Andy F.
Posted by
Andy F.

A Craft filled combat for a 'Crafty' cancer!

Andy F.
Posted by
Andy F.
15 Dec 2015

28th Septmeber 2012, there I was laying in a hospital bed of the ENT Ward after being there for five days suffering with 'Quinces' in my throat which were throwing up all sorts of problems for the medical team. The consultant who had been looking after me for the week hadn't been happy with the way I was responding to treatment nor the results he was getting to certain tests so he had been conferring with his colleagues on the Haematology ward all week. 

On this particular day I had just managed to down my morning cup of tea when in walks a Consultant accompanied with a CNS, both with a look of medical importance about them. The consultant duly introduced himself and explained why he was there and then delivered the classic line, 'Mr Finch, I'm affraid to say you have rather aggressive and advanced Multiple Myeloma'.

'OK', says I, 'What's that?'

'A form of Blood Cancer, incurrable, but it is treatable'.

As anyone who has had a cancer diagnosis will tell you, from this moment on you don't hear a word. You sit there, see the mouths in front of you going up and down. The facial expressions changing from concern to determination to business like delivery, but you never hear a single word. I gues some phrases automatically throw a switch in your brain that disconnects your auditory circuit, this being one of them.

Turns out it was in a pretty bad way, myblood was that thick the consultant was concerned that I was going to have a stroke and die that weekend so I was rushed up to the renal unit where they stuck a large needle in me and commenced a procedure called Plasma Pheresis, whwerby they remove all of theblood plasma from your body and replace it with new blood plasma. After four hours of being hooked up to a machine, the bag of plasma they pulled out of me was akin to a bag of aspic jelly. A good butcher could have made thousands of pork pies with the stuff!

This was just the begininng of a very long journey, a journey that I still undertake every day of my life, one step at a time. A journey that has put me through pain, physically, mentally, emotionally and yet a journey that is filled with surprises  and has given me many causes to say thank you and afforded me such wonderful opportunities which I would have otherwise missed out on. Sounds strange doesn't it? Hopefully if you stick with me through this blog you will get chance to hear some of my story and share in that journey with me. If you're reading this now it's a good start ;-)

I have never written a blog before, but when I was asked to partake in this one my instant reaction was to say yes as I felt it would give me a chance to tell my story and help raise awareness for Myeloma which has become one of my main goals in life, taking the time and making the effort to give back and offer help for all of the help that has been given to me over the last three years. I do keep myself exceptionally busy so when I mentioned about the blog to my wife she was concerned that I may be overstretching myself and committing to too much, but i figured that it was just something important I felt I needed to do, not just to help others and raise awareness, but also to help me deal with my own experiences. Sometimes findig your voice can be one of the most difficult searches you can undertake and if you find that voice then sometimes it just needs to be heard.........

Read Andy's latest blog to find out how he responded to his initial treatment and ended up back in hospital less than half an hour after returning home. 



Hi Andy, 

Thank you so much for sharing this.  I can only imagine the shock you felt when you heard the words 'blood cancer', and the thought of the long journey you had ahead of you.  

It never fails to amaze me the strength people find in situations like yours and I look forward to reading your next blogs and hearing the rest of your story.  

I think that raising awareness of blood cancer is so vital to ensuring we build a supportive and unified community who can support each other through their experiences and work together to beat blood cancer.

Thank you again for all your hard work.



Andy what a fantastic blog!

Reading it took me back to my own blood cancer diagnosis and I couldn't agree more about how the world seems to shrink up and you get lost in yourself once you hear the words that you have cancer. I was totally incapable of taking any of the information in and it wasn't until the following day that I even began to fully comprehend what was happening and what needed to happen next.

I, too, was deemed something of an emergency case and had to undergo a very similar procedure to you only removing my excess white blood cells as opposed to the plasma. A bizarre procedure but my goodness I felt better afterwards!

I really hope that everything is going well for you at the moment and want you to know that we're all here to help in any way that we can. I think it's fantastic that you're prepared to share your experiences which I know will be of real interest to others.

Do keep us updated and thanks again for getting in touch and everything that you do to help raise awareness. You are an inspiration!

Andy F.

Hi Kate, thank you so much for your kind words. I couldn't agree more about the importance of raising awareness about blood cancers ( Myeloma especially), they are one of those family of cancers that very few people get to hear about yet affect so many. Since I have been diagnosed I have received so much help and support to get me to where I am today with the quality of life I am now able to experience that it makes me proud to be able to give back some of that help and support others who find themselves in similar positions. Along that pathway, if I can raise awareness of these cancers, especially with local GP's and the public in general, then just maybe somebody may find the suport they need. Even if it means just one person gets educated or supported, that's one more who needed it. Every small step is a victory ;-)

Andy F.

Hi Andy, thank you so much for the kind words regarding my blog. I'm so glad you were able to relate to it, hope it didn't bring back too many bad memories, though I'm a true beleiver that we should deal with all sides of the psychological effects of cancer, be they good or bad. Running away from problems never solved them for anybody and you certainly sound like someone who has faced their problems and deal with them still with a good positive and focused mind. I can think of no better way of relaying my story than to lay it out here in this blog for all to see in the hope that it will give someone the support they need, get them to think about things and ask the questions of themselves that only they can answer. Sharing these experiences is an excellent way to help raise awareness of something so life changing yet so unheard of to the majority of the population. If I can give back just some of the help afforded to me over the last three and a half years or so then I will feel very proud to think that I was able to help another in their time of need, something I must thank Bloodwise for in giving me the opportunity to write this blog. It sounds as though we had similar starts to our journeys, I just hope that you are enjoying the same quality of life my consultant has given me for the moment, all the best to us both ;-)