28th November 2018

Paul Nicholson

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“I was told both my tumours weren’t operable. But then I was told there may be something they could do…”

Paul and his wife were in tears after his initial lung cancer diagnosis. They thought he was going to die. Then they met Mr Agrawal.

“After 20 rounds of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, my oncologist told me the tumours had shrunk. This meant surgery was back on the table and I was introduced to Mr Agrawal, a thoracic surgeon at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.

I remember sitting down with him and he explained his team was confident they could remove the tumour by my clavicle. However, they didn’t think it was possible to remove the lymph nodes in the chest due to the radiotherapy I’d had.

Paul, living well with lung cancer

Mr Agrawal had a different idea though. He believed he could go in and everything out that he needed to get out. So I said if you believe that you can, I said I’ll give you my full consent.

When I woke up after the operation, Mr Agrawal was sitting on the bottom of my bed. “I was wondering when you were going to come round,” he said. He was smiling and I asked if everything alright and he said “Everything’s smashing, everything’s fine.” He got it all.

That was three years ago and how far things have moved on is staggering. I had a six month recuperation time but nowadays it’s much faster.

I recently went to one of Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation’s information days in Newcastle and Mr Agrawal and his colleague were there talking about robotics! The advance from when I had my surgery in 2015 to today, in 2018, is simply amazing.”