Breast Cancer – A Love Story
Over two years breast cancer free, Jenni Eyles says her diagnosis dramatically changed not only her own story, but that of her husband Craig and their two sons.
Jenni and Craig’s love story began in their early 20’s, and knowing instantly it was love, the two were engaged within five months.
“Jenni had a love of life and we connected very early on. I knew I had found my partner – someone who didn’t care how goofy I was,” Craig said while fondly remembering when he met the love of his life.
The loved up pair have now been together for 23 years after marrying in Hervey Bay and moving to Adelaide soon after having their first son Joel who is now 20 years old, and later their youngest Blake who is 17.
Craig was the first person Jenni called after discovering something was wrong with her original mammogram.
“I was in tears, I hated to hear my partner in pain,” Craig said.
“We lived in a blur until we got the diagnosis. And then it was appointments one after the other – it was a whirlwind.”
“Craig came to every appointment with me, it wasn’t until well over 100 appointments that I told him I could do it on my own,” Jenni added.
“We got asked by doctors how our relationship was going. It was then we realised that if you’re not close to begin with then that’s where you fall apart,” Craig said.
For Jenni and Craig, who already had a loving and supportive relationship, cancer only strengthened their tight bond.
“Craig was the one holding the fort at home. Cooking and cleaning, shopping, looking after the boys, taking me out and making sure I was comfortable when I wasn’t feeling well,” Jenni said.
“The little things like holding my hand, telling me I was beautiful or being in public and putting his arm around me when I felt unlovable and ugly, it all made me love him even more.
“He was aware that I was in a stage where I thought that my life was ending. And so because he was aware of that he tried to make all those things that he knew I thought were special even better.”
Cancer gave Jenni and Craig an appreciation for what they had instead of what they were going to lose. They weren’t going to let breast cancer ruin their love story.
“My advice, try not to grieve on what you’re missing out on because you’re missing out on what is happening now – you need to make the most of every moment,” Jenni said.
“And sometimes making the most of every moment is simply sitting in front of the TV!” Craig added.
With love and support from Craig and her two sons, two and a half years ago Jenni beat her cancer and since then has continued to live her life to the fullest and fulfil her lifelong dreams.
“I came to a place where I realised I wasn’t dying, I was fighting for my life and I had a second chance,” Jenni said.