7500 hits in 36 Countries!!!

Happy New Year everyone, hope you all had a fantastic festive period.

At the end of 2015, I received a report that summarised the traffic to my blog since it started in November. By 31.12.15 it had received 7500 hits in 36 countries, with the most visits on 11th Nov with 1036! I was completed shocked, but very proud and honoured that so many of you are behind us, supporting and helping us to stay and positive. We certainly feel it…

We had a good Christmas Day at home with Ali’s parents – I could even taste and enjoy a hearty christmas dinner! Unfortunately, a trip to Liverpool on Boxing Day to see the Staley clan was cancelled due to quite a few of them having bugs. This got me down and very frustrated, especially when due to my illness it impacts seeing family, friends and upsetting the kids. I understand why I need to stay away from people with bugs but it doesn’t make it any easier! Some were able to visit us the day after and we then made a trip to Liverpool at the end of the holidays. A fantastic few days rest in Sutton Coldfield to see Ali’s parents, brother and family before celebrations at New Year.

Had a great time celebrating New Year with great friends, attending 2 house parties (afternoon & evening – thank you very much), meal out, drinking 5 beers & glass of red ( I think….) and staying up until 1am! I even managed to win (out of the adults) the ‘cereal box’ game- having to pick a cornflake box up with teeth off the floor without hands or knees touching the floor – obviously funny when you’ve drank and are entertaining kids!! After each round the box is made smaller…. I won’t mention any names, to embarrass those adults who were beaten by an invalid…haha…

Each day I have improved, increased my walking and I have gone over the 5k mark with 2 walks in one day, averaging 3.5k each day since I was discharged on 7th Dec! I have also started to do small tasks around the house and some school drop offs much to Alison’s relief! As long as I rest in-between tasks to help the body recover, Im fine. I remember the advice “listen to your body, and rest when you need to”. Now 6 weeks post op, I am amazed how well I am doing. Next short term aim is to do 5k in one go! (walk then run – don’t laugh!!!) I still have a cough and occasional nightly sweats but they are not as bad as they were.

Emotionally it can be hard at times, we have our down times, but these are outweighed by a lot more ‘ups’. Its been hard getting back into a ‘normal’ routine this week, whatever our new ‘normal’ is!! As a good friend said even a normal healthy person has a down day, we are all allowed them. I remember my dad saying emotionally, it was harder for him than my mum when she had Cancer. This is true, and for Ali not only is she having to see me go through all the surgery, recovery, cheering me up on down days, looking after the kids, having a full time job, it is the emotional strain of one day thinking she maybe left on her own with the kids. We are positive people and we firmly tell ourselves we have to live for the moment, but occasionally these thoughts do cross our minds. However, we only have to look at some of the inspirational stories (we’ve found a Meso Warrior 17 years on from diagnosis this week in Arizona) and that instantly gives us hope & belief. 17 year meso warrior survivor Chris’s advice to patients: “Just have faith and keep going, stay positive and stay strong.” This is us! We also have plenty of new positives which we are typically taken for granted – Ali & I have never had so much time recently to talk to each other face to face in hospitals/waiting rooms etc, we worked out that in all our working careers neither of us had had the full 2 weeks off at Christmas to relax and spend time with family and friends, plus we got out every day over the holiday for a family walk (this is a positive once the camaraderie of sorting out gloves, umbrellas, wellies etc etc is complete)!!!! Also, we only have to watch the news locally and abroad to know how truly fortunate we still are.

Oncologist appointment this week went well. Plan is to start on 22nd Jan at Wythenshaw hospital (just 20mins away luckily). It will be 4-6 cycles, every 3 weeks. Day 1 will entail a 7/8 hour day on the ward having the drugs administered via a drip, Day 15 checkup, Day 21 the cycle starts again. We are currently looking at the possibility of a drug in addition to standard chemo, it’s called Bevacizumab. It has been proven recently to have better results than just standard chemo. Disappointingly, it is not available on NHS or private currently, however it maybe going through appropriate approvals as we speak, due to successful trials. What we don’t know either is whether the drug will be specifically for Mesothelioma or other types of Cancer. Luckily we know people who have contacts whom are investigating to see what the latest position is. I will keep you updated if chemo plans change!

In this last week, I have emailed and had a response from Lord David Alton (former MP) who is trying to push for a bill to go through that will make insurance companies put more money towards Mesothelioma research. Unfortunately, Mesotheliomas is on a sharp rise especially here in the UK, but currently it is only £430 per death, where a lot of other cancers are in their £1000’s. David Alton has put me in touch with the Bristish Lung Foundation, who have since read my blog and have advised it is a ‘very powerful story’. I have offered to help in their funding campaign and we are going to speak next week to discuss ideas! One of my other targets this year is to do a fundraising event…..Watch this space…

Thank you for all your continued support, generosity, humour, love, it is all very much appreciated by us both

Dave & Ali xxx

7 thoughts on “7500 hits in 36 Countries!!!

  1. Happy New Year! Thank you for the update…its great to hear how you are all doing and its brilliant that you now have global support!!
    Challenging times ahead but stay strong…there are lots of people thinking of you and wishing you all the very best. Take care of you all…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You are sounding good, Dave – so glad to hear such positive feedback so far. Keep walking! Ruby and I will look out for you!
    Lots of love to you all, Russ and Sue

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We’re meeting Lord Prior (Minister for Health in the Lords) very soon to discuss research funding for mesothelioma, Dave. Will keep you updated and looking forward to talking soon. Take care BLF Penny


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