A mother has claimed her active sex life saved her as her husband found a lump in her breast that turned out to be canerous.
Tina Gray, 52, from Aldershot, Hampshire, and her husband Dez, 51, grew closer than ever after making a conscious effort to keep their spark alive when she went through menopause two years ago.
The mother-of-one explained that she asked Dez to check her left breast after thinking she felt something unusual and immediately he detected a lump that he was certain wasn’t there before.
It turned out to be a cancerous mass and Tina said it was warehouse manager Dez’s newfound familiarity with her boobs which saved her life.
Tina Gray, 52, from Aldershot, Hampshire, has credited her husband Dez, 51, (pictured) with ‘saving her life’ after discovering a lump in her breast that was diagnosed as cancerous
She underwent surgery to have a lump in each breast removed before the cancer spread.
Tina said: ‘It was such a huge shock when we found the lump – you do momentarily find yourself facing your own mortality.
‘As soon as Dez felt the lump, he knew something wasn’t right.
‘I trusted his judgement and went straight to a doctor – after all, who would be more familiar with my breasts than my husband?
‘Menopause has brought us closer than ever. We became more intimate and Dez grew very interested in my boobs, which has now meant he’s saved my life.
‘Shout out to the NHS for moving so quickly and to Macmillan for the incredible support, but mostly to my husband who I just want to marry all over again after 20 years together.’
Tina started to go through menopause back in 2020 and found that the change affected many aspects of her body.
Tina explained that Dez had gained a new familiarity of her body after they made a conscious effort to keep their sex life active when her menopause started. Pictured: Tina’s scar after surgery to remove a lump
Although sex could be uncomfortable or painful as a result of the menopause, Tina was determined to find ways that would not drive her and Dez further apart.
Tina said: ‘When the menopause started, it was like I was going through puberty again but in reverse.
‘I just had to be open with Dez and communicate how I was feeling instead of pushing him away so he could understand what I was going through.
‘It’s not that I didn’t want to have sex with him, it’s just that sometimes I couldn’t because it was uncomfortable or even painful.
‘We’re not alone any more, there is plenty of stuff out there that can help couples have a sex life when going through menopause, you just have to look for it!
‘Instead of pushing us apart, it just brought us closer. Our sex life didn’t end, we just had to adjust.’
Tina (pictured) was referred to see a breast surgeon after visiting her GP about ‘something odd’ in the same place Dez had felt
Dez added: ‘It all coincided with covid and lockdowns and there was so much to think about when the menopause started and it was like, “Oh, we don’t need that”.
‘We just talked about it, worked through it and it’s all good now!’
Tina had been watching television one evening without a bra on when she felt a hard lump just above her nipple as she brushed her arm past her left breast.
Concerned, she told her husband that she’d felt a lump and asked him to feel her breasts to see if he spotted anything out of the ordinary.
When Dez pointed out something felt odd in the exact same place that Tina had felt, she booked herself in to see her GP on August 11 who referred her to a breast surgeon.
Dez said: ‘We’ve been together a long time so I’m well versed with the geography of Tina’s upper torso.
Tina, who was diagnosed with bilateral breast cancer, was able to have all of the disease removed before it spread to other areas of her body. Pictured: Tina and Dez
‘I was having a rummage, like you do, and felt concerned that there was something unusual in her breast which we felt we needed to have checked out.
‘It was scary, the unknown was frightening. We knew we had to go get it sorted.’
Tina was diagnosed with bilateral breast cancer with a doctor feeling the lump they had found in her left breast as well as a smaller lump in her right breast.
The mum of one went in for surgery on October 20 where the lumps were excised and biopsies were taken from her sentinel nodes.
Doctors revealed that Tina had stage one invasive ductal carcenoma in her right breast and stage three in her left.
Thanks to Dez’s quick discovery, they were able to remove all of the cancer during surgery before it spread to other areas of Tina’s body, effectively saving her life.
Having recently celebrated their 20th anniversary, Tina (pictured) gushed that she wants to marry Dez again to show him how much she loves him
Tina, who has a 24-year-old son, said: ‘Going through the menopause and then my cancer battle has just brought Dez and I closer than ever.
‘I couldn’t have got through all of this without my supportive family and the MacMillan nurse who was with me for every appointment. Even with a mask on, I could see her eyes were smiling at me and it was such a comfort.
‘Dez and I recently celebrated our 20th anniversary in October, and now I just want to marry him all over again – I just want to show him how much I love him.’
Dez added: ‘I feel privileged to have been able to help diagnose, or at least discover, something in my wife’s body that could have potentially been life-changing or life-limiting.
‘I feel privileged and proud that I could help, and the whole thing has brought us even closer still.’