Monthly Archives: November 2018

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