South Creek, Norfolk, England; firstname.lastname@example.org
1935 / Class of 2000 / Type: IgG Kappa / Diabetes, hypercalcemia, anemia /
Died May 30, 2001
Partner of Anne Boswell who is writing this for me.
Val (as he likes to be known) grew up in South Creek in 1935, the eldest of 4
boys. He was a choirboy from age 9 until age 18. From age 18 he was in the army
from Oswestry in Shropshire for his 6 months training. He then became a sergeant
major. When he left the army in 1957 he went to work for the air ministry
working in engineering, he left there in 1965.
Val then became a wagon driver for Eastern County’s farmers, leaving there
in 1968. He again went into engineering at Fakenham in Norfolk, leaving there in
1973. He moved house to Cornwall, where he became engineering manager until
1974, and then he moved to Keighley, West Yorkshire where he was still an
Val then decided he wanted a change of career and opened a shop, a grocery
shop. His shop was in Steeton, West Yorkshire. A new supermarket opened in the
area, and Val lost a lot of business and had to close the shop. Val then started
a new line of work: he became a taxi driver, and after a while he was promoted
to Manager where he was to look after the hiring and firing and all the
bookwork. He did this while still looking for work. He stayed there until 1996,
which is when we moved to Norfolk.
- 1980 Meningitis: Val collapsed in the house, whereupon an ambulance
was called. He nearly died.
- 1986 Diabetes diagnosis: Given tablets.
- 1998 diabetes out of control: Prescribed insulin.
- 1998/9 Val’s eyesight went, which left him blind; poor circulation in legs
and hands due to diabetes.
Health has gone down hill ever since we have moved to Norfolk with one thing
Diary of diagnosis and treatment starting early November
Val was getting confused, slurring his words, sleeping all the time. We were
getting very worried about him, went to the Doctors and saw
the Nursing practitioner. I told her my worries, as I thought he was going
senile, and she said she would have him assessed.
Val was still getting worse, so I made an appointment with the Doctors.
We had to see a local Doctor. When we went in the surgery the Doctor looked at
us as though we were something he had brought in off his shoe. He then
looked at Val, asked him some questions, and said it was due to his diabetes.
That was it, but I knew that there was something else.
Saturday 11th Nov: Val stayed in bed all day, as he was very ill.
Saturday evening, Val was still no better. He was so upset, as he didn’t know
what was wrong with himself and he was still very confused, slurring his words
and very sleepy.
We decided that we should call the doctor out, as we were all very
worried about Val’s condition. The Doctor arrived, went upstairs to see Val,
and the next thing we knew was that Val had to go into hospital, as the Doctor
was very unhappy with his health.
Sunday, Val was very ill. His mind was not with us at
all. Stayed until 3:30 that day but there was no change in him. He was
just lying there with drips and tubes everywhere. The Doctor did not come to see
us that day.
Monday, there was still no change in Val. Again we stayed until 3:30,
and did not ask for the Doctor, as we didn’t think it was serious.
Tuesday, again no change, although the Doctor came to see us today and
said to Val that some bone marrow was needed from him to do some tests. (I then
knew it was cancer.)
The Doctor then took me to a side room where she spoke to me. I
asked her what was going on, and she said she was going to take some bone
marrow from Val as she thought he might have cancer of the bone and would let me
know tomorrow. I just thought of the inevitable and I just went home and cried
Wednesday, I got up from my bed at around 8:00. I felt very angry with
our family Doctor as I thought that with Val being Diabetic and always
having tests they should have spotted it earlier. Anyway, I rang the family
Doctor and asked to speak to a Doctor about Val’s condition. The
receptionist then said she would get Doctor Harris Hall to ring me back in
15 minutes, but later the receptionist rang me back and said that the Doctor
would not talk to me without Val being present. This made me even angrier, and
made me blame them even more. I then decided to ring them back and said that if
the Doctor were not going to speak to me I would take legal action.
Still no reply, so I decided to go into the surgery and confront the Doctor
myself. Surprise, surprise: the family Doctor was just about to phone me. We
went into a room, where I asked him what had happened to Val and why. He then
spoke to me and tried to reassure me about Val’s condition.
I then went to see Val. I arrived at the hospital at around 12:00pm and as
there was still no change in Val, I asked to see the Doctor.
When she did arrive she took me in to a small room and said she had the
results. Val had Myeloma, cancer of the bone. I sat there and cried and cried.
She said that the cancer was spread quite a lot through his bones. She also
explained that his calcium level was quite high, so he was put on a drip of salt
water to try to lower this. This was the reason why Val was confused and
slurring his words. He was also very anemic and had to have a few blood
transfusions—I think it was 14 pints in all. Val was very ill and she said
that the next few days were critical. It was a matter of wait and see, and
that they were doing everything for him. I went home feeling very weak and
I didn’t sleep very well that night, but was looking forward to seeing Val
the next day, Thursday. I got to the hospital at around 12:00 pm again. I didn’t
know what to expect, so I stood outside the ward, not daring to go in. I heard
my name called, and it was the nurse. She asked me what was wrong, and I told
her that I was frightened. She then said to go in as there had been a change for
the better. SURPRISE, he looked really well! I could not believe it. “Hello,”
I said, still surprised. I couldn’t believe he was back with us.
Friday already: got to the hospital around the same time today. Val
was still well, although he was still having his saltwater drip and more blood
Saturday, and Val has been in hospital a week now. Val looked even
better today. He even got out of bed and ate some lunch. I did notice that
he was very quiet today, also still on the blood and salt water drip.
Sunday I got to the hospital at around 11:00. Val was very upset I
asked what was wrong? He then replied that a nurse had been to see him and had a
long chat with him about his condition, she had explained all about the Myeloma
so that he can understand.
Val was asked if he knew what it was. He thought it was something to do with
his eyes. She explained it through, but I don’t think he was taking it all in.
The Doctor said that she would come back Tuesday and chat with him again.
Monday, Val was very quiet. I asked if he wanted to talk about it but
he didn’t so I just left it alone.
I got to the hospital at around 11:00 am Tuesday. The Doctor came back to
chat to Val again. I think by this time he had taken it all in. Later that
day the Doctor came and told Val that he could go home tomorrow if all was well.
He had started on his chemotherapy, Melphalan, and also his blood and calcium
level were back to normal.
Wednesday, 15th November: Got to the hospital at around 11:00 am
and Val was sat there in all his glory ready to come home and looking forward to
it too, just waiting for his medication before we could go home. The nurse
arrived with a list of do’s and don’ts.
Thursday: I am very frightened and keep thinking about finding Val in
bed not breathing. I keep looking to make sure. I can’t stop crying…
Friday, and I still feel the same. Val is still well and I am making
sure he his getting his medication on time.
Weekend and Val is still very well. Also, things are getting a bit
easier for me.
Monday 27th November: Val has an appointment for some blood tests
with specialist Dr. Deane. She said everything was fine. We made an appointment
for next month.
Monday 18th December: Val’s next appointment. He is not very good
today. We arranged for a blood transfusion for Friday, all day.
Friday 22nd December 9:00am: Cromer hospital for blood all day. At
4:30pm, Val’s finished and feels well.
25th December: Val feels well but a bit down, but not too bad a day.
31st December: Val’s in a bad mood today. He said I spoilt his
Christmas. I don’t know why he is like this. I am doing every thing I can for
Monday 1st January, 2001: Hooray a New Year! I hope it is going to be
better than the last one. Val is feeling better.
Monday 8th January: Appointment for the specialist, Dr. Deane, at
10:10. Not too good today, another blood transfusion for Friday all day. We
asked a few questions today but did not get any answers. A bit annoyed, we
decided to ask our own family Doctor as soon as we can.
Dr. Deane has changed Val’s chemotherapy tablets today; don’t know why.
He is on cyclophosphamide for 4 weeks with a break Friday and Saturday.
Friday 12th January: Blood transfusion today took him to the hospital
at 9:00 am. Val is not too well today, we told the nurse. He has had his chemo
for 5 days now. He is sleeping all day, every day since he was put on this new
chemo. I spoke to the hospital doctor today whilst Val had his blood. The doctor
said they were having trouble stopping the cancer because of his diabetes. He
also said his prognosis was poor, and this was why they have put him on this new
lot of chemo and the reason why he is having so much blood.
Saturday 13th January: Val was still no better today, so Saturday
evening I decided to get the Doctor out, but Val said no. He is very stubborn
but I decided I felt justified in getting him out. Doctor came out and said I
should not have gotten him out without Val’s consent. He gave him some tablets
for the pain in his bones.
Sunday 14th January: Not much better today. Still sleeping all day
and night. I keep checking on him every 15 minutes to see if he is still
breathing. I have been checking on him all weekend.
Monday 15th January: Val is a bit better today. I rang the family
Doctor to talk to him, and he told me to bring him down to the surgery tomorrow
for blood tests and a check over.
Tuesday 16th January: We went to the Doctors at 10:30 and had the
blood tests done, then waited to see the Doctor. I was called into the doctor’s
room and he told me off for getting the doctor out on the Saturday without Val’s
consent and was told not to do that any more.
I told the doctor that Val was getting confused again, and he is slurring his
words again. I asked if they had done a calcium test and he said yes. I was then
told I was asking too many questions. He said I should not be using the Internet
for information. I was quite upset when I got home and cried.
Wednesday16th January: Val is still a bit confused and he is slurring his
words. I am worried he will end up like he was before when he went into
hospital. We are waiting for the blood results.
Thursday 17th January: Val is in a very nasty mood, shouting at
everyone, still confused. Still no blood results. Hematologist nurse rang today
from the Norfolk and Norwich hospital to see how things were. I told her Val was
confused, and she said they may bring him back in to hospital to get the calcium
level back down. Still awaiting blood results.
Friday 18th January: Val has an appointment today at the diabetic
clinic for his checkup. Blood sugar was normal. We had a chat with the doctor
there. He asked Val a few questions about his Myeloma, but Val was not with us.
He had a very far away look on his face. The Doctor asked if Val was alright,
and I told him I thought his calcium level was up again. The Doctor asked if Val
had had any blood tests done. I said he had, but we were still waiting for the
results, so the Doctor rang for them and got them straight away. His calcium
level was 7.8. He said it was a bit high, and would fax it to Dr. Deane that
day. She may take him in the hospital to get it back down.
Weekend: Val in lovely frame of mind really feeling well! I have not seen him
so well for such a long time.
Monday 21st: Val same as over the weekend. I am very
hopeful that maybe the chemo is working fingers crossed.
Tuesday, 22nd January 2001: Val still feeling well today, even more hopeful.
Val passed away Wednesday, May 30th, 2001 at 6:00am.
He died peacefully in his sleep. His death certificate was written as cause
of death: Myeloma. He was so brave right up until the end. He was well for the
last 7 days, still walking to the shop. I miss him so very much: he was my life,
and I will never forget him.
To my darling Valentine, who was my life,
and who I loved very very much:
My life will never be the same without you.
Until we meet again, all my love, forever.
Your devoted, Anne.