A sexagenarian couple, Mrs. Diane Boothby and Paul Boothby have beat cancer after being diagnosed just five months apart
Mrs. Diane Boothby, 63, of Downham Market, Norfolk, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer barely five months after her husband, Paul Boothby, 69, had a colon cancer diagnosis.
“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. 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.” She said.
The pair, who married in November 1978, were resolved to beat cancer and celebrate their 43rd wedding anniversary together.
“We’ve been married forty three years and haven’t celebrated our last wedding anniversary yet — we’ve still got lots to celebrate.” She added.
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.
Mrs. Boothby took her husband’s recommendations and began seeing specialists while caring for him. After suffering from significant bloating, she was eventually diagnosed with malignant ovarian cysts.
In December 2021, Mrs Boothby underwent surgery to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes. When her symptoms persisted, her husband, who was still undergoing chemo at the time, persuaded her to spend the £190 for a private scan.
Mrs Boothby was diagnosed with early-stage ovarian cancer, much to their surprise.
To avoid the disease spreading to other sections of her reproductive system, Mrs Boothby had a thorough hysterectomy in March.
The couple are now cancer-free.
“We’re traumatized at the moment – we both feel more emotional and traumatized about it [now] than we actually did at the time when we were going through it.” Mrs Boothby said.