My Dad was always a family man putting his family before anything else a characteristic which I believe has been passed down!!
It was in the summer of 1984 when my Dad was taken ill in Rhyl on holiday with us. It was diagnosed as him having cancerous pollips and he was operated on in September 1984. My Dad was a proud man and found it difficult to cope with his stoma at first but he was well and tried to carry on as normal. Then in June 1988 a day I will never forget he was taken ill again. We were told that my Dad only had 6 or 7 days as the cancer had returned or perhaps had never completely gone. We sat under the stairs in Derriford hospital where Mum and the family talked. Mum decided that she was going to go up and tell Dad herself as she had promised him that we would “always be honest” with him. Our doctor was walking through the hospital that day and saw us, he went up with Mum to Dad’s bedside to be with her whilst she told him. By the time we got upstairs it was decided that Dad would come home. Dad was like his old self even getting us to drive him up to the Civil Service club where he walked into the bar for a drink. Mum and Dad even planned his funeral together.
Then in July 1988 Dad was asked to go into St Lukes Hospice to adjust his medication which he did, he was allowed home on the Friday but on the Sunday asked me to take him back. They looked after him and us in St Lukes and on August 4th 1988 Dad passed peacefully away. He was just 59. I worked in St Lukes as a volunteer for another ten years, I will never forget him and I know he would have been proud of Liz’s effort in raising awareness of cancer. We all miss you dad. Linda Smith (Liz May’s Mum).
Granddad died of Bowel Cancer in 1988, I was just nine years old, but I remember his smile and how well he looked after his family, his name remains on my wrist and reminds me daily to do him proud (although he would have said it was “a moving picture”). In 2010, 40,695 people in the UK were diagnosed with bowel cancer. In 2011 there were 15,659 deaths from bowel cancer in the UK. Bowel Cancer is the forth most common cancer in the UK. We have to change these statistics; We have to keep up the fight. Liz May