Paul Amphlett's Story
My journey began in August 2019, I passed out in a Restaurant, got taken to A&E, the following day my wife made an appointment to see my GP. after a discussion about what had happened, lifestyle etc, was convinced I had an ulcer that had bled, he sent me for a camera in the stomach, that’s when they discovered a tumour at the junction of oesophagus and stomach, I had none of the symptoms associated with this at all, no reflux, no difficulty swallowing etc etc.. this was diagnosed as a T1b cancerous tumour. after all the usual scans and a few more cameras later, on the 18 November 2019 I had the tumour removed via an ESD.. they took it all (3cm) in one procedure.
When the histology came back they weren’t convinced they had cleared everything as there were active cells at the periphery of the tumour!
My options then were chemo, oesophagectomy & chemo.. I tried to remain positive throughout and trusted the doctors in all the info and options they were giving me!! I decided to have the operation only as this was giving me a 95% chance of success ,my op date was set for 18/3/20, my wife and I went away on holiday to South Africa to get some rest and some winter sunshine in preparation, and I must admit to put a bit of weight on prior to my op, I also got chance to get myself in a positive frame of mind leading to my operation.
My op date arrived and to be honest I didn’t feel apprehensive or nervous, as I had full confidence in my surgeon who specialised in minimally invasive surgery (keyhole)and support of my fantastic wife and friends around me that all would be well!!
Post surgery was difficult initially, but with a strong determined mind and will every day became easier and the initial dark days were soon behind me!!
A week after leaving hospital my surgeon called me with the news that my histology on the parts removed during surgery had all come back clear and that no further treatment was necessary!! A massive weight was lifted from my shoulders!! I am so grateful to everyone that had helped me in dealing with this disease, both before, during and after everything I’ve been through, that I want to raise money to give something back to these people as a thank you for all there efforts in getting me through this.
With that in mind in either Jan or Feb of 2022 I and a group of friends intend to climb mountain Kilimanjaro as a fundraiser for Oesophageal cancer!!
If I had a message to anyone who gets diagnosed with this disease, I would say, stay as positive as you can mentally and physically, never give up, I’m living proof that there can be plenty of life after this disease if caught early. Let’s hope that with the accelerated learning about all types of cancers that one day in the near future we can beat this for good.