I write on these blogs as a carer for my husband, Steve, who has stage four lung cancer. He was diagnosed in October 2016, after spending 14 months trying to persuade his GP surgery that there was something 'seriously wrong'. He was batted away with Naproxen and told that he was too fit for it to be anything serious. He is a 'never smoker' and kept fit as a runner/footballer. In fact one GP stated : I can categorically say there is nothing sinister going on in your body. They appeared more than mildly irritated that he continued to complain of fatigue, left sided rib pain. It was only when he once, only once, coughed up blood that they sent him for an XRay and ultrasound. The radiology technicians also queried why he was there for investigations as he 'looked so well'.
Nothing showed up on imaging. Still he complained that something wasn't right. He persuaded them to send him for a PET scan. This revealed an 8cm tumour in his left lung which had metastasised into his rib cage. It revealed cancer on a node at the base of his heart and also on his sternum.
Thereafter, with many apologies all round, he was swiftly taken up to Norfolk & Norwich Hospital for an exploratory VATS procedure. Once opened up the surgeon removed one cancerous node but decided the cancer was too advanced to do anything else. Steve was closed up and was advised he could have palliative chemotherapy but should consider his life to be severely shortened to around 6-12 months. He was 64 at the time...having worked for 50 years.
Shock, anger, fear and disappointment all rolled into one.
He endured 13 rounds of chemotherapy: starting with Cisplatin and Pemetrexed. Then onto maintenance dosages which stopped in November 2017 as Steve's kidneys were taking such a toxic hit with each chemotherapy round. At this point, with every CT scan he was having, his visible cancer was becoming less definable. From a raft of medications including MST (morphine), Naproxen, Lactulose, Paracetamol, Dexamethasone, Metaclopramide, he is now on NO MEDICATION. He remains in remission, as they tell us his disease is stable.
He still feels the nerve damage in his left sided rib cage and calls it his 'war wounds'.
He is enjoying his retirement and has returned to the gym plus coaching kids in football and athletics.
He has just turned 69 yrs of age and is planning a 70th party next year. He tries, and mostly succeeds, in remaining extremely positive and jolly.
Thank you for sharing your story.
Wow....thank you so much for sharing your story ...I was diagnosed with stage 4 just last month and to hear stories like yours gives me and others hope.
I wish you both a long and happy life together xxx
I just want to say thank you for posting this and sharing, xxx my mum is on her 5th round of chemo and immunotherapy, praying we have a story like this to tell x xx lots of love and best wishes to you and your husband xxx
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