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Geoff Williams, a retired language lecturer, had surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy after he was diagnosed with lung cancer.
Geoff had always been aware of lung cancer, having lost his father to the disease in the late eighties.
"Awareness of cancer was a lot different then," says Geoff. "My father was diagnosed after a spot on his lung was discovered. He went downhill fairly rapidly after that. It was such a horrendous time for all of us."
This awareness proved crucial for Geoff when he developed a persistent cough for several weeks and then started coughing blood.
"With some persuasion from my wife Linda, I went to my GP to discuss my symptoms. He was excellent. He told me that there was something not quite right, so I was referred to a consultant.
"I had a biopsy and went on holiday for a fortnight. I felt fine and was convinced that everything was OK, and it was all a big mistake.
"Within a week I got the results back. This confirmed I had lung cancer. I had an operation to remove the tumour in September. Within another week I was home again and starting to get back into some sort of a routine, including travelling to Germany on business.
"However, I did need to start my chemotherapy in December that year. Luckily, I had my family around me to give support, particularly my cousin who was a nurse.
"The radiotherapy followed in the spring, which did seem to knock me out for most of the time. But I got through it and continued to have fairly regular check-ups after the surgery. In the end, I think this was more for peace of mind after I had got the all-clear."
"Early intervention is key. Go to your doctor if you think there's something not quite right with your cough. Don't put it off. Try to think of it as something that can be overcome and see your GP with a positive frame of mind."
"I love my singing, walking our dog, Jack, and spending time in my garden, which I’m very proud of. My wife and I love getting away to Cornwall whenever we can, and I still enjoy having a role with my local council. My full quality of life has been back for a very long time now."
Image of Geoff Williams produced to support Essex Cancer Network activity.