Worried about your lung health?
If you or someone you know has been experiencing any of the symptoms below for over 3 weeks they could be a sign of something serious.
“I just thought, better to be safe than sorry...”
“I just thought, better to be safe than sorry…”
From being 21, I joined the R.A.F and obviously a part of being in the air force is keeping yourself fit and active. I played lots of sport rugby, football, basketball, cricket, athletics. I represented the air force at rugby and at basketball.
I’ve done quite a lot of walking over the last couple of years. Despite this knee, we’ve done major long-distance walks. The last one that we did was at Cleveland Way; we ended up doing a climb called Roseberry Topping. It’s a hill that comes up to a point and you can see it from miles around and we did this particular part of the walk. As we got to the top of the hill, my partner Sarah said to me, ‘your breathing’s not right, it sounds different’.
‘Well,’ I said, ‘it would be, we just climbed a hill. It’s tough’. So, she says, ‘No, it sounds different to normal, I know when you’re breathing heavy and your breathing’s not as it normally is. It sounds strange, it’s not what you would normally expect’.
‘Plus,’ she said, ‘you don’t seem to be moving as freely’.
Anyway, a couple of days later I had a slight tickly cough and found a tiny spec of blood in what I coughed up and not wanting to believe that there was anything wrong I thought, that it is just something or nothing. A couple of days later I had another tickly cough incident and I coughed again and this time three tiny specs of blood and at that point I just thought, maybe it’s time to get it checked out.
In the past, perhaps I might not have bothered the doctors or gone to the doctors, but I have known people who have had cancer and blood and coughing things up, so I just thought better to be safe than sorry. That’s when I went to the doctors and, sure enough, they referred me to Castle Hill to see the lung function specialist there and that’s when we started on this road to finding out I got lung cancer.
I went for my initial meeting with the lung function specialist on the 18th October, so we are talking 16 days after. I just sat down and said, ‘would you please tell me what’s happening?’
And he said, ‘well, unfortunately, we have to tell you that the C.T. scans showed that you have a tumour.’
When I was in the air force particularly I was encouraged like most of the men in the forces - in fact not just men in the forces, men in general - that talking about your emotions isn’t something that men do. We are brought up as children not to cry, not to share our emotions.
The fact that I have so many people in my support network of people I work with and people that live within the community, talking to more and more people about how you feel seems to have helped me cope much, much better with the last however many months that we have been coping with this and because of their support, there is no doubt that I’m much stronger and a much more positive person and I don’t know whether I would be if I hadn’t talked as often and as much as I did to a wide range of people.
What could it be?
The symptoms listed are some of the most common symptoms of lung cancer, however they could also be signs of other things as well, all of which a doctor would want to see you for:
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Pneumonia or a chest infection
It could be nothing to worry about, but it's worth getting checked to make sure.
Where to go for help
Your GP is the best person to see for help or advice but if you are struggling to contact them, there are some alternatives:
Throughout 2019, we will also be running events throughout Hull where you can speak to the campaign team to get more information. Check out our social media for more information on how to find those.
We will soon be adding more community events into a table below. Follow our social media to find out when the events will be taking place.
Who we are
The project aims to look at lung health in Hull and encourage those experiencing symptoms of poor lung health to visit medical professionals. The earlier symptoms are caught the better the chances for survival.
The lung health campaign is running alongside a study being
conducted by the medical school looking at attitudes around visiting the
doctors. Evaluations at the end of the campaign will be used to find out whether
more people in Hull know about the symptoms of poor lung health and whether the
number of people attending GPs for early diagnosis of lung cancer or other
conditions has increased.