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Photo: A happy David Grogan relaxing with two of his three  grandchildren

A Lancashire grandad who has had almost 30 cycles of chemotherapy to manage his cancer has described the care he has received at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust as “so superb, I could not have got better if I had paid for it.”

David Grogan, 66, who lives in the village of Tockholes near Darwen, has revealed that he even looks forward to his chemotherapy sessions at Burnley General Teaching Hospital because of the friendly and caring welcome he receives.

David, who is married to Jenny and has one son, two grandsons and a grand-daughter, was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2010 after going to his GP after having symptoms for a few months.

David had radiotherapy followed by a major operation in 2011 at Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital and after that he went for routine check-ups to see his consultant.

David, who runs the website of ladies’ fashion business Solitaire, had some scans in 2016 and was hoping to get the five-year all clear that year.

However, at his appointment, his consultant told him they had found something on his pelvis and a couple of weeks later, David was told the cancer was not curable but could be managed through chemotherapy.

David began chemotherapy in July 2016 and had 14 cycles of chemotherapy which led to the tumour shrinking.

He then went to a hospital near Watford to have targeted radiotherapy which does not damage surrounding tissues.

David had a CT and MRI scan in April last year which showed that the cancer had spread to his lungs and his oncologist advised going back on chemotherapy at Burnley Teaching Hospital.

David is now back on chemotherapy and things have stabilised.

David is having chemotherapy at the new Primrose Chemotherapy Suite at Burnley General Teaching Hospital which opened last December.

The new £750,000 chemotherapy and breast care facilities are located in the hospital’s Edith Watson building and mean more modern and spacious facilities for patients.

David says that while he thinks the new chemotherapy facilities are wonderful, it is the amazing care delivered to patients by staff which is the most important thing.

David says: “I have had chemotherapy at the old unit at Burnley Hospital and am now having it in the new unit.

“Irrespective of old and new, I could not have had better treatment if I had paid for it.

“The nurses, Sister and all the staff have been fantastic. Nothing is too much trouble for them and they are understanding!

“The new chemotherapy unit is very good as it is more modern and spacious.

“But it is the care that is the most important thing.”

David says that chemotherapy has not been as terrible as he feared it might be.

He explains: “Initially, you are filled with dread, but after the first session, I thought: ‘it is not that bad’ although the effects do start building up.

“I have not lost my hair through chemotherapy. The main side effects I have had are severe fatigue and numbing of the nerve ends in my fingers and toes.

“But apart from that, I have not found chemotherapy that brutal.”

David says the caring nature and dedication shown by the staff at East Lancashire Hospitals has made his diagnosis and treatment easier to bear.

He says: “The chemotherapy unit at Burnley is not a place of doom and gloom.

“It is like a happy family and you are always greeted with a smile and there is a lot of banter.

“This has made my diagnosis and treatment easier to bear.

“When you are first diagnosed, you look back over your life and think: ‘Why me?’ and can feel anger and frustration.

“But after a while, you realise you have to not ‘count the years, but live the days’ and look forward to what you have got.

“Having that positive thinking helps immensely as does the support of your partner, friends and family.

“Even though it sounds strange, I actually look forward to going to my chemotherapy sessions because of how friendly, welcoming and dedicated the staff are.

“They are all incredibly caring without exception.”