Toughest Decision of my life

After a great weekend (school disco for adults, UNICEF game at old Trafford, time with family& friends) it was time for more appointments and calls with specialists to finalise treatment plans.

On Monday it was suggested to me that I should consider very carefully the operation that we had previously decided upon as my treatment plan. It was thought that surgery (removal of lining, diaphragm) was the best way forward but to be careful as to the extent. Thus, we have had to re-evaluate the options of, in addition to above: a) removing my left lung (EPP) and hopefully all the cancer or b)removing the cancer and repairing the lung (EPD). Medical literature states they have found no evidence that EPP benefits patients in the long term though.

Sleepless night on Monday, much discussion with Ali and family, and emails to specialists for more advice. After being certain on the way forward up until this point, this was very tough on us all! But I am glad this was raised with us, to ensure we have carefully evaluated our decision.

Tuesday involved speaking to Dr Waller and travelling to meet his excellent team in Leicester (People travel from all over Europe to see him- best in the business we’ve been told) and then straight to an appointment at the Alex (Manchester) with Professor Woodcock, who was the original Specialist we saw in April 2014. It was a long day but very informative!

EPP (lung removal) has not been done for over 12 months here. However, advice from Dr Waller and his team, who have always thought from experience EPP would be ideal for a select number of patients, is that I am this ‘select’ case: Young (don’t laugh!) to cope with major surgery, my right lung is fully functioning and that the Mesothelioma is at an early stage (we have had this now confirmed which is a positive)!

There are no guarantees, medical evidence, but from all the advice we feel it’s my best chance of obtaining any type of cure. By keeping the lung, this runs the risk of cancerous cells being left there or spreading, whilst with removing the lung there is more of a probability that they can get rid of it all. To summarise: “if I keep the lung I maybe able to play football with my mates, but not watch my kids for as long in their life or if I remove the lung, I won’t be able to play football but I maybe able to see my kids play for longer”. When put like this, removing the lung makes sense.

We are still to speak to a few specialists but I feel certain on the way forward. Even though Surgery has major risks (Mortality 1:20), after weighing everything up and seeking much advice, we feel it is the right decision. I want to be able to look in the mirror and say I gave it my best shot. I would always regret not removing the lung, if the cancer grew back in that area.

So the plan is to go into hospital on Tuesday 24th, with the operation on Wednesday 25th. I will be in Glenfield hospital (Leicester) for 7-10 days. First few days closely monitored on HDU. I believe in the surgeon and his team, I got an excellent feeling from them yesterday and from speaking with other Meso patients there as well.

For the operation I need to be fit and healthy. Thus, please don’t come near me if you have any bugs! Please remind me not to shake your hand or give you a cuddle and don’t be offended if I use hand gel immediately after shaking your hand! (Being the affectionate guy I am – this will be hard, already failed 3 times today!!!)

I am now looking forward to celebrating my 40th! Not sure what Ali has planned, but I’m sure I will enjoy it. ( No pressure Ali!)

 

Thanks for your continued support and offer of help. We are in the process of trying to plan practically what we need to do over the next few weeks, whilst trying to maintain normality for the kids. (We will tell them over the weekend that Daddy is going into hospital for an operation to make him better, they won’t be able to visit. We continue to appreciate your discreteness around the children). After hospital, recovery will be anything from 2-4 months, with chemo to most likely follow. Therefore, we will be calling on you all to help practically following your kind offers. Thank you in advance.

Keep the comments and support going, we cannot thank you all enough.

Lots of love
Dave & Ali

Ps: Ali will try her best next week to give an update via Facebook and or the blog.

25 thoughts on “Toughest Decision of my life

  1. Hi Dave and Ali, thanks for the update. Right decision I am sure but will continue o pray for you all and look forward to seeing you on Saturday!? if the weather is OK. It is very bad up here at the moment but it must break soon! i think.
    Lots of Love
    Peter & Olive xxxx Jenni & Jon, Kate and Dan xxxx

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  2. It’s a good job you weren’t that good a footballer! Tough decision but as you say a no brainer really. Will be thinking of you all. All our prayers, Ange & Tony xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thinking of you all and sending positive vibes and bestest wishes. Virtual hugs only! I’m not sure a gingerbread operating theatre would be appropriate, but if there’s any other way i can help, just shout. Xxx

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  4. Love and prayers with you all. It’s amazing how easy decisions are when you bring the family into the equation. Dad or na dad.
    Love to you all and remember there is always accomodation down here.

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  5. Thanks for the update. There are always tough decisions to make. It’s amazing that you have such a brilliant team in your corner to advise you. Lots of love to you and Ali xxxxx

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  6. You are so brave , I have such admiration for your determination. It must have been a difficult decision but reading your blog and now being a parent I completely relate to the choice you have made. Sending love Jen xx

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  7. I am shocked to hear your news Dave. You sound incredibly strong and positive and with a good team around you, personal and professional. This will be the key. Good luck with your operation Sarah Mike Rohan Jay and Sam xx

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  8. I truly feel positive for you Dave, such an inspiration xxx you know what I am like for hugs so I will defo be giving your share to Ali. Stay strong and positive sunshine, enjoy your actual birthday and it goes without saying any help I can provide you know where I am xx
    Lots of hugs, love and kisses xxxx

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  9. Sounds like a smart move and a wise decision Dave. Good luck mate. I will certainly be thinking of you next week.
    Didn’t realise you were at the Beckham game. We could have met up. I look forward to discussing it with you soon. Very positive and inspiring event I thought. Glad you were there mate.
    Speak soon,
    Phil W

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  10. Hi Dave & Ali – you are both incredible and amazingly strong – will be thinking of you next week and sending lots of love & hugs xxx

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  11. Brilliant update, sounds like a strong decision and keep us posted for anything you need. You’ll just need to let the Everton scouting team down gently 😉

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  12. Blimey Dave – that’s a decision and a half! Massive positives – you are young (40 is the new 30!!!), fit (steady!), incredibly positive & meso is at early stages! behind you every step of the way – now enjoy your official 40th xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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  13. Hi Dave remember me from your childhood ??- Lynne (nee Oliver) now Slattery.I think you were about 8 when I visited your parents all the rime as a student in the eighties ! I am just about to ask Frontline Church’s Healing Rooms to pray for you – particularly for next week’s op but also beyond that whilst you recouperate/ have chemo etc. Love Lynne x

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  14. Dave – I’m sure that the Holy Spirit has guided you to the correct decision. It is very positive that it has been confirmed as early stage. Each step is guided and takes you closer to the All Clear. I will be praying for you next Wednesday for the surgery. All my good thoughts and positive wishes beaming your way, Roshan

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  15. Dave
    I have only just heard about your blog from Margie/ Mum in law.
    What an inspiration and a star you are!
    We are thinking of you and Ali, the kids and family every day.
    Just sending you our best, best wishes in huge, huge bucketfuls!
    Love Kelly and Dave

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  16. Dear Dave and Ali
    heard about your blog today from your Mother in law. Just to let you know that you are in our thoughts and prayers at Boldmere and even if we can’t be of any practical help to you and Ali you know we will do all we can to support John and Margaret. God Bless xx

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  17. Hi Dave!
    I’m in Australia, my husband is 37 and was diagnosed with meso 5 weeks ago. We’d love to get in contact via email, it’s always good to have a community that knows exactly what you’re going through. The most positive of vibes for you on Wednesday, with a swift recovery! Let’s kick mesothelioma arse!!!! Our email is re_nee_@hotmail.com – good luck xoxo

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  18. Dave and Ali
    Tonight will be a shocker for you.
    But, decisions made! Forward march!
    Thinking of you all. That determination will carry you through!
    Loads of love Kelly and Dave

    Like

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