Stephen 52,

Keep fighting and you can win

" I know there’s a lot of people who have recovered from their treatments and there have been a lot who unfortunately have not. I myself have not written before maybe not to tempt fate, but now after 3 years of pain and treatment I can know finally write a little bit about my story. In July of 2012 I went to the doctors with a pain in my stomach area and got told to take some pills for ulcers. After 3 weeks went back still in pain and was then told I may have Gall Stones and got referred to hospital (Princess of Wales Bridgend). A couple of nights later I asked my wife (who has been my rock over this period) to take me to hospital in the wee small hours of Sunday as I was in agony. As soon as we walked through the doors my shirt was ripped off and small sticky pads applied to my chest. To cut things short, I was told yes it might be Gall Stones. Then they didn’t know what I had got. After a week in hospital having tests, I was told to leave for the weekend only to return on Tuesday. More C.T. Scans and X-rays, they found a growth next to my Gall Bladder, still not sure what it was. Then a bomb shell, shadows on my lungs thought to be blood clots so I had to have self-injecting blood thinning needles every day. Then I was sent to another hospital (Morriston, Swansea). It took longer to get there than we were there altogether. Told to go to the University of Wales Hospital in Cardiff. There we met a surgeon who was willing to do the (3-4 hour) operation, on the growth with it being a 99.9% chance of a non-cancerous growth. No biopsy being done due to the difficult area where it was. October 8th 2012 was the date for the growth be removed, 8 hours later I finally came out of the operating theatre, 4 days in recovery, 2 weeks in hospital, 52 staples, 300g tumour removed and 3-4 inches of vein reconstruction and a blood transfusion. And then another bombshell, I was told by my wife (a week later) I had a Leiomyosarcoma growing on my Vena Cava vein, just below my right kidney, (the kidney was left to die), more complications if removed. Leiomyosarcoma, never heard of this before. Since then I have been told I have tumours on my Liver, Lungs, 1 on my spine, 1 on my 4th rib up left hand side and 2 on my Pancreas. I have had 6 different types of chemotherapy and Radiotherapy (to relieve pain on my spine) and now 7th and final chemo treatment. I am on my 2nd, 3 month break from chemo, this chemo (Decarbazine) seems to be shrinking the tumours. (A treatment which is the oldest and was never going to be given as I was told it wouldn’t work). I will never get rid of my Leiomyosarcoma, but I can live with it, all be it controlled. I hope this will encourage others to believe in hope, to be strong, have a good and strong mental mind. Yes you will have down days, but be strong and believe, I CAN FIGHT THIS AND WIN. "

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