In April of this year, I sadly lost my Uncle quite suddenly to that bastard Cancer.
I say suddenly, maybe about 10 years ago he was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer and underwent surgery and chemotherapy for 6 months and he has been in remission since. He then had yearly checkups which in more recent years moved to 3 yearly, although he had an open access agreement with his consultant that if he felt another check up was needed sooner he could request one and would be seen.
In the New Year, he told my Dad (his older brother by a year), that he wasn't feeling right and although he wasn't overly concerned he was going to go to the Doctors, just a few niggley pains. His doctor ran blood test which all came back fine, but said he would organise an appointment with my Uncle's old consultant to put his mind at rest. He was got an appointment through for mid February but before he attended he collapsed at home with severe stomach ache.
This turned out to be a huge blockage in his bowel causing an obstruction which they operated on as an emergency and ended up having to remove the whole of my Uncle's bowel leaving him with a colostomy bag. Scans done at the time also revealed 'unknown growths' in his liver. No-one at this stage had said cancer but we all knew. He was very poorly after the surgery and ended up getting infection after infection at the site of the colostomy bag, which left him weaker and weaker.
After 3 weeks the decision was taken for him to return home as he was well enough with daily care, the aim being to get him strong enough to start chemotherapy as soon as possible.
2 weeks later he was admitted to St Gemma's Hospice in Leeds for reassessment - the nurses assured him and his family they were only admitting him for 24 hours in order to do the assessments so a new treatment plan could be initiated quicker for him. If they made a hospital appointment for him, it would take time and the ultimate goal was to get him stronger so he could start treatment as soon as possible.
Less than 24 hours later, he passed away while in St Gemma's peacefully with his family around him.
We were all shocked and devastated. In the space of 6 weeks, an active, bird loving, caring man had been claimed by cancer.
Although only in St Gemma's for a short period of time, the care both my Uncle and his family received went above and beyond the expected, the aftercare of the family as well.
In his memory, I am running The Great North Run to try and raise £350.00 towards St Gemma's so they can continue to help other families out there.
Please, please if you feel you can help, sponsor me and help me reach this target
I am training quite hard at the moment and was pleased that I ran 6.6 miles last night in an hour when I felt I was really out of condition.
I plan to write a little weekly training log to keep me motivated.
I ran the Edinburgh half last April and did it in 2 hours 35 minutes so ideally would like to better my time.