Bob, aged 69
“My original diagnosis was of quite an advanced bowel cancer between the rectum and sigmoid colon, and I had my first round of surgery more than 13 years ago now. I remained clear of cancer for three years until one of my blood tests showed a cancer marker (CEA) to be raised. After further blood tests and a CT scan, I was diagnosed with secondary bowel cancer in the liver. I was treated via a Hickman line with chemotherapy (5FU and oxaliplatin) with a view to shrinking the two tumours to allow for surgery. The surgery took place at a specialist centre with the intention of removing the remaining cancer. This, however, was unsuccessful because follow-up scans showed that the re-grown liver contained signs of another tumour. I had further scans (CT, PET and colonoscopy) to check the cancer hadn’t spread further in my body, and had surgery seven months later. This was followed by more chemotherapy (5FU and irinotecan) for a further three months, and since then I have remained in remission as confirmed by regular blood tests and scans.
The most important source of support through living with cancer has been my wife. My biggest fear and worry was leaving her unprovided for so one of the first things I did after diagnosis was to put all my financial affairs in order. I had tremendous support from friends and acquaintances which was a real boost to my own positive attitude. My surgeon and his registrar were supportive too, and were able to answer my incessant questions in a satisfactory and timely fashion.”