Andrew was diagnosed with melanoma and wanted to do anything he could to live as long as possible. Through Penny Brohn UK he found support for his whole person.
"Keep the body tiptop and you’ve every chance of living well with cancer. I thank my lucky stars that I was able to come and benefit from Penny Brohn’s services."
I was a career man, spending almost 37 years at NatWest. I took early retirement at 53, but returned to work before eventually retiring at 60. I enjoyed my sunny holidays and was a cricket umpire, spending hours concentrating in the sun, which may have caused my melanoma.
I started chemotherapy. The consultant said it only had around a 10% chance of working, so I wasn’t filled with a great deal of hope. After some sessions I started on an immunotherapy drug which had a 50% chance of working. I felt better.
My wife was devastated, especially with the thought that she might not have a husband in six months and be alone to cope with the world.
I discovered Penny Brohn UK and went along. It is a vital service, not just locally, but across the whole country.
The biggest thing I learnt was the importance of diet. As a farmer’s son, I lived on cheese. I had cheese sandwiches for lunch every day. I also enjoyed a lot of milk, red meat and coffee. Penny Brohn UK helped me change my diet and I started feeling much better.
Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy an occasional glass of red wine, but they never say completely give up something, moderation is key. However, I gave up coffee and sugar, and mostly drink green tea now. My new diet boosted my immune system and I lost a stone-and-a-half, I felt great, healthier.
With my three to six month prognosis, I wanted to do anything I could to live as long as possible. I wanted more time to be with the ones I loved, I wanted to see my grandchildren grow.
It’s obvious that the medical profession looks at their side of things, such as the latest drugs, but they’re not really looking at the holistic approach, the benefits of changing diet, taking regular exercise and the sort of things encouraged by Penny Brohn UK.
My message is live life as if every day is your last and look forward to every day. To others in a similar situation, I say, come to Penny Brohn UK because they look at lifestyle, it’s like being surrounded by family and friends, it’s stress reducing and about doing things that make you feel like a whole person, a more rounded person. You come here, have wonderful support, the tranquillity of the grounds, it’s a wonderful place.
Be hopeful, enjoy life and the feeling that you’re being of use to people, rather than a drag. I’m back working, mainly as a bookkeeper for my daughter. This gives me reason to get up in the morning, the feeling that I’m helping my daughter and doing something positive that makes me feel good.
I’ve given up being an umpire because I don’t want to be in the sun that long and don’t need the stress of argumentative players.
Keep the body tiptop and you’ve every chance of living well with cancer. I thank my lucky stars that I was able to come and benefit from Penny Brohn’s services.