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Movember update

30 Nov


We’re now on the last day of Movember and I’m just posting this blog to let you all know how we have got on.

As a team our aim for 3 of us was to raise £500, in the end much to our surprise and amazement we have raised £930 for Movember and through the generously of so many friends I have individually raised £677. So I want to say a very big thank you to Simon Stewart and Andrew Glanville for joining the Band of Brothers team and also very, very big thank you for all the support, encouragement and sponsorship we team has received. Thank you.


Update Nov 2014

5 Nov


Today I had another appointment at Guys with Mr Obholzer one of the top consultants looking after me and today was about finding out whether I was going to have another operation to remove the small trace of tumour that had shown up showed up on one of the scans in August.

The good news is I did have a good appointment today, the small bit of tumour left has got smaller over the last 3 months and so the consultant doesn’t want to operate again at this stage and wants to rescan it in 6 months and then make a decision then. But the other good news is he still wants to go ahead with the in bone hearing aid and now also wants to try to fix my voice, which involves an injection of the sort of stuff they use to expand ladies lips! which I’ve been told is collegen and not botox as I was told before and he wants to do this all in one go and hopefully before christmas. So I’m happy. So thanks again for all your prayers and support and you can all look forward to hearing me talk far better again, you lucky people!
I’ll let you know once I get a date through and hopefully you’ll be hearing from me again soon.

Update Oct 2014

28 Oct

After a great summer life has slowly been moving forward and it’s also again been a while since I have put anything down on this blog and there’s a fair bit to write about.

In the last blog I wrote that I was about to start back working a couple of days a week, this started at the end of August and this has continued through September and October and I am now working 4 days a week with some old friends and colleagues. I found the first couple of weeks were pretty tiring but over the weeks since I have started to build up my strength and am now starting to feel a whole lot stronger as time goes on. It has also been great just to be back working again and using all my work skills and experiences, its been especially great that for the last 6 weeks been working with a number of good old friends and colleagues. I also had an encouraging week at one agency, as while I was sitting down to have my strawberry shakes for lunch on the first day there, another freelancer who I didn’t know, was sitting behind me, his name was Stuart and he just turned around and said to me “Ah that’s a familiar smell!” in reference to my shakes, its then turns out that Stuart had also been through a very similar experience to me, as 2 years before he had had another form of throat cancer and had been under that same consultant at Guys and had also had a stomach tube and we shared and talked all week about many of  our shared experiences. I was really encouraged to meet some else by chance in the same industry, who also had been through similar circumstances and who was now fit and well. Stuart like me had also been doing a blog of the whole of his experiences through his treatment.

Another medical milestone was reached in September, as after 7 seven months of insertion in my stomach, I had my stomach tube/peg removed, I had only being using since the summer to take medication. It has been a great freedom to have it removed. But eating is still an ongoing daily challenge as I am still feeding on 6 shakes a day, supplemented by small portions of other soft food, which is still a challenge to eat, but this is still slowly, very slowly improving and I very much now ‘Eat to Live’ and not as I use to ‘Live to Eat’, eating just doesn’t have the same pleasure as it use to.

As for ongoing appointments and treatment, I have found out at an appointment last week with Mr Obholzer that there is a possibility of needing another small operation towards the end of November but this will only we confirmed after another MIR scan this week and we will then get the results within 2 weeks, when a decision will be made.  Sue and myself feel fairly positive about this, as it would be a relatively small operation compared to everything else I been through. Another positive from our meeting was that we will now be able to progress the fitting of a bone attached BAHA hearing aid to my left ear, which would then enable me to to hear normally again. This involves fitting a platinum anchor/screw into my scull just behind my ear and this could be done at the same time as this next operation, this in turn could mean I could have full hearing in both ears just after christmas, as I would have to wait for a few weeks after the operation for the anchor area to heal. This will be a great improvement as I do struggle to hear people talking in environment that are busy and have lots of ambient noise going on around us.

We have also seen a new change in the Jeremy family this September, as our eldest Dan, went off to Southampton University in the mid September. He has settle very quick into student life and has made many new friends. His course has started off busy and he has lots of lectures every day, which is keeping him busy and working hard. He has also got into the halls football team. Sophy has now started in here first year in Sixth form, which has been a bit of a shock, as the workload has significantly increased. Amy has also started her G

I have also got back to playing guitar again after 11 months, which has been another good distraction.

We now are now fast approaching the Movember time of year again. This coming Sunday I will start off being clear shaven and I’m looking for other guys to join my Band of Brothers team. As most of you will be aware Movember has been a significant time of year for me, as during the 2012 Movember campaign is when I discovered the lump on my neck, we are now 2 years down the line. So my motivation for doing Movember again is to contuniue to help men to be more aware of health issues that can effect all men.

I am looking for sponsorship during is time and you will be able to do this during the month of November by using this link 

Also if you want to join or sponsor our Movember team then use this link to our team page

Thanks again for all the prayers and support that you all have given over this last year and progress is still being made and so watch this space and I will keep updating you of my progress over the next couple of weeks.

10 days and counting!

1 Dec


Well it really is 10 days since I arrived for my operation and in some ways the time has flown by and in many way time has really dragged away. But I feel in can say that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully I with all things being well the plan is to be home by mid week.

As for health progress there a bit to fill you all in with.

I’m no longer a’Man of Steel’ as all the staples holding my face together have been removed, which has also made my face less pulled together so more comfortable. I still have some tape strips just to protected the scar.


For my swallowing, I’m still being fed and watered via the tube through my nose, which does mean I never really feel hungry, but I do still feel thirsty partly because the ward is always so warm and I can just give myself a syringe full of water. So part from syringes of water the rest of my daily food comes in the from of a 1500ml carton with a liquid the colour of cup of tea, but with a more soup like consistency. I did walk by on the ward a couple of days ago where they was serving everyone’s lunch and even hospital food smelt great and did start to realise what I’m missing out on at the moment.
Re learning to swallow is taking a bit of time and on Wednesday I had Video fluoroscopy which is an X-ray of me swallowing and they found out that the automatic safety aspects of my swallowing was far better than they was expecting them to be. I have since been doing lots of exercises to improve these abilities and after learning to swallow a tea spoon of water and am now able to sip water, the goal in the next 24 hours must be to sip ‘Pepsi Max’

Over the last 3 days I’ve had a bit of a runny nose which hasn’t helped especially when trying to sleep, but hopefully this is behind me and last night I had 2 blocks of 3-4 hours sleep, which is more that I’d had over the last 10 days.

It’s been great to see some friendly faces over the last week, although some should have been kicked out from the hospital for not showing full respect for a sick man! Mum has been down form Ipswich 4 times in the last 10 days and Sue has been everyday but one.

There are still some challenges ahead like eating! And I also found out Friday that I will need to have some radiotherapy which wouldn’t happen for another 6 weeks or so. My left eye still isn’t right which makes reading or evening watch TV an effort as I can’t fully focus and general I have a way just to getting fit. I’m so thankfully that I am though the worst bits and it now just putting all the pieces slowly back togetherness.

Thanks again for all your prayers and support and we have definitely know God’s protection on my life through all this.

Just to finish on a high. Movember has been a great success for me and our team bandofbros_spc. The team has raised between us £1250 and I’m straggled that I have raised £415 myself. So a great big thanks to everyone of you who has support me and my team through this effort.

If nothing else Movember is about us men looking out for out health and getting help if we need to.

Thanks Neil

Update – 7 days to go 14 Nov 2013

14 Nov


With 7 day to go till the main operation, I now have another operation on Tuesday, total 2 operations in one week.

Today I had a call from Kings hospital asking me to go in next Tuesday for a procedure called Embolization (wikipedia link). This procedure is used to slow or stop blood supply to a tumour, thus reducing its size. It will be done under local anaesthesia and will be similar to the ballon occlusion test I had 3 weeks, as they will again go in via a catheter put in my carotid artery in my groin.

I was aware there might be a possibility of this, but had hoped wouldn’t need to have it, as the bruising on my legs has only just gone from the last op 3 weeks ago. But after reading up on Embolization on the internet I can see why my consultant wanted to get it done as hopefully it will start to reduce the size of the tumour, before the main operate on Thursday.




I’m still looking for sponsorship for Movember and you can sponsor me on this link

Thanks to everyone who has sponsored me so far as we have raised £168 and our team has raised £473 in total.

Thanks again for your support and prayers at this time.