Dad has one simple Christmas wish after devastating bowel cancer diagnosis

A dad who was diagnosed with stage three bowel cancer this summer has one simple Christmas wish during the holidays.

Keith Dawber, 54, will have his last round of treatment on Christmas Eve.

He says he's looking forward to it just so he can enjoy a nice glass of wine on Christmas Day.

The dad started noticing changes in his body in February this year when he went to the toilet and felt discomfort.

However, after the coronavirus pandemic started, lockdown meant he waited until June to have a telephone consultation with his doctor.

Doctors gave the St Helens dad a colonoscopy where they found a polyp which, after a biopsy, was found to be cancerous.

He was given the choice to have another biopsy but after a talk with his family he decided to go straight for surgery where they removed part of his bowel.

However, after the operation, the doctors had more bad news, reports Echo.

He said: “Unfortunately during the surgery they could see that it had spread to my lymph nodes, with one being cancerous.

“It meant that I was given a few options but was advised that the best thing was to have chemotherapy.”

Keith said his children were initially “very upset” with his diagnosis but said together with wife Nicola they have supported him throughout and there was “no reason for any of them not to be optimistic.”

He said he has coped reasonably well with chemotherapy and steroid tablets but what’s driving him on is the thought that he may be able to have a drink on Christmas day.

He said: “I'm due my last chemotherapy tablet on Christmas Eve, so I'm hoping I can have a nice glass of wine on Christmas Day.

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“In the New Year, I'm expecting to have a scan to see if the chemotherapy was successful and then see what the next steps are.”

He praised the care he has received from the NHS considering he received all his treatment throughout the pandemic.

He added: “I've heard horror stories of cancer patients having their treatment delayed but for me, they've been nothing short of amazing.

“Within five months, I've had a colonoscopy, a biopsy, a diagnosis, surgery and I've nearly finished chemo.”

In the middle of his treatment, Keith has shaved off his hair and his son Joseph, 20, has dyed his grey to raise money for Bowel Cancer UK.

Genevieve Edwards, Chief Executive at Bowel Cancer UK, said: “We’re really grateful to Keith for helping to raise awareness of bowel cancer by speaking so openly about his personal experience. We wish him all the best as he continues to have treatment.

“Every year in the UK over 42,000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer, making it the fourth most common cancer.

“Raising awareness of symptoms of the disease is vital, as it’s treatable and curable, especially if diagnosed early.

“We urge everyone to familiarise themselves with the symptoms and contact their GP as soon as possible if they have bleeding from their bottom and/or blood in their poo, a persistent and unexplained change in bowel habit, unexplained weight loss, extreme tiredness for no obvious reason, and a pain or lump in their tummy, to help ensure the best possible outcome.”

If you would like to donate to Keith’s fundraising page for Bowel Cancer UK, click here.

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