Around the middle of May last year (my 59th birthday, as I remember) I went for my annual cholesterol blood test for my statin prescription review. I thought it strange that my doctor contacted me the following day to inform me he had detected some abnormalities with proteins in my blood, and wanted to investigate further.
I was referred to the haematology department at Princess Alexandra Hospital. Throughout the numerous tests, I felt fine in myself and in general good health, so I didn’t feel that there could be anything too sinister.
I had done some initial research and thought that, at worst, I could possibly have had smouldering myeloma, which can develop into a serious condition, but wasn’t a huge concern at the time.
Following all the necessary tests, I received a phone call from the doctor. I presumed, wrongly, as it happened, they wouldn’t give bad news over the telephone - it would have been a face-to-face appointment if it was anything too serious. But the doctor went through the test results and advised me that I had multiple myeloma, which was a massive shock.
I was then invited to attend a face-to-face appointment to discuss the diagnosis and talk with the team about possible treatment plans; it was agreed I would undergo chemotherapy.
I am now seven months into the treatment and although I am lucky not to have developed any of the other possible symptoms of multiple myeloma itself, I have had a number of other illnesses and infections. My consultant is monitoring me closely and I’m likely to soon join the waiting list to have a stem cell transplant at Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge.
I am currently able to play my favourite hobby at Hanbury Manor Golf Club, which I sometimes play with my friends up to three times a week. I now use a buggy, which means my legs aren’t put under too much strain, allowing me to play more frequently. I have tried to stay as fit as possible and build up my strength, to give me the best possible chance of a successful stem cell transplant and a quick recovery back to good health afterwards.
I am so pleased that Chris (pictured above right, with Nigel) has decided to choose DKMS as his Captain’s Charity for the cub this year. I hope to be able to raise awareness, encourage more people to get on the stem cell register and raise funds for the charity through my story.
Thank you to all my friends and family, who have been extremely supportive to me since getting my diagnosis.
A note from Club Captain Chris Clayden
I became Hanbury Manor Captain in 2021 after 22 years at the club.
In September 2020, whilst Vice Captain, Nigel told me, standing on the 4th tee, that he had been diagnosed with a very rare form of cancer, multiple myeloma. He told me that his only real hope for an extended life would be a stem cell transplant. The news shocked me as it must have him, but I was determined to do anything possible to help him through this dreadful situation.
I did some research on stem cell therapy and bone marrow transplants and came across DKMS. This was at the same time that I was deciding which charity to support for my Captain’s year: it seemed like a natural fit.
Supporting DKMS will give both myself and the Hanbury Members a chance to raise money for this great charity and also to raise awareness about the importance of registering on the stem cell donor list
This is an opportunity to hopefully save someone’s life, perhaps even find a matching donor for Nigel, and also to help tackle this horrible disease.
Nigel is a very popular Hanbury member and I hope that through him fronting my charity selection, and highlighting his own situation, other members will support our efforts and join the stem cell register. It’s easily done, all it takes are three mouth swabs and a quick trip to a post box!