5 year scan results

It’s been 5years 4months since my diagnosis of Mesothelioma & following my annual CT scan on 23rd January, I received the excellent news today that the scan shows “no evidence of recurrence of cancer”! Huge huge relief and time to celebrate….

Never would we have dreamt of getting to this stage and we remain so incredibly grateful to all the fabulous consultants, specialists, nurses whom have all contributed to me being alive today, together with all the wonderful support from you all as family and friends.

You may remember back in November, I asked if you could all kindly donate to help us celebrate 5years and my lockdown birthday. Thank you so very much as you helped raise over £1600 towards Meso UK! It’s all very much appreciated especially in such difficult times for charities and much needed medical research.

Thanks for your continued support
Dave & Ali xx

5 years ago, yet still alive!

5 years ago tonight (aged 39) I was given the awful diagnosis of 12-18 months to live with a disease called mesothelioma. I was very unlucky to get this diagnosis as I have never knowingly worked with/been exposed to asbestos. However,  I feel incredibly luckily and proud today as I am only one of 5% of people diagnosed who survive 5 years or more! 

None of this would have been achieved without:
*Mr Waller and the Medical team at Leicester Glenfield who removed my left lung etc
*My oncologist (Dr Paul Taylor) and Meso UK nurses(Lorraine / Maireed) at Wythenshaw hospital Manchester who have been immensely helpful throughout Chemo and ongoing support ever since…
*Wonderful support of Family & Friends, who have been there for both myself, Ali  & the kids throughout
* My wonderful wife, Ali who has been there with me every step of the way and words can’t describe how lucky and grateful I am to have her by my side.

There has been plenty of ups and downs over the last 5 years, and the last 8 months have especially been tough with the impact of COVID. 

Mentally, it’s been the toughest since diagnosis.  I have felt very anxious, tired, feeling low, lack of motivation, and a “grumpy old man” at times. Having to shield, the extra worry of being highly vulnerable to COVID, explaining to the kids about mesothelioma, reasons why they can’t do certain things with COVID their friends can etc, brings Meso to the forefront. I have struggled & am currently seeing a counsellor to help me through. I am starting to feel better and getting back to my normal self. I just have to keep reminding myself that if you had told me 5 years ago I would be here, alive in the middle of a pandemic & on the eve of my daughters 11th birthday, I would have snapped your hands off!

Our plan was to celebrate 5 years with a big party & fundraising event, but for obvious reasons that’s sadly not possible.  Hopefully one day soon we will be able to.

However in the meantime, it’s my birthday in a few weeks (19th Nov) and we can’t go to the pub etc to celebrate my 5 years. Therefore, I wondered if instead of buying me a present or a pint(or 2 😂), if you could kindly donate the equivalent to Mesothelioma UK? During the pandemic their income has dropped dramatically and they need all the help we can give as cancer hasn’t stopped with COVID!  Money raised goes towards funding nurses to support current and new patients, along with raising awareness and finding that much needed cure for Meso. 

Thanks again for all your support to all of us, it means so much 
Dave & Ali xxx


No Sign of Disease

On the 4th Jan I went for my CT scan, and yesterday, 23rd Jan was results day! We have had many scans/waiting for results over the last 6 years from when symptoms started, and it doesn’t get any easier.  In fact this time ‘scan anxiety’ seemed a lot harder.  Up until the weekend, I had sort of managed to forget about it, but the last week has been really tough – even with a new Puppy joining us on News Year Day!
The anxiety/stress builds and the mood changes.  Even Erin asked me a few days ago if I was okay, as I don’t seem myself.  I have not been able to relax or switch off, I have been more ratty and less patient. I have found it very difficult to focus on anything.  I was trying to think positive, and that if you had told me 4 years ago, I would still be alive and ‘just’ be coming for 6 monthly scans and I would suffer stress/anxiety for a few weeks , I would have absolutely snapped your hand off for that. Yet, however hard you try, it doesn’t stop the mind working overtime and thinking the worst and we’re all different too! Ali had been ‘ok’ in the build up, but (& I know she won’t mind me saying as this is reality!), that after finishing work Wednesday, & putting on a front for the kids until bedtime, the tears streamed down Wednesday night & yesterday!
Therefore, yesterday when my oncologist Dr Taylor told me “There is no Sign of Disease”, we were both speechless and tears of joy and relief flowed! A huge, massive weight lifted off our shoulders. I have also been moved to 12 monthly CT scans which is just incredible. 
Again thanks to all of you for all your ongoing support & to the great medical team. It’s not just scan anxiety time when we have ‘wobbles’, it’s in making decisions for our future, in when we plan our working lives, when I’m suddenly ill, have a cough, had stomach problems earlier in the year & was anxious it had spread to peritoneal mesothelioma etc so thank you to all our family and friends for keeping us going!!!

Best wishes 
Dave & Ali xx


4 years ago today, 6 days after my 40th birthday I had my life changing/saving Operation with the removal of my left lung, chest lining & part of my diaphragm! This was following diagnosis just a month earlier of Pleural Mesothelioma. Without the operation, I believe I wouldn’t be here to tell my story! 

There are so many fellow Mesothelioma patients we have met, that sadly are now no longer with us and we think of them and their families and friends. Mike whom I met on my Chemo being the most recent, and he and his wife always had time for us both at chemo & check ups, and were so positive. It really continues to hit home how fortunate I am, as I can only think of a small handful of people who are living with this disease longer than 4 years.  I genuinely believe that being diagnosed at early stages, being young, and having the operation & chemo has saved my life, and enabled me to exceed the 12-18 months life expectancy. 

There are so many of you to thank, but a special thank you has to go to the Medical team for keeping me alive and taking the extreme high risk to do the Operation in the first instance!!:
Professor Woodcock (First consultant following symptoms) 
Dr Shah (BiospySurgeon)
Mr Waller & his team (Mesothelioma Surgeon @ Glenfield hospital)
Dr Paul Taylor (Meso Oncologist who is still looking after me today!). 
Mesothelioma UK Nurses – Lorraine & Maireed.

There are many more medical people, and the list could go on. You know who you are and thank you! …..

Special thank you to my wife and kids, who have been my rock. I’m so lucky to have Ali by my side, and words cannot describe how I feel about her. Without her who knows where I would be… 

When I look back at what has happened and what we have achieved since diagnosis, it makes me very proud and grateful to everyone who has helped me along the way. I wouldn’t wish the last 4 years on anyone, however I have learnt so much about myself, and how resilient as individuals we can be. The love and support people have shown me has exceeded well above anything I could have dreamed of – huge thank you to all our friends and family. The incredible generosity of meals, childcare, donations for my bike rides, my actual bike ride buddies & the long hours of training for both 100mile rides, positive people/quotes/messages, listening to us etc etc! There are so many of you all to thank & name personally but I know that without all of this support, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Erin has almost doubled in age since diagnosis & Josh is now 12-how amazing and what a privilege it is to see them grow up.  

No matter what life throws at you, until that last breathe, never give up, keep believing and have faith. 

“Start my doing what’s necessary, then do what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible” 

Lots of love Dave xx

P.S (Updated 26.11)
I know so many of you have already but if you would like to donate to help find a cure to Mesothelioma  please donate to https://localgiving.org/fundraising/staleyerasemeso/
I’ve set my own fundraising page and Funds raised go directly to a new charity set up by Paul Cook  (Fellow Young Meso Patient) and his wife Jill. 
1. Fund scientific research into mesothelioma to help find a cure or at least a way of maintaining this disease.
2. Raise awareness of mesothelioma.


It’s been a week where my Mesothelioma has been very much at the front of Alison’s & my thoughts! 

Last Thursday I was privileged to be invited to share my journey at UKATA AGM (UK Asbestos Training Association), at East Midlands Airport.  There were representatives from across the Asbestos  industry, mostly those that train others to increase awareness of Asbestos and the dangers it can cause.  The feedback was overwhelming and hopefully it will inspire those present to continue the great work they do.  It was fitting this was the day before Annual Action Mesothelioma Day, with many articles/events highlighting awareness of this awful disease and our thoughts go out to all those who are less fortunate than me and have lost their lives. 

Today was my 6 monthly Xray and appointment at Wythenshaw NW Lung Centre. We are hugely relieved to share that the Xray was clear and it gives us another 6month break and back in Jan 2020! 

Waiting for the appointment these last few days, walking into the hospital, sat waiting in the waiting room brings all the sickness feeling flooding back and the what ifs and maybes! I’m unlucky to have the disease (we still get odd looks/comments in the waiting room that we are so young!) but so lucky to be showing no signs of the disease currently!
It was Joshua’s 12th birthday celebrations last weekend (due to exams interfering end of June for him!) & Erin is 10 in October – we’re just so thankful that I’m here to share in their lives still which certainly did not seem at all imaginable after diagnosis. 
Please do still continue to spread awareness yourselves about the danger of asbestos. It’s in 700 UK primary schools still, it’s in hospitals, libraries too and if we can prevent  even just 1 person going through anything like we have, then it’s worth it. 
Tomorow Erins school is raising money for Cancer Research UK. Each child will be running 2k, and raising valuable funds to help find a cure for Cancer. We do appreciate many of you have already kindly donated previously & continue to do so as sadly cancer impacts everyone of us, but If you are able to donate it would be very much appreciated. 
Thanks for all your continued support
Dave & Ali xx

Update 39 Months On

Hi All

Happy New Year!
We had a lovely festive period with family & friends, but the last 3 weeks have been tough on us waiting for results following my first full CT scan in 12months!
It’s always been the toughest part waiting/the unknown! Your mind starts playing games with you and every twinge, cold or change in mood/tiredness you start to think the worst! In fact I have just started an 8 week online Mindfulness course (encouraged by my wonderful wife!), to try and help us through these tougher times!
Well the fantastic news is that the CT-scan has shown no change from 12 months ago, and my oncologist has told me he will see me again in 6months! We are ecstatic! If anyone would have had told me 3 and a bit years ago, following the short prognosis I was given, that I would be on no medication/ treatment, leading a normal (ish life) with 1 lung and I would ‘just’ have to go through the scan anxiety, I would have said – “that would be like winning the lottery”!
Our thoughts go out to all those who are not as fortunate, are more advanced with Meso and dealing with other cancer diagnoses too. Please don’t give up hope, there are plenty of success stories out there and continued medical advances. Stay positive # keep believing.
Thanks again for all your kind messages of support
Lots of love
Dave & Ali xx

The Impossible – 3 Years On

Two weeks ago we attended the Meso UK Patient & Carer day and today both Alison and I had the honour of presenting at the NLCFN (National Lung Conference for Nurses) on our journey with Mesothelioma.

At the Meso Patient & Carer day it was inspiring to hear other patients stories (Tim Stokes & Liam Bradley); along with the experts speaking on the tremendous amount of current work going on, the trials, the research etc which gives all of us Meso warriors hope for the future. 

At both conferences the National Meso audit results (2014-16) were highlighted and the key stats which stood out for me are:

7192 diagnosed during audit period
84% of pleural Meso occurs in Males
Average patient age is 75
104 patients are below the age of 54
Only 40% had chemo
4% have radical surgery
Out of 7192 patients I am only one of two people who had full lung removal! 
38% patients survive 1 year 
7% patients survive 3 years

This week another milestone was achieved for us as I passed the 3 year mark! Looking at the above stats it still shows how incredible lucky we are! 

Therefore it added to the emotion today that we were able to share our 3 year journey at the NLCFN forum at the International Centre in Telford.  The aim was to inform those present of our journey and hopefully to continue to inspire attendees to continue the great work everyone is doing to help us as Meso patients and carers. Our presentation was based around the following  quote (thanks Caroline Cartwright ) that has stuck with me since the start of diagnosis and will do going forward : 

Start by doing what’s necessarythen do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible – Francis of Assisi 
One of the ideas that maybe taken away for further research (funding allowing!) is about scan anxiety – watch this space! 
The presentation ended up being a lot more emotional for me than I was expecting, and apologies for those in the audience who followed suit….It was a true honour for both Ali and I to be invited and listened too and thanks to all for arranging it.  To receive a standing ovation at the end will remain with us forever. Thank you for all the incredible work you are all doing in all the various disciplines – medical, charity, legal etc!
I would just like to make a special mention to friends and family who continually donate to Meso UK and especially my niece Chloe Christopher who set up a fundraising page for people to donate for her 18th birthday. She raised an amazing £270. Thank you!
My next blog, all being well, will be in January when we find out the results of my next CT scan!
Thanks for all your continued support.
Dave & Ali xxx

Summer Scan


Just a quick update to share fantastic news; I had an X-ray today (first one in 6months) and a follow up appointment. The Oncologist advises X-ray is clear, and he doesn’t want to see me again for another 6 months! Such a huge relief! Scan anxiety is still horrendous!

We had a good conversation with our oncologist who took time out to discuss how we were both feeling and coping. I advised days go by now when I do forget I have it, but then it unfortunately hits home when fellow Meso warriors are either passing away or going through more treatment. We also discussed current trials and how compared to 10 years ago there are a lot more trials and the potentials of immunotherapy. Encouraging signs but still a lot of research to go! However there is hope, I believe one day it will be cured and hopefully I will be around to see that!

Currently I am one of the more fortunate ones nearly 3 years on from diagnosis! We’ve had a lovely summer celebrating my dads 70th, my In-laws Golden Wedding Anniversary, we’ve just had a great family holiday, I get to see Joshua finish primary school and shortly start high school and Erin turn 9 soon! None of these milestones seemed possible at the end of October 2015!

“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible” Francis of Assisi

Lots of love, continued thanks to family & friends and our best wishes to fellow Meso warriors and those impacted by cancer.

Dave & Ali x

Mesothelioma Awareness Day

Today is Mesothelioma Awareness day and I attended a moving ceremony in Albert square, with about 150 people who have either lost loved ones or currently suffering with this awful disease. A lady told us her story of loosing her husband (aged 60) within 12 months of diagnosis and 3 MPs spoke about the need for more research, removing it safely from all buildings & schools, and raising awareness of the dangers of asbestos.

Therefore, I thought this is a good opportunity to give an update and spread awareness;

Currently alls very well, I am symptom free and one of the few lucky ones.  Life is good (just struggling a bit with 1 lung & the heat but us British always love to say something on the weather!), kids are keeping us busy and we are enjoying spending time with family and friends. My next Scan is in August, and now we are at six monthly scans, it helps so much to avoid the scan anxiety. Some days I even forget I have it and I so wish that could be the same for all Meso Warriors.

Last week, I was asked to do a 10 minute video for the British Lung Foundation, who were holding the first conference of a Mesothelioma Research Network, bringing together researchers and healthcare professionals from across the country.  As well as telling them my journey I was asked:

“What message do you have for scientists and healthcare professionals who are researching mesothelioma and treating people who have this condition?”I have attached this and please share far & wide for awareness (It was a last minute request as unfortunately a Meso warrior was not well enough to attend, I did this in 1 take quickly in my lunch break so apologies in advance)!


Unfortunately not everyone is aware of the dangers of asbestos and think “it won’t happen to me”! Very sadly death from mesothelioma is still on the increase. In the UK, it is still present in 85% of schools, no asbestos is safe asbestos and more people die from Mesothelioma in the UK than on the UK roads!

Please, please do all you can to help find a cure, and do everything possible to prevent you, family, friends & anyone else, being exposed to asbestos. It is not worth the risk!

At this time we think of those who are no longer with us, their family and friends and current Meso patients worldwide. Dave & Alison Staley xx

6 Months

Hi all, it’s quite fitting on World Cancer Day, that I share some fabulous news. For the first time in 4 years (Pre-diagnosis with biopsies etc not knowing it was Meso) I have gone from 3-month checkups or less to 6months!!!! My Oncologist re-confirmed my recent results and advised the lymph gland now 12mm (previously 19mm)and no concerns on the abdomen! It now means we can relax and avoid scan anxiety for awhile! He advised 1 CT scan has the equivalent radiation of 50 X-rays, and since I have had many CT scans, we need to be careful! In addition my scans over the last 12 months have thrown up some red-herrings that have caused more scan anxiety than required. Thus, next visit is August, and that’s only an X-ray!

As I write this though we know we are fortunate, there are many others who unfortunately are undergoing treatment, or sadly haven’t got such positive news, some of whom we have become good friends with. We send our very best wishes, this Mesothelioma, as-well as all cancers certainly are a rollercoaster!

We are extremely grateful to all the medical experts and carers whom continue to work so hard for all cancers. Here’s to more research, treatment & a cure!!!

Dave & Ali