My reason for making this unfortunately isn't as positive as some peoples reasons and i could write a book on the last 3 years of my life but i will try to keep it streamlined. I do need to go back in time a little to explain as best i can though...
2 years ago i was a 26 year old Software Applications Engineer working hard to support my partner and family. Slowly i noticed that i was struggling to swallow food, so took a trip to the GP's surgery a few times. After a months or so of tests (including 3 upper endoscopes) it was a huge shock to us and my doctors when i was diagnosed with stage III esophageal cancer, which is far more common in people over 80 years old.
I followed what I was told and went through intense chemo and radiotherapy prior to an Ivor Lewis total esophagectomy to remove the tumour in my esophagus (food pipe) as well as the majority of my food pipe. This means that my stomach has been pulled into my chest cavity and reattached at my throat. This makes eating and drinking a daily challenge.
(Above - post esophagectomy, yes i am smiling in the top right)
After this for the foreseeable future I was on the road to recovery wondering how long it would be until i could walk and eat properly again, or so we thought... A huge lump seemed to be all of a sudden protruding from my neck, and of course recurrence was its name. Tests showed that the cancer has metastasised and spread to my lymphatic system and was seen in my neck. Further chemo and radiotherapy was given in an attempt to prolong my life as this was now a Stage IV beast and was deemed as incurable/terminal.
(Above - some radiation burn)
It was just before this point i had started reading up and trying to educate myself wondering how a cure hadn't been found for such diseases yet with modern medicine, as i knew the treatments i was going back for everyday were doing as much damage as they were good. The longer I sat at home unable to work, the more research I did. Researching anything i could find on treatments and cures, wading my way through the inevitable arguments of for and against everything, weighing up what was best for me. Educated myself and began living my life differently, my diet, exercise, off-label drugs, supplements, everything i could find. I came across many books that have helped me in my journey. I believe through merit of this and the mainstream treatment i received i'm still alive today as the tumours in my neck reduced to be unnoticed by CT scans.
However it was found on the same CT scan that I had a shadow on the back of my right lung within a fissure (where lymph nodes sit within your lung) which proved to be cancerous also. I've had more radiotherapy to this area and continue on my own custom protocol I've built for long term survival and hopeful cure of this disease that's trying it's hardest to pull me away from my life. However the mainstream treatment available to me is now wearing thin as my body is very broken from all of the treatment I've received. Meaning my options when it comes to treatment on the NHS are coming to an end. However my immune system remains strong thanks to my lifestyle now and my mind even stronger!
Cancer at a base cell form is made up of 2 cell types in our bodies, fast dividing cells (which creates tumours and as they divide the tumour grows), And stem cells (which are in the centre of tumours). Thankfully through my own will to survive and pure stubbornness i began my own protocol and have managed to seemingly reverse the cancer somewhat by damaging and killing the fast diving cells alongside more mainstream treatments. However my fight is not over yet as you can kill off the fast metabolising/diving cells with diet/lifestyle changes, further help is needed for the stem cells due to my now compromised digestive system.
The cancer remains in my lymphatic system and tumours could start growing at any point, anywhere. For me to have a chance in eradicating this horrid disease for good I require more treatment, but unfortunately the treatment i require is unavailable in my country right now, and currently is not used for my cancer type in the UK. (It is for others but not esophageal, i know it makes me question lots too). My oncologist has told me it could be usable in the UK within the next few years but, as time is very much of the essence i have to get on the next treatments ASAP!
Therefore I am in need of potentially going outside of the UK to get my treatment to help me to kill the cancers’ stem cells within my body, which are the cells that live within the centre of a tumour now I've been starving out and killing the fast dividing tumour cells. I have unfortunately lost my job due to all of the above and am unable to work at the moment so need to raise a minimum of 30,000 GBP for my proposed initial treatment alone, plus travel to Germany where the treatment centre is based, along with any other treatments i find in the future as i find new treatments and protocol ideas everyday that i add to my daily routines. The next treatment i am looking into is a drug called Nivolumab which is an immunotherapy drug which also costs a great amount.
The figure i am asking for will help to cover these costs along with helping to support myself and my wife through this allowing her to take a little time off work to come with me to my treatments as currently she works full time to support us as well as helping care for me.
I hate the idea of having to ask anybody for financial help, but my situation seems to call for it, and instead of just asking for money i decided to try and give something too, I am hoping to put everything i learn into writing to hopefully help others as esophageal cancer is becoming more and more of a regular occurrence in people of similar ages to myself. Not that i have any regrets as i am still alive today, but I truly believe if i had a book or paper i'd written about my journey so far in fighting esophageal cancer it would have helped me an immeasurable amount back at the beginning, and i hope to be able to help someone like that in the near future.
ALL donations to this page will go to what i call the “save my life fund”.
Now we all know there are good and bad in this world, but I want to end on a good note. To my amazement she said yes during December 2018 and we married April 2019 and i'm so blessed to have her by my side, through all of this we've been through it together and i really need to make our time together last as long as it should.
Myself and my family thank you from the bottom of our hearts for any help you can give, be it financial, or just sharing my story to help promote awareness of Esophageal cancer and how our lifestyles and diets seem to be promoting bad health in younger and younger people such as myself.