JWR's story

JWR had cancer that involved his jaw bone 19 years ago. This is his story.

My story started late in 1983. I had noticed a small lump about the size of a small pea on my jawbone. I was not concerned but my wife insisted I see my GP.

My GP examined me and gave me a letter to take to St Luke’s Hospital. A few days later I got to see Mr Froggat, who along with another doctor, wanted me in hospital for a biopsy. Later, after the biopsy, I was sent to see Dr Ward at Bradford Royal Infirmary who confirmed that the lump was cancer. He arranged for me to have radiotherapy at Cookridge Hospital which I attended for 20 days (excluding weekends). The staff were very friendly and helpful, during and after the treatment. Following the radiotherapy, I attended follow-up clinics. After three I was declared free of this cancer. I was a very happy man!

Years went by. Then my jawbone started aching and I developed a swelling. I saw my GP again. He treated me for the pain and arranged an appointment at BRI (ENT). By the time of consultation, a red lump had appeared near the hinge of my jaw. This was removed for biopsy immediately. Another biopsy was taken later (on Xmas eve morning). Later, I had further x-rays and scans, (the stitches from the biopsy were not holding due to skin damage. From the scan it was seen that my jawbone was a very poor state. I was sent on to see Mr Ivan Foo who told me that the damage to my jawbone and skin was due to my previous radiotherapy. Following a couple of consultations, Mr Foo explained to me the procedure he would do. (By this time I was in agonising pain despite taking strong painkillers).

He arranged for me to have a tube placed in my abdomen to feed myself direct. I entered W19 BRI for the operation in June ’97. The operation took place as arranged. I was given a pill on Wednesday night, before the operation the next morning, and can remember nothing else until wakening at 03:00am on Friday. My first thought was that I could move my head without pain (thank you, Mr Foo). After discharge, I attended W19 for dressings in Mr Foo’s clinics. Later at St Luke’s, I saw Dr Joshi to have dentures made. I still attend Dr Joshi’s clinic and all is going well. Surprisingly, I have not had pain at all to this day.

Thanks to all the doctors and staff, including the district nurses who provided aftercare at home involved in my care.

JWR