David’s Story

“In my experience with cancer, there were no flashing lights or screeching of the car tyres. I was living a very normal life. One morning, I woke to mild cramps below my belly button that would casually appear a couple of times per week. They were more of a nuance than anything else, but I went to my GP to investigate it. We decided to monitor the situation, and if it persisted, we would do some tests. A few weeks later, the issue still persisted, so we did some testing, which presented nothing unusual; again, we decided to monitor the situation. A month later, it was still persisting, and we discussed getting scans. It wasn’t long after that I woke with persistent cramps that were happening more frequently and becoming uncomfortable. I visited an after-hours GP, and they admitted me to the hospital. I spent a week getting various pathologies, all of which were negative and didn’t really indicate anything specific. It was a medical mystery. Keyhole surgery was performed, and that was when I was diagnosed with stage 4 terminal cancer. It is believed it originated in the small intestine, but it has now spread throughout my stomach region and around my bowel.

The immediate immediate impact was that I was gobsmacked. To hear, without medical intervention, that I had approximately 70-90 days to live, I couldn’t fully process. It was a case of, “”Did anyone get that license plate?..what just happened? That is what I have learned from this. When your life changes dramatically, it happens in seconds.

What is harder than cancer? Having to tell your loved ones that you have cancer. My partner was in instant tears. The most nervous I had previously been was a teenage boy waiting for a pregnancy result, and that doesn’t touch the feeling of having to sit down with my 81-year-old mother and tell her that she is most likely going to have to bury her youngest son.

The worst part about cancer is the fear of knowing your loved ones are going to have to watch you perish, but you soon realise there is something even worse: you watch a small part of them die. The part you occupied in their life and them coming to terms that one day they’ll have to continue on without you.The tears you hear throughout this period, I can’t prove it, but I suspect that is the soundtrack to hell.

What I would tell others is when it comes to cancer, it doesn’t matter whether you are a princess, a billionaire or a 27-year-old athlete; it doesn’t discriminate or favour anyone. You would think if you had terminal cancer, you’d know. I thought I would know. The signs of it aren’t always pronounced. One day, I woke with a very mild cramp..60 days later, I was told I only had a small measure of life left without therapy. Hollywood has kinda lied to us about what this looks like. You can’t trust what you see in the mirror or how you feel. The best defence is to be aware of the signs and not overlook the small things, as they will often be your biggest clues. I have attached a photo for your use. Its me as of March 2024. I chose it because nobody will look at it and think they’re looking at a very sick person..that is the point.”