15th November 2018

Henry West

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“I never knew you could take part of a lung out. I was given a couple of treatment options after my diagnosis. As far as I was concerned, the only option was cut it out!”

Henry was diagnosed when he was 81. Lung cancer aside, he was in good health and so surgery was still an option and now he’s looking forward to another Christmas with his family and another pantomime.

Henry shared his story as part of our lung cancer awareness month campaign, Face Your Fear

“I’d been to the doctor and he asked did I smoke? I said well, I used to. I quit in 1972!

He said they had found something on my right lung which needs investigating. By then, I think I had already formed in my own mind that this could be serious.

Fortunately, it was very small and very early stage and that meant options!

I didn’t know you could just take part of a lung away but once I did, the only option as far as I was concerned was cut it out!

I found the recovery quite slow. I couldn’t walk very far without getting terribly out of breath. The first walk I managed I think was about 150 yards down the road and struggled back.

But then I just forced myself out every day. Every day just trying to go a little bit further. My aim was to be able to walk it’s about a mile and half – two miles from here to the pub I go to every Sunday lunch time with a mate of mine!

Nowadays, I do breathe heavier when I’m walking but not to any point of discomfort. I find stairs wearing but, apart from that, it doesn’t stop me doing anything.

My advice to anyone who is experiencing symptoms is go and get checked out as quickly as possible. Don’t be worried or frightened. It may be something, it may be nothing. It’s so much better to find out as early as possible.”