Miracle as father conquers cancer
Published: November 29, 2005 | 2858th good news item since 2003
WHEN doctors told former soldier David Thorne he had only months to live, he prepared himself for the fight of his life.
And now, in a one-in-a-million medical miracle, he has somehow conquered a killer disease.
Mr Thorne was diagnosed with bowel cancer earlier last year, which had spread to his lymph glands and lungs. [Bowel Cancer]
Doctors advised a course of chemotherapy, but were convinced he had no more than 18 months to live.
One specialist said there was “zero chance” of his recovering.
But after a year of treatment, tests earlier this month showed he was free of cancer – something he puts down to positive mental attitude. It has inspired him to write a book.
Mr Thorne’s doctor, Prof John Monson, said: “Statistically, there is zero chance of a complete response. The books say it can’t happen. [A Cancer Battle Plan]
“I would say the chances of this were one in a million. It was very much a pleasant surprise to all his doctors.
“We were thinking nine to 18 months – Mr Thorne had an aggressive cancer in his bowel which had spread to his lungs.”
The team at Nuffield Hospital, in Cottingham, near Hull, have no answer to why the treatment was so effective.
Father-of-two Mr Thorne, a keen cyclist, told the Yorkshire Post: “If you don’t give up, it can’t beat you. I never intended to let this thing be the death of me. I just looked inside, told it to hop it, and it has.
“I’ve always believed that if you’re strong in mind, anything is possible. I think my family always knew I was a fighter and would battle it all the way, but there was still a look of surprise on their faces when I said I was in the clear.
“I’d told my family I was proud of them and loved them in case the worse happened, but I never for a moment believed the doctors.” [Cancer Positive : The Role of the Mind in Tackling Cancers]
Mr Thorne, 58, of Church Road, Wawne, in the East Riding, a former corporal in the Royal Signals, said: “I was not going to let it beat me. I was determined to see each of my grandchildren grow up and get married.
“Before this, I thought I was invincible. I cycled 30 miles, four times a week, and had a good diet.”
Mr Thorne began feeling unusually tired in October last year.
On October 31, he was working as a radio operator with Noble Drilling on a North Sea oil rig, when he felt a pain in his leg.
He was flown to the mainland by helicopter and taken to hospital, where he was diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis. Further tests showed he had bowel cancer – and might have been suffering from it for as long as three years.
Bowel cancer is the second deadliest cancer in Britain. Of the 38,000 people diagnosed each year, 18,000 die.
Mr Thorne began chemotherapy at the Nuffield hospital, but was then told the cancer had spread extensively. [57 Good Things About Chemotherapy]
He said: “By the ninth chemotherapy session, I was no good to anybody. I felt dreadful and so depressed, but I kept going. I’m stubborn like that. I was getting a really bad sensation in my fingers and it felt like I was walking on gravel. I thought I was never going to get better, but I kept going.”
The chemotherapy finished in June this year and Prof Monson expected to see a slight remission. Instead he was staggered to see the scan was clear, apart from the initial tumour.
Doctors decided to operate and earlier this month told Mr Thorne the tumour was no longer cancerous.
Mr Thorne’s wife Linda, 53, said: “It was traumatic, very traumatic, but now it feels fantastic. David’s always been a soldier. Once a soldier, always a soldier.”