© 2017. Mark Ward.

Jul 17, 2017

Medical Update


I'll kick this catagory off by sharing a little of my ongoing medical problems with you.

Until 3-years ago I was a perfectly healthy individual, or thought I was.

I rarely visited a doctor and lived a busy, not to say overworked, life and still had energy left over for the fun things in life.


3-years ago came a bolt out of the blue. My urine turned bright red, (technical name frank haematuria). I was so shocked I almost fainted at the site of it. I visited the GP who advised me there was a possibility of bladder cancer and promptly referred me to the local Urology department. Here they put a camera into my bladder and sure enough there was an aggresive though not advanced malignant tumour, Cancer!

I was horrified, frightened and confused.


The tumour was sugically removed and I had follow up chemotherapy. All went well on the bladder front until January this year.


However blood tests at the pre-op revealed my liver function was de-ranged. I was referred to a liver specialists and had a lot more scans and tests. The outcome was that I had also got Hepatitis C, the most dangerous form. I still think that was the worst day of my life even now.

Eventually I was cured of the Hep C by a modern drug regime before it had even been approved for general use.

(If you have a serious condition people I strongly recommend researching any trials available or up and coming new treatments. it saved my life).

This is not the end of the story by any means. The Hep C which had lain dormant and symptomless in my body for 30-years before becoming active plus my fondness for a glass of wine has now left me with an extremely cirrhotic liver which in turn puts you in a group who have a 1 in 20 chance of developing liver cancer, (Hepatic Carcinoma).


Sure enough about a year ago I developed liver cancer and my liver was not strong enough to accept treatment without pushing me into complete liver failure which would mean death within days!

Finally the Multidisciplary Team that oversee my treatment allowed me to have palliative liver treatment known as T.A.C.E. (Trans Arterial Chemo embilisation) all be it with terrifying warnings that my risk was way above what they were comfortable with.

In effect, did I want to risk immenant death for a few more years of life?

What an impossible choice! I took the chance and had two successful treatments before an MRI scan revealed another 4 or 5 budding baby tumours and they had to stop.


Now imagine my dismay when another bladder tumour was discovered in January this year.

(The liver and bladder cancers are quite seperate issues by the way, one is not secondary to the other). Another resection to remove the second bladder cancer seemed to go well although it was surprising to get another as my specialist had told me if they don't come back after 2-years they are unlikely to come back at all.


Finally about 6-weeks ago the blood in my urine started up again and I was certain it would be a third bladder tumour. I was starting to despair. They wanted to treat these with Radiotherapy but I fought long and hard to get urology to look in my bladder again first.

They looked and found it is merely bleeding from the site of the second tumour which has not come back. I was walking on air when I left the hospital that day!

(Another recommendation: Don't let the medics brow beat you and push you into things that don't feel right to you. Do your own research and fight when you have to. Keep it civil though. After all they will be treating you. You don't want to be treated by a doctor who is angry with you!)

I'm waiting for an appointment for them to tidy up the wound and cauterise it to stop the bleeding as I write this.


This has been such a relief this week. I'm not out of the woods yet. My liver is again not strong enough for the oral chemotherapy they wanted to give me but one problem still sure as hell beats two problems! My liver may improve sufficiently in time to accept the chemotherapy.


If any of this touches your life or the life of a loved one do get in touch and I'll give you any support I can.

I do understand all this first hand and manage to remain quite philosophical about it.