Wednesday, 10 August 2011

True grit - Ronny's story

Mesothelioma is an awful disease - incurable, unpredictable, aggressive.  However, looking back through the blog brings home to me how fortunate Steve is that his condition has been stable since he was diagnosed almost 26 months ago, and how lucky he is to be able to enjoy life without physical pain, in spite of his compromised lung. The emotional turmoil of living with a terminal illness is something we have just had to learn to face up to, and manage. 

As the side effects of chemo wore off in 2010, our day-to-day lives got better and better. We have crammed so much into the the last few months since I finished work, that the blog now reads a bit like a cross between a travelogue and Red Letter Day brochure.  We have our ups and downs, closely following the cycle of three monthly hospital assessments, and we can never put out of our minds just how vulnerable Steve is, knowing that Leo the mesothelioma could decide to rouse himself at any time.  But that has not stopped us enjoying life.

However, if you dip into the blog from time time you will know that other meso warriors have not been so fortunate in terms of survival, disease progression and the treatment regimes they undergone to improve their chances of survival. It never ceases to amaze me how brave, dignified, resourceful, supportive and determined they all are, taking the chemo and fighting back with every ounce of their strength.

Today's blog is dedicated to Veronica White - or Ronny, as she is known to her family and friends.  Following the diagnosis of mesothelioma in April 2008, she has had surgery, mainline chemotherapy and made numerous trips to Germany for chemoembolization under Prof Vogl. If you want to know the whole story, check out her blog (link on the right under We are not alone)

Two weeks ago, Ronny posted on the blog the news that no one wanted to hear:

"Well, the time has come. My Oncologist says that I am in a dangerous phase, a euphemism for ‘final stage’. He says I have just 4 – 8 months to live and that he doesn’t recommend me going onto chemo as he thinks I am so weak that the side effects will outweigh the benefits, if any..... He has given me steroids to make me stronger and will see me in a week and will talk about chemo then. This has been a big shock to us as my last appointment said I was pretty stable, now he says it is growing aggressively and has penetrated my abdomen too....

I am sorry for the bad news, but although we knew it was just a matter of time, it still comes as a shock"

A few days later, her fighting spirit had come back with a vengeance - or as she so eloquently put it "Well, sod it, I am not giving up!"  And back she went to Germany for more treatment, which the Prof says will help make her more comfortable.  In her most recent post, Ronny says:

"I realise this is now the end game, but whilst there is fight in me I won’t give up. My family are all behind me in this too....Thank you all so much for your kind support; it makes me feel I have an army on my side! In all of this I have made some very good and kind friends" 

Ronny, if you read this I just want to say what an inspiration you are.  Real, true grit!  We all send our love, hugs and support to help you fight on. Have many, many more happy days with your family and friends.  


  1. Veronica Ronny White10 August 2011 at 21:44

    Thank you Linda, I have been following your blog too. Keep up the fight. xx

  2. we are fighting with you Ronny! xxx