Monday, 23 April 2012

Scan Results

Today I returned to Leeds General Infirmary to receive the results of my CT scan that I had last week. It's somewhat nerve-racking getting scan results. The reason they scan my lungs first is that they will show up any new tumour growth because they're soft tissue so any tumours will grow their first, rather than in the bone. If any tumours start growing again then I'll have to have chemotherapy again and depending upon where the tumours are, an amputation. However, all of these treatments would only be to attempt to hold the cancer off as if it returns following all the treatment I've already had it will most likely return again and again. This is way these bi-monthly scans are so important.

Scan from September 2010 before chemotherapy and the one on the right, showing the current situation.
Luck was on my side today though and my scan was clear. A small amount of scarring showed up in the top left of my left lung, as a result of all the chemotherapy I've had but apart from that it was fine. I can't even tell you how relieved I am about this and how amazing it is! It means I can relax somewhat until my next scan in June. All I have to say is HOORAY!

This weekend I'll be taking part in a road rally around Yorkshire in support of Teenage Cancer Trust. The rally will include me driving around Yorkshire dressed up as batman (and the car done up as the batmobile) completing various challenges, some of which will be fairly embarrassing for me! I know I'm not allowed to take the batman outfit off for the whole weekend! As I've said all the money goes towards Teenage Cancer Trust. This charity helped me so much through my treatment, providing support for me and making the ward in Leeds my second home. Even being back there today has made me almost miss it! Almost anyway!

I'd absolutely love it if some of you could sponsor me! It really is a fantastic cause and you'll be helping so many people. Having cancer as a young person is always something that happens to someone else, a friend of a friend. That is until it happens to you or your friend, your child or your grandchild, your brother or your sister. Then you realise how horrible a disease it is. Teenage Cancer Trust does its best to help young people with cancer and they require your help to carry on helping. Please sponsor.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Week of Worry

Today was the last day of probably two of the most interesting two weeks of my life. I've spent about a week in London, met many amazing people, spoke on stage at the Royal Albert Hall, started raising money for my next charity event (£500 sponsored so far! More on this in a few days) and generally had an amazing time. If the rest of my life carried on like this I'd have one amazing life!

CT Scanner
Today I also went to Leeds for a CT scan of my lungs. The CT scan is my regular two month scan to check the tumours in my lungs to see if they've started growing again or not. The reason my lungs are scanned, rather than my main tumour on my pelvis is because if any new tumours start growing anywhere they'll most likely start growing in my lungs first. This is because cancer cells travel in the blood and because a lot of blood go through your lungs and it's a soft tissue then it is likely they will show their first.

The scan will show up if I have new tumours or not. If I do then I'll start chemotherapy again, but the chances are it wouldn't work as well again. The next week is going to be what I like to call one of my 'weeks of worry'. I'll receive the results at about 11:00am next Monday. Until then worrying about what might be on the scans will be on my mind constantly. From the moment I wake up until the second I go to sleep. It puts things into perspective somewhat. It certainly encourages me to make the most of this week!

I'll be sure to update you all when I get the scan results next Monday.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Royal Albert Hall!

Good evening everybody! It's been a bit of a crazy week for me! To start off with about two weeks ago someone I know who works at Teenage Cancer Trust rang me up, completely out of the blue. I didn't have her number saved so wasn't sure who it was! She offered my the opportunity of going on stage at the Royal Albert Hall and doing a speech at one of Teenager Cancer Trust's gigs. She asked if I wanted to do the comedy night with Jimmy Carr, Jason Manford, Alan Davies, Tim Minchin, Dave Spiky, Stewart Francis and Jon Richardson.  I was somewhat taken back and agreed to do it!
Roger Daltrey holding my arms up after I'd finished speaking!
April 2012
I got the train down to London on the morning of Monday the 2nd of April, I brought one of my closest friends with me as well. I have to say I absolutely love London so just going there was good enough for me, my favourite place in the world by far!
After arriving in London and having a look around the Museum of Natural History my friend and I headed to the Royal Albert Hall. We were given our access all areas pass and went backstage. We had a look around and on the stage. It was at this point I realise the Royal Albert Hall was quite big. It holds roughly 5000 people and I think all but 90 tickets had been sold for the comedy night. I was going to be speaking in front of roughly 5000 people!

Before I went on I met Roger Daltrey, one of Teenage Cancer Trust's patrons. It was amazing to meet him and I also met all the other comedians briefly before. I asked Roger Daltrey if he was going to be introducing me. He found this funny, as not many people get to ask the lead singer of one of the biggest bands ever if he'll be introducing you! Jimmy Carr also asked me what flavour cancer I had, with me replying that I had chocolate flavour. It might taste of chocolate for all I know!

I was going to be going on stage just after the interval, so I went to my seat in the audience to watch the first half of the evening. It was a night of spectacular comedy, I don't think I've ever laughed so much!

At the beginning of the interval, I dashed down to the backstage area and met up with Roger Daltrey again. We waited at the side of the stage to go on. Roger fell over an piece of equipment just off the stage, so I helped him up. I'm proud to say I helped up one of the greatest rockstars in history!

A video played about young lad with a brain tumour and how Teenage Cancer Trust helped him. Watching this nearly made me cry but I had to try not to. I was seconds away from going on stage in front of 5000 people! After the video Roger and I walked out on stage. Before this moment the biggest group of people I'd done a talk to was roughly 50 people. I also realised that 5000 is actually quite a lot!

As Roger was speaking I began to think maybe I should've thought about what I was going to say before I got on stage! I really don't know how I actually made the speech, I hadn't thought of a single word and I honestly just did it from the heart. Looking back I haven't a clue what I said but apparently I got some laughs, which is always a good thing!

As I finished Roger Daltrey came back on stage and held my arms up as everyone gave me a round of applause. Best feeling ever!

As I came off stage all the comedians said I did a really good job, which coming from such talented people was a huge compliment. I then returned to my seat to enjoy the second half. I got a good number of congratulations and pats on the back as I made my way through the audience. It felt somewhat surreal!

After the second half I went backstage to have a drink with all the comedians from the night. It was amazing to meet so many talented people and I was so grateful to them all for agreeing to do the night, all free of charge. They were all so friendly and I can't believe I met them! Talk about moments to remember for the rest of your life!
Jimmy Carr, Jason Manford, me, Roger Daltrey and Alan Davies.
April 2012
I'd like to use this last bit to say thank you to the comedians for doing the gig for free and for being hospitable. I'd also like to say a huge thank you to everyone who came to the Royal Albert Hall that evening. You're all making a big difference.