.

Men with breast cancer.

Many people don’t know that this is possible too, so be sure to spread the word! More info on this can be found at www.borstkankerman.be.

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