Juliette and Rob on getting through breast cancer… and Europe in a Fiat

Juliette Capaldi, 45, is a photographer who is recovering from breast cancer.

Her book Love and Dads is raising money for the Breast Cancer Foundation. She has been with her secondary school teacher husband, Robert Capaldi, 48, for 11 years.

 They live in Christchurch with their 9-year-old son, Nick.

JULES: We met at Pomeroy’s, a pub in Christchurch, and he just looked at me.

He smiled straight away, walked straight towards me confidently and I just had that feeling. Like: “Wow, I like him.

We both love travelling and we’ve been away a few times, and if you can survive travelling, it’s amazing. We went away after the earthquakes for six­ months.

We started in Italy and borrowed my mother-in-law’s old Fiat Panda, and we drove through Europe up to Scotland, including the south of England. This was with our nearly 2-year-old son.

We lived out of this old Fiat Panda for about five months and then we went to Greece for a little bit, and then drove back again. It was amazing.

I think the first month was a bit stressful because we’d both just been through earthquakes and all the stress of life, and to wind down, that took a while.

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We probably learnt to put up with each others’ little things more.

I’m sure my need for tidiness bugs him. Quite often he’ll put down a book and then he can’t find and he now knows… “Have you seen my”, “Oh yeah, it’s on the coffee table over there.

The other week I’d made his breakfast for him, because I was cleaning the kitchen and when he’s in the kitchen, he will just leave crumbs and marks and bits of food and things. I then had a shower, thinking: “Oh, at least he won’t mess up the kitchen for, you know, a few hours.

” And I look over and he’s making another breakfast in the kitchen and I’m like: “Didn’t you see? I already made your breakfast!”

A couple months before I finished my first book last year, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. We had an argument on the way to the appointment.

I stormed off to the appointment myself and kind of hid in the corridor and then finally went up to it. And he had already been waiting, he wasn’t going to let me go in on my own.

Rob’s been amazing through it all. In the first couple of weeks he wanted to be in his bubble and not accept that this was what was happening.

Once he got through that, he’s just been so supportive right through the whole process. When they suggested a lumpectomy, I said: “I think I should have a mastectomy instead.

” And he was totally: “If you’ve got that gut feeling, just go with it. Whatever you need, whatever is right for you, just do it,” right through the whole process.

I quite often have to do a shoot in the morning, and so that’ll mean Rob has to get Nick up and ready for school and out the door and then drop him off and get to teaching himself. That’s really a full-on morning for him.

He’s stepped up.