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Tuesday, May 17, 2022 – A married couple of 40 years have beat cancer after being diagnosed just five months apart

Mrs. Diane Boothby, 63, from Downham Market, Norfolk, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer just five months after her husband, Paul Boothby, 69, was told he had bowel cancer.

‘I went from caring for someone with cancer to being someone with cancer — and Paul went from being someone with cancer to caring for someone with cancer,’ she said.

‘You have to push how you’re feeling to get diagnosed — if I’d left it and left it, who knows what could have happened.’

The couple, who wed in November 1978, were determined to fight the disease and see their 43rd anniversary together.

She added: ‘We’ve been married forty-three years and haven’t celebrated our last wedding anniversary yet — we’ve still got lots to celebrate.’

Mr. Boothby had been diagnosed in August 2021 after a routine check-up showed he had stage three bowel cancer, the final stage before it spreads around the body.

Despite fighting his own battle, he pushed his wife to get tested privately, worried that she would have to go through something similar.

Mr. Boothby had been feeling more tired than usual but didn’t think he was suffering from stage three cancer. After his diagnosis, he convinced his wife, who had in fact been struggling with health problems for some time, to get tested as well.

Mr. Boothby underwent surgery to remove part of his bowel in September 2021 and began chemotherapy to remove any remaining tumours.

While caring for her husband, Mrs. Boothby heeded her husband’s advice and began seeing consultants. She was eventually diagnosed with cancerous ovarian cysts after struggling with severe bloating.

Mrs Boothby originally had an operation to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes in December 2021.

Her husband, still going through chemo at the time, pushed her to spend the £190 on a private scan when her symptoms persisted.To their shock they discovered that Mrs Boothby had early-stage ovarian cancer.

Out of caution, the grandmother had a full hysterectomy in March to prevent the cancer from growing on other parts of her reproductive system

The couple are now both in remission.

Mrs. Boothby said: ‘We’re traumatised at the moment – we both feel more emotional and traumatised about it [now] than we actually did at the time when we were going through it.

Mrs Boothby originally had an operation to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes in December 2021.

Mrs Boothby added: ‘I’ve been extremely lucky – my first operation was removal of ovaries and fallopian tubes and my second operation was a total hysterectomy and debulking surgery and I am also now cancer free.

‘Paul says he felt numb through the experience whereas I talk about it a lot but we both understand how each other is feeling which has been good – he says I can understand it when no-one else can.

‘We’re not back in what we call the normal life yet because Paul had to isolate over December it meant we couldn’t do Christmas with the family but at least this year we’ll be here.

‘We would like to thank the cancer charities and hospitals that supported us – The Big C, Macmillan and Overcan.

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