Andy's Story

on Monday, 09 November 2015. Tags MensHealthAwareness

A local dad from Lancaster has spoken about how CancerCare helped him and his young family come to terms with the news that he has terminal Liver cancer.

 “As a father one of the first things you think about are your kids. I’m not going to see them grow up, get married or have kids.”

 Andy Edwards (57) who lives with his wife Georgina and three young children was diagnosed with Liver cancer back in February 2014.

Andy Edwards Family

“The first thing I said to my GP was ‘Oh my god how long do I have left?’ But he couldn’t tell me, he couldn’t be sure.  I was told it could be months, or possibly years.”

 “We decided not to tell the kids at first because we just didn’t know what to say to them. My youngest was only 2 at the time.”

 “Our Nurse suggested we should get in touch with local charity CancerCare for support as they have a dedicated Children & Young People’s Service.”

 “At first, my wife and I came into the CancerCare Centre in Lancaster and had some sessions with one of their Children’s Therapists who gave us advice in how to prepare ourselves in breaking the news to the kids and what we should say.”

 “She told us we should sit the kids down and just tell them straight which was obviously really hard - but it was the right thing to do.”

 “Since then we’ve all accessed services at CancerCare throughout the past year –my eldest kids came to Slynedales to see the Children’s Therapist as well and I I’ve also had Aromatherapy Massages and so has my wife.”

 “All the Doctors and Nurses at the Oncology unit at the RLI have been great. I’m always amazed that the seats are full at the Chemo unit – cancer affects so many people nowadays. I couldn’t have Chemotherapy because it would damage my liver but I have been taking an oral version of the drug. The side effects were horrendous at first; I was in a right mess. I felt so lethargic and sick, I couldn’t do anything.  I also had to have 3 blood transfusions last year and I was in hospital at New Year.”

 “However, at my last scan at the start of the year I got told some really good news and the doctors have told me that my cancer as stopped growing. In fact, some of the cancer cells have died off so they’ve now reduced the dosage of the drugs and I’m feeling so much better day to day. I have so much more energy to do things. We even enjoyed a family holiday to Spain last year.”

 “I’d say that we’ve all come to terms with everything now and have accepted it. It’s still hard some days, of course.  But we’re just getting on with it, trying to live as normal a life as possible, as we were before. I’ve always had an optimistic outlook – we’re all going to die sometime!”

 “Although my cancer is terminal, I’m living well with it. I like to say ‘I’m not fighting cancer, cancer is fighting me!’ I’m also going to a Tai Chi class at CancerCare and I’ve been out on my bike around Lancaster. I feel great!”

 “CancerCare have been amazing and a real godsend. It’s such a good place to come, and it’s so relaxing.

 “CancerCare have helped us so much—everyone should support them in any way they can because they rely totally on fundraising.”

 

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