A year ago, Rob Howard was dealt the devastating blow that he had a terminal brain tumour.
He spent his 33rd birthday in Royal Preston Hospital, recovering from an operation which removed 60 per cent of his tumour.
Now, a year on, Rob was able to enjoy his birthday whilst on holiday to Wales and is starting to feel a little more positive, looking ahead to new treatments.
The 34-year-old from Leyland, who was diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme Stage 4 last September after suffering from severe headaches, has been coming to terms with his terminal prognosis, but is determined to make every second count.
Chemotherapy at Rosemere Cancer Centre has shrunk the tumour slightly, and following extensive research, he has been put on a new set of drugs which is helping him feel more stable.
He says: “I set up a news app on my phone which sends me articles about anything related to brain tumours, cancer and treatments.
“I found out about new treatment at Harley Street clinic in London and I went down there to speak to a consultant. I have been put on a cocktail of four drugs which are meant to be more powerful. They won’t clear the tumour but it will give me a chance of a better life and it should extend it.
“Two of the drugs are used by diabetics and then I am taking two other drugs.
“I am taking a lot of tablets - 15 a day.
“I feel fine at the moment and have not had any side effects so far.
“I have been tired when I have undergone chemotherapy but I have finished that now. I just have to go back to the hospital every three months for scans. I have had three scans so far. One scan showed small shrinkage, and the two other scans have stayed the same. I am now having a break off chemotherapy until something grows or changes.
“There are treatments out there but everyone reacts differently. Someone might have cancer but they won’t have the same reaction. Not everyone remains in the same category.
“I am just taking one day at a time, taking these pills and having my scans.”
Rob is still fund-raising specialist therapy in Germany - or even Istanbul - in the hope he can reduce the tumour even more.
It is estimated this could cost between £50,000 and £100,000.
Rob adds: “At the moment, there is something in Germany but there is not enough tumour left to work on. So I am looking at other places.
“Everyone has been so generous with their fund-raising and that is what keeps me going. I know I have a lot of people behind me.”
To boost funds Rob and his wife Emma have organised a charity ball at Kilhey Court, in Standish, near Wigan, on Saturday October 27.
Tickets are £50 and can be bought by emailing Emma.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emma says: “Rob is doing really well at the moment. He had positive feedback from the clinic in London - he’s just got to keep doing what he’s doing.
“But we are not being complacent. We are still fund-raising for alternative treatment either over here if we can find any, or last resort abroad.
“I am still selling tickets for the ball. If anyone is interested, please contact me.”
To make a donation visit http://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/teamrob