Graham Thomas - New Lease of Life
Retired Facilities Manager, Graham Thomas (70) from Eveswell in Newport has his pneumonia to thank for doctors finding his lung cancer. If it wasn't for his illness he may well have ignored important symptoms associated with lung cancer.
"I quit smoking for good seven years ago after 50 years of the habit. It was part of my retirement plan to lead a healthier lifestyle. I had even taken up cycling to keep fit and active! I was feeling good and looking forward to the rest of my life.
"In February 2014, my life and plans dramatically changed. I suffered a bout of pneumonia where, amongst other symptoms, I had a cough and feelings of breathlessness. Following treatment to clear the pneumonia the doctors discovered I had developed lung cancer. It was quite a kick in the teeth. Fortunately, because of the tests I had for my pneumonia the lung cancer was discovered and I was able to undergo treatment. Iâ€™d had a persistent cough, if you experience similar symptoms don't ignore them, report them to your doctor as soon as possible.
"I received fantastic treatment and care and support from my wife, Leigh, daughter Cheryl, three grandchildren and my local cancer support group. Now, two years after treatment I feel good, and so people tell me, look well. I've even started to get back on my bike again.
"I hope through telling my story I can make people aware of just how important it is to visit their GP if they have had a persistent cough. Detecting lung cancer early makes it easier to treat, so don't ignore your symptoms or put off telling your doctor.
"Never think 'it won't happen to me', never think 'I am afraid to seek help'. Anyone can develop lung cancer, whether you are a former smoker like me or a professional athlete."