Rich Edwards

Rich and Lydia have been friends since high school. Earlier this year, Lydia had a hysterectomy after being diagnosed with a rare form of womb cancer.

Warning: this video contains a use of bad language.

A horrible surprise:

When Lydia told me that she had cancer, it was a huge surprise. I knew she’d had problems like excessive bleeding before, but I hadn’t associated that with cancer. I’ll always remember when Lydia told me she had cancer. She called me while I was at work, and I answered in a really excitable way because I knew she’d put an offer down on a house, so I thought it was good news. But, when I heard her voice, I could tell that something was really, really wrong. I was absolutely speechless, I honestly didn’t know what to say. I kept just saying ‘f**k, oh f**k Lyd’, which probably wasn’t that helpful at the time, but I literally couldn’t think of what I should be saying in that situation.

I obviously knew what cancer was, but I didn’t really know the specifics of womb cancer, how that came about, how it worked, what was going to have to happen. There were a lot of question marks for me about what I could expect Lydia to be going through over the next few months or years.

She had always wanted children:

Lydia went on to hormone treatment, this lasted for a few months, until they realised that the hormone treatment wasn’t working as they’d planned. She had to be rushed in to have a hysterectomy. She didn’t have much notice for this, just a few weeks and I remember how emotionally draining this was for her. Having known her since high school, I knew just how important having children was to her future and when she couldn’t have that, that was really life-changing.

Her operation went smooth, but she had a long recovery. She was really affected by the mental side of things, as well as the physical. Being stuck in the house for months on end, only being able to think about what has happened to you, has a real impact on your mental health and it takes somebody really strong to get through that.

Now Lydia’s trying to rebuild her life and get back to living what can be a normal life, after everything that’s happened. It’s really exciting to see her again, rebuilding her life.

Half the world has a vagina:

Just because men can’t get this type of cancer, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t impact us. Our friends, our daughters, our girlfriends, our family, they can all be impacted by it. We need to be there to support and really know how to cope with these sorts of cancers.

If a man is feeling too embarrassed to talk about this, the best advice I can give is to just get over it. 50% of the population have a vagina, so this shouldn’t be a topic that is off limits.