Cancer Alliance

Awareness and Early Diagnosis

Graham’s story

By 7th October 2021 No Comments

“I first became aware of the Lung Health Check service in March 2020, when me and my wife were invited to attend an appointment at Lidl car park. I wasn’t worried about my health at the time but there was a history of lung cancer in my family, so I thought there’s no harm in getting checked.

“The appointment was booked for the 30th of March, but like a lot of things impacted by Covid-19 I got a phone call to say it would need to be postponed because of lockdown. As soon as the service restarted, we were booked in to speak with someone who asked a few questions about our family and smoking history.

Headshot of Graham, a Lung Health Check participant. He's wearing a white t shirt and glasses.

Graham was surprised at the impact the appointment has had on his life.

“This time we were given an appointment to have a CT scan in Castle Hill Hospital car park. It was easy to attend because a free parking space had been reserved for us and being able to book a similar appointment time as my wife was also a big help. The staff onboard the unit talked us through what to expect and we both had a scan, which was quick and painless. I never thought that appointment would have such a big impact on my life, but a week later I was sat in front of a consultant being told they had found something on my lung. We started to discuss treatment options and I was given the name of a Macmillan nurse who would later be in touch.

“Was I worried? Yes. Did I wish I hadn’t of known? No. I felt incredibly lucky to be receiving help and with the support of my family and friends, I made the decision to have part of my left lung removed. The operation took place in June 2021, and I have since received confirmation that it was cancer.

“The last few months have been a lot to take in and although I’m pleased not to need chemotherapy or radiotherapy, I’m still receiving ongoing care and help with my breathing. I also have weekly calls with the SmokeFree team, who have helped me stop vaping, and the Macmillan nurse has provided fantastic support throughout.

“Although my wife and her two brothers, who also took part in the lung health check service, have had very different experiences to me, I truly believe they are all equally as positive. My wife is now receiving support for slight COPD and her brothers were quickly reassured that their lungs are healthy.

“My friend has recently been invited to take part in a lung health check and I’m now urging him and others to go. He said he’s really sorry for what I’ve been through and is scared about what the service might find, but I’ve told him not to be sorry or scared. That lung health check saved my life.”

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