Today is exactly five and a half years since Steve found out he had mesothelioma and was told he had six months - maybe a year - to live, by the doctor who gave him the news. Luckily, Dr T (the consultant we saw subsequently) told us not to give too much weight to the statistics - individual circumstances vary greatly, as we were to find out.
If you have read the treatment timeline posted last week, you will know that since diagnosis Steve has taken part in three early phase clinical trials, had one standard chemo regime, two radiotherapy regimes and one surgical procedure (pleurodesis).
So what have we done during these good times?
- tried some new experiences, including floating over the landscape in hot air balloons; doing a short but exciting circuit in a helicopter; skimming the waves in a RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat); looping the loop and other aerobatic manoeuvres in a light aircraft and trying our hands at clay pigeon shooting
|Steve and the Chipmunk August 2010|
- been very sociable: meeting up with friends in the UK and abroad for special occasions, such as anniversaries, birthdays, house and garden-warmings, a wedding (and sadly, several funerals) and also simply to enjoy good company in our home, theirs, or on holiday
|Birthday lunch March 2012|
- been travelling together abroad, including trips to Spain (Bilbao, Madrid, Toledo, Valencia); Italy (Venice, Rome, Siena, Pisa, Lucca, and rural Tuscany); France (Paris, Avignon, Arles, Marseille, Carcassonne, The Camargue, the Cevennes, the Luberon); plus Brussels in Belgium, Santorini in Greece, Amsterdam in Holland, Budapest in Hungary, Heidelberg in Germany and Marrakesh in Morocco
|Marrakech May 2012|
- had fun visiting family and friends and exploring the UK, including trips to Wales, the Lake District, Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Sussex, the West County and numerous visits to Manchester, London and Bristol
|Yorkshire April 2011|
- enjoyed some excellent sporting events, including cheering on the England team in person at international rugby and cricket matches; watching motor sports including the Goodwood Revival and Festival of Speed, Silverstone classic car races and Prescott Hill Climb; supporting our friend Rob in the Brompton folding bike world championships; having a bit of a flutter at the races, including witnessing wonder horse Frankel win his last race unbeaten
|Rome England v Italy 6 Nations Rugby February 2012|
- indulged our passion for photography and in the process achieved our Royal Photographic Society Associate distinctions; had works selected for exhibition in venues around the UK and abroad; won awards and gold medals in various competitions and salons; had features in photography magazines, work published in photography books and the UK national press (not forgetting the local paper in Heidelberg!)
- helped our kids work on their respective homes: knocking down walls; helping assemble flat pack furniture; painting and decorating; laying floors etc, as well as creating a guest bedroom and carrying out a complete garden makeover in our own home
|Helping with the kitchen renovation, London March 2013|
- enjoyed a number of exhibitions; visited National Trust properties (not forgetting the tea rooms!); looked over London from the top of the Shard and Orbit at the Olympic Park and over Portsmouth from the top of the Spinnaker Tower
|View from the Shard May 2013|
- we even started our own business, which is still rolling along albeit very slowly at the moment due to Steve's health issues
|16 December 2014 - 5.5 year survivor|