My name is Richard Davies, I’m 36 and I have stage 4 colon cancer. Without drastic and immediate intervention, doctors tell me I have 3 months to live.
So where does my story start. I’ve had issues with my bowels since I was 18. Passing blood, loose movements etc. I must have visited the GP at least a dozen times over the last 10 or 15 years. I was always told I’m too young for it to be anything serious.
About 6 weeks ago I started to get a stomach ache. Nothing too serious at first. I just ignored it
initially. But it started to get worse. And worse. And worse. I ended up in A&E two weeks ago in relentless agony. After 9 hours sat in various wards, waiting for various people to see me they
finally consented to a CT scan. This after 3 separate doctors tried to send me home with a
laxative and a diagnosis of constipation.
But, as it turns out the CT scan was crucial and it made a “significant find”. It’s been an absolute whirlwind since that moment. A colonoscopy followed which sadly confirmed a malignant tumour.
I was told it was definitely just stage 2 as the CT scan showed no spread and that an operation
was to follow quickly to remove the tumour and that would, hopefully, be that.
But in the two weeks between the discovery of the tumour and the operation to
remove it I completely deteriorated.
I ended up in A&E again but this time it was really bad. I was in AGONY. The night before I’d been instructed to take 2 top shelf laxatives by my consultant. Little did they know that what those laxatives did was to turn 4 weeks worth of blocked stool into liquid. And little did they know that by this point my bowel was totally obstructed.
This foul, rotten, liquid had nowhere to go. Except back the way it came. My body started trying to vomit out my shit at 3 o’clock in the morning.
I was rushed to emergency theatre where they finally opened me up and that’s when they discovered that this tumour had blocked my bowel entirely, had broken through the bowel wall and totally run amok in my abdomen. 25 further tumours were discovered in my peritoneal with deposits in my pelvis, my bowel wall and my omentum. Things were now very serious.
I’d gone from stage 2 to stage 4 in the blink of an eye.
So what now? I’m lined up for incredibly harsh chemotherapy starting in June. They’re flooding me with all 4 chemo drugs straight off the bat which is almost unheard of. The current treatment plan also calls for a fifth drug, Avastin, which is not available on the NHS. I have to self fund that part of my treatment. This could cost in excess of £50,000 depending on how many rounds I need.
The intention of the chemo is to shrink this tumour down and contain it, with the hope that I’ll then be referred to a specialist clinic in Basingstoke for what’s known as the “Mother Of All Surgeries”. Or in medical terms CRS and HIPAS. Google it if you dare!
CRS and HIPAS is carried out with curative intent. Or in other words, after having this one off, incredibly risky surgery, the hope is that you wake up and you’re totally cured from cancer. It’s practically a modern day miracle. But, and it’s a big but, I’ve got to tackle this chemo first and shrink this tumour down.
My prognosis is dismal. The odds are firmly against me surviving this. But there is a chance and whilst there is a chance then there is hope. And whilst I have hope I intend to fight this bastard as hard as I can, for as long as I can. I will do whatever I can to try and survive this thing. But whatever happens to me I will face it with dignity, good humour and courage. I am loved by friends and family. I am loved by my Wife. I am blessed In so many ways.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story.
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