Andy F.
Posted by
Andy F.

A Craft filled combat for a 'Crafty' cancer!

Andy F.
Posted by
Andy F.
18 Apr 2016

The best view comes after the hardest climb....

25 years of Rock Climbing and Mountaineering certainly put me in some amazing positions to see some amazing views but also taught me a lot about my position within this world and how to deal with any problem put before me.

Laying in a hospital bed for thre months not knowing if I was going to live let alone walk again certainly put my experiences and strength of character to the test. As it turns out it was probably the best thing for me as it forced me to deal with the isssues of being a Cancer patient head on, something I have been extremely grateful for.

Any bloke will tell you that physical pain is relatively easy to deal with, you comparmentalise it. Seal it in a box, chuck it in the back of your mind and forget about it. What they don't tell you is that along with your Cancer diagnosis comes a whole load of emotional pain which if you're not prepared for is going to be a minefield to get through. Being a captive prisoner for three months gave me the perfect opportunity to learn all about this, learn how to deal with it and  get myself back into a positive position to be able to fight my way back to a quality of life where I could feel alive again instead of just existing.

So I set about sorting through the emotions and psychological effects of my diagnosis. I blarted my eyes out to every single health proffesional I could grab my hands on and spent hours talking my feelings through. I think I took a few people by surprise in doing this as it's not the usual approach us blokes take but I've always been one of these open minded souls who looks at the world differently to most. This gave me the chance to deal with everything I was feeling leaving me well balanced, strong and ready for the fight ahead. As it turns out I was going to need it!

As I started to regain my strength and learn to walk again I surprised many people as I hadn't really been expected to make it past that first Christmas but here I was determined it wasn't my time. So my consultant started throwing different treatment regimes at me to see if we could find one that worked. A Hickman Line was fitted and I was ready for whatever IV concoctions they could come up with, just like pulling up to the petrol station and choosing unleaded, super-unleaded or diesel.

After many different treatments which had very limited, slow effects or no effect at all, the option of Stem Cell Transplant was discussed. We even found a 100% matching donor in the form of my brother in case it was decided we were going for an Allo transplant, though we were ideally aiming for an Autologous transplant.

Stem Cell Transplants, now there's another story and one I'm going to save for next time ;-)


Eleanor Baggley

Another great post Andy! It's wonderful to hear that you were able to find strength and balance for the times ahead by sharing you thoughts and feelings. I look forward to your next update. Best wishes, Eleanor

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