Lamb Jam Saturday 25th June
Help us to raise money for Neuroendocrine Cancer UK and Kidney Wales by joining us for a night packed with live music, games, charity raffle and great food and drink.
Below you can read Vince’s story about his battle with neuroendocrine cancer and how the charity helped to support him and his family.
Hi Vince, please introduce yourself for our readers.
My Name is Vincent Wells and I’m 53 years old. I’ve worked for the Government in various departments since 1990 but settled with the Home Office and Border Force for the last 15 years.
In as much or as little detail as you’re comfortable with, can you share your story?
In October 2019, after a works training course, I returned home and had a pain in the stomach. After a restless night’s sleep, waves of pain of different intensities came and went throughout the night and into the morning. During the afternoon the pain became so bad I called 999 where there was a 6 hr wait for an ambulance. By now I was in such pain I was rolling on the floor to try comfort myself. I eventually got hold of my husband who came back from work and took me in to A&E.
I said goodbye to my husband at the hospital and was quickly moved into the A&E department. I was given medication to keep the pain away and had many tests and scans during the evening and following morning. It was at a time when no visitors were allowed in the hospital due to COVID, and I felt very isolated and alone. I was able to use my phone to communicate, but the medication I was on made this a difficult task.
The doctors had found a lump the size of a golf ball in my small intestine. They decided to operate first thing the following morning, for which I am eternally grateful. The operation lasted 6 to 7 hours where the surgeon had to take out all my intestine and go along it until they found the tumour. Something that my mind can’t fathom at times.
Luckily for me the surgeons took out 15cms of small intestine to make sure they had all of the tumour and its affected areas out of my abdomen. Unfortunately, the next day in recovery one of the surgeons came to my bedside to say that the tumour wasn’t benign, and that further tests and biopsies would be necessary. To say my world collapsed is an understatement. Though I am always a positive person, I tried to see the best in things that were happening around me.
It was not long during my recovery at home that I was told that the type of cancer I had was linked with hormones and was a Neuroendocrine tumour. I’d never heard of it, as it is quite rare compared to other tumours, so I’ve been told. I obviously read up every online article I could find on the topic and had varying opinions on how my life were to change.
Fortunately for me, the head of Neuroendocrine Cancer for Wales is Doctor Khan, and he is the fountain of all knowledge. I’ve heard he’s helped hundreds of people like myself, possibly thousands. Quickly he took on my case and sent me for a specialist Gallium scan in Euston Hospital where they would search for any other traces of this cancer throughout my body. Another low point, in that they found a metastasis in my liver around 11mm in length. This would mean a further operation on my liver which I had in Sept 2021.
Thankfully the liver surgeon that removed this was an absolute expert in her field (Dr Duncan) and she removed it in its entirety. Again, another recovery period for 3 months sat at home watching Homes Under the Hammer and Dickensons Real Deal. Oh what a life I live.
I feel much better since the operation and have returned to work where my colleagues have been so supportive of my situation. I’ve also been building my first extension on our house with my partner and doing a lot of the work myself. This keeps me very busy.
In addition to this, my family have been outstanding, as have my friends, as have my lovely neighbours in the little village where I live (Penllyn). I am blessed for sure.
In April 2022, Dr Khan called to tell me that at present I was disease free though there was no certainty whether it would ever come back. Even the experts don’t know where the disease comes from, though they implied it may lie dormant in bone marrow.
In reflection, the last 2 years have been a rollercoaster for myself and my family. I am in a much better place than I was at the beginning, as is my partner.
Thank you to all of you that have helped me, and especially those of you who supported Jamie when I was absent. We both couldn’t have done it without the support.
The NHS, Dr Khan and Dr Duncan, I can’t thank you enough.
Now I’m getting on with my life, I’m very positive, and look forward to many more challenges ahead, but hopefully not related to my health.
What support does the charity offer people with Neuroendocrine Cancer?
The charity offers many different types and styles of support, which are so valuable for the NET community. This includes the following…
Talk to us: Where you can speak to a nurse online, and ask all those questions you may be asking yourself.
Counselling: There are many avenues and other charities linked in to give patients different types of counselling.
Local Support Groups: You can link with other patients and experts discuss common issues etc
Education Events: There are education events throughout the year.
Online community: There are several different online groups on Facebook for patients and their families to join to discuss, educate, chat etc.
MY NETs Mobile App: An app built to help you with day to day information gathering, symptom tracking, storing health details etc.
Practical Issues: Practical advice on day to day issues like work, travel, insurance, financial help etc
Podcasts: Real life experiences, practical advice and everything in between. Whether you are diagnosed with Neuroendocrine Cancer or another rare or less common cancer, our podcast series cover topics from initial diagnosis, treatments and follow up, looking after your mental health and the professional perspectives from those involved in your care.
Why is it important to support Neuroendocrine Cancer UK?
It’s difficult to explain why it is so important to donate and support this charity, or any other charity come to think about it. For me and my family, it is a way of giving back and repaying all the effort and care that was given to me by the professionals along the journey I’ve had with this disease. Thanks to others before me raising money for this charity and towards research, it means I now have a better future and now I would like to play part in doing that for others in the future by raising awareness and funds for this charity.
Our charity music festival, Lamb Jam promises to be an unforgettable night of great food, music and entertainment.
To view the full list of amazing charity raffle prizes and buy your tickets to the event, click the button below.