Stevedarke's Journey with Head & Neck/Throat Cancer

Patient: Head & Neck/Throat Cancer

Patient Info: Finished active treatment less than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: over 9 years ago, Male, Age: 58

  1. 1
    • Stevedarke
    • Experience with Head & Neck/Throat ...
    over 5 years ago
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    Breakthrough

    Celebration

    In January 2008 aged 48 I was diagnosed with oesophageal (gullet) cancer. After having some non-specific symptoms of which were passed off by doctors as minor ailments, and to include one slightly high blood sugar fasting result for which I was told that I had type 2 diabetes, which turned out to be a false diagnosis. I was not convinced about all the things I was being told and just knew there was something that was just not right. I went back to see another doctor and laid everything out clearly for him, which resulted in getting the correct tests carried out. Twenty years earlier I was treated for a small ulcer so had been doing some research on my symptoms and even though I had come across oesophageal cancer as a possibility this was put to the back of my mind in the hope that it was something less sinister. Once I had been diagnosed everything moved very quickly through the staging process and after many different scans I was told I would be a suitable candidate for the Ivor Lewis operation. I was fully aware of the poor prognosis associated with my illness so set about putting my affairs in order, then forgetting all about the dismal survival prospects to concentrate on fighting my demon. I was told the tumour margins were clear; and therefore I would not have chemo but instead go straight in for surgery. The operation was a massive eight and a half hours and post op I suffered infections; the only real worry was the histology report which showed I had infected lymph nodes. I was offered chemo which I tried, but was just too ill after the operation to continue so I decided to stop, a decision which was right for me. I was losing so much weight almost six stone and at times I really did not think I was going to make it. All I wanted was normality back in my life, along with other little things I took for granted pre diagnosis. It has taken some years to regain the quality of my life and reach my new normal, I am now leading a near normal life and working full time, although I do suffer with some pain and discomfort each day, even so I am once again looking forward to achieving new things in my life. During all the celebrations after the UK won the Olympics bid I could not think that far ahead to 2012, but here I am, and what is more I have been nominated to carry the Olympic torch which seems so surreal given my survival prospects back in 2008. In September 2011 I published my book- Reaching For A Rainbow: A practical guide to living alongside cancer, which I felt compelled to write. It just goes to show how our fortunes can change which don’t always have to be for the worst. I have lost family and some very good friends to this illness so I owe it to them and myself to live my life to the most despite what the future may reveal. Below is something I wrote when I was feeling quite ill. ~The Demon~ I stand on the mighty plains before the demon’s lair and shout come out and fight, but the plain stays silent, for the demon has passed within me and is coursing through my veins, I say how can I fight the thing I cannot see, who will be my champion now, with heavy heart I lay down my sword. I look toward the scalpel and the skilful hand of my surgeon to cut away the demon’s lair from deep within. I look towards the alchemists, not for gold but for potions powerful and rare to hunt the demon down, and should my body grow weak of potion so strong I look to kindred spirit to rally and spur me on. If I should win the fight I can rejoice in victory, but should I lose this most terrible fight I know something this most insidious of demon cannot know, as for me to lose will forge a seal upon the warrant to the demon’s own demise. I dedicate this to the many warriors fighting this disease, whoever or wherever you may be. I have my own blog www.cancer-stress-healing.com Steve

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  2. 2
    • Stevedarke
    • Experience with Head & Neck/Throat ...
    about 4 years ago
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    Milestones

    This person has yet to add any details about this experience.

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  3. 3
    • Stevedarke
    • Experience with Head & Neck/Throat ...
    about 4 years ago
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    Milestones

    I am now five years post op (Ivor Lewis) and life is getting better all the time.

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