* Edit: Unfortunately Dave sadly lost his battle to cancer on Dec 23rd. All our love and thoughts go to all Dave’s family especially his wife Steph and friends who knew him best. Your gift for cracking jokes will be remembered forever. May you RIP 

The last 2 years have been difficult for us all, but for those managing Cancer conditions, it added a whole new level of struggle and need for something positive. Below is a true story, written in the words of David’s lovely wife Stephenie, about a Cancer fight, deep in the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic. PLEASE READ:

“Hello, my name is Stephenie (Steph) Corby, wife to David (Dave) Corby.  This is Dave’s journey so far……….

Dave’s journey began in 2020 during the first lockdown.  I Can’t pinpoint the exact time, but we had started a lockdown project in reshaping our large back garden.  Dave had made a platform for a summerhouse to stand on and laid a decking path to it.  Then Dave started to get a pain in the left side of his stomach which gradually got worse.  He sought out medical advice and was given a series of different meds including Buscopan for indigestion.  The pains got worse, so he again had a telephone consultation with his doctor.  Eventually, he was sent for a colonoscopy and the following day, a CT scan.

In November, he had a telephone call from a Dr Bagley at DRI who told him he had a small ‘shadow’ on his pancreas.  An MRI scan was arranged for December 21st. 

After having a very miserable Christmas, we received a phone call from DRI on the 30th of December, asking us to attend the hospital that afternoon.  Obviously, we knew then that the news wasn’t going to be good! But we saw a very abrupt doctor who told Dave straight, “You have a large tumour on your pancreas and it’s inoperable” he continued to say that “yes, he would die from it and that there wasn’t any treatment he could have!”  To say we were devastated was an understatement!

About a week later, we had another appointment at DRI and saw a different doctor; this one said yes, there was treatment. It would not get rid of the cancer but prolong Dave’s life.  He was told that he could have palliative chemotherapy.  We went away slightly happier with a little glimmer of hope. 

On the 12th February, Dave had a face to face meeting at Weston Park Hospital with an oncologist called Dr Sabbagh.  As I couldn’t go in with Dave due to COVID-19, he put his phone on loudspeaker so I could hear what was being discussed and said, while I sat in the car in their car park listening intently.  It was decided that his treatment could start on the following Tuesday with his PICC line being fitted on the Monday. 

The first lot of chemo started on Tuesday 16th February. By the weekend, Dave was very ill and ended up at DRI where he was hospitalised at Bassetlaw for a few days.  His chemo was deferred for a week for his body to recover a little more.  After a telephone conversation with his oncologist, it was decided that a less ferocious dose be given.   This still made him ill, but nowhere near the same level, plus we didn’t want to go to the hospital and his treatment to be withdrawn.  Dave started with terrible diarrhoea and started losing weight at a great rate. His third lot of chemo had exactly the same effect. 

When we had a few days of decent weather, Dave became quite upset because he wasn’t strong enough to complete the garden project that we had started. We asked our sons for help and our youngest son, Simon, got in touch with Eve Merton Trust for us and explained our predicament.  From that point, work on the garden was started on the 23rd March. Dave was hoping that we have a summer where he can sit and relax in the shade in the garden…….. 

Since that point, Dave’s treatment journey has continued. In May the Chemo was discontinued due to the severe complications it was causing and an assessment via Zoom with a Dr Martin was needed. In June Dave was accepted to the GenisCare programme in Oxford and treatment began on June 23rd. We decided to stay nearby to Oxford so we could be there for the entire treatment programme, which was lucky as the treatment made Dave very ill, causing problems with his stomach.  The doctors gave Dave tablets to help with his stomach problems and antibiotics, but the sessions of radiology continued.  

On our return from Oxford, we sat for long periods in our new garden, simply enjoying the wonderful surroundings and relaxing in the nice weather.  It’s one of the things in 2021 that gave us a little peace, just sitting in our beautiful garden smiling that our garden project had progressed. We have two apple trees in the back part of the garden in the area where the boule pitch is going – it’s big enough for all!  One is a bramely (cooking) apple and the other is Greensleeves (desert). 

We now have two wonderful sweetheart benches and can choose whether we wish to sit in the shade or in the sunshine.  It’s been lovely to just be able to sit, relax and have a cuppa in the lovely surroundings, ideal for Dave after all he’d gone through during his treatments.

The boule pitch is a dream that Dave has always envisaged and what a lovely dream it was!  We’ll continue to fight every day so we can see the benefits of everything that Dave wanted it to be.

We’d thank everybody that has assisted with this so far. Thank you xx

Special thanks go to: all the team Doncaster Toll Bar. Amateur Rugby League F.C., Carl Hall from Dons Rlfc Keepmoat Stadium Ecofficiency LtdRedrow plus all our friends and volunteers that also supported this Dream.

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