In 2015, my dad went to this GP to be referred for a hearing test. He was not unwell. He hadn't got ant lumps. He regularly checked his skin, nothing had really changed. The doctor asked if my dad wanted anything else checked while he was there, as he has a number of health conditions and doesn't often go to the GP (naughty!). He said he'd had a mark on his toe for a few months, thinking it would satisfy her curiosity for something to investigate. When she didn't like the look of the mark, my dad said "Oh, I wish I hadn't mentioned it now!"
In January 2016, my father was diagnosed with cancer.
The cancer is called acral lentiginous melanoma, and is rare in the UK and Caucasians in particular. You may have heard of it from the death of Bob Marley, which was not the most reassuring thing at the time!
in 2016, I thought I would be saying goodbye to my dad. My world briefly crashed before my eyes as I considered how I would care for my mum without my dad's help, how I'd have to leave my job and end my education.
In February 2016, my dad had the cancer removed. Thanks to the progress we have made in cancer research he is still with us, even if he is now minus a toe! The surgeon told us is had really grown, but that they'd anticipated this, so we waited with bated breath to hear if they'd been successful.
In April 2016, my dad got the all clear! Our journey was mercifully short, although he continues to have regular check ups, and we can not forget as a family that it was a very aggressive form of cancer.
We will continue to appreciate everyday and every moment we have together.