A match and wholesome father identified with stage 4 cancer says he was left wanting 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 taking part in 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 cancer from adverts on the tv, so shortly went to his GP.
Geoffrey, who lives in Richmond, London, together with his spouse Santa, 44, and their son Marco, 10, was identified with stage 4 colorectal most cancers, which had unfold from his colon to his liver – a scenario so extreme and seemingly hopeless he likened it to “being wrapped in a paper bag that’s on fireplace”.
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 to be 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 remedy 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 till the top of the fundraising to have it accomplished simply because I’m so fearful that the illness was going to unfold.”
Geoffrey was decided to discover a new strategy after three classes of 5 doses of chemotherapy didn’t work and left him with side-effects so dangerous he now not needed to exit in public, even to see his little boy play cricket
“I had a extremely dangerous response in my face, it was filled with painful blistering that made my face really feel prefer it was on fireplace,” he stated.
“I simply received to the purpose the place I used to be wanting a bit like Nightmare on Elm Street. Unless I went there with a bag on my head, I’d produce other individuals coming as much as me and me pondering, ‘What’s incorrect with this man?’ after I’m fairly joyful mixing into the gang.”
Geoffrey’s ordeal started in April 2021, simply two weeks earlier than his forty first birthday on March 4, when he received the primary warning indicators of most cancers.
After recognizing blood in his stool, Geoffrey determined to go to his GP, as he knew it may very well be a symptom of most cancers. And in late March at Kingston Hospital, he was identified 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 wanting up, a couple of weeks earlier than the surgical procedure, a scan revealed illness development. Geoffrey was put again on chemotherapy with a special 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 side effects had been getting insufferable for Geoffrey.
He stated: “The unwanted side effects have gotten worse, worse, worse, and now, chemotherapy is simply not efficient anymore, the physique’s gotten used to it.”
Explaining why he reacted badly to a chemotherapy drug, he stated: “Essentially it kills all of your fast-growing cells, which embrace your most cancers cells, but in addition consists of your hair and nails. I had a extremely dangerous response to that in my face.”
Determined to seek out another, Geoffrey began doing his personal analysis by wanting on-line and located dendritic cell remedy, solely to be instructed it will not be accessible to him within the UK.
He determined to fly to a laboratory in Ulm, Germany to have the week-long remedy on October 17 2022. Friends and household rallied spherical to contribute in direction of his Go Fund Me attraction, which has raised over £14,000 and helped to pay for the £17,000 injection.
“I’m nonetheless in ache, I’ve lots of ache, which I’m looking for a very good stability of very robust drugs,” he stated.
Geoffrey is because of meet together with his oncologist on November 1 within the UK, however is aware of he might nicely have to pay for additional vaccine doses and extra remedy overseas and is continuous to fundraise to pay for that.
Specialist most cancers data nurse at Cancer Research UK Caroline Geraghty stated: “Dendritic cell remedy is a sort of vaccine that may deal with most cancers. Dendritic cells assist immune system recognise and assault irregular cells, reminiscent of most cancers cells.
“To make the vaccine, scientists develop dendritic cells alongside most cancers cells within the lab. The vaccine then stimulates your immune system to assault the most cancers. It’s nonetheless being researched, so the proof base is just not but robust sufficient for it to be accessible within the UK.
“Decisions about the most effective course of remedy have to be primarily based on sound proof of profit – so it’s essential sufferers discuss to their physician about any various remedy they may be contemplating.”
She added: “Thanks to ongoing developments in analysis, there continues to be many new most cancers medication displaying effectiveness in scientific trials, offering potential choices for individuals with most cancers.
“But whereas regulators have improved the velocity at which they assess these for routine NHS use, there are nonetheless, sadly, occasions when specific medication aren’t but simply accessible for individuals who might profit. We perceive how irritating this may be.”