Sunday, 24 August 2014

Four Years On ...

Tess has asked me (Alan) to continue with her blog for now, as her condition weakens.

It was on 25 September 2010 that Tess went into hospital suffering from breathlessness. She underwent a number of tests and they took a sample of fluid from her chest cavity. She came home the next day.

The following week we went back for the results of the tests - and got the awful news that Tess had terminal cancer. Mesothelioma was a complete unknown to us then, but gradually over the next few weeks and months we discovered so much about this terrible asbestos-related disease of the lining of the lung. Life-expectancy was usually a few months or one, possibly two years if you were lucky. Very few lived any longer.

Tess has fought several battles over the four years since diagnosis. The chemotherapy worked well for some time to shrink the cancer, but it takes its own toll on the body. Surgery was also very effective in keeping the fluid in the chest (produced by the cancer) under control. This was so helpful in dealing with breathlessness and other symptoms.

Despite the wonderful support of family and friends, and the combined efforts of all the all the medical teams, Tess's condition is deteriorating. The cancer is growing and more painful, she continues to lose weight, and we are gradually losing the war.

We now have a care team commissioned by the Health Service to assist me in looking after Tess, rather than the Hospice carers (which was always only on a temporary basis). So far, the girls are very good and gentle with Tess as they provide for her needs. The Hospice team are wonderful at providing palliative care on demand, with the support of our GP and district nurses.

Thank you once again for your kind support, good wishes and prayers.

Alan x


  1. Alan, I have no words but you are both in my thoughts and prayers.
    Jenny xx

  2. Thank you for keeping Targets going Alan. Please let Tess know she is constantly in my thoughts. I hope the grandies are helping to keep you all cheerful.
    Lots of love to you both xx

  3. I've read this post with tears in my eyes.I'm so pleased that the carers are taking such good care of Tess, it must be such a difficult time for you both so thank you Alan for taking the time to update us
    Sending you both love and hugs
    Claire xx

  4. We're with you Al and Tess. Love, Anna, Timmy, and Lilah xo

  5. Dear Tess and Alan, you are both in our prayers, think about you every day
    Love Jenniej xx