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.
Radio Frequency Ablation (RFA) is a procedure whereby an Interventional Radiologist reads a CT scan to locate cancer tumours and then inserts a thin needle that is attached to an electricity source into the diseased organ and the tumour, thereby heating up the cells and destroying the tumour. Simple? The problem I have is that…Read More
Anyhow, my immune system seemed to have coped so I’m back in Harefield and I’m saying hello to all my friends at the hospital, including the ward doctors and nurses, the hospital porter, the CT scanning staff and finally the anaesthetist, as he serves me one of his gin and tonic injections. Then I’m slurring…Read More
Who would have thought “Pandemic” would be on my list of things that have happened since my last update! It’s been one hell of a year! 2020 started off pretty well to be fair. Feeling very optimistic after being declared cancer free at Christmas, I then I had my January scan. And low and behold,…Read More
Into Harefield Hospital for my procedure at the beginning of March and came round in the recovery room to learn the procedure had not worked. Well, technically the procedure was ok; it was my lungs that had not worked, collapsing before Dr Dalal could work his magic. Even though the procedure didn’t work, I still…Read More
I got lucky with my surgery – in fact I was one of the last patients Dr Dalal treated before they turned Harefield into a Covid hospital. I managed to have all my necessary scans, albeit I drove into London on empty roads at first – very eerie! Once I started chemo again in June,…Read More
We hit a few important milestones during the spring; my 53rd birthday – I pay close attention to these nowadays – Sophie’s 50th, our 22nd wedding anniversary, Charlie leaving school, and me creating a charity. On the subject of my youngest leaving school, I have to say how much I feel for him and that entire age…Read More
That was a big relief, as was my scan in April still showing a clear pair of lungs. And so, we settled down to fishing, boating and golf while I waited for my next “big” scan with the ever-efficient Dr Burling. And that was when it all changed again. 10+ new nodules. Damn it. I…Read More
It was around this time that our family has to suffer yet another blow. Sophie’s Mum, Patsy, sadly passed away. I mean, come on, are we not dealing with enough? We managed to hold the funeral, but with all the lockdown shenanigans at that time could not have a wake. Another terribly sad consequence of…Read More
So Christmas came and went while we tried to manage all the changing plans amidst a few restriction u – turns, and then as the new year also came and went, uneventfully, I contracted Covid. As did my son Oliver. My youngest who had returned from Uni in December had it while in Loughborough. Sophie…Read More