I am a 51-year-old man, married with two boys of 21 and 17. My wife and I have been through a lot over the last 23 years together, experiencing the highs and lows of life. She has been there for me every step of the way and continues to be upbeat, loving, caring and supportive as we face this difficult challenge. My eldest son is at Loughborough University, my youngest at college doing his A levels. They are the light of my life and make me so proud as they make their way in the world. I have a sister, six years younger than me, who is married with children, a boy and a girl. She has been so supportive, acting as my guide, advisor, and councillor, providing help in any way she can. I still have my 83-year-old Dad but sadly lost my Mum 15 years ago to breast cancer. My Dad continues to go out of his way to do whatever he can to help, often making his way to my place on his beloved train network to see me and his grand kids. We all live in the same area, so I am lucky enough to see a great deal of my family.
I’m blessed to have a fantastic group of friends, most of whom I’ve known for over 30 years, some for over 40, and still see them all today, regularly. It’s so important to have them around: life would be unbearable without the constant banter, abuse, and laughter. My close pals all find their own ways to deal with me, all of them different – men aren’t the best emotional communicators sometimes. We tend to get the “how are you” conversation done as quickly as possible, and then just get on with our time together. The normality is a Godsend.
I’ve always worked, having been in the commercial side of the IT business since I was 21 years old, and had a wonderful career, working with some great companies, including my own, and with some great people. The hard work has afforded me an ok life from a financial perspective and meant I’ve been able to take out a number of insurance policies that, with hindsight, was money well spent. I’ve had a critical illness pay-out, and I have some income protection moving forward. Most importantly I have private medical insurance, so nothing is ever a problem when it comes to treatment. I’m on a number of cancer forums and my heart breaks when I see people suffering from this terrible disease, and then having to face challenges where they cannot receive the medicine they so desperately need due to financial issues.
This story and the accompanying website information, video’s and social media activity is simply an insight into how I try and live and thrive with this terrible disease, and I hope can give some help to others going through the same crap as me.
How do you try and cram what should be 30 or so years of life, into what might only be 2 or 3?
My video journey so far can be found on my YouTube channel.
My entire world changed in April 2015 when, following a colonoscopy, I was told I had a cancerous tumour in my colon. I’d had no symptoms other than a few dodgy looking poos. Slightly redder tissue than normal – I just figured I’d been eating too much steak and drinking too much red wine. However,…Read More
“It’s ok”, they said, “we’ve caught it early, we can sort it out with chemo and radio, then some more surgery” So off I went to see an oncologist. She put me on 6 weeks of daily radiotherapy with tablet form chemo plus weekly intravenous chemo. For good measure. The first two weeks was fine…Read More
That ended just before Christmas 2016 and as we headed into 2017 the scan showed positive results and it was looking like surgery. Great. How exciting! This isn’t just ordinary surgery mind you. This was going to remove everything in my pelvis; bladder, prostrate, rectum. The lot. I would also need part of my sacrum…Read More
Sadly, he was right. His machines managed to pick up some “suspicious” looking nodules in my lungs. “They might just be inflammation” he reassured me. “We will need to wait for about eight weeks to see if they grow” he reassured me. Oh good. I’ll just hang around while cancer grows in my lungs, in…Read More
My new oncologist is fantastic. I like her, great manner, seems to know her stuff. She is clinical director at St Mark’s, a bowel cancer specialist. She’s going to help me. Chemotherapy is the way forward; not the “ChemoLite” stuff I had before, the real McCoy, full fat chemo. Twelve cycles every fortnight with a…Read More
February scan. Results on March 5th, 2018. We drove to meet my oncologist to hear the news. It’s a fair way, round the M25, which is never great in rush hour. After 10 minutes of reading the out of date Hello magazine we were told she was ill and not coming to work. Can you imagine? …Read More
Create memories? – we took a family holiday to Thailand, a trip my wife has dreamed of doing for years. How hard was that – while the surroundings are pleasant, you cannot escape the pain. Every special moment you spend; swimming with my boys, dinner on the beach with friends and family, visiting a monk,…Read More
Scan in July 2018. Chemo working again, nodules have shrunk or disappeared; better than expected. Good news, the hard work is actually having an effect. Summer off, and boy did I have a good summer. The diet took a bit of a hit although I was in Greece for a family holiday and a Mediterranean…Read More
Scan in September 2018. Not so good news. Lung disease progression – 30 nodules, some have doubled in size. On the upside, the pelvic area is stable and there is no new disease. As a result, my oncologist has changed the drugs. Back down to earth with a bump. A big reality-check. It feels like…Read More