A match and wholesome father recognized with stage 4 most cancers says he was left trying just like the “Nightmare on Elm Street” after a horrific response to chemotherapy left him too embarrassed to go to his younger son’s cricket matches – and is now hoping to avoid wasting his life with a ground-breaking vaccine.
Geoffrey Seymour, 41, a procurement specialist, cherished enjoying tennis, basketball and cricket and had all the time been wholesome till simply earlier than his forty first birthday when he started experiencing blood in his stool.
Geoffrey was conscious of this being a symptom for most cancers from adverts on the tv, so rapidly went to his GP.
Geoffrey, who lives in Richmond, London, along with his spouse Santa, 44, and their son Marco, 10, was recognized with stage 4 colorectal most cancers, which had unfold from his colon to his liver – a state of affairs so extreme and seemingly hopeless he likened it to “being wrapped in a paper bag that is on fire”.
He additionally had a nasty response to chemotherapy severely blistering the pores and skin on his face and, in accordance with Geoffrey, making him appear like Freddy Krueger from the 1984 horror movie, Nightmare on Elm Street.
The chemotherapy stopped working nonetheless and now, in an try to avoid wasting his life, Geoffrey has travelled to Germany for dendritic cell remedy – the place a personalised vaccine is created in a lab with the purpose of stimulating the immune system.
Research on this space is at an early stage, in accordance with Cancer Research UK, and so the therapy was not low cost – only one injection in Germany, on October 17, price £17,000 and Geoffrey is now ready to see if it was sufficient to assist him, whereas persevering with to fundraise to pay for it.
He stated: “I couldn’t even wait until the end of the fundraising to have it done just because I’m so worried that the disease was going to spread.”
Geoffrey was decided to discover a new strategy after three periods of 5 doses of chemotherapy didn’t work and left him with side-effects so dangerous he now not wished to exit in public, even to see his little boy play cricket
“I had a really bad reaction in my face, it was full of painful blistering that made my face feel like it was on fire,” he stated.
“I just got to the point where I was looking a bit like Nightmare on Elm Street. Unless I went there with a bag on my head, I’d have other people coming up to me and looking at me thinking, ‘What’s wrong with this guy?’ when I’m quite happy blending into the crowd.”
Geoffrey’s ordeal started in April 2021, simply two weeks earlier than his forty first birthday on March 4, when he bought the primary warning alerts of most cancers.
After recognizing blood in his stool, Geoffrey determined to go to his GP, as he knew it could possibly be a symptom of most cancers. And in late March at Kingston Hospital, he was recognized with stage 4 colorectal most cancers, which had metastasized within the liver.
After the analysis, in March 2021, he had 5 cycles of chemotherapy each three weeks which initially diminished the lesions in his liver. At this level he says he felt “optimistic”.
In December 2021, he had surgical procedure to have a 3rd of his liver eliminated, and the medical workforce started getting him prepared for radiotherapy which was going for use on his colon – he even had radio markers tattooed for the laser alignment.
A month later, a scan confirmed extra tumours in his liver, so he had one other spherical of chemotherapy. This time it was successful and liver surgical procedure was booked in for June 2022.
But, simply as issues had been trying up, just a few weeks earlier than the surgical procedure, a scan revealed illness development. Geoffrey was put again on chemotherapy with a unique agent and the surgical procedure was cancelled.
After simply two cycles, blood work and a scan confirmed illness development once more, all whereas the unwanted effects had been getting insufferable for Geoffrey.
He stated: “The side effects have gotten worse, worse, worse, and now, chemotherapy is just not effective anymore, the body’s gotten used to it.”
Explaining why he reacted badly to a chemotherapy drug, he stated: “Essentially it kills all your fast-growing cells, which include your cancer cells, but also includes your hair and nails. I had a really bad reaction to that in my face.”
Determined to search out another, Geoffrey began doing his personal analysis by trying on-line and located dendritic cell remedy, solely to be instructed it could not be obtainable to him within the UK.
He determined to fly to a laboratory in Ulm, Germany to have the week-long therapy on October 17 2022. Friends and household rallied spherical to contribute in direction of his Go Fund Me enchantment, which has raised over £14,000 and helped to pay for the £17,000 injection.
“I am still in pain, I have a lot of pain, which I’m trying to find a good balance of very strong medications,” he stated.
Geoffrey is because of meet along with his oncologist on November 1 within the UK, however is aware of he could nicely must pay for additional vaccine doses and extra therapy overseas and is constant to fundraise to pay for that.
Specialist most cancers info nurse at Cancer Research UK Caroline Geraghty stated: “Dendritic cell therapy is a type of vaccine that can treat cancer. Dendritic cells help immune system recognise and attack abnormal cells, such as cancer cells.
“To make the vaccine, scientists grow dendritic cells alongside cancer cells in the lab. The vaccine then stimulates your immune system to attack the cancer. It’s still being researched, so the evidence base is not yet strong enough for it to be available in the UK.
“Decisions about the best course of treatment must be based on sound evidence of benefit – so it’s important patients talk to their doctor about any alternative treatment they might be considering.”
She added: “Thanks to ongoing developments in research, there continues to be many new cancer drugs showing effectiveness in clinical trials, providing potential options for people with cancer.
“But while regulators have improved the speed at which they assess these for routine NHS use, there are still, unfortunately, times when particular drugs aren’t yet easily accessible for people who may benefit. We understand how frustrating this can be.”