Back in 1996 aged just twenty-five, I had a mole removed that had some cell abnormalities… cancer wasn’t mentioned. Five years later I developed swollen lymph glands and a lump under my left armpit and was diagnosed as having malignant melanoma. Surgery followed including four craniotomy procedures when lesions were discovered in my brain.
Having tried various unsuccessful approaches my treatment options were running out. I was fortunate to be recommended to Professor Dalgleish and as a result able to follow a course of dendritic cell cancer vaccine coupled with m-vaccae and thalidomide.
I have been living with cancer now for sixteen years and for seven of those I have had no further relapses and no detectable signs of cancer.
Given my treatment had not necessarily followed a standard treatment plan, it cannot be proven if one, all or the combination of these various treatments has made the difference. However the remission has followed commencement of dendritic cell treatment.
Whilst the demons never disappear, I am living a normal life. I feel that fitness has benefited me if not in being more resilient, at least in feeling I am, so I try to exercise frequently. I have taken part in the London Marathon and recently completed a half iron-man raising funds for the CVI.
Throughout my treatment, I have been fortunate to keep working full-time, currently managing European operations, comprising of a network of offices and logistics centres. This is a role I had not dreamt of attaining during my surgery and treatment several years ago.